First Bangladesh Startup Summit begins today
The first-ever two-day Bangladesh Startup Summit 2023 began today, under the theme 'Smart Bangladesh, Endless Possibilities'. Over 100 global venture capital investors, 100 international-level speakers, and 600 startups are attending the Bangladesh Startup Summit 2023, which is spread over different sessions.
The first day of the conference was held today, 29 July. The event will wrap up tomorrow, 30 July. Both days will have seminars, interviews, and networking sessions covering topics ranging from edutech, healthtech, fintech, software services, and startup investment - being an event filled with innovation and entrepreneurship from Bangladesh's current startup scene.
On the first day of the conference, 8 local startups were given the 'Startup Awards' in 8 different categories: ShopUp, Pathao, bKash, Ten Minute School, UNDP YouthCo Lab, Nagad, SBK Tech Ventures, and Next Funding. Two entrepreneurs were also given a grant from the Bangabandhu Innovation Grant.
Among some of the sessions and keynotes held today, the Fintech Keynote had the topic of 'Embracing digital banking and the path to a cashless society', with the speaker being Sushmit Nath, Head of Visa Consulting & Analytics - India and South Asia. The fintech panel discussion, which discussed the topic 'How to leapfrog our fintech ecosystem - way forward', had the following panellists: Fahim Ahmed, CEO, Pathao; Mohammed Amir Dhedhi, Co-founder & CEO, Portonics Ltd; Sushmit Nath, Head of Visa Consulting & Analytics - India and South Asia; and Zubair Ahmed, Co-founder & CEO, Hishab.
The first day of Bangladesh Startup Summit 2023 also had a Logistics and Mobility Keynote, with the speaker being Rezwanul Haque Jami, Head of e-Commerce, a2i - Aspire to Innovate. As for the panel on Logistics and Mobility, the topic was 'The future of movement in megacities', with Samad Miraly, Partner, IDLC Venture Capital Fund I, as the moderator, and Ataur Rahim Chowdhury, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer, ShopUp; Anayet Rashid, Founder & CEO, TruckLagbe; Mohit Gulati, CIO & Managing Partner, ITI Growth Opportunities Fund; and Biplob Ghosh Rahul, Founder & eCourier Ltd, as panellists.
There was also a keynote and subsequent panel discussion on Ecommerce and Retail, with the keynote speaker being Waseem Alim, Co-founder & CEO, Chaldal. The panel, which discussed how to unlock the potential of the local e-commerce sector, had Ambareen Reza, Co-founder & Managing Director, foodpanda Bangladesh, as the moderator. Sadia Haque, Founder & CEO, ShareTrip; Asif Zahir, Managing Director, Sindabad.com; Afshin Moyaed Sanandaji, Venture Capital Investor, Razor Capital; and Waiz Rahim, Founder & CEO, Deligram, attended the discussion as panellists.
Another panel discussion that took place today was 'Gender Lens Investment', which discussed how ready Bangladesh might be to invest with a 'gender lens'. The moderator was Sonia Bashir Kabir, Founder & Managing Director, SBK Tech Ventures, with the panelists being Zahida Fizza Kabir, Chief Executive Officer, SAJIDA Foundation; Rosina Mazumder, Co-Founder and CEO, Arogga; Van Nguyen, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Bangladesh; and Dr Rupa Chanda, Director, Trade, Investment and Innovation Division, UNESCAP.
There was also a VC Keynote, with Oscar Ramos, Managing Director, Orbit Startups as the speaker. The topic was 'From Idea to Unicorn: Secrets of Startup Success', which talked about critical factors that contribute to the success of a startup. A panel discussion called 'Going to Mars' was also held today, which explored the opportunities of interplanetary travel. Ariful Hasan Opu, CEO, e-Soft, was the moderator, with Nadim Chowdhury - Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Consultant; Takatoshi Nakamura (Cipher Core) - President/CEO, Cipher Core Inc.; Rohan M Ganapathy - Director, Bellatrix Aerospace Pvt. Ltd.; and Abdulla Hil Kafi, Lecturer, BRAC University, as the panelists.