Archive for Entrepreneurism

StatUp Bus moves across Bangladesh StartUp Cup 2017 invites applications from 7 Divisions

Date: 6th March 2017

StatUp Bus moves across Bangladesh
StartUp Cup 2017 invites applications from 7 Divisions

Dhaka, March 6, 2017: The StartUp Cup, an international programme on entrepreneurship, has started its Bangladesh journey on Monday where organizers informed that an specialized bus will move across the country to pick the entrepreneur talents through 7 divisional events.

Bangladesh StartUp Cup 2017 is a country wide StartUp competition launched by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, India-based impact investment firm Aavishkaar and BetterStories Limited

The StartUp Cup is a global StartUp competition that is happening over 60+ countries that has launched its Bangladesh edition in Gulshan Club on 6th March 2017. The theme of this year’s startup cup is “Nurture locally, scale nationally ”.

The business model competition is an innovative community based approach designed to increase the quality and quantity of entrepreneurs in any community. Through the participation of community leaders, educators, seasoned entrepreneurs and corporate supporters who are all willing to share their experiences and lessons learned with the participants of the StartUpCup, a successful entrepreneurial ecosystem will be created, enhanced and magnified.

The competition will cover the 7 divisions of Bangladesh, excluding the capital Dhaka. The StartUp Cup unique tailor made ‘immersion’ bus will travel across Barisal, Chittagong, Khulna, Mymensingh, Rajshahi, Rangpur, and Sylhet, creating a platform to bring together budding entrepreneurs from across the country. The aim is to create an ecosystem of entrepreneurs through which they can collectively undertake their businesses, offering support to each other.

The aim of the competition is twofold. On the one hand to identify and coach promising entrepreneurs from rural areas in Bangladesh who are addressing social challenges. By offering targeted training to these budding companies they are better able to present themselves to potential investors and are as such better positioned to launch succesful companies.

On the other hand to create an entrepreneurial (startup) ecosystem across 7 divisional cities of Bangladesh that once seeded, will hopefully be able to grow and sustain itself. The ecosystem will support startup entrepreneurs in early stages, but when matured it should become a driving force for improving the enabling environment for SMEs and startups alike, influencing policy and accelerating private sector growth.

The launching ceremony of Bangladesh StartUp Cup 2017 was graced by H.E. Ms Leoni Cuelenaere, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Kabir Bin Anwar, Project Director, A2i & Director General, (Admin), Prime Minister’s Office, Selima Hossain Allen, Project Director, Bangladesh StartUp Cup 2017 and Muhaimin Khan, Deputy Project Director, Bangladesh StartUp Cup 2017.

Through the StartUp Cup 2017, incubator BetterStories Limited is empowering startup entrepreneurs to take the next step towards realising their business objectives, and effectively strengthening the startup ecosystem in those areas from where the participants will be selected. Longer term this will lead to stronger private sector players with more access to (international) investors (and as such markets), gradually transforming and growing the rural private sector.

As the Netherlands Ambassador Leoni Cuelenaere underlined: “What continues to strike me is the resilience of the people, the entrepreneurs, of Bangladesh. They are, despite often challenging conditions, taking advantage of the continuing levels of economic growth to improve their lives. This results in a vibrant private sector, and a vibrant private sector reaches more consumers and drives better innovation to solve tough problems. It is safe to say that these entrepreneurs need our support”.

“Bangladesh has a history of entrepreneurship and we see today the emergence of a young generation from across the country with the passion and ideas to create enterprises that address market opportunities. Aavishkaar thrives upon the idea of entrepreneurship being key to the nation’s development. We are very happy to support Start-up Cup in Bangladesh which we are sure will help develop the startup ecosystems across the country, providing entrepreneurs with much needed support and help them develop scalable and sustainable businesses”, says Sanchayan Chakraborty, Partner for Aavishkaar Frontier Fund. Aavishkaar is supporting this initiative via its Technical Assistance Facility, which is being supported by KfW, a German Development Financial Institution.

For the application process interested applicants can either visit or call 01754141188 to help them to register for the Bangladesh StartUp Cup 2017. The application period will start from 7th March 2017 and end on 25th March 2017.

For more: 01911197978 (Abdullah Hasan)

Adda with Mr. Quamrul Mina, CEO, Pragmasys

Startup Adda with Quamrul Mina, Group Photo

Startup Adda with Quamrul Mina, Group Photo


EMK Center, Dhanmondi 27 on 12th July, 2014

Another inspiring event for startups was held on 12th, 2pm to 4 pm. The organizer was Bangladesh StartUp Cup, the most buzzing start up hub to date in Bangladesh. This session was actually a chit chat with of some promising start ups of Bangladesh with Mr. Quamrul Mina. He is one of the few Bangladesh born American entrepreneurs who has created a globally reputed business with his mega talent. His clientele is filled with business giants like IBM, HP and even Pentagon! He is the Co-founder and CEO of Pragma Systems, an infrastructure and security software company, based in Austin, Texas, USA. Pragma ( is a privately held company offering SSH and Telnet products that have been adopted by over 4000 companies in 70 countries in their IT enterprises.

