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SM² Accelerator Launches Inaugural Cohort with 03 Startups

SM², a seed accelerator program for Bangladeshi startups backed by SBK Tech Ventures, SOSV MOX, and Miaki, has unveiled 03 early-stage startups selected for its inaugural cohort. Three companies are: internet sharing startup Bonton Connect, edtech startup Ostad, and live commerce fashion startup LOOX. We have previously featured all three companies in FS. 

You can read our interview with Bonton Connect founders here, our interview with Ostad founders here, and read our coverage of LOOX, previously Ajke Live, here

All three startups will receive guaranteed investment, have access to tools, knowledge from mentors, and networks of investors, subject matter experts, and startups across Asia, and will work on refining their product offerings, monetization, and scalability to improve their chance of success.

SM² is an equity-free 6-month accelerator program for seed-stage Bangladeshi startups with guaranteed investment.  The program, first announced in November 2021, plans to feature 3 carefully selected startups in each cohort based on the strength of the founding team, scalability, and impact potential. 

The three founding partners of the program have extensive experience in technology entrepreneurship. SBK Tech Ventures is one of the most active startup investors in Bangladesh. The company has invested in a number of Bangladeshi startups including Praava Health, Jatri, MedEasy, Sigmind, Sheba among others. 

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 venture capital 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. 

On the other hand, Founded in 2010, Miaki has significant expertise in creating innovative content and services for Health, Agriculture, Education, and Entertainment, including casual mobile gaming platforms. 

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.

Dhaka has a number of accelerator programs that support early-stage companies. Some prominent ones include GP Accelerator, YGAP, YY Ventures, R-Ventures, etc. In the last few years, Bangladeshi startups have increasingly been participating in regional accelerator programs such as Singapore-based Accelerating Asia and Iterative and Sequoia India’s Surge. But opportunities remain limited for Bangladeshi startups. As Dhaka’s startup scene accelerates, the country needs more incubator and accelerator programs to support early-stage companies. SM² Accelerator certainly adds value to that. 

Cover photo credit: SBK Tech Ventures

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