Three promising youth-led pro-environment startups clinched US$10,000 as grants and mentorship in the fourth edition of Youth Co:Lab Bangladesh's Springboard Programme on 19 December.
Co-created by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Citi Foundation, the ten startups selected from 55 applicants attended the two-day grooming boot camp before the event, reads a press release.
The ten finalists – including Safepad Bangladesh, Borac Energia, Pcycle, Deshifarmer, Max TapWater, MILE, Protibha, Psycure Organization, TransEnd and Recycle Jar Ecosystem - pitched their ideas at the Grand Pitch Day event held at The Westin Dhaka.
Safepad Bangladesh, which works to produce environmentally friendly and safe sanitary products, received US$5,000.
Borac Energia, which produces recycled Li-Ion batteries, came in second to win US$3,000.
Pcycle, which works to build a waste-management ecosystem, won US$2,000.
"This is the platform where our young innovators are addressing the problems of the current world as well as the future world," State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak said at the event.
"It pleases me immensely to see your innovations in the digital and technological sphere. In you, I see the job creators of the future and the problem solvers of digital Bangladesh. I leave you with one piece of advice that our Honorable Prime Minister told me: If you want to go far, innovate together."
"We are confident that the impact enterprises here are going to be among the first to usher in the green economy for Bangladesh," said Van Nguyen, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Bangladesh.
"As the country graduates from Least Developed Country, we need to support more ventures which are coming up with innovative and low-carbon solutions for a greener Bangladesh."
She also emphasized UNDP's commitment to continue supporting innovative business models driving improved productivity, competitiveness, resilience and sustainability of enterprises and jobs.
The Youth Co:Lab Springboard Programme is an incubation platform for young SDG entrepreneurs to turn innovative SDG solutions into sustainable businesses.