Cuet gets Bangladesh’s first campus-based business incubator

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate Sheikh Kamal IT Business Incubator at Cuet through video conferencing

Bangladesh’s first university campus-based business incubator will be inaugurated on Wednesday with the aim of developing entrepreneurship and expanding knowledge-based economy.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the Sheikh Kamal IT Business Incubator at Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (Cuet) through video conferencing from Ganabhaban.

Around 220 entrepreneurs, trainees, freelancers. and potential startups can get infrastructural, logistic, technical, financial, and mentorship support from the incubator to transform innovative ideas into products and services in order to build a “Smart Bangladesh” by 2041.

“The objective of setting up the incubator is to establish effective links between universities and IT-based industries as well as create opportunities for research and innovation,” Cuet Vice Chancellor Dr Mohammad Rafiqul Alam told reporters on Tuesday.

“We are working on how to convert university projects into real projects and products. The Sheikh Kamal Incubator will act as a bridge between businesses and entrepreneurs, as it has a complete innovation ecosystem,” said Dr M Moshiul Hoque, director of the incubator.

Two mini supercomputers will be set up at a lab of the incubator at a cost of Tk2.5 crore to allow for rapid analysis of large data sets, added Dr Hoque, who is also dean of the Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cuet. 

“A robotics lab and cyber security lab will also be installed in a few months,” he added.

Facilities of the incubator 

The 10-storey incubation building has been constructed, beginning in July 2017, on 4.7 acres of the CUET campus at a cost of Tk113 crore from. Each floor has about 5,000 square feet of space. 

The incubation building has a startup zone, innovation zone, industry-academic zone, brainstorming zone, exhibition centre, e-library zone, data centre, research lab, video conferencing room, and a conference room.

There will also be separate corners for banks and IT firms, cyber cafes, food courts, cafeterias, recreation zones, display zones, and media rooms.

There is also an Artificial Intelligence (AI) lab, machine learning lab, optical fibre backbone, and high speed internet connection at the incubator.

Dormitories, multipurpose building for entrepreneurs  

There are two separate four-storey dormitories, named after Sheikh Jamal and Rosie Jamal, for male and female entrepreneurs. The total area of the two buildings is 40,000 square feet and each dormitory has 40 rooms.

Besides, there is a six-storey multipurpose training building with a total floor area of 36,000 square feet. The multipurpose training building boasts a state-of-the-art auditorium that can seat 250 people, and four computer/seminar rooms that can seat 50 people.

Dhaka Tribune

A power substation and a solar panel have also been installed by the incubator. 

Vision of Smart Bangladesh

At the third meeting of the "Digital Bangladesh Task Force" on April 7, 2022, the prime minister directed that activities begin on an implementation of the vision of a "Smart Bangladesh" by 2041. 

The Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority is currently in the process of setting up 92 hi-tech parks, software technology parks and IT training and incubation centres across the country. Nine of the parks have already been completed.

Till now three projects have been approved towards a setting up of IT Training and Incubation Centres.  Necessary steps have been taken to set up IT Training and Incubation Centres in 34 districts, with the eventual aim of setting up such centres in all 64 districts of the country.