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FS Weekly 44: Regional startups eye Bangladesh as the next market to expand

Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Society | 6 August 2022 | No. 44

Hi there: I'm Ruhul. I convene Future Startup Weekly to help you understand entrepreneurship and the technology landscape in Bangladesh and beyond. If you enjoy this, feel free to share it with other good people.

I. Regional startups eye Bangladesh as the next market to expand

A small but growing number of startups from India to Indonesia have expanded their operations to Bangladesh in the last two years. Indonesian Wagely launched in Bangladesh in 2021. Indian logistics startup Ecom Express made its first outside investment in Paperfly in January 2021 — a USD 11 million investment and the company followed up with a new investment this year. Another Indian logistics startup Delhivery launched its operation in Bangladesh a few months ago. Lalamove, a Hongkong-based logistics startup, has been actively hiring in Bangladesh. Read

II. Anowar Hossain: The making of DocTime, the future of digital healthcare in Bangladesh, and entrepreneurship (Part II)

Anowar Hossain is the founder of digital healthcare startup DocTime. Officially launched in October 2020, the company has built an excellent product and experienced meaningful growth. In this final installment of our interview with Mr. Anowar, we talk about the state of DocTime’s business today, business model, operations, team and culture, growth, challenges going forward, priorities for DocTime for the next few years, the dynamics of digital healthcare, personal productivity, lessons for founders, the importance of mentors and more. Read

III. You don’t learn, then start. You start, then learn

Most people who want to start a business or a project or anything of significance suffer from fear paralysis. This debacle stems from two sources: one, a perceived uncertainty. Humans are terrible at dealing with uncertainty. And people think businesses are too uncertain to start. In truth, almost everything is uncertain. Anything can go wrong at any moment. But when it comes to entrepreneurship, this sense of uncertainty is more pronounced. Fear of failure is too high. The second source is ambiguity — we often don’t know how to and where to start. Sahil Lavingia of Gumroad has written an excellent book that addresses these two challenges head-on. The book, titled The Minimalist Entrepreneur, offers a practical framework for starting and building a profitable business from scratch and is a brilliant read. Read

IV. Regional accelerator programs become key players in Bangladesh’s growing startup ecosystem

Several regional and global incubator and accelerator programs have come to play an important role in Bangladesh’s fast-growing startup ecosystem. Programs like Accelerating Asia, Iterative, and Surge have supported and funded a good number of Bangladeshi startups over the last several years. For now, it seems to be the most sure-fire path to meaningful funding opportunities for Bangladeshi startups. Read

V. From the archive: On Accelerating Asia, Startup Investing, and Life: An Interview With Amra Naidoo, Co-Founder, Accelerating Asia

In this fascinating interview, Accelerating Asia Co-founder Amra Naidoo walks us through her early life, how her childhood experiences continue to shape her life and work, and her path to what she is doing today, gives us a peek behind the scenes of Accelerating Asia, discusses her investment philosophy, how Accelerating Asia operates and works with startups in the region, talks about everything startup, what separates winning startups, useful founder traits, mistakes founders make when trying to raise investment, the challenges of being a founder, dealing with challenges and stress, and reflects on death, regrets and legacy. Read.


I. Starting your fundraising pitch deck. Link 

II. Iterative founders Answer Your Top Questions on Fundraising. Lin

III. How to complete an impossible challenge. Link

IV. 1+1 = 3. Link

V. Book: The Circadian Code by Satchin Panda. Link

Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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