Eight teams. A breathless audience. A shot at representing Bangladesh at the most cutting edge of entrepreneurial stage. After a nail-biting, hard fought contest between 8 teams, one team emerges as the victor. Thus came the thrilling finale of the first edition of the Get in the Ring Bangladesh.
The entire 60 day contest was sponsored and hosted by Daffodil International University. After two months of selection and grooming, eight teams made it to the final contest which was held on January 17, 2016. The chief guest to the event was Dr. Atiur Rahman, the Governor of Bangladesh Bank.
The Eight finalists were: Bioscope.com.bd, The Bridge, One Roof, BagherBachcha, My Doctor, GameXot, Food for People (FFP) and Drisa. They all battled for a spot in the final round to win the title of National Champion, Get in the Ring Bangladesh. The winner secures a ticket to the Regional Final in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, going to be held on 15th of February 2016.
The winners of the first four contests – The Bridge, Drisa, My Doctor, and FFP faced against each other in the final round. Tension was running high during this round, even the deliberating jury needed extra time to choose a winner. In the end they selected Food for People (FFP) as the winner.
The start-up took off last year after 23-year-old Atikur Rahman realized that a plentiful amount of food goes to waste every day in various functions and restaurants in Dhaka, which the city's needy people could do with.
The CEO of Food for People, Atikur Rahman said, “whenever people have excess food they will just inform us through the mobile app and we will then send personnel with logistics to collect the food and to distribute it among the people who are really hungry.’ He also mentioned that his start-up is directly responding the second millennium development goal: zero hunger.
The Get in the Ring Foundation is a global non-profit organization that connects start-ups to opportunities related to capital, talent and expertise. Initially, eight start-up entrepreneurs were engaged in a one-to-one pitch battle inside a ring, where they presented their business ideas, potential, target customers and the viability of their businesses to the judges.
The judges' panel comprised Mr. Abdul Matlub Ahmad, President of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), Mr.Sukamal Singha Choudhury, SME Consultant of Bangladesh Bank, Ms. Naaz Farhana Ahmed, President of Dhaka Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Managing Director of Kanak Handicrafts Ltd. and Mr. Ishtiaq Ahmed, the CEO of Omera.
Mr. Md. Sabur Khan, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Daffodil International University, said that this international platform will rapidly change the growth rate of entrepreneurial initiatives of the country. He also mentioned that more than nine hundred start-ups applied for the competition but 36 made the cut. Through two rounds of the competition the number was brought down to eight for the national final. The participants were from University of Dhaka, IBA-DU, North South University, Daffodil International University, Independent University, Bangladesh, BRAC University, BUET, Stamford, AIUB and more. Mr. Sabur Khan finally invited all the start-ups of the country not to wait any more but to apply for Get in the Ring 2016 which will be a massive event including 7 individual local finals in seven divisions of the country.
BB Governor Dr. Atiur Rahman said all the eight start-ups that made it to the national final deserve finances and investment, so the banks can look at them as profitable projects. He also mentioned in his speech “it is heartening to see that the Get in the Ring puts the spotlight, giving them a podium for creating a global fan base and connecting investors.”
The event ended with an invitation to watch International Final which will be broadcasted live from Colombia on 15 March 2016.