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GP ACCELERATOR RECEIVES NEW BATCH, BIDS GOODBYE TO THE OLD ONE

The Grameenphone Accelerator (GPA) has held a combined event today at GP House for Demo Day for GPA Batch 3 in conjunction with the media launch for GPA Batch 4.

Startups from Batch 3 have successfully completed their 4-monthacceleration journey with Grameenphone and showcased their businesses to the investors. On the same platform, the program also unveiled five new startups for the upcoming GPA Batch 4.

Hasanul Haq Inu , Minister of Information of Bangladesh was present at the event as the chief guest and shared words of encouragement with both the outgoing and incoming batch of startups. Speaking on the event he thanked Grameenphone and SD Asia for supporting startups.

He said, “Digital products and services are important for digitization of the country and digital lifestyle.Government is trying to support this and I’m happy to see you are also supporting innovation that will help people get a better life.”

The GP Accelerator program, in partnership with SD Asia, has been designed to support early-stage,homegrown tech startups. In every batch, the startups are provided with a curriculum-based mentorship by a host of international and local experts over the four-month program. The selected startups received BDT 12 lakh in seed funding each, around US$1000 worth of Amazon web service (AWS) credit and work space in GP House.

In addition to that, a number of investor exposures, relevant industry contacts and professional help ont hings such as term sheet, valuation or financial modeling are offered to speed up the marketing for the startups. Two of them will also be joining Digital Winners Asia by Telenor Group in September 2017 to try expanding their businesses to another country in Asia.

Three of the startups of the GP Accelerator program Batch 3 –JolPi, Microtech, and Bankcompare–presented their business ideas at the event, in front of more than 200attendees, including local and foreign investors, professionals, senior officials from Grameenphone and SD Asia, and the media.

The upcoming five startups from Batch 4 introduced themselves to the audience. The top 5 start ups AlterYouth, Foodtong, Avijatrik,MARS, and Amruddog, are focusing on critical issues in different sectors of our country.

Welcoming the new batch to GPHouse, Grameenphone CEO Michael Foley said, “We are working to develop an ecosystem around our businesses to match the new realities and the services you innovate to operate over our network and meet the new demands of the customers”

Grameenphone Head of Transformation, Kazi Mahboob Hossain said, “It inspires me to see how the startups are solving the problems that we face every day. We are glad to be part of the journey where the starups are able to quadruple their value in just about 4months of the program.”

All the startups that are selected for the GP Accelerator program go through a competitive selection process. This time, after careful revisions through about 700applications, GP Accelerator held a2-day boot camp where they called the top 25 shortlisted startups, out of which, 11 startups had to go through certain assessments, face-to-face interviews, pitch presentations and finally after a tough evaluation, the top 5 startups for B4 was selected.

Minhaz Anwar, the Head of GP Accelerator, was visibly excited to welcome the new batch of startup.“We are very excited to welcome Batch 4 as we see the startup ecosystem in Bangladesh maturing.There is now a more diverse and relatable problem set that startups are addressing such as saving harvests from rain by timely weather forecast,preventing children from dropping out of school or promoting the best of Bangladesh through community tourism.,” he said.

Thrilled about the graduates and upcoming startups, Mustafizur R Khan, founder and CEO of SD ASIA said, “After a great show at demo day by GPA Batch 3, we are excited to welcome Batch 4, who have shared some interesting business model that is sure to make a dent in Bangladesh.”

The top five startups that participated from the Batch 3 through the GP Accelerator program are:

ALTERYOUTH

With the aim of building a cent percent literate Bangladesh, Alteryouth has built a C2C scholarship platform, where anyone can give scholarships directly to students in government primary schools.

AlterYouth Founder and CEO Asif UNabi said, “The main focus of AlterYouth is to literate the children of the country and to prevent school dropout.”

“About 97% children born in Bangladesh enroll in class 1, but at least 20% of them drop out by class five. If each of us prevented the dropout of at least one student, no child in Bangladesh would grow up unable to read,” informed Asif.

MARS

MARS is a specialized weather advisory service provider that can help to save lives and properties for sustained economic growth by providing timely and precise research-dominant weather forecast.

MARS CEO Mahmuduzzaman Khan while introducing their new business said, “We are the first in Bangladesh to provide weather service in due time to the people so that people can get the real news and take the proper measures for weather.”

Besides we forecast the weather to the farming communities like we warn the farmers when can be the best time for different works in farming, informed by Mahmuduzzaman.

FOODTONG

Foodtong is Uber for homemade food for Bangladesh. It basically connects homemade food sellers with buyers through app and its website provides access to affordable and hygienic food.

Foodtong CMO Inam UzZaman said, “In Dhaka city, there live around 18million people. And almost 6 million people struggle for their daily food- lunch and dinner,because they don’t have sustainable source.”

While talking about their vision he informed, “We want to create an ecosystem in which we connect home cook to the people who need homemade food in reasonable prices.”

He also said, “So our project is basically an ‘Online Food Ordering and Delivery Service’ to deliver you hygienic and healthy homemade foods at your doorsteps. Just place your order online and our delivery team will be at your doorstep holding the food you have been craving,intact through our customized heat-insulated boxes.”

AVIJATRIK

Avijatrik is an online community-based tourism platform and curated marketplace which connects travelers with trained and experienced local hosts to experience the colorful culture of Bangladesh.

Talking about it, Nazmul Islam,founder and CEO of Avijatrik, said, “It goes without saying people of Bangladesh are very eager to travel.To quench their thirst for traveling,Avijatrik has come to provide the people an easy way to travel.”

“We want to solve the problems that people suffer from. In our six months of operation, we have already gotten 24 local communities and we have 18 customers so far. Besides, some NGOs and other organizations are working with this tourism right now.So we believe that through our initiatives, we can solve and contribute to the rural underdeveloped communities and also build a different tourism industry in Bangladesh,” he told.

He also invited the people to be the part of their community by saying,“Be Avijatrik and explore the nature with us.”

AMRUDDOG

Amruddog, an easy to use Android based complete ERP solution for small and medium businesses to manage their purchase, sales, stock,VAT, accounts, and CRM.

Founder of Amruddog Aminul Haq said, Amruddog is a multi-module service based Platform for any Kind of business where Accounting, Sales,Stock, CRM, HRM and Tracking Business Zone using a single Mobile Device within very low cost where there is no initial costing.

He said, “It is a market place where you can market your product & sales your product. Our Special module”CRM and Tracking Business Zone”is an imaging thing where business holder and customer grow there relation and keep track their business.You can manage your Vat of every invoice & also individual product &also see the revenue or losses summery.”■

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