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Startup Weekend Dhaka 2013: Build for Bangladesh - Build for the World

Startup Weekend Dhaka
Startup Weekend Dhaka

Last week Bangladesh experienced first ever Startup Weekend in Dhaka, powered by Kauffman Foundation and organized by the One Degree Initiative Foundation amassing hundreds of techpreneurs and entrepreneurship enthusiasts. Kudos to the organizers and now we are part of the history. A history we would love to look back few years from now. Startup Weekend is a global grassroot movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.

The rule is simple, In the Startup Weekend, venture creation endeavors start with pitching the ideas and then moving to get vote from the peers. Here, in Dhaka, initially 21 ideas were selected by the participants to start up in a team and for working on building business model resolution and further brainstorming. But in subsequent phase of ‘team building’ six ideas could not get desired formation and eventually 15 ideas, with complete preparation and ‘Business Model’, set to the final pitch stage- in front of the judges.

At last the winner of StartupWeekend Dhaka 2013 was the project ‘Bhago Bangali Bhago’ (later their project name turned to ‘Cholo Bangladesh’). The judges loved their social platform that mobilizes people by informing and redirects them towards a productive event of their choice through SMS. The second place winner was a social e-commerce platform for unsigned artists and their music and the third place winner was Public Window- a web application that bridges the gap between celebrities, politicians, artists and sport stars! Now people are waiting to see them in action!

Quotes from StartupWeekend Dhaka:

“To be innovative first find the problems happening around you and then seek the very banal but influential tool to solve the problem’’- Kamal Quadir, CEO bKash.

“Have confidence, get trust and say the next Facebook, Google and Microsoft will be built in Bangladesh”-Iraj Islam, serial entrepreneur and CTO of ‘Newscred’.

“When you meet any person just say ‘Hi’, ‘Hello’ and ‘Nice to meet you’ because network matters’-Fayaz Taher, CEO Fortuna Group.

Most Pronounced Words: Ideabaaj, Pitch, Coding, Developer, Entrepreneur, Business Model.
Two Persons to get Applause: Sadaat Quadri & Sabhanaz Rashid Diya.

Startup Weekend legacy:

Getting an idea, forming a team and working for validating its revenue model are the few prerequisites of starting any venture. We think, to start a venture these are the few initial things you have to go through and we consider these works as the ‘Beginning of Beginning’. Now, when you are done with these things, you have to seek for investors and get further validation of your business model, select your customer segment, and get a working team, create in field marketing-operations-Branding strategy and so. When you will enter into the real field you will face the actual warfare. Communicating with the consumers, handling third party and managing the core team members with desired incentives are the few of daunting tasks you are going to do. There will be problems and challenges, i.e lack of persistence, perseverance among the team members and what not to see! But, the matter is ‘not to fear rather face to conquer’. You just need to remember what Ejaj Ahmed, Founder and President of BYLC, said “If you don’t dive into water, you can never learn how to swim”. Future Startup appreciates all the ventures initiated in StartupweekendDhaka2013 and hope to see them in Action!

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