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Dhaka, Bangladesh

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54 hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!

Schedule

Thursday

Jan 10
  • Registration Starts
  • Light Breakfast & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Lunch
  • Attendees start voting for top ideas
  • Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow
  • Start building!

Friday

Jan 11
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Second Keynote
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday

Jan 12
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • FINAL PRESENTATIONS
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Premiere Partners
Sponsors
Event Partners
Media Partner
Speakers

Kamal Quadir

CEO, bKash

Kamal Quadir is a Bangladeshi American entrepreneur and artist. He currently heads bKash which provides financial services through an extensive network of community-based agents and existing technology. Kamal is the creator of CellBazaar. Which after reaching 4 million users, was acquired by Norwegian telecommunications operator Telenor in 2010 and won the Best Use of Mobile for Social and Economic Development Award 2008 from GSM Congress and Asia Telecom's Innovation of the Year 2008 Award. Previously, Kamal led the business development division of Occidental Corporation's energy initiatives in South Asia, worked in the New York City Chamber of Commerce and Insight Venture Partners. He is a Founding Member of Open World Initiatives and involved with Anwarul Quadir Foundation. Kamal holds a BA from Oberlin College and an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. He received the Tech Award 2007 for applying technology in benefiting humanity. He is a First Mover Fellow of The Aspen Institute. In 2009, TED selected Kamal a TEDIndia Fellow. Kamal is an accomplished artist whose art works are in permanent collection of Bangladesh National Museum and Liberation War Museum.

Ejaj Ahmad

Founder & President, BYLC

Ejaj Ahmad is the founder and president of Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC). Which aims to foster a more tolerant, inclusive and just society by training the next generation of leaders in Bangladesh. BYLC's international award winning leadership program was first developed at Harvard and MIT. It unites youth from diverse educational and socio-economic backgrounds, equips them with leadership skills, and engages them in service-oriented projects in local communities to address Bangladesh's most urgent developmental needs. Ejaj is actively engaged with several youth-run initiatives in Bangladesh and serves on the board of a secondary girls' high school. He speaks on leadership to diverse audiences, including, in recent years, Geneva, Nairobi, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New Delhi and Kuala Lumpur. Ejaj holds an MA (Hons) in Economics from St. Andrews in Scotland and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University in USA.

Nash Islam

CEO, Mangoes Mobile

Nasheet Islam is Co-Founder & CEO of Mangoes Mobile Inc., a US mobile app development firm with off-shore teams in Dhaka, Bangladesh & Kolkata, India since March 2012. Mangoes Mobile is building a smartphone communications platform for medical students in low-resource settings and is piloting the app in Botswana. Nash is also a non-executive director at G&R Technologies. Which built and operates Bangladesh's first and leading online display advertising network. Nash is an Investor and Advisor to TigerTrade (a business-to-business website connecting developing country firms to international markets) and Vidcaster (online video platform and video site builder) since 2011. Prior to Mangoes Mobile, Nash was Head of Mobile Ad Operations, Asia Pacific, for Google (2010 – 2012) and based out of Singapore. Where he was responsible for mobile ads quota across all major APAC markets excluding Japan, and also managed a team of account managers & ad op specialists across 5 countries. He was Senior Account Manager, Mobile Display Ads at Google in US (2010), managing mobile advertising across AdMob, YouTube and Google Display Network properties. Nash was also part of the AdMob start-up (2009 – 2010) before it was acquired by Google. Nash has a BA from Columbia University.

Asif Saleh

Head, BRAC Social Innovations Lab BRAC

Asif Saleh is the Senior Director of Strategy, Communications and Capacity Division in BRAC and BRAC International. Previously, he served as the director of Communications.
He served as an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs until 2008 when he decided to return to Bangladesh and work in the development sector. He started DriVen partnership, a social enterprise which worked with microenterprises. Over a career span of 12 years with Goldman Sachs in New York and London, he served in various management roles in Equities and Asset Management Division of Goldman Sachs. His previous work experiences were in Glaxo Wellcome, NorTel and IBM. Asif is also the founder of Drishtipat, a global organisation focusing on human and economic rights of Bangladeshis. In 2001, he started the-then Internet based Drishtipat (Take Notice) which became an umbrella of concerned diaspora expatriates working on social development. Currently it has nine chapters in the USA, Australia, UK, Canada and Bangladesh.
Asif is the co-founder of Drishtipat Writers’ Collective. He blogs and writes regularly for leading dailies in Bangladesh and in international magazines. His write ups have been published in The Guardian, Himal, The Daily Star, New Age etc. He also teaches social media at University of Liberal Arts of Bangladesh and BRAC University periodically. 
On his most recent role, he served as a policy specialist for the UNDP funded project Access to Information Programme (A2i) based at the Prime Minister’s Office and facilitated various ICT initiatives for development sector. Asif was recognised for his work by Asia Society through their Asia 21 programme in 2008.  He has been recognised by Bangladeshi American Foundation for his achievements in 2007. He was also selected as an Asia 21 fellow in 2012. Asif holds a Bachelors in Computer Science and an MBA in Management from NYU Stern School of Business.  He is currently a member of the advisory board of Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust and a board member of Institute of Informatics and Development (IID).

