Seedstars is travelling to 65 countries across the globe to find the best seed-stage entrepreneurs. The winners from each country will fly to Switzerland for a week-long training programme, and will have the opportunity to meet the other 60+ winners, as well as investors and mentors from around the world. Traditionally, the final day of the summit will be dedicated to pitching in front of an audience of 1000+ attendees, with the possibility of winning up to the USD 1 million in equity investments.
In Dhaka, Seedstars was held in the co-working space of White-Board, an initiative by Grameenphone, on October 19. 10 startups were invited to present their ideas in front of an international jury.
Let's start with Habib's story, the champion of Bangladesh round. Habib Ullah Bahar and his co-founder Alexis Rawlinson found out that many SME organisations in Bangaldesh are not able to manage their field force transparently and effectively. There are solutions that might be able to help these SME organisations, but they are extremely expensive and did not incorporate the technical know-how required for the geo-political scenarios of emerging countries like Bangladesh. They decided to come up with a solution: Field Buzz. This software helps organisations manage their field operations with smartphones and brings transparency and effectiveness to the "last mile." Finding the team's solution both highly efficient and scalable, the jury panel of Seedstars World Dhaka named them the champions.
Mamun's story is a tragic one. His experience with his terminally ill mother inspired him to raise CMED, a cloud-based medical system for regular health monitoring and preventive healthcare. Dr. Khondaker Abdullah Al Mamun, an Associate Professor of United International University, is now working at the accelerator program of Grameenphone to make his product market ready.
Siffat Sarwar left her 9 to 5 corporate job to start Shopfront. Her startup grabbed the last spot in the top three. Shopfront is a company that provides Facebook shops with services that are available for e-commerce, including ERP solutions, delivery management, product management, and much more all under the same roof.
The Swiss Embassy Prize for the solution with the most social impact was awarded to 10 Minute School of Ayman Sadiq. Ayman, seeing how his tuition lessons on Facebook were insanely popular, came up with the idea of 10 Minute School. 10 Minute School has thousands of active users on their Facebook page and their website. Indeed this startup is impacting society tremendously.
The 10 startups pitched in front of a prestigious jury, consisting of Sajid Rahman, CEO of Telenor Health; Heena Khushalani, Programme Manager at Aavishkaar; M Muntasir Hossain, Deputy Director of Grameenphone; Amarit Charoenphan, CEO of Hubba; Shawkat Hossain, Managing Director of BD Venture; Ari Eisenstat, CEO Dream Ventures; and Sarim Aziz, Manager for Strategic Product Partnerships at Facebook Singapore.
BetterStories, organised the event with Seedstars World's local partners, the ICT Division, Digital Bangladesh, Bangladesh Computer Council, International Trade Centre, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, and the Swiss Embassy to Bangladesh. The event attracted interest from over 90 startups around the country, and over 100 attendees.