Digital World-2016 and Start-up culture in Bangladesh
From the beginning of the human civilization, ancient people were introduced with technology as they learnt the use of fire as well as converted it to the thermal power. The invention of electricity made a huge turnover to the progress of human civilization and it entered into industrialization from agriculture revolution. Then there was initiated the massive use of technology by human kind in daily lifeline. Although human kind was already introduced with the technology then, the use of technology was out of their thinking range. The letter was the lone medium of communication during the industrial revolution too. The invention of radio wave and telephone were two vital parts of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) initially.
The research on computer technology is considered as the biggest achievement of human kind. Then the invention got magic touch with the World Wide Web (www) connectivity over internet bandwidth. The traditional medium of communication got stuck with the progress of internet connectivity. The human life got pace with the mobility of technology. The telecommunication technology brought tempo in the life of humans with high speed connectivity over a small hand on.
The telecommunication is crossing the fifth generation globally. The whole world came into the hand to hand. Human kind has reached a new edge with the touch of technology from the tremendous change from the agricultural and industrial revolutions. Nowadays, technology has become a key factor behind progress of any nations. Emphasizing it, Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina and ICT Affairs Adviser to the PM Sajeeb Wazed Joy have initiated the Digital Bangladesh declaration to build a technology-based state with a view to achieving the vision of middle income country by 2021. The government is moving towards the vision implementing the Digital Bangladesh theme up to mass line.
On the way of a developed nation, the Start-up is one of the vital elements to achieve the goal of vision 2021. Start-up is a concept to support innovating ideas to bring a solution by using technology. The world is now moving forward with the touch of innovation as we are living in a society covered with curtain of technology. The technology covers us with an invisible net we
The global space of technology is led by some innovative idea of technology which was started start-ups from the Garage or University dormitory. The tech giants including Google, Facebook, WhatsApp all were a 'Start-up' in the beginning of journey. The tech giants are simple example of start-ups. There are large scales of start-ups around the world that are changing the society from their level best. Bangladesh is not also lagging behind in the journey of start-up culture. The Digital World (DW) is the mega carnival of technology innovation which is also considered as the biggest playground of start-ups to get expanded to get seed fund as well as policy level support. The third edition of DW which will be started at International Convention City, Bashundhara area in Dhaka today (October 19) will contribute influentially for bring the super start-ups and other innovations in technology domain.
The Technology introduced the world with new innovations like Uber or Air BnB which are now considered as billion-dollar outlets. Our regional countries like China, India have raised billion dollar fund in association with public-private partnership to promote local start-ups. Bangladesh has initiated the start-up promotion before 2009, but the initiative flourished as the Awami League (AL)-led government got mandate from people to lead the nation and PM Sheikh Hasina proclaimed the Vision 2021 including Digital Bangladesh theme. The DW is the exposition of all the innovations taken from government and private sector to ensure technology-based operations of nation and contribute with knowledge-led economy.
The DW, beginning in 2012, has been promoting local star-up outlets which are now at growth level. We believe the start-ups culture will get a new turnover from the ground of DW this edition. The Start-up culture got revolutionary progress with touch of PM's ICT Adviser Sajeeb Wazed. ICT Adviser inaugurated the first Software Technology Park (STP) from government level at Janata Tower at Karwan Bazar in the capital last year. He also launched a nationwide contest to find out best start-up through the Connecting Start-up Bangladesh.
On July 27 this year, we picked top 50 start-ups into the STP offering office space equipped with electricity, internet connectivity as well as free mentorship for next one year. Ten start-ups got own space and other 40 start-ups got co-working space. I have made visit two times to the STP from then and had chats with the innovative youths behind those start-ups. I discovered their big dream while talking to them. One of the star-up members informed me that they were developing software for an Indian school which was too hard to bid the work with big tech outlets. The youth also consider the backup end inspiration from the Connecting Start-up Bangladesh programme organized by ICT division and Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS). The software, made by the start-up will be used by over five lakhs of students at the renowned institutions in India for next three years. We also consider that as an inspiration of Digital Bangladesh theme.
On Thursday, the second day of the DW-2016, there will be organized a seminar titled "Building Billion Dollar Start-ups from Bangladesh." Bangladesh Planning Minister A H M Mostafa Kamal is scheduled to present at the event as chief guest where Agrani Bank Chairman, Chaldal dotcom CEO, Tie Dhaka founder as well as high ups from Mutual Trust Bank, Bagdoom dotcom and SD Asia will attend. Besides, the local start-up outlets will expo their innovation at a specialized arena of Start-up Zone. The main objective of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina-led government is to achieve sustainable development in every sector in participation from public private sectors. So, I want to urge all of the youth of Bangladesh to join the technology carnival or connected DW through internet to get introduced with new Bangladesh innovation in technology domain.
The government has already approved the project of Innovation Design, Entrepreneurship Academy (IDEA) to schooling the innovations from mass line. We are working together to support one thousand innovations by 2021. ICT division has provided up to Tk 20 lakh for each innovation according its community reach or mileage. Besides, The Bangabandhu Hi-tech City at Kaliakoir in Gazipur, Sheikh Hasina Software Technology Park in Jessore, Rajshahi Barendra City, Sylhet Electronics City as well as Hi-tech Park in Chittagong are some of the physical Infrastructure towards establishing 20 STPs across the country. There will be Start-up incubators at every STP to schooling new generation in technology entrepreneurship.
The tech-shabby AL-led government has been serving the nation for last seven years under leadership of PM Sheikh Hasina and her ICT Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy. They brought honour for the nation bringing a new identity of emerging Bangladesh in pace of technology. Honourable PM's ICT Adviser was accorded with ICT for Development Award-2016 by four renowned organizations at New York on side-line of United Nations General Assembly recently. Earlier in 2015, International Telecommunication Union awarded honourable PM Sheikh Hasina with 'ICT's Sustainable Development Award'. Besides, she received the South-South Cooperation Visionary Award - 2014 and South-South Award -2011 for her visionary leadership in a technology-driven nation.
Technology is a sector which is changing by moments. We believe we can achieve the Vision 2021 by promoting innovations which will brand Bangladesh globally. Supporting the Start-up culture as well as innovations, we will achieve the $5 billion export target by 2021. We believe the Digital World will bring about new changes in the technology driven state. Let lock your calendar on from October 19 -21 and join the carnival with tagline of #NonStopBangladesh and let engage with colour of technology. You are most welcome!r
Zunaid Ahmed Palak is State Minister for ICT division, Ministry of Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology, Government of People's Republic of Bangladesh
On the way of
a developed nation, the Start-up is
one of the
vital elements to achieve the
goal of Vision 2021. Start-up is a concept
to support innovating ideas to bring
technology that covers us with an invisible net we can feel