Iraj Islam

CTO, NewsCred

Iraj is a Bangladeshi-Swedish serial entrepreneur, software engineer and product designer. He is passionate about building innovative products that change the world. Iraj was named Sweden's 3rd hottest entrepreneur by Swedish magazine InternetWorld in 2006, he was also named in the Silicon Alley 100 2012 by Business Insider.

Borin in Stockholm, Sweden, Iraj lived in Boston and now resides in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He studied Computer Science at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He loves startups, and launched his first venture when he was 16 years old. In 2005, he co-founded and was the CEO of Swedish e-commerce startup Halvera.se. In 2008, Iraj co-founded NewsCred, a next generation news service changing the world of content syndication. He is currently Managing Director of NewsCred Bangladesh.

Daniel Rahman

CEO, G&R Technologies Limited   |   LinkedIn

Daniel is currently the CEO of G&R. A popular name in the media arena Daniel was previously the CEO of the FM radio station Radio Foorti. Daniel's passion is music and sports.

Fayaz Taher

CEO, Fortuna Group

Fayaz emerged from a family business background and started his first venture at the age of 13 starting in retail and later went on to found Fortuna Fried Chicken while he was in High School which now competes with KFC in Dhaka. Prior to taking over as CEO, he worked as the director of Fortuna Group, handling the marketing and business development. Fayaz was also a Director of Union Capital Leasing Ltd, a public company for financial services, helping set the strategies at the board level. Fayaz is also an integral member & co-founder of Infrablue technology which as was announced as one of the winners of the Facebook Fund back in 2008. IBT was also the tech partner in socialbuy.com (a group buy website) which was sold to kbgdeals.

Fayaz is currently working at Fortuna as the CEO & Director and managing different business divisions of the group. Fayaz also started footwear and bag factory in 2010, a $10m investment project, with a goal of making 6000 pairs of shoes and 1000 bags daily. Fayaz and his colleague brought in automated vending machines and placed in several universities and locations.

On his off time Fayaz works on various social projects and tries encourage other entrepreneurs or looking to be entrepreneurs. Fayaz also helped co found BDtech, which is is founded by passionate tech individuals and the American Embassy in Dhaka. BDTech is a platform for startups, tech companies, entrepreneurs, tech enthusiast and like minded people to come together to promote the startup tech community of Bangladesh. It is a platform to network, share ideas, success stories, give advice, discuss hot news & trends, and more in the tech world.
Fayaz completed his undergraduate at Babson College, earning his Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship.He also a masters degree from Clark University in International Development & Social Change.

Judges

Ananya Raihan

Executive Director, D.Net

Dr. Ananya Raihan, is the Executive Director of D.Net, a social enterprise for promoting access to information and knowledge for all citizens through interactive digital media. Dr. Raihan is a member of Digital Bangladesh Task Force. He is also a member of Editorial Board of the Journal of Community Informatics.

Dr Raihan's research interests include access to information and knowledge, technology policy, corporate social responsibility, and small- and medium-enterprise development. He has consulted and conducted research projects for a range of national, regional, and global organizations. Dr. Raihan was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004 in recognition of his contribution as a social innovator in the field of Community Informatics. He works for promoting the concept of social entrepreneurship and he has played a key role in building the “Infolady” model, which opens employment opportunities to thousands of women in rural Bangladesh with the power of ICTs. He also contributed to the “Smart Teacher – Smart Class” model in Bangladesh.

Dr. Raihan is currently working with the MAMA Bangladesh, a global mHealth initiative for expecting and new mothers.

He holds both a Masters and Ph.D. in Economics with specialization in Economic Cybernetics.

Mridul Chowdhury

CEO, mPower

Mridul Chowdhury is the CEO and Founder of mPower Health (formerly
ClickDiagnostics), a global social enterprise specializing in the use of
mobile technologies for innovative public health solutions. His innovations
in mHealth have been awarded the MIT 100K Business Competition in social entrepreneurship, runner-up prize in USAID Global Development Award and Best Telemedicine Innovation Award at the World Health Congress. mPower Health currently operates in Bangladesh, India and Egypt.

