future startup logo

8+ Active Startup Incubator And Accelerator Programs In Bangladesh

The number of active incubator and accelerator programs is an important indicator of the maturity and growth of a startup ecosystem. Programs like Y Combinator in the US has changed the startup landscape in the silicon valley over the past years. Some of the biggest startups in the world today are products of these incubator programs.

Building a startup is a tremendously difficult job. “You can’t build a company all by yourself. It takes a village to build anything,” said Praava Health Founder and CEO Sylvana Quader Sinha in an interview with FS. “You have to use every resource available to you, whether it’s emotional support, or strategic or technical advice or an introduction or otherwise. Don’t shy away from reaching out to people. I’m relentless in following up with people who offer introductions or help.”

This is where an incubator or an accelerator program plays an important role. These programs provide initial supports such as mentorship, connections, space and much more to fledgling startups and make them ready for facing the world.

Some of the world’s most successful startup ecosystem is well-known for having a disproportionately large number of incubator and accelerator programs. Take, for instance, India. It has some 140 incubators and accelerators. China and the US have over 2,400 and 1,500 incubators and accelerators, respectively. Compared to these countries Bangladesh is near nowhere.

We tried to make a comprehensive list of active incubators and accelerators in Bangladesh and the following list is what it looks like. If you know an incubator or accelerator we missed to list here, please email us at info@futurestartup.com

Spark Bangladesh
Spark Bangladesh

Ygap Bangladesh
Founder: Aaron Tate
Country Manager: Nirjhor Rahman
Number of startups went through the program: 60

Ygap Bangladesh aims to back impact entrepreneurs who have solutions to local problems in some of the world’s toughest communities. The program offers a one-week live-in accelerator and subsequent support of six months along with equity-free need-based grants. Select startups go through a one-week live-in accelerator program where learn how to refine and strengthen their business models and ultimately become better equipped with the tools they need to turn their startups into viable ventures.

Beyond the Accelerator, the entrepreneurs receive 6 months of ongoing support from Spark*, to help prove their models and scale their venture. This includes regular business and strategy support from the Spark* team, access to free graphics and web designers, pro-bono legal support, assistance with tracking impact, multiple injections of small funding to encourage innovation and growth.

Further down the line, continued growth will be encouraged through access to larger funding and investment as well as connections to impact investors, global organizations, and strategic partners within Spark*’s network of international partners.

Ygap Bangladesh is the result of a partnership between Build Bangladesh and YGAP Australia.

The program was launched in Dhaka in 2016 as Spark* Bangladesh Accelerator. The first cohort was held between 27th March to the 1st April 2016. It has so far supported 60 startups of which 50% of the companies are still in operation.

[su_divider top="no" divider_color="#adacab" link_color="#2996ed" size="1"]

Grameenphone Accelerator
Head: Minhaz Anwar
Number of startups went through the program:26

GP Accelerator, country’s first startup accelerator program by Grameenphone, was launched in October 2015 in partnership with SD Asia. It offers a four-month-long program to a select batch of startups along with a BDT 12 lakh seed fund each for a 10% equity. Total 26 startups went through the program (including current batch) in five batches.
The program is designed for early-stage companies and provides:

  • An intensive, rapid and immersive training over the four-month
  • BDT 11 lakh in seed funding each for 10% equity in the company,
  • Workspace in GP House, and a weighty set of industry contacts to speed up the life cycle of their businesses

[su_divider top="no" divider_color="#adacab" link_color="#2996ed" size="1"]

Banglalink IT Incubator
Number of startups went through the program: 10

Banglalink IT Incubator, a joint initiative of Banglalink and Bangladesh Hi-tech Park Authority (BHTPA), is running its second cohort now. Launched in July 2016, the incubator has so far supported 10 startups. The program does not offer any funding, selected startups receive infrastructural, logistic and mentoring facilities for one year at IT Incubator located in Janata Tower, Kawran Bazar.

[su_divider top="no" divider_color="#adacab" link_color="#2996ed" size="1"]

YY Goshti Incubator
Founder: Shazeeb M Khairul Islam

YY Goshti is Bangladesh’s first independent social business incubator. The program, supported by The EMK Center, is currently running its first batch of startups. Startups receive an intensive, rapid and immersive mentoring, coaching and training over the four-month period along with free workspace at YY Goshti Space. The program does not offer any funding.

[su_divider top="no" divider_color="#adacab" link_color="#2996ed" size="1"]

BRAC urban-innovation-challenge
BRAC urban innovation challenge 2018 (file photo)

BRAC Urban Innovation Challenge
Number of startups went through the program:03

Urban Innovation Challenge is a venture-building program from BRAC designed to incubate and support early-stage social enterprises developing innovative solutions to the growing challenges faced by the people living in cities across Bangladesh.

The program is running its second edition this year. Selected startups receive seed fund worth BDT 500,000, opportunity to pitch to BRAC’s investment committee, mentorship, venture-building training, office space, network, access to BRAC resources, and other facilities from BRAC. The program has supported 03 startups in its first batch.

[su_divider top="no" divider_color="#adacab" link_color="#2996ed" size="1"]

Robi R-Ventures
An initiative of Robi Axiata Limited, founded in 2017
Number of startups went through the program: 07 (from the first batch of the program where only Robi employees were eligible to participate)

“r-ventures” is the flagship digital entrepreneurship platform initiated by Robi Axiata Limited (“Robi”), the leading digital service provider of the country, where new digital ideas are nurtured, incubated and funded. r-ventures first batch was for only Robi’s internal employees. Robi opened up the program for all eligible participants within the country this year.

The program is being launched nationwide where any individual or a group of individuals with a viable digital business idea can participate. Selected startups will receive an investment up to BDT 84 lakh, acceleration and mentorship support, training on lean startup model, and network and exposure.

[su_divider top="no" divider_color="#adacab" link_color="#2996ed" size="1"]

Startup Dhaka Incubator
Number of Startups went through the program: 11

Founded in 2019 by Mustafizur Khan, Fayaz Taher, and Samad Miraly, Startup Dhaka Incubator offers a 60-day-long incubation program designed to help early-stage startups to move form ideas to a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) stage.

From the program website: "the program curriculum will cover subjects that entrepreneurs need, in order to systematically approach Customer Discovery, Design Thinking, Product Development, Pitch Deck design, Market Sizing, Bootstrapping, Fundraising - everything an early-stage startup needs to cover but teams find it hard to get support in our market. 2 months of intense learning from inhouse and expert mentors will help founders to prepare an investment-ready pitch deck to face investors. No equity is required but the program will cost Tk. 20,000 after acceptance into the incubator."

[su_divider top="no" divider_color="#adacab" link_color="#2996ed" size="1"]

Toru Institute of Inclusive Innovation
Number of startups went through the program: 10

Founded by Saif Kamal in 2014, a former media executive of English Daily Dhaka Tribune where he worked as a Head of Marketing & Communications, Toru describes itself as “an institution for learning and innovation for inclusive growth for the 4th industrial revolution”.

Toru launched an 8-month long business incubation program aptly named Impactor in 2018 with an ambition to help early businesses with social impact to transform their ideas, an early form of product or early stage businesses into a successful business enterprise. The program recently completed its first cohort.

Note: We don’t consider this list to be complete. If you know an incubator or accelerator we missed to list here, please email us at info@futurestartup.com

Last updated on 2nd September at 12:15 am

In-depth business & tech coverage from Dhaka

Stories exclusively available at FS

About FS

Contact Us