After 4 months with the GP Accelerator program, five startups got the opportunity to present their businesses in front of more than 100 attendees, including investors and professionals on Demo Day, at the GPHouse recently.
Rajeev Sethi, CEO of Grameenphone, launched the event by reiterating the journey of the Grameenphone Accelerator program.
Before the speeches of an introductory session titled “Startup Bazaar” was organised, the attendees were able to meet and chat with the five startups from the GP Accelerator team.
In October 2015, Grameenphone partnered with SD ASIA to launch the “GP Accelerator” in search for five talented tech startups in Bangladesh. After a rigorous process, the GP Accelerator team unveiled the top five startups to participate in the announcement program.
The top five startups, namely Ennovision, Sheba, Repto, Kandy and Share, receiveda seed funding of more than Tk10 lac each, and got the opportunity to work inside GPHouse (with full logistical support). Moreover, the teams were also mentored by SD Asia’s panel of start-up ecosystem experts.
Ennovision Limited is a web design company that serves as a one-stop solution for businesses looking to create a solid online presence through their websites.
Kandy is an intelligent personalisation mobile advertising application that puts delightful content on users’ lock screens, as well as time-saving tools, giving users a useful lock screen experience.
Share is a carpooling application, looking to disrupt the way people commute around Dhaka city.
SHEBA is a service platform for solving day-to-day household problems.
REPTO Education Center is an online course marketplace where you can create courses with state-of-the-art web tools and sell your courses online.
Samad Miraly, co-founder of SD Asia, expressed his excitement about the Demo Day: “Demo day is about the showcasing of progress. I think the teams are best placed to talk about how much improvement they have seen in the last four months. In case they are being humble, I can say that I am truly impressed by the level of commitment dedication, persistence, and leadership they have shown,” he said.
Grameenphone provided full logistics support for the top starters at the office space of GPHouse.
Faisal Kabir, project head of GP Accelerator, said: “We are very happy that the first batch of the GP Accelerator program has graduated. While joining the program Demo Day was the end goal for the startups, we believe each startup has put more than 100% to come up to where are they today. Our partnership with SD Asia has helped ensure that the startups are on track and being guided to scale up faster. We had a lot of new learning and unplanned scenario management during the last four months. Hopefully, our learnings will be helpful to support the business development of GP Accelerator second batch better than before.”
Kazi Mahboob Hassan, head of Transformation, said: “Demo day is a showcase of the exciting startups that have now gone through four months of rigorous curricula and experienced mentorship in a highly competitive environment. It is a program, meant to keep energy high, investors intrigued, and build towards an unbelievable startup ecosystem in Bangladesh that sustains itself. If successful, these companies have the potential to change the way things work around us. We celebrate not just the success part of their cycle but also the inevitable downturns. Today Grameenphone has reached another milestone to clearly demonstrate its commitment with the vision of 'empowering societies.'”
SD ASIA arranged several mentorship sessions and pitching seasons for the top five. Every week, the five startups from the Grameenphone Accelerator attended sessions on crucial business topics. Relevant experts and mentors were invited to be the guest speakers for these learning sessions.
Mustafizur Rahman Khan, CEO and founder of SD Asia, sees the Demo Day as an opportunity for the startups: “SD ASIA is very fortunate to have Grameenphone as a partner in starting the accelerator program. We believe the program has not only help the startups to become better, but also help GP to understand the potential of data-driven companies in Bangladesh. With the current program finishing, we look forward to welcoming next batch in August.”
When asked about the startups Fayaz Taher, co-founder of SD Asia, said: “In four months, the GP Accelerator team that shown dedication and commitment to build profitable businesses without giving up. They have gone through a very rigorous program that has challenged their conventional thinking and way of execution. I now feel that the teams are better prepared to face the reality of business and success.”
GP Accelerator Demo Day was an event where Bangladeshi startups found exposure with investors, both local and international. Investors, entrepreneurs, and social media specialists from over the world attended the event and brought the Bangladesh startup ecosystem to their attention.