Mridul has extensive experience in development consulting and technology
project management in developing countries. In Bangladesh, he has gained a unique experience in working for all major stakeholders in development – the government, NGO and donor – which gave him the training required to found mPower Health. Mridul’s prior work experience include co-founding D.Net, an NGO in Bangladesh that has earned international recognition for its work on using information technologies for addressing rural women’s health concerns. He has also worked as a Consultant for United
Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Ministry of Planning in
Bangladesh in the area of using information technologies for improving
governance and enhancing quality of lives of citizens. During 2001-02, he
was a researcher at the Center for International Development at Harvard
University, in which capacity he was part of the team behind the first Global IT Report jointly published by Harvard University and World Economic Forum. He has traveled extensively to various developing countries for research and consulting on IT and development issues. Also a filmmaker, Mridul's most known film is titled Deshantori.

Mridul completed an MPA/International Development from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government as a Dean’s Fellow with full scholarship. He
has a BS degree with majors in Economics, Mathematics, and Political Science and a minor in Computer Science from University of Texas at Austin.

Kazi Monirul Kabir

Country Consultant, Google Bangladesh

Monirul believes in the power of goodness inside the core of every person. In his 14 years of career across FMCG, Retail, Advertising & Telecom Industries he has set examples of how deep understanding of people, culture and beliefs can give birth to great ideas, reveal hidden opportunities and inspire people to drive growth of business and societies. Before taking up Country Consultant role for Google in Bangladesh, Monirul was serving as the youngest CXO on the Management Team of Grameenphone Ltd. – the legendary joint venture between Noble Lauriat Professor Muhammad Yunus and Norway’s Telenor. He was also on the board of GpIT Ltd. With his passion in the subject matter of Creativity & Innovation he ended up taking 2 major steps in 2011 – undertook a unique MBA at Berlin School of Creative Leadership and Co-founded a Non-profit named Carefountain –with the mission to restore dignity in the underprivileged using creativity & innovation.

On weekends, Monirul likes solving the great mysteries of the creative world with friends and once in a while tries to bake cup-cakes for his 5 year old daughter.

Pallab Mohaimen

Deputy Feature Editor, Prothom Alo

Pallab Mohaimen now is the deputy feature editor of daily Prothom Alo, highest circulated bengali newspaper of Bangladesh. Not only that but also Prothom Alo's webportal is the number 1 bengali web portal around the globe. Pallab has been involved with Prothom Alo from the very beginning of this newspaper. He has 21 years of experience in Journalism and specifically 17 years of experience in Information and Communication Technology related journalism. He is the in-charge of Prothom Alo's Daily ICT news section `Computer Protidin' and weekly ICT supplement `Projonmo dot com. Pallab's one of the pioneers in ICT journalism, who promote and inspire local IT industry, innovators, tech entrepreneurships, rural tech initiative by his write-ups.

His journalistic work varies over a vast range. He works in lifestyle, career, travel, showbiz related journalism.
Pallab covers various international IT event such as, WSIS 1st phase (Geneva), WSIS 2nd phase (Tunis), Microsoft Imagine cup 2012 (Sydney), Knowledge for development conf (Purtajaya) etc. Pallab Mohaimen is the member of jury board of City Financial IT case competition, Imagine Cup, Bangladesh, Basis's Outsourcing award, Basis's Abishkarer Khoje etc.
He holds Graduation degree on Physics from Dhaka college under Dhaka university.

Pallab Mohaimen born 30 October 1971, in Rangpur. Later settled in Sarishabari, Jamalpur. He is married and have 1 son and 1 daughter. He loves photography, fishing, traveling and reading magazine.

Tanveer Ali

Executive Director, Avarice Investments

Born and raised in Toronto, Tanveer Ali is an Executive Director at Avarice Investments, a Singapore-domiciled investment fund focusing on private and public companies in mining, manufacturing and technology. The fund has made various tech investments alongside many notable industry heavyweights such as Proformative (Mike Maples), GateGuru, NanoSatisfi, Referly (500 Startups), and VidCaster (Quest Venture Partners)

At the age of 17, Tanveer started his first company, Toronto-based Opening Bell Investments, an investment finance consulting practice. Tanveer serves as a Director of various publicly-listed Canadian mining exploration companies.

Tanveer is also an Executive Director at Olympic Industries, a publicly-listed, family-controlled consumer goods manufacturing company. The largest producer of biscuits in Bangladesh (including household favourite Energy Plus), Olympic recently completed its implementation of SAP ERP and Avaya IP Office under Tanveer’s leadership.

Tanveer has a BA in Political Science from the University of Waterloo.

