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Bridging the gap

  • Published at 12:49 pm December 20th, 2018
wt-Dec 18, 2018
Photos : Courtesy

Tiger Cage - a reality show about real entrepreneurs meeting real investors 


With the help of a number of “accelerator programs” in Bangladesh, the previous decade has seen a constant flow of new companies that attempted to address numerous issues such as health, training, transport, education and other services. However, thegapstill remains in finding proper investment. This is a huge problem, especially when it comes to early-stage startups. 

Tiger Cage is the first ever entrepreneurship-themed video series from Startup Dhaka in Bangladesh giving startups the opportunity to pitch in front of four investors who are willing to provide funding access to the startups. The show aims at mitigating one of the key problems in Bangladesh’s current startup ecosystem, that is bridging the gap between investors and potential startups lacking smart capital.

Through this reality show, Startup Dhaka will actively scout potential startups from its network and feature them. The initial screening is being done by Startup Dhaka’s internal team members who will also assist the teams with the pitches.

Each episode is 10 to 12 minutes long with three minutes of pitching and eight to nine minutes of Q&A. The participating startups have to convince the investors within the first three minutes followed by an intense Q&A session by the investors. If convinced, any or every investor may propose a deal. The vision of the video series is to empower the emerging startups across the country with the aim to ensure the process of turning potential ideas to sustainable businesses.

Tiger Cage was launched on December 10 at EMK Center, Dhanmondi. The investors for the first season are:

Mustafizur R Khan, who is the co-founder of Startup Dhaka, which manages an accelerator program as its operating partner. He is also a partner at IDLC Asset Management’s Venture Capital Fund. He is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and marketer with over 22 years of experience.

Samad Miraly is a partner at IDLC Asset Management Venture Capital Fund and an Executive Director at Olympic Industries Limited. He also co-founded Startup Dhaka. Samad is a Canadian- Bangladeshi investor, who started investing at the age of 10. The gadget geek in him led him to invest intech.

Fayaz Taher is one of the most active startup community activists from Bangladesh and has mentored and invested in quite a lot of startups in the scene. He is the co-founder of Startup Dhakaand Magnito Digital. He is also a director at Fortunaand currently the Chief of Nothing at Bongo BD. Fayaz started his entrepreneurial journey at a very early age and has both the experience and tech knowledge to take a startup towards success.

Nazim Farhan Choudhury is the managing director of Adcomm Limited and also the co-founder of GraphicPeople, SoftwarePeople, ColoursFM and Nazimgarh Resorts.

Discussing the concept of the reality show, Mustafizur R Khan said, Tiger Cage is about facilitating the ways businesses can gain access to capital and helping startups connect with investors. We’ve been in this space for the last five years, and we started off by investing in tech companies that are based in Bangladesh. From there, we realized that one of the major problems in Bangladesh’s current startup ecosystem is the gap between investors and potential startups lacking smart capital. So we approached Grameenphone with the aim of creating a platform, an accelerator program, through which we could address this issue. In 2016, we launched the GP Accelerator program, from which we were able to accelerate 10 teams every year. However, we realized that this too, has its limitations. So we decided to come up with an online learning platform called Upskill, which gives access to the same learning insights that we’ve been trying to develop through the accelerator program. From there, we came up with the idea of Tiger Cage, where businesses with a certain amount of traction can get the help they need. There are four pilot episodes of the reality show so far, and the response has been great. Hopefully, this show can be a short-term model through which startups can turn their potential ideas to sustainable businesses.”

62 startups registered for the event. However, only 16 startups were selected to present their ideas to the investors at the event. Finally, four startups made it to the first season of the reality showand the finalists include:

Avijatrik

Avijatrik is an online touring platform to provide adventure holiday experiences in different regions of Bangladesh. Besides providing traditional tourism services, it provides exclusive, community-based tourism services in Bangladesh.

Adama Robotics

Adama produces easy-to-use robotics kits, applications and courses for young learners to give them creativity, problem-solving and STEM technical skills that will equip them for the future.

GS Bike Security

GS designs and manufactures security solutions for motorbikes.

BDParlors

BDParlors is a platform that provides all sorts of skincare and beauty solutions.



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