Over the years, Bangladesh has been enjoying a steady economic growth and is now considered to be an up and coming hub for technology. With a population of over 16 crore, the country is regarded as a hotbed for startups, be it in the tech industry or e-commerce. To cater to the growing demand and ensure that startups are mentored and facilitated in the right avenues, Startup Bangladesh was held on November 9 at the American Center in Dhaka.
The event commenced at 2.45pm. Notable guests included entrepreneur catalyst Gary Whitehill, regional policy officer, US Department of State, Ana Y Ayala, George Mesthos and Calvin Hayes from the embassy, director, EMK Center, M K Aaref, chief story teller, BetterStories Ltd, Minhaz Anwar, GES alumni, US embassy alumni and colleagues and Startup Bangladesh selected participants. Katarina and Karen, regional manager for Asia, Seedstar Worlds, were also present at the event.
The welcome speech was made by George Mesthos, foreign service officer at US Department of State. This was followed by a presentation on Startup Bangladesh. In his speech, he highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship and stated, "Entrepreneurship is the engine of prosperity and here in Bangladesh, it is the key to sharing the prosperity among all."
The launch of Startup Bangladesh was undertaken by Gary Whitehill, founder of BURST and the special guest of the event. Ana Y Ayala, regional policy officer, South and Central Asian Affairs Division, Bureau of International Information Programs, US Department of State also inspired the audience with her mesmerising speech. Speeches from other notable guests at the event followed, along with an interactive question and answer session from the participants. The ending remarks were made by Minhaz Anwar, chief story teller, BetterStories Ltd.
While answering a question, Minhaz Anwar stated, "Over 60% of the Bangladeshi population is under 35 and we have 2.7 million people coming into the workforce every year. But how many jobs can we provide? Not more than 2 million. I believe we need to provide people with more choices so that we can have more better stories from our country."
The programme concluded at 4:30pm.
The event was jointly organised by BetterStories Ltd and the State Department of USA. Event partners included the EMK Center, SevenSages, Future Startup and Founded In Bangladesh. HiFi Public served as the media partner.