The Financial Express

Bangladesh Angels discusses startup ecosystem in the country

| Updated: October 14, 2021 00:20:20

Bangladesh Angels discusses startup ecosystem in the country

The 13th edition of the Sankalp Global Summit is being held virtually from October 12 to 14. Sankalp's Global Summit is an Initiative of India-based Intellecap. The summit brings in stakeholders from around the world to discuss, debate, and create a roadmap for development. The country's first-ever angel investing platform-- Bangladesh Angels hosted a session titled 'Emergence and Impact of the Neo Bengal Tigers' Startup Ecosystem' at the event. The session focused on highlighting Bangladesh as a destination for impact investments. Bangladesh's startup ecosystem was brought to the forefront in this conversation.
Nirjhor Rahman (CEO) and Ahmed Jawad Yusuf (advisory lead) from the Bangladesh Angels team moderated the session. Ann Runnel, the founder of Reverse Resource, Tina Jabeen, founder of Startup Bangladesh Limited, Sajid Rahman, founding general partner of MyAsiaVC, Nazmul Karim, country manager of Aavishkaar Capital and Maxime Cheng, team lead of Markets at Roots of Impact, joined the session as guests.
Ann Runnel presented a case on Reverse Resources, an Estonian company that started its journey in Bangladesh. Reverse Resources is a platform for mapping, steering and tracing textile leftovers to reduce waste. "I found Bangladesh to be a goldmine of waste. We had an empty playing field in testing and trialling here in Bangladesh," she explained why Bangladesh was chosen. As of now, 43 garment factories in the country use this platform.
Maxime Cheng highlighted the role of Roots of Impact in the thriving ecosystem of Bangladesh. She said, "We tried to balance the supply and demand of the impact investing market through the Biniyog Briddhi Programme by offering three pillars of activities-- capacity building, providing catalytic financial instruments to impact entrepreneurs and efficacy."
Sajid Rahman and Tina Jabeen described the current situation regarding investment in Bangladesh. "In terms of volume of investments and deal flows, Bangladesh is still three to four years behind countries like Indonesia," opined Sajid Rahman. To attract foreign investors, we need a better system for IPO, believes Tina Jabeen. "We don't really have the right platform in the stock market to bring start-ups to IPO. If start-ups had such a provision, investors would know that there was an exit for them through an IPO," she explained. Once positive stories of successful exits via IPO spread out, more people will start investing in Bangladeshi start-ups.
The session closed with the panel giving suggestions to entrepreneurs about raising VC (venture capital) funding. They highlighted factors like the scalability of an idea, presence of an addressable market, selection of an appropriate investor and entrepreneur's confidence as being key to securing venture funds.

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