Seedstars Dhaka, part of Seedstars World, a global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes, has been announced at a press conference held today at Janata Tower, Karwan Bazar.
The press conference was presided by Susanka Kumar Saha, Secretary, ICT Division and attended by Adriana Collini and Rosie Keller from Seedstars World, Kazi Mahboob Hassan from Grameenphone Limited, Khurshed Alam, Head of Personal Financial Services from LankaBangla Finance Limited, Mustafizur Rahman from CVCFL, Prince Mojumder from Genex Infosys Limited and Tanvir Sourov from Socian Ltd.
Seedstars Dhaka 2017 is powered by GP Accelerator, key sponsored by LankaBangla Finance Limited and supported by ICT Division, Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications, and Information Technology. CVCFL & Genex Infosys Limited are Silver Sponsors. Seedstars World is also working closely with the local ambassador Tanvir Sourov of Socian Ltd. Further support is provided by Aamra Technologies, EMK Center and BetterStories Limited.
The pitching event will be held on September 23rd 10 am onward at GP House. In line with its mission to place the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging markets, Seedstars World is traveling to more than 75 countries this year to identify the best seed-stage entrepreneurs and provide them with an opportunity to win up to USD 1 million and network with investors and mentors from around the world. Its previous participants have raised over USD 61 million collectively, providing employment to more than 900 employees worldwide.
The companies selected to pitch at Seedstars Dhaka 2017 need to be less than 2 years old, have raised less than USD 500,000 in funding and have built a minimum viable product, ideally with existing traction. The Seedstars World team is searching for one additional criterion – the startup’s regional and global scalability.
“Seedstars World is a platform connecting investors to the next generation of entrepreneurs, pulling the spotlight from Silicon Valley and Western Europe, and we have continuously seen innovative startups who do just that coming out of Bangladesh. We are excited to be coming back to see what the ecosystem has to offer this year”, explains Adriana Collini, Regional Associate for Asia at Seedstars World.
Welcoming Seedstars Dhaka, Kazi Mahboob Hassan, Head of Transformation of Grameenphone said, “GP Accelerator is excited to host Seedstars Dhaka 2017. Bangladesh recently has seen the rise of highly talented entrepreneurs with potentially game-changing ideas. Therefore, this time, we are hopeful that one of the startups from Bangladesh will win on the Seedstars Global stage this time.”
To empower the Startup Ecosystem in Bangladesh, Khurshed Alam, Head of Personal Financial Services of LankaBangla Finance said, “Bangladesh harbors promising youngsters who have the capacity to make a lasting positive impact on the society and economy with innovative ideas. We are optimistic that this time, we are going to witness some incredible new ideas as well, much like we have witnessed in similar events in the last few years.’
8 startups will be selected to pitch, with the winning startup receiving an all-expenses-paid trip to the Seedstars Asia Regional Summit in Bangkok and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Seedstars Global Summit in Switzerland, where startups from more than 75 countries will meet with international mentors and investors, and pitch for up to $1 million in equity investment, along with a bevy of additional prizes.
Mustafizur Rahman, Managing Director of CVCFL, said, “Being a Venture Capital & Finance Company, CVCFL is very happy to be a part of the journey to the glory of young Bangladeshi innovators. This is their chance to prove their mettle to the world, and I believe that the participants are well-equipped to do so”.
With the real-life experience of scaling up a Startup to a Public company, the Co-Founder & CEO of Genex Infosys Limited said, “Seedstars World provides young innovators an excellent opportunity to take the next step towards materializing their dreams of making a difference into a reality. I believe the participants from Bangladesh have got what it takes to compete on the global stage provided by this competition, as they have proven over the years.”
Startup founders who want to pitch at the September 23rd event should apply before September 20th on the Seedstars Dhaka website seedsta.rs/Dhaka2017. The eight startups selected will give a five-minute pitch in English, in front of a jury made up of local startup heavyweights. Members of the public are welcome to come join the fun and should register on the above Seedstars Dhaka website as well.
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