A mentoring programme has begun with 10 winners of the recently-concluded National Hackathon jointly organised by Bangladesh and India.
In the light of this, NM Zeaul Alam PAA, senior secretary of ICT division of Bangladesh, inaugurated the mentoring programme with the winning start-ups of the National Hackathon on Sunday.
About 30 innovators from the winning teams of the National Hackathon on Frontier Technologies are participating in this month-long mentoring programme to solve the 10 most citizen-centric challenges of Bangladesh by using information technology.
Due to the Covid-19 situation, the mentoring programme will be held online and is being organised by the Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Academy (iDEA) project under the ICT Division – with its Startup Bangladesh banner and the Indian IT- company Tech Mahindra Limited.
A skilled and experienced team from Tech Mahindra's Makers Lab will mentor these 10 start-ups in Bangladesh on a total of 17 important topics, including: product development, business strategy, different frontier technologies, design thinking, and CXO training.
Once the Covid-19 situation is over, these Bangladeshi start-ups will be trained at Tech Mahindra's Makers Lab in India. Later on, after the projects mature, they will be promoted in different countries, through marketing channels under Tech Mahindra Limited, to help bring them to the growth stage.
As the chief guest of the programme, N M Zeaul Alam said, "India is doing great in the sector of IT. The IT industry in India consists of two major components – IT services and business process outsourcing. The sector has increased its contribution to India's GDP from 1.2 percent in 1998 to 7.7 percent in 2017."
Meanwhile, