Earlier this year, a partnership deal had been signed between Grameenphone and the three pioneering startup ecosystems shapers of Bangladesh – BetterStories Ltd., LightCastle Partners, and Upskill – to deliver GP Accelerator 3.0 as a programme that supports the “global-first” Bangladeshi startups born through COVID.
Grameenphone, the tech-service-leader and connectivity partner to Digital Bangladesh, along with three leading ecosystem shapers of the country, teamed up to run the twelve-month programme with the vision to connect the nation in search of the best homegrown startups and boost their potential with best-fitting resources following the industry needs.
Speaking as chief guest at the virtual programme, ICT division’s state minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak said, “It feels inspiring to see that Grameenphone has been continuing to live up to its commitment of shaping the startup ecosystem in Bangladesh. I am aware that six batches have received training through the GP Accelerator programme so far. All of them are contributing to the development of the country and the ecosystem from their respective places.”
“Our ICT Advisor Sajeeb Wazed Joy encouraged the youth to not imitate, but rather innovate. GP Accelerator also has the same message and is continuing to play its part to groom up the youth. Startups are helping us to create a self-reliant Digital Bangladesh. Our youths are growing the problem-solving mindset for a tech-dependent future. I would like to encourage both private and public sector to jointly come forward and help us build a self-sustained knowledge-based economy,” he added.
Grameenphone CEO Yasir Azman said, “We have come a long way to deliver on our promises to become a digitally inclusive society. In this journey around so far, 44 GP accelerator startups across the country have played a pivotal role in addressing citizens’ digital needs and developing relevant solutions to address our needs."
"We are glad to continue the journey of GP Accelerator and launch the third season with ecosystem shapers like BetterStories, LightCastle, and Upskill. With our credible partners, we look forward to co-creating an ecosystem favorable to unleash the potential of our homegrown talents," he added.
GP Accelerator programme has already completed six cohorts with 44 promising startups (creating 500,000 jobs across the country).
Grameenphone contributed over Tk 142 million (over 42 million as direct cash grant and more than 100 million in-kind support), with each team getting approximately Tk 6.5 million worth of support.
Impactful startups like Sheba.XYZ, CMED Health, Dhakacast, Cramstack, Doctorkoi, and many more found their way to success and are flourishing through the GP Accelerator programme.
Sheba.XYZ, CMED Health, and Parkingkoi have exceeded the USD 5 million valuation mark, too. The value has increased 3.7 times during the 4.5 months’ boot camp, following an average 16 times growth from demo day, the press release adds.
Aside from minimising the digital divide, GP Accelerator also plays a significant role in reducing inequalities and promoting women’s empowerment in the country.
GP Accelerator 3.0 will expand its opportunities in sync with the consortium of the three partners through national outreach and regional design thinking boot camps for pipeline building; building an online content platform for entrepreneurs to ensure innovation practices for all without any cost, and a 6-month growth-focused push to help boost the business in real sense.