Innovation Xtreme 2014, an event to bring entrepreneurs, students, and investors together on a single platform, recently took place at Radisson Hotel, Dhaka. Bangladesh-based online content site SD Asia (previously Startup Dhaka) hosted the event in collaboration with several reputed sponsors and partners including GrameenPhone, EMK Center, and TechJuice.
The theme for the 2014 event was ‘Innovation in Bangladesh’ and apart from other major takeaways, SD Asia announced that it will launch an Accelerator Program in collaboration with the Pakistan-based startup accelerator Invest2Innovate (i2i). Kalsoom Lakhani, CEO & Founder i2i will join the board as a knowledge partner.
Ms. Kalsoom Lakhani represented Pakistan in the I/X 2014 event to share her views regarding the South Asian startup environment and opportunities. She participated in a fireside chat titled ‘Role of accelerator in creating investment ready startups’ to remark how accelerators create investment-ready startups. She also addressed the workshop ‘How to get your startup funding ready’ during the course of the event.
The SD Accelerator Program will be launched in the first half of 2015 with the purpose of providing mentorship and assistance to promising local startups. From a branding point-of-view, the Accelerator will be powered by i2i. Other major points regarding the collaboration include:
- Invest2Innovate (i2i) will work with SD Asia to design and dynamically customize the Accelerator’s curriculum. i2i, apart from using its extensive acceleration program’s experience from Pakistan, will assess and accommodate the ground realities of Bangladeshi entrepreneurial ecosystem to modify the curriculum.
- i2i will help SD Asia design the and structure the Mentor Network, and provide assistance in recruiting suitable mentors for the program.
- i2i will assist SD Asia in designing the complete induction structure which will include recruitment, application, and selection aspects of the process.
- i2i will act as a supporting partner and advisor throughout the operation of SD Accelerator Program.
The partnership marks the first direct collaboration between Pakistani and Bangladeshi startup accelerators.