DataBird, a Bangladeshi company building an inclusive internet ecosystem with products across multiple digital verticals, kickstarts DataBird LaunchPad, a platform to support young innovators, in partnership with ICT Division, Bangladesh, LICT Bangladesh, Durbar, BASIS, and The Daily Star.
LaunchPad is an initiative of DataBird aimed at identifying and fostering innovative ideas among Bangladeshis.
The program is split into two segments where both students with promising ideas and entrepreneurs or professionals with startups can apply and compete for grants between BDT 15 Lac and BDT 10 Lac as well as Macbooks and other prizes for winning teams. Winning teams would also receive support and insights to make their ideas highly investable and to implement their ideas.
If you are building an internet product that can solve a problem in Bangladesh, DataBird LaunchPad can be a good platform for you to both tests out the idea, get feedback, and receive support. The application for the program is open now and teams can apply until 24th July 2021 on the LaunchPad 2021 online platform.
During the Grand Finale in September 2021, the best team from the Professional track will receive a grant of BDT 15 Lac and the most innovative idea from the Student track will receive two MacBooks. Winners of both tracks will receive additional grants and rewards.
The virtual inauguration ceremony was graced by The Honorable State Minister, ICT Division, Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP as Chief Guest, and NM Zeaul Alam PAA, Senior Secretary of ICT Division as Special Guest. The partners and ecosystem stakeholders were also present to support the innovators.
Sami Ahmed, Policy Advisor for LICT Bangladesh applauded DataBird to be the first internet company to bring on such an initiative to enable local tech talent. Ms. Tina Jabeen, CEO & Managing Director of Startup Bangladesh Limited shared how startups like ShareTrip and Ridmik are leading the growth of the digital economy. The President of BASIS, Syed Almas Kabir, and Md. Tajdin Hassan from The Daily Star emphasized the need for technological innovations by the young generation to drive the agenda of digital Bangladesh forward.
Tanveer Ali, Board member of DataBird, and Sia Kamalie, Founder of Skycatcher, the investor at DataBird, shared the vision of promoting local innovation and creating scale opportunities for innovators in Bangladesh, with the philosophy of “Building locally, scaling globally” at the heart of DataBird.
Encouraging all young entrepreneurs, developers, engineers, and builders to amplify the power of their innovations, Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak said, “Our nation is going through a wave of digital transformation with the vision of making digital solutions equitable for all. Aligning with the Government's innovation-focused development efforts, a platform like DataBird will help fulfill the local demand and enable the young founders to solve the biggest challenges of society with scalable internet products.”
“DataBird is the pioneer of the Ridmik keyboard, which has revolutionized how we communicate and interact in “Bangla” online. Our “state of the art” B2B platform of ShareTrip is currently being used by over 4000 travel agencies around the country. We are constantly equipping micro-entrepreneurs with technology and empowering them to scale their businesses”, said Kashef Rahman, CEO of DataBird.
“We have designed DataBird LaunchPad to support the innovators from both student and professional track with exciting resources and opportunities so that they can bring their innovations to the market”, shared Sadia Haque, CCO of DataBird to give an overview of the competition.