SD Asia, in partnership with Grameenphone Ltd., is going to start its 2nd batch for The ‘GP Accelerator’ program. ‘GP Accelerator’ is the first of its kind development platform for ICT startups in Bangladesh. This program is designed to provide seed funding, office space, and mentorship to prospective tech startups. GP Accelerator and SD Asia will work together to select the best entrepreneurs from Bangladesh to turn their business ideas into reality.
Samad Miraly, co-founder of SD Asia, was particularly excited about the second batch. He said, “After 4 months, we’ve cried, laughed and learned a lot from our first batch. Now, the GP Accelerator is ready to bring on the next 5 startups. We keep trying to improve the program, and from our learning, some new partnerships and new relationships with some great mentors, hopefully we can provide an even better experience this time around. We’re really excited about giving great benefit to the next crop of startups”.
Faisal Kabir, Project Head of GP Accelerator, said “Choose the right team, not necessarily the best team. Team and execution is one of the biggest learning from first batch of GP Accelerator. All the ideas were timely and innovative. However, it is the right team that brings it out from a power point presentation and develops it as commercially viable product/service. We have experienced the coolest idea being turned into MVP. Whereas all the teams were provided with similar resources, it was the people in the right team that made the difference.”
This time too, five projects will be selected to participate in the session, and at the end of the session, the participants will have the opportunity to present their ideas to prospective investors at an investor Demo Day. The candidates will receive a seed funding of more than BDT10 lakh, and work inside GPHouse – with full logistical support – and mentored by SD Asia’s panel of start-up ecosystem experts.
SD Asia will play a pivotal role in this process as well. Mustafizur Rahman Khan, CEO and Founder of SD Asia, sees this opportunity as beneficial for all three parties as well as the stakeholder.
“For this next batch we are looking for teams who work well together, have a working model or have revenue from the proposed business and is on top of their burn rate,” he said.
Asked about his vision regarding the programme, Fayaz Taher, co-founder of SD Asia, said, “Our vision was to prepare the startup to reach out to potential customers because the best investors are the customers”.
GP Accelerator is a four-month business boot camp. Throughout the whole program, the selected top five startups are provided with extensive training and resources to grow. The application process will start from May 1, 2016. To apply- http://www.grameenphoneaccelerator.com/
The program will help them to build their businesses quicker than they could otherwise in the same amount of time. Last year, after a rigorous process of going through hundreds of startup applications, info-session, face-to-face interviews, and demo presentations, the GP Accelerator team unveiled the top five startups.
SD Asia began as a crowd-funded documentary that generated over $9,000 from 56 backers from around the world. After receiving positive reception and encouragement for the film, the team pivoted to make an online news site to promote local ideas and businesses and to keep the story going. Today, SD Asia is known as the one-stop hub of all that is related to startups in Bangladesh.