With Covid-19 taking over the globe, many annual competitions developed for students have either been put on hold midway for an indefinite period, or cancelled. In the interim, Interactive Cares arranged a virtual grand finale for 'Idea Innovation Contest 2020', an entrepreneurship-based business idea event. This year, they came up with business ideas which will be profitable and sustainable during isolation and stabilise the socio-economic state of the country.
With the slogan, 'Crafting Vision' for aspiring entrepreneurs, Interactive Cares aimed to establish this competition as the one of the largest entrepreneurial platforms of the country. Launched on March 15, the competition consisted of three rounds in total, where 256 teams took part in the selection round, while 24 teams qualified into the semi-final round. Six teams made it through to the grand finale, which marked the end of the contest on May 29.
All the rounds took place virtually, via Zoom, in the presence of the esteemed judges and the participants. The grand finale was also streamed live on Facebook. Amongst the 6 finalist teams, Team Cognitive Dissonance, from Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP) and Team FYB, from Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka, were announced as the champion and runner-up respectively, winning a prize money up to BDT 100,000.
The champion team, Cognitive Dissonance, came up with the idea of producing Trichoderma bio-compost (organic fertiliser) from water hyacinths and poultry wastes, through a convenient, eco-friendly and affordable method. The runner-up team, FYB's idea was an initiative, called RojRoj, a subscription based micro-delivery platform that will engage small retail stores and underprivileged communities to provide essentials to households regularly.
The CEO of Interactive Cares, Rare Al Samir said, "Idea Innovation Contest was launched to find out innovative business ideas, which can sustain and maintain profitability in the pandemic and contribute to the economy of the country."
The event was arranged by six partners, 30 university affiliations, numerous campus ambassadors, and more than 1000 participants. The guest panel consisted of Ahmad Ashkar, Founder and CEO of Hult Prize Foundation as the chief guest and Tina F Jabeen, Advisor of Startup Bangladesh, ICT Ministry and Managing Director of US Market Access Center, as the special guest. Ghulam Sumdany Don ( Chief Inspirational Officer, Don Sumdany Facilitation and Consultancy), Bijon Islam (Co-founder and CEO of Light Castle Partners), Sumit Saha (Co-founder of Analyzen Bangladesh Limited), Nahian Rahman Rochi (Senior Corporate Finance Manager, British American Tobacco Bangladesh), Syed Ibrahim Saajid (Manager, Telecom Business, Bkash Limited) and Zafir Shafie Chowdhury (Co-founder of Singularity and Bondstein Limited) were the judges. Rafsan Sabab Khan, Senior Strategic Planner in Grey Advertising, anchored the finale.
The champion team consisted of Rashik Hasan, Zeba Samiha, Mysha Maliha and Kazi Lamisa Medha, while the runner-up team consisted of Marzina Akhter Prottasha, Mondrita Iffat Rashid, Saim Ahmed Shifat, and Shuvo Saha.