Aiming to enrich the knowledge and skills of startups in Bangladesh as well as developing a digital startup ecosystem, Bangladesh-South Korea jointly organized the “ideaTHON” contest. This contest is being organized by the iDEA project of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) under the ICT Division with the slogan “Let’s Start You Up”. The Closing & Award giving ceremony of ‘ideaTHON’ was held on Thursday, 24th December 2020 at the BCC Auditorium, ICT Tower, Agargaon, Dhaka, maintaining proper social distance & adhering to hygiene rules.
Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP, Hon’ble State Minister, ICT Division, Bangladesh was the Chief Guest of this program. H.E. Lee Jang-keun, Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Bangladesh and Mr. N M Zeaul Alam PAA, Senior Secretary, ICT Division, Bangladesh were grace the occasion as the Guest of Honor. Mr. Parthapratim Deb, Executive Director (Additional Secretary), BCC, Bangladesh, Mr. Sanggon Park, Director, Korea Productivity Center, South Korea, Syed Almas Kabir, President, BASIS and Ms. Tina Jabeen, Managing Director, Startup Bangladesh Limited, Bangladesh were present as the Special Guest of the program. The program was chaired by the project director (Additional Secretary) of the iDEA Project Syed Mojibul Huq.
As the chief guest of the program, Hon’ble State Minister of ICT Division Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP paid homage to the great architect of independence and the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, he said, “Bangabandhu has given us independence and he has shown us how to build ‘Sonar Bangla’. In the last nine months during the corona pandemic, the government under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has provided food assistance to the homeless and jobless people in different ways including financial assistance. He also said that the government has provided more than 1400 digital services to the people by utilizing information technology under the timely and right direction of the Prime Minister’s ICT Affairs Hon’ble Adviser Mr. Sajeeb Wazed. Through 6,000 digital delivery centers, 6 million people are getting access to digital services every month. At the same time, we have worked to ensure quality service quickly, in less time, at a lower cost and by reducing harassment. None of this has been possible due to the visionary leadership of our Hon’ble Prime Minister. He added, “As a result, the country’s economy is still in a state of economic growth and corona, and we have been able to maintain 5.28% GDP growth.” Bangladesh ranks 2nd among ASEAN and South Asian countries in maintaining GDP growth during this difficult time in Corona. ” About 70% of the country’s population under the age of 35 will lead Bangladesh in the next 20 years. It is this young generation that will play a strong role in transforming Bangladesh from a ‘labor-based economy’ to a ‘digital economy’ in the future. Inspire. Bangladesh has a long-standing friendship with South Korea. He thanked South Korea for its long-standing partnership in various development and requested them to continue their cooperation in the future as well.
As the Guest of Honor, Hon’ble Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Bangladesh H.E. Lee Jang-keun thanked on behalf of the team of South Korea to all the talented people who took part in such an event, even in the Corona situation. He said that this partnership between South Korea and Bangladesh will improve the relations between the two countries. I congratulate the winning 5 startups on the ‘ideaTHON’. He added, “South Korea is keen to work with these winning startups. Over the next six months, South Korea will work to build these winning startups through the necessary training, consulting and networking.”
The senior secretary of ICT Division Mr. N M Zeaul Alam PAA thanked to the team of South Korea for the cooperation in the field of ICT. “We have entered the digital age from analog and are moving towards frontier technology,” he said. ‘We have adapted to these changes. I think today’s young generation has the ability to keep up with those changes, they have the humanity and that’s the way they are evolving.’ Finally, He appreciates such an arrangement to take startups to an advanced level.
The project director (Additional Secretary) of the iDEA Project Syed Mojibul Huq said that appreciated all those who participated in the “IdeaTHON” contest at the closing ceremony and expressed his gratitude to all those who have joined the event as partners.
iDEA project went for massive promotions of the “ideaTHON” contest on the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman where several stakeholders of universities and their alumni clubs, communities and ICT industries across the country participated with enthusiasm. iDEA project received total 3147 applications which were reduced to 389 through a rigorous screening process. Applications came down to 118 after the completion of secondary screening. In the first judging top 30 teams were selected from 118. Thereafter the final judging session took place on December 14 and 15, 2020, whereby the honorable judges from both Bangladesh and South Korea, after their meticulous selection process selected the wining 5 (five) teams who will finally go to South Korea. The judges declared the top 5 Bangladeshi startups as the winners after the final selection. The winning teams are-
v Chobir Baksho (Mr. Arif Rahman, Mr. Arafat Rahman, Mr. Ibnul Islam, Mr. Sumit Adnan and Mr. Imtiaz Ahmed)
v Krishian (Mr. Ahsan Ahmed and Mr. Md. Mamunur Reza)
v Char Chokka Ltd. (Ms. Nourin Haque Ridi, Mr. Ashfaqul Azam, Mr. Yasir Hasan Taqi and Mr. Rukshar Alam)
v ANTT Robotics Ltd. (Mr. Thajid Ibna Rouf Uday, Mr. Raffid Uddin Bhuiya Nehal, Mr. Nazib Ahmad, Mr. Shuvadip Das and Mr. Sabab Mahmud)
v Rokkhi Limited (Mr. Abrar Masum Shanto, Mr. Plabon shekh, Mr. Abrar Galib, Mr. Mohammad Faisal and Mr. Fahim Hasnain Fahad)
The Winning 5 teams, 2 persons from each team, will receive 6-month training and incubation in South Korea and also be connected with international venture capital companies and angel investors. Besides, winning startups will be assisted in receiving international patent, design, copyright and trademark rights. At the closing ceremony, the winning 5 startup teams were awarded special certificates with honorary crests. Besides, the top 30 startups were also awarded with crests and certificates. A total of 111 certificates have been given to the members of the top 30 startups.
The ‘ideaTHON’ is co-organized by the Korea Productivity Center (KPC) and the Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA). In addition, the ICT Division, Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Computer Council, the Ministry of Justice of South Korea and the Global Start-up Immigration Center of South Korea are partnering with this initiative.