Bangladesh-South Korea jointly launches "Ideathon" contest on startup
In order to increase the knowledge and skills of startups in Bangladesh as well as to develop the country's startup ecosystem, Bangladesh-South Korea is going to organize a "Ideathon (ideaTHON)" contest. The competition is being organized by iDEA project under Bangladesh Computer Council under the Department of Information and Communication Technology. The event is co-organized by the Korea Productivity Center (KPC) and the Korea Innovation Promotion Association (Kaipa). In addition, the Department of Information and Communication Technology of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Computer Council and the Ministry of Justice of South Korea and the Global Startup Immigration Center are co-sponsoring the event. The top 5 innovative startups will be announced as the winners at the end of the final selection of this contest organized under the slogan “Let’s Start You Up”. The winners will receive 6 months of special training, incubation, funding, international patents, copyright and trademark assistance in South Korea. Besides, the best 25 teams will get special mentoring and certificates.
Hon'ble State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Mr. Junaid Ahmed Palak, MP inaugurated the ideaTHON contest online as the chief guest on 19th September 2020 (Saturday) at 3 pm. He said that the main goal of such an event is to encourage and motivate the youth. As a result of this event, the friendly relations between Bangladesh and Korea will be taken to a different level. The iDEA project was established under the BCC of the Department of Information and Communication Technology with the right advice and inspiration of Hon'ble Adviser to the Prime Minister on Information and Communication Technology Sajeeb Wazed. The Hon'ble State Minister further said that we are working to build the digital Bangladesh of the dream of the people's leader Sheikh Hasina. In the heart of the world, we are working to build a developed economy based on technology-based knowledge. We started this journey after the December 2008 elections. The ICT ecosystem that we have been able to build step by step since 2009 has resulted in us building a skilled human resource and creating employment for 1 million young people. He further said that the number of internet users in the country has been around 10 crore 36 lakh and we have been able to take fiber optical cable to the union level. In order to bring our government's digital services to the doorsteps of the people, with the good advice of Mr. Sajeeb Wazed, a qualified ICT advisor to the people's leader Sheikh Hasina, we have been able to bring more than nine hundred services in the hands of the people through various mobile applications including our My Gov app. At the same time, we have been able to build an ICT industry that was an ICT export industry of only ৬ 26 million about 11 years ago. At present it has crossed nearly a billion dollars and our target is that by 2025 we will be able to cross five billion dollars. And the inspiration and philosophy that is the root of all these things is given to us by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Mr. NM Ziaul Alam PAA, Senior Secretary, ICT Department was present as the special guest on the occasion. He thanked the organizers for organizing such an event. He also hoped that by connecting Bangladesh with the world's startup ecosystem, it would be possible to bring in foreign investment and enable startups to bring in foreign investment.
Mr. Parthapratim Dev, Executive Director (Additional Secretary) of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) was present as the special guest and he said that this time our startups in Bangladesh will get the opportunity to take training abroad. The Korean government has cooperated with us extensively, so he expressed special gratitude to the Korean government.
Also present as a special guest was Mr. Tina F. Jabin, Managing Director, Startup Bangladesh Limited. He said that the best startups in the country will go to South Korea, so special attention should be paid to the selection process, judges and selection criteria to ensure that qualified startups can go.
Also present as the Guest of Honor was Mr. Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Dr. Rubana Haque. He appreciated the various steps taken by the government for the welfare of startups and wished the startups of the country well.
The event was presided over by Syed Mojibul Haque, Director and Additional Secretary, iDEA Project. He said ideaTHON would encourage young innovators to create innovative IT-based solutions. In addition, providing international quality training and mentoring to entrepreneurs in overseas environments will make them more proficient which will in turn play an important role in their business.
Registration for the IdeaTHON contest began on September 19, 2020. Online campaigns will be organized in all sections of the country. As part of this campaign, alumni of more than 30 public and private universities of the country and various trade associations including BASIS, BAKY, BCS, ECAB, ISPAB are being connected. Interested startups based on IT in Bangladesh will be the first to complete online registration to take part in this competition. However, no individual can participate alone. A team can have a minimum of 2 members and a maximum of 4 members including the team leader. In addition, those who have completed Bachelor Degree or Masters or MPhil or PhD in the field of educational qualifications or have appeared in the graduation or equivalent examination of any educational institution in Bangladesh recognized by UGC can apply. It should be noted that in case of applicants, the age should be between 22 to 39 years on 19 September 2020. The last date for registration to participate in Ideathon is November 21, 2020 (Saturday). For details and application, please visit - http://ideathon.startupbangladesh.gov.bd/
After registration, the best 100 teams will be selected at the end of the preliminary selection and they will be given initial mentoring. Then, the top 25 teams from the selected teams will be selected for the final qualifying round. Special mentoring will be provided to the top 25 teams selected before taking part in the finals. At the end of the judges' judging session, the top 5 teams, i.e. startups, will be honored as the winners. The winners will be able to participate in a total of 5 (2 x 10 = 10) training from each of the 5 teams in South Korea.
Alumni of more than 30 public and private universities and esteemed representatives of various trade associations joined the inaugural function online. Besides, iDEA Project Deputy Project Director (Deputy Secretary) Kazi Hosne Ara, Project Senior Consultant RHM Alaol Kabir, Project Consultant Dewan Adnan, Sohag Chandra Das, teachers from various educational institutions, BCC and other officials of ICT department were present online. The inaugural event was broadcast live on Facebook Live on the official Facebook page of ICT Department's Idea Project "Startup Bangladesh" (https://www.facebook.com/LetsStartupBD/ ) Through.
Last year, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Justice Korea, ICT Division (Bangladesh), Korea Productivity Center and Korea Innovation Promotion Association at the Seoul International Innovation Fair 2019. According to the MoU, 5 startups in Bangladesh will get comprehensive incubation support from KPC under the Global Startup to Entrepreneur Network (G-SEN) program. A delegation of iDEA project with the theme Startup Bangladesh led by Kazi Hossain Ara, Deputy Project Director of iDEA Project participated in it.