Bangladesh's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division has launched Bangabandhu Innovation Grant 2020 (BIG), marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak inaugurated the startup event at the BCC Auditorium of ICT Tower in Dhaka's Agargaon on Wednesday.
Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, Mr Palak said Bangabandhu, with his foresight, thought ahead of time, took big steps to solve problems and took many big initiatives.
Bangabandhu's lifestyle, struggling life and political philosophy are inspiring and exemplary for the present and next generation, Mr Palak said.
If the youth can be encouraged and inspired with Bangabandhu's lifestyle and political philosophy and history of struggles, they will never be defeated in the struggle of life, he said.
"That is why we are organising this competition [Bangabandhu Innovation Grant] to inspire our entrepreneurs and innovators”, the state minister added.
To build a startup ecosystem in the country by encouraging new entrepreneurial startups through 'BIG' and establishing the event as a flagship programme at the international level, three events will be organised in 2020-21, namely University and Stakeholder Activation Campaign, TV Reality Show and the International Roadshow.
There is a plan to include different countries including USA, Cambodia, India, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Italy in the 'International Road Show'.
The best 36 startups selected from these events will be given a grant of Tk 1.0 million for each and will be nominated for the "Big" final round.
Later, from this final round, the final results of the grand event of Mujib Barsho will be selected through a selection panel consisting of experienced judges from home and abroad.
One of the best startups will be given a special honour as a prize of 'Bangabandhu Innovation Grant 2020 (BIG)' and a grant of $1,00,000.
Initially, interested ICT-based startups will be able to register at www.big.gov.bd on the website of "Bangabandhu Innovation Grant 2020" from November 25, 2020.
Any IT-based entrepreneur can submit their ideas in this competition between December 25, 2020 at the national level and January 25, 2021 at the international level.