In the event, he shared his experiences in the way of becoming an entrepreneur and how he came to this position from scratch. In his journey he walked along with the entrepreneurs and showed them the beauty to enjoy and pitfalls to avoid in the way of entrepreneurship.

At the very beginning, he reminded the audience about the axiom of entrepreneurship – never give up, at any cost. He also emphasized that problems are the opportunities for the entrepreneurs. If there is no problem, business will sleep. This is why he told the entrepreneurs to be the response to the solutions. Further, he put light on the web today. His point was that the web is bringing thousands of opportunity today. So, people should be ready to grab some. From his experience, he reminded that it is really very hard to go ahead with personal financing. So, he suggested trying to grasp chunks of idle money sitting around. But raising money with some rote idea may be fitful in many cases. This is why he recommended going further ahead with ideas and creating prototypes so that the investors may have some realistic insight about the ideas. Today is the era of cloud based computing. Day by day the area of this scope is spreading rapidly. In fact, cloud and mobility is the biggest space of business to explore today. So, Mr. Mina also gave some really great insights about cloud based business. To know the business world in real and to avoid mistakes, aspiring entrepreneurs should work with startups as present brings the future and moreover, they should work with good people, not just talented ones. These will give entrepreneurs wider floor to learn and grow to great, indicated the guest. The event concluded with an open question and answer session.

The audience was thrilled and delighted to have real business insights from any Silicon Valley business sitting here in Bangladesh. Possibly, such event was for the first time in Bangladesh.

The 98% Entrepreneurship Reality

An Entrepreneurial Renaissance

98IconThere is no question about it. It’s an exciting time to be an entrepreneur wherever you live in the world. There is more attention being given to entrepreneurialism as a viable career path and way to innovate than at any other time in history. We are at the beginning of a full-blown entrepreneurial renaissance.

Organizations and programs that support new technology companies to launch and gain access to the tools, resources, and capital that accelerate building scalable, high growth businesses are being introduced on a daily basis.

Startup programs like Startup Weekend, Lean Startup Machine, TechStars, and YCombinator are highly successful at filtering large numbers of technology companies with mentoring and funding designed to test their business models in an effort to grow big, fast.

Let’s face it, you are hard pressed to go a full day without being fed a news story about a technology company that has raised their first and second multi-million-dollar investment or the latest IPO making the founders into millionaires and billionaires. Very exciting times indeed. At least for those that are able to turn their startup into piles of cash.

Over Promoting Unrealistic Behavior

There is a little known fact behind every startup story that puts a newly funded company on a pedestal, and very few people are talking about it. What is this little know bit of information?

Only 2% of all startups are funded by angels, accelerators, or venture capitalists. Let’s state this in a different way so that it will fully sink in. Only 2% of all startups have a business model, experienced team, connections, and scalability, usually technology based, to raise money from investors.

Funding is for the elite. More and more the funding is going to ivy league college graduates and teams that have a proven track record of generating huge returns for investors.

This means that 98% of all entrepreneurs and startups are not gaining access to the tools, resources, and financing opportunities that will give their new company the opportunity to grow.

It’s Not Always a Technology World

It is time to think different about what it means to be an entrepreneur. The myth is that you have to be a rock star and grow a technology company to be the next Facebook or Google. This does not reflect the true reality of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurialism is a lifestyle, a mindset, a way to live a life with greater purpose and meaning. If we are to overcome the economic challenges we face as a world we need to focus more energy on supporting the 98% of entrepreneurs who are starting new companies.

The challenge is that the 98% do not meet the capitalistic nature of our economy today. That is to say, that they do not have a company that can grow big fast and generate handsome returns for investors. No wonder so many have so much anger towards Wall Street.

The World Needs Small Businesses

The entrepreneurial reality of the 98% is that they are low-tech or no-tech companies, have done little or no planning, are made up of unproven teams, have little to no experience starting a company, and are not graduates of ivy league universities. In addition these companies only require a few thousand dollars to start generating revenue and will only grow 2 – 20 jobs.

Startups do not need to be a technology company. They do not need to change the world. They just need someone with an idea and the passion to take that idea into the market place. Just think about how different the American economy would be if we were giving small business startups a similar level of access to networks, coaching, and team development as the 2%.

We are over promoting unrealistic behavior. Instead of focusing on raising lots of money let’s focus on the development of viable business models that connect with customers willing to pay for the value created by the startup. By focusing on the generation of revenue that drives profitability there is less and less need to raise money.

Small business is at the cornerstone of entrepreneurship. Some will become the next Apple and most will become the next corner drugstore owning their business for 20 years. Both deserve the same support and regard for making a difference in our lives.

StartUp Cup is born out of this frustration to see entrepreneurs armed with any type of idea gain access to the coaching, resources, and tools that the 2% have access to.

It’s time to start celebrating the real heroes of our economy, the 98% who work to make our lives better each and everyday.