Coaches

Samira Zuberi Himika

CEO, Team Engine

Samira Zuberi Himika is the Managing Director & Founder of ‘team engine’ - a
campaign & communications hub for social good (www.tm-engine.com). She is currently leading organization of the first National Entrepreneurship Summit for Bangladesh to be held in year 2013. Himika is actively involved in mentoring and coaching entrepreneurs through her organization, ‘team engine’ that supports entrepreneurs from a network of 48,000 thousand companies/business entities.

Prior to founding ‘team engine’, in 2009 she worked in the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), UNDP, National Geographic and in different NGOs. As a Media & Communications and Development expert, the highlight of her career was in 2010 when her team (BBC Janala)represented Bangladesh for extraordinary project innovation in enabling people to learn English language through mobile technology – the project received BBC Reith Award 2010 (best craft category). Over the last two years, her expertise in Project innovation, Strategy and Planning, Leadership & team building and on the other hand in documentary and photography, Advertisement and promotion, and campaigning has helped produce the recently concluded Digital World 2012 (International event), She had also lead the GPHouse Profiling - a conceptual Art Hub. Currently Himika is engaged with 2 major nationwide initiatives by team engine (to be launched in January and February 2013). Her vision for ‘team engine’ is to expand its network across 7 countries within the year 2013.

Himika is graduate from Independent University Bangladesh (Major & minor: Finance, Media Communications) in 2006, and has also appeared for Masters in Development Studies. For last 15 years she has been an active figure in Bangladesh as a cultural-social campaigner in multi-cultural fields.

Kabir Ahmed

CEO, Gamification Research

Kabir is the CEO & Lead Analyst of Gamification Research. He is a gaming industry veteran, and is passionate for providing Research, Consultancy & Training services on Digital Gaming & Gamification. You can check out his company website on www.gamificationresearch.com

Razin Mustafiz

Product Manager, NewsCred

Razin Mustafiz is a Product Manager at NewsCred. Prior to NewsCred, Razin was a strategy consultant at Analysis Group in Boston.

He has also worked at the Grameen Bank in Dhaka and founded a financial literacy initiative for immigrants in Maine. Razin studied economics and math at Bates College where he was a Charles Dana Scholar and a Hoffman Fellow. His areas of expertise include product management, user experience design, operations and APIs.

Muhammad Nazimuddaula

Chief Product Officer, G&R Technologies Limited

Muhammad Nazimuddaula (Milon) is currently the Chief Product Officer of G&R. He is also the co founder of G&R. Milon started off his career with Globekids Digital before joining G&R where he led the team which created the first Ad network of Bangladesh. A graduate of University of Dhaka Milon is also a professional typographer and has designed various popular bangla fonts. Milon loves challenges and his current dream is to create the first Mobile Ad Network of the country.

Rezaur Rahman

CTO, G&R Technologies Limited

Rezaur Rahman (Jitu) is the Chief Technology Officer of G&R. He is a passionate web programmer and has been developing web apps for over 4 years now. Jitu completed his BSc in CSE from Ahsanullah university and MSc in CSE from United International University. Jitu joined G&R in the year 2011 and was an integral part of the team which created the first digital ad network of the country.

Shammi S Quddus

Head of Business Development, A K Khan WaterHealth Bangladesh

Shammi S. Quddus is Head of Business Development at A K Khan WaterHealth Bangladesh, a social for-profit that provides clean drinking water through community water systems in underprivileged areas of Bangladesh. She is part of the founding leadership team and in typical start-up fashion has looked after a wide range of functions including operations, financial modeling, sales and marketing, to successfully launch the country’s first WaterHealth Center in Chittagong district. Driven to expand the engineering company’s revenue stream, she is currently launching two new business lines that provide creative ways of applying WaterHealth’s core competencies in new target markets.

Shammi’s entrepreneurial career began during her second year at university where she successfully co-founded and raised seed money for the launching of an innovative capacity building program: Building Bridges through Leadership Training. The program has since then grown into the premier youth leadership training institute of the country: Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center. She has extensive experience in product design having being part of multiple design teams as part of her university education. She has worked in product dissemination and facilitated ideation workshops at the grassroot level as part of MIT’s Design Lab Ghana team. In 2012, she was featured on the ‘Young Entrepreneurs’ panel at MIT’s Global Startup Workshop in Istanbul, Turkey.

An accomplished athlete, Shammi holds two black belts, one in karate and one in taekwondo. She has medalled at the US collegiate national level and at the district, divisional and nationals in Bangladesh.

Shammi holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, USA.

Organizers
Sahbanaz Rashid Diya
Sabbir Hossain
Saadat Qadri
Jainal Chisty
Naima Zakaria
Abdul Alim Munshi
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