SBK Tech Ventures, an emerging markets and Bangladesh-focused early-stage technology fund, announced today that it has launched SM², a Seed Accelerator program exclusively for Bangladeshi startups. The program, a collaboration between SBK Tech Ventures, SOSV, and Miaki, will launch its inaugural cohort in November with 3 seed-stage Bangladeshi startups.
Tell me more: SM² is an equity-free 6-month accelerator program with guaranteed investment from the three partners namely SBK Tech Ventures, SOSV, and Miaki.
Each cohort will include 3 carefully selected startups based on the strength of the founding team, scalability, and impact potential.
Selected startups will have access to tools, knowledge from mentors and investors, and networks of investors, subject matter experts, and startups across Asia to improve their chance of success.
SBK Tech Ventures: Founded by Sonia Bashir Kabir, SBK Tech Ventures is one of the most active startup investors in Bangladesh. The company has invested in a long list of startups in Dhaka including Praava Health, Jatri, MedEasy, Sigmind, Sheba among others. The fund says it takes interests in health tech, edu-tech, fintech, blockchain, transportation, renewable energy, AI, and more.
SOSV MOX: SOSV MOX is a deeply resourced startup development program, with over 240 corporate partners and 100 million consumers in their ecosystem. The program is a part of SOSV, a US Accelerator VC fund with more than US$1 billion in assets under management.
Named the most active seed investor in 2020 by PitchBook, SOSV has invested in over 1120 startups as of October 2021.
Its internet portfolio includes crypto-product trading platform BitMEX, Google-backed AI English pronunciation assistant ELSA, Samsung-backed video publisher Flickstree, APAC's online tutoring platform Snapask, and China's luxury brand management group Ushopal.
Miaki: Founded in 2010, Miaki has significant expertise in creating innovative content and services for Health, Agriculture, Education, and Entertainment, including casual mobile gaming platforms.
Miaki partnered with Robi Axiata on the National App Store platform known as BDAPPS to empower young tech entrepreneurs. The company is said to be one of the pioneers of digital services in Bangladesh, SE Asia, and beyond
What is a seed-stage accelerator program: Startup accelerator programs support early-stage, growth-driven startups through education, mentorship, network, and funding.
These programs usually are fixed-term, cohort-based, and usually end with a demo day or pitch event. Accelerator programs often try to help accelerate the growth of the participating company by putting together learning of a few years into a few months.
Most accelerator programs are between 3 to 6 months in length and come with opportunities to raise investment. US-based Y Combinator is one of the most renowned accelerator programs in the world.
Accelerator programs in Bangladesh: Dhaka has a number of accelerator programs that support early-stage companies. Some prominent ones include GP Accelerator, YGAP, YY Ventures, R-Ventures, etc.
However, in the last few years, Bangladeshi startups have increasingly been participating in regional accelerator programs such as Accelerating Asia and Iterative, both are based in Singapore.