Trusted operator, ecosystem main challenges to Bangladesh startup investment

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Trusted operators and business ecosystems are the two major challenges that Bangladeshi startups face while attracting foreign investments, said entrepreneurship specialists.

“Most of the investors are concerned about who is operating and regulating the system, and whether it is reliable or not,” Tina Jabeen, CEO of Startup Bangladesh Limited, told a session of Sankalp Global Summit-2021 on Tuesday.

Mentioning that a new startup has to have an available market and good team, Tina said, Bangladesh is the best place to invest in a startup because the country has a very large market.

She also said since startup is not the kind of business “free to all”, entrepreneurs should know their “pros and cons” first before making the move.

Sankalp’s Global Summit is an Intellecap Initiative that brings together over 1,000 startup stakeholders from around the world to discuss, debate, and create a roadmap for development.

The session, on Tuesday, of the summit titled “Emergence & Impact of the Neo Bengal Tigers’ Startup Ecosystem” was hosted by Bangladesh Angels Network (BAN), a platform that works on promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in Bangladesh by connecting local and global investors.

Ann Runnel, founder and CEO of Estonia-based Reverse Resource, said, “I have not seen a startup ecosystem in Bangladesh similar to India or Singapore. Bangladesh has a different market environment that pushes it back in attracting new foreign investments.”

On successful fundraising techniques, Sajid Rahman, founding general partner of MyAsiaVC, said an investor must know where and who needs to be approached for the funding.

Ahmed Jawad Yusuf, advisory lead at Bangladesh Angels, said Bangladesh has the third most active impact investing market in South Asia.

“Over the past five years, the startup ecosystem has been able to attract $400 million foreign direct investment. The majority of it, if not all, has an impact in solving critical social problems through technology,” he added.

Nirjhor Rahman, CEO of Bangladesh Angels, moderated the programme

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