Local startups for the first time are getting a chance to compete in Startup World Cup, a global competition carrying a $1 million investment prize which will be held in Silicon Valley in San Francisco in the US on May 17.
Five local startups will get the chance to attend the competition along with competitors from 40 other countries.
There will initially be a regional competition in Bangladesh, initiated by Fenox Venture Capital and powered by eGeneration Ltd, organisers said in a press conference at The Daily Star Centre in Dhaka yesterday.
Bangladesh Innovation Forum will co-organise the regional event.
Fenox Venture Capital, a top venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, ranked 16th in the latest global ranking of Mattermark Seed Stage while eGeneration Ltd is said to work with disruptive technologies.
The top five selected from the regional round will go on to pitch their ideas at the global event.
Interested startups can apply through www.egeneration.co/fenoxswc. The deadline for submitting applications is March 20 and the regional final will be held on April 6, informed the organisers.
This will change the mindset of local entrepreneurs, attract global investors and help the industry grow further, they said.
Shameem Ahsan, general partner of Fenox Venture Capital and chairman of eGeneration Group, said the country's startup ecosystem had started evolving and already about $300 million had been invested by venture capital firms and private equity funds.
He said they were estimating that within the next five years the total market size would reach over $3 billion.
SM Ashraful Islam, executive vice chairman of eGeneration Group; Farzana Chowdhury, president of EO Bangladesh; Syed Ashik Rahman, CEO at Rtv; Rubaba Dowla, president of TiE Dhaka; Wali-Ul-Maroof Matin, board director of VCPEAB, and Ariful Hasan Opu, founder of Innovation Forum, were present at the press conference.