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Empowering Bangladesh’s Startup Ecosystem: Insights from the Inaugural Startup Summit 2023

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Inauguration of the Bangladesh Startup Summit 2023

The first-ever Bangladesh Startup Summit 2023 commenced today with the theme “Smart Bangladesh, Endless Possibilities.” The two-day event attracted more than 100 global venture capital investors, 100 international-level speakers, and 600 innovative startups. Various sessions, including seminars, interviews, and networking opportunities, covered diverse topics such as edutech, healthtech, fintech, software services, and startup investment.

Celebrating Local Entrepreneurs – Startup Awards and Grants

On its opening day, the summit honored eight exceptional local startups with ‘Startup Awards’ in different categories. The recipients included ShopUp, Pathao, Vikas, Ten Minute School, UNDP YouthCo Lab, Cash, SBK Tech Ventures, and Next Funding. Additionally, two visionary entrepreneurs were awarded the prestigious Bangabandhu Innovation Grant.

Fintech and Digital Transformation

Prominent fintech expert, Sushmit Nath, Head of Visa Consulting & Analytics – India and South Asia, delivered a compelling keynote on “Embracing Digital Banking and the Path to a Cashless Society.” A subsequent panel discussion, “How to Leapfrog Our Fintech Ecosystem – Way Forward,” featured industry leaders Fahim Ahmed (CEO, Pathao), Mohammed Amir Dhedhi (Co-founder & CEO, Portonics Ltd), Sushmit Nath, and Zubair Ahmed (Co-founder & CEO, Hishab).

Logistics, Mobility, and the Future of Movement

Rezwanul Haque Jami, Head of e-Commerce at a2i – Aspire to Innovate, shared insights in the Logistics and Mobility Keynote. A panel discussion on “The Future of Movement in Megacities” moderated by Samad Miraly (Partner, IDLC Venture Capital Fund I) included experts 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 & CEO, eCourier Ltd).

Unleashing the Potential of E-commerce Sector

Waseem Alim, Co-founder & CEO of Chaldal, delivered a keynote speech on Ecommerce and Retail. The subsequent panel discussion, moderated by Ambareen Reza (Co-founder & Managing Director, foodpanda Bangladesh), featured industry experts Sadia Haque (Founder & CEO, ShareTrip), Asif Zahir (Managing Director,, Afshin Moyaed Sanandaji (Venture Capital Investor, Razor Capital), and Waiz Rahim (Founder & CEO, Deligram) discussing how to unlock the full potential of the local e-commerce sector.

Advancing Gender Lens Investment in Bangladesh

A thought-provoking panel discussion, “Gender Lens Investment,” explored Bangladesh’s readiness to invest with a focus on gender equality. Moderated by Sonia Bashir Kabir (Founder & Managing Director, SBK Tech Ventures), the panelists included Zahida Fizza Kabir (CEO, 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).


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