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Startup Dhaka Launches Its Second Film

Startup Dhaka premiered its second documentary, Startup Dhaka Part 2, at ICT Tower on November 11 to an audience that included startup founders, startup community members, and sponsors.

Kazi M. Aminul Islam, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), Prime Minister’s Office was present at the event as the chief guest. IDLC Finance was the presenting sponsor, with supporting sponsor Microsoft Bangladesh, and Startup Bangladesh hosting the premier of the film.

Kazi M. Aminul Islam expressed his excitement about the film and the prospects of Bangladesh’s investment opportunities. He said, “A lot of ground work needs to be laid for startup ecosystem development. We need to do more. Access to finance is a big hurdle that has to overcome. We need to develop the equity class, and gradually shift our dependence from debt instruments. The chain of equity investment is largely undeveloped. We need to replicate what we have learnt from the development of RMG sector and apply it elsewhere.”

Arif Khan, CEO & Managing Director of IDLC Finance was also present at the event. He said they are very proud to be a part of this project and also said, “IDLC believes that future of Bangladesh depends on the development of the Startup Ecosystem. IDLC is proud to be a part of this development.”

Sonia Bashir Kabir, Managing Director was excited about film and said, “Bangladesh is a Sleeping Giant. It was very important to let everyone know the story of this Sleeping Giant, and Startup Dhaka has brought up that story through their documentary. This documentary will convey the infinite potential of Bangladesh to the whole world.”

This sequel to the original Startup Dhaka documentary took a year to complete. The first film, released in 2013, introduced and explained the emerging startup culture of Dhaka. Since then, Bangladesh’s startup culture has grown and matured; however, new challenges have surfaced.

When in Bangladesh, the value startups are creating is clear and visible. International institutional investors, however, have hardly an idea of Bangladesh itself, let alone the opportunities it has on offer. Startup Dhaka Part 2 not only showcases the success and maturity of Bangladesh’s contemporary startups, but enlightens for an international audience the positive economic indicators of Bangladesh.

The film shows various interviewees and ecosystem players sharing their experiences and showing Bangladesh as a country of opportunity. The claims are supported by factual economic indicators and growth data that are not articulated often enough to form a strong Bangladesh position. The documentary, with support of its stakeholders and the friends of Startup Dhaka, promotes Bangladesh as an investment destination and a place to take a bet on the digital economy.

Tina Jabeen, Deputy Project Director (ICT Innovation), iDEA Project was excited about the role that Startup Dhaka is playing for the Bangladesh startup ecosystem. She said, “Startup Dhaka’s attempt at pioneering the development of startup ecosystem is essential and commendable to say the least.”

Mustafizur Rahman Khan, CEO of Startup Dhaka said, “It has been a tremendous undertaking to tell a story that not only captures the country’s startup progress, but captures people’s imaginations about Bangladesh as well. We hope our attempt to convey new opportunities in Bangladesh and its digital economy helps usher in more investors and interest from here and abroad.”

He also mentioned his gratitude to the almost 100 people who directly and indirectly contributed to the film. He gave special thanks to the interviewees who participated and who took the time to tell the story of their Bangladesh. The film is sponsored by a presenting sponsor, IDLC Finance, and a supporting sponsor, Microsoft. The film premier was hosted by Startup Bangladesh. The Startup Dhaka team expressed their gratitude for the support of the three organizations.

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