Startup Weekend Dhaka 2015: Building the Next Big Thing

Startup Weekend Dhaka 2015: Building the Next Big Thing

November 25, 2015

“Startup Weekend Dhaka is an event that I haven’t missed since 2013”- Shahnoor, one of the participants of Startup Weekend Dhaka 2015 expressed his excitement when he was checking in.

Startup Weekend Dhaka is a 54 hours event which gives wings to ideas and helps to build business in 54 hours.

Startup Weekend Dhaka 2015 has kicked off on Nov. 19 at Newscred office, Dhaka. The organizers were ready. The venue was prepared. The Clock ticked 4.00pm. Registrations start in 30 minutes. But, the participants were coming up. By, 4.15pm the room was half-full. The venue was buzzing with excitement. Ideabuzz, developers, graphic designers, and business developers were ready to learn, network and build ideas into business. Startup Weekend Dhaka is an event where participants from diverse background pit their ideas to start a new business, form teams around those ideas and work in the weekend to develop a working prototype and present to a panel of judges by Saturday evening.

Session with Ovick Alam, Co-founder of Webable Digital - Digital Marketing & Social Media Agency in BangladeshAnurag Maloo, Regional Manager, Techstars inaugurated the Startup Weekend Dhaka 2015 at 5.45pm with an ice-breaking session. Sajid Islam-the organizer of Startup Weekend Dhaka 2015 was introduced later and then the show began.

Taking the stage, motivator- Mr. Sabur Khan, Chairman of Daffodil Group inspired the audience with his ups and downs of entrepreneurial life. He advised the future entrepreneurs to accept problems and overcome.

Next, Anurag invited participants to pitch and surprisingly 22 ideas were pitched!

Then, it was time to collect Votes!

Dinner was served. Participants were trying to network, convince one-another and have dinner at the same time.

After dinner and networking session, it was time to find which ideas had got the highest number of votes.

Final presentationThe selected Top 8 ideas to build into business in this weekend were:

  • U-ride: Automating bicycles into smart e-bikes with smartphone support
  • Go Farmers: A platform for Farmers to sell their crops in a fair price.
  • GameXot : Empowering Game Development.
  • Aayojon: Portal for physical shop/small business owners that showcases their product.
  • Funky Ride: Ride sharing for university students
  • MAGZ: Gesture based lockscreen magazine app
  • Shohoranno: Make your city green through roof gardening.
  • Bhai Thamen: Helping people report corruption and crime at a national level.

The 2nd day was all about validating and prototyping the top 8 ideas. Teams came up bright and early. Anurag Maloo, Regional Manager of Techstars introduced the judging criteria for final day to the participants.

After that, Ovick Alam, Co-founder of WebableDigital Marketing & Social Media Agency in Bangladesh presented the concept of inbound marketing to the participants.

In Startup Weekend Dhaka invited mentors to help teams work on their weaknesses and furnish the idea to make it feasible and sustainable business.

The mentors list included specialists from diverse background to shape their ideas into real business. Business & IT specialist- Sajid Islam, Growth hacker- Anna Rehermann, Sales genius- Lutfi  Chowdhury,  Curious  creator- Iraj Islam, Developer- Jafree, Product manager- Yeaseenur Rahman Tahin, Product Manager- Zayeema Sarwar, Designer- Debashis Howlader Dev supported the top 8 teams with their expertise.

Teams were busy in getting suggestions from mentors, validating & shaping the business idea.

On the final day of Startup Weekend Dhaka 2015, top 8 teams had to present to a panel of judges.

The panel of judges included,

            

  • Md. Sabur Khan, Chairman of Daffodil International University (DIU) & Daffodil Group         
  • Tanveer Ali,  Inflection Venture &
  • Mr. Sajid Rahman, Chief Executive Officer of Telenor Health at Telenor Group.

They needed to find the best possible ways to bring solutions that impress the judges and they had to make sure that they pitch the idea within 5 minutes. The pressure was mounting. Participants were panicking. To help participants prepare the pitch, Adrianna Tan, Founder of WOBE gave guidance to pitch ideas that create connection with the judges instantaneously.  Sajid Islam, Founder of Hubdhaka was also there to help the participants and shape their presentation.

It was 5.45pm. Teams are ready pitch. Judges have taken their seats. Guests were keen to know what the teams had worked on this weekend. All teams had finished their presentation by 7.00 pm. It was difficult job to choose the top 3 teams.

The top 3 teams were:

Winner: Funky Ride:

1st Runners up: MAGZ

2nd Runners up: Shohoranno

Startup Weekend Dhaka had found it’s winners but, the question is still to be answered “Will Bangladesh find the next big startup from Startup Weekend Dhaka 2015?”

-by Md. Mohaimenul Islam

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