Young Founders School Launched in Dhaka
After successfully launching in major cities across Asia such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Shenzhen, YFS recognized Dhaka for its entrepreneurial spirit and chose as the next location.
Young Founders School (YFS) launched the first Bangladesh bootcamp in Dhaka in December 2018, sponsored by Pathao and Osiris Group. Young Founders School is a technology-focused non-profit educational organization which aims to change the way entrepreneurial education is taught to secondary school students. YFS is the world’s first global entrepreneurship program for high school students.
The initiative started in Hong Kong in 2016, founded by Billy Naveed. Billy himself began as a ‘young founder’, having established two startups before age 16. This program is sponsored by international investment bank Credit Suisse, Alibaba Entrepreneur Fund and locally by Pathao and Osiris Group.
YFS runs two flagship programs throughout the year all of which are free for students: Ideation Express. A two-hour short course for students who are exploring entrepreneurship for the first time, guiding them through the key skills that are the foundation of the entrepreneurial mindset. Attendees are then invited to apply for the main Bootcamp.
Weekend Bootcamp- The signature course which involves eight hours of workshops and ten hours of breakout sessions with successful local entrepreneurs. The participants are taught about all the elements of a pitch deck in an intense action-packed weekend. At the end of the weekend, they pitch in their teams in front of parents, teachers and local venture capitalists for funding.
At the Weekend Bootcamps, students learn from mentors from the tech industry, the latest startup fundamentals such as lean startup, product market fit and competition analysis. All participating students have the opportunity to develop their startup ideas into fully-formed business pitches, and present to a panel of venture capitalist judges for funding. The winning team receives a seed funding towards the development of their startup.
In the past 24 months since its inception, YFS has run nine startup Bootcamps and seven Ideation Days in Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Singapore involving more than 1300 students, 57% of whom were female students, and more than 300 mentors from companies such as Alibaba Group, Google, 9GAG, Microsoft, Techstars, PricewaterhouseCoopers, GoGoVan and many more. The Bangladeshi mentors’ list consisted of industry experts coming from backgrounds such as Pathao, BRAC Social Innovation Lab, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Plaantik, Selise rockin’ software, and a few renowned startups.
The first bootcamp of YFS in Dhaka had 9 groups of 36 students. The winner team was a team of 4- Ainan Latif, Ahmed Tahmid, Khaja Ajrani Ahamed, and Saifah Khan of schools BISC, BISC, S.F.X Greenherald School. and DPS STS School respectively. They came up with an unified online marketplace for secondhand textbooks and books called Binder. Judges for this bootcamp were Samad Miraly, Co-Founder, Startup Dhaka, Masud Ul Haque, Associate, IDLC Asset Management Limited and Nirjhor Rahman, CEO, Bangladesh Angels.
After the launch in Dhaka YFS intends to reach out other cities such as Chattogram and translate the course to make it available in Bengali as well.