[Dhaka, February 10, 2022] Grameenphone has onboarded the Batch – 7 of its signature national Digital Bangladesh Award-winning startup development initiative, ‘GP Accelerator.’ In this regard, a virtual event was held to launch the country’s first growth-focused accelerator program on February 10, 2022, with a mission to ensure 10X growth potential for startups.
Mustafa Jabbar, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications Division, was present as the Chief Guest. Among other respected attendees were Grameenphone, CEO, Yasir Azman and distinguished guests from the startup ecosystem, media, mentors, and investors.
This year the GP Accelerator curriculum has been designed to emphasise growth, going global and business expansion with three investment partners, IDLC, Anchorless, Bangladesh Angel Network, to equip the startups to secure international funds. The GPA platform will also continue to provide investment readiness support such as company valuation, fundraising, legal paperwork for expanding beyond borders and attracting investment with a commitment to ensure ten times growth for startups through 6 months long bootcamp. The program aims to explore business expansion opportunities through business incorporation to the global market from Bangladesh.
“It is very optimistic to witness so many diversely talented minds putting their best to come up with something different. This is the spirit that we need to carry Bangladesh forward in a digitally enabled era. I want to congratulate all the startups in the GP Accelerator Batch 7, and also thank Grameenphone for keeping up with this brilliant initiative”, said Mustafa Jabbar, Honorable Minister, Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications Division.
“Grameenphone has recently received the prestigious national ‘Digital Bangladesh Award 2021’ for its contribution to the development of the country’s start-up ecosystem through its flagship initiative "GP Accelerator". Such recognition encourages and inspires us to be more committed to our goal of achieving a self-sustained and knowledge-based economy,” said Yasir Azman, CEO of Grameenphone. “To reiterate our purpose of truly empowering the nation, Grameenphone believes in taking a youth-first approach, instilling digital entrepreneurship mindset, enabling them to think global, upskilling and reskilling them with industry-first initiatives like such to enable and unleash the potential of the demographic dividend into future drivers of economic progress, ultimately taking the nation towards realising its Digital Bangladesh vision and tap into the 4IR opportunities,” he added.
Earlier in 2021, 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 the GP Accelerator program that supports the “global-first” Bangladeshi startups born through Covid-19.
Since its inception in 2015, the GP Accelerator program has worked closely with promising local startups, developers, and innovators to facilitate strategic and infrastructural resources. Grameenphone came up with this formulated approach to support early-stage tech startups through a curriculum-based initiative that provides grant funding, expert mentorship, curated access to GP assets, access to investors, and more.
This year, the startups to receive the exclusive opportunity to be groomed under GP Accelerator’s 7th cohort are Airwrk, an invite-only global talent marketplace for Bangladeshi software developers with integrated payment systems, competitive pricing, and shorter payment cycles; Gameof11, a fantasy gaming platform where one can demonstrate their sports knowledge to win daily prizes; iPage, a startup democratizing value-added data to the farmers and FMCGs for a higher return using machine learning, data science, and ai; Lilac, a holistic digital wellness platform for women’s health and hygiene; One thread, a project management solution that helps to manage tasks, store files, check progress and communicate in the simplest and most affordable way and On now an internet restaurant platform that aims to empower over 600,000 SME restaurants in emerging markets to survive against tough competition from large restaurant chains by giving them access to their proprietary and popular virtual menu concepts, training, supply chain and technology.
GP Accelerator has completed 6 cohorts with 44 startups, creating 5 lakh jobs across the nation. Grameenphone has contributed BDT 142 million direct cash through this streak of initiatives, providing total support to each team worth approximately BDT 6.5 million. It has been a patron of possibilities, backing startups like Sheba XYZ, CMED Health and Parkingkoi to surpass the USD 5 million valuation mark. Among its other reputed alumni startups are Dhakacast, Cramstack, and Doctorkoi.
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About Grameenphone Ltd.
Grameenphone, part of the Telenor Group, is a leading telecommunications service provider in Bangladesh with more than 80 million subscribers. Since its inception in 1997, Grameenphone has built the largest cellular network in the country, covering nearly 95 percent of its population. With its brand promise to enable customers to “Go beyond,” Grameenphone seeks to help customers get the full benefit of mobile data and voice services and provide Internet For All. Grameenphone is listed on the Dhaka Stock Exchange. www.grameenphone.com: www.facebook.com/grameenphone