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Grameenphone Accelerator Program Opens Applications for New Cohort, Aims to Empower Startups From Across Bangladesh

Grameenphone Accelerator Program (GPA), country’s first accelerator program that provides comprehensive support to early-stage startups, is accepting applications from startups across Bangladesh for its Cohort 7. If you are building a startup and looking for a program that will set you up for success, GPA claims that you should apply for the program. 

Applications are open now and you can submit your application online before 15 October 2021. 

Launched in 2015 by the Country’s largest telecom operator Grameenphone, GPA is a cohort-based, mentor-led, curriculum-driven open innovation platform that enables and empowers tech startups with the resources they need to build, grow and exceed possibilities. It also provides equity-free grants, expert mentors, top-notch curricula, in-house development resources, investor access, and other relevant support. 

The program supports Bangladesh’s most promising founders, hones their business acumen and capabilities, and helps validate their ideas as they transition into investable startups. Over the past years, the program has produced a long list of successful startups such as Sheba, CMED Health, Cramstack, Dhaka Cast, AlterYouth, and BankcompareBD among others. 

The programs offer a host of facilities to selected startups: 

  • A six months accelerator program on business building 
  • Grant funding
  • Office space at GPHouse
  • Advice from expert mentors
  • Media exposure
  • Top-Notch curriculum, 
  • Investor access
  • Partnership opportunity
  • Legal, accounting, and other hands-on business building support
  • Networking opportunities with industry leaders, investors, founders, and stakeholders 

Why it matters

Early-stage startups remain under-supported in Bangladesh. Despite the fact that building successful startups depends a lot on access to finance, support, mentorship, and knowledge, incubators and accelerators programs remain few and far between in Bangladesh. 

Grameenphone Accelerator Program has been trying to change that since its inception in 2015. The program has been designed in a founder-friendly manner and has been working closely with the local community of developers, innovators, and startups to help them build, grow, and go beyond their potential. 

With a founder-first approach, the program has been able to produce several successful startups including Sheba xyz, CMED health, Cramstack, Parkingkoi, Doctorkoi, Dhakacast, etc. 

In 2019, the program changed its orientation to support founders from across Bangladesh. While earlier cohorts of Grameenphone Accelerator focused on metro areas, since 2019, the program has been working hard to reach the local entrepreneur from each corner of the country and support more diverse founders. As a result, 4 out of 9 final selected teams for GPA Batch 6 were led by female entrepreneurs. The program aims to pay greater attention to diversity in this batch. 

Setting founders up for success 

In order to help early-stage tech startups reach their full potential, GPA is structured to provide comprehensive support to founders through a curriculum-based program, access to finance, and mentorship and networks. 

The program provides grant funding — USD 12,000 worth of support that includes USD 7,000 direct cash grant and USD 5,0000 investment readiness support with business incorporation in Singapore. Additionally, founders receive expert mentorship, top-notch training for 6 months, curated access to GP resources, investor access, and many more.  

Along with equity-free grant money, the program emphasizes the 'other benefits' it offers. 

Capital is essential for startups to succeed, but mentorship, the right knowledge, the right network, the right education and training, and the right kind of support are equally important. It is often mentorship, access to the network, and market that dictate the success or failure of an early-stage venture. 

To that effect, Grameenphone Accelerator Program claims that it has designed a curriculum and a program that not only looks at money but also at other important support factors an early-stage startup needs, such as mentorship, network access, investment readiness, etc. 

Empowering people is what Grameenphone believes in and has been working to do that for the last two decades, the company says. With Grameenphone Accelerator Program, the company aims to do the same for the startup community in Bangladesh.  

Grameenphone Accelerator Program: Empowering founders to build successful startups in Bangladesh. 

Grameenphone Accelerator Program supports Bangladesh’s most promising founders to build successful startups. GPA is currently accepting applications for cohort 7 of its accelerator program, apply today to improve your odds of success as a founder. Learn more about the Grameenphone Accelerator Program here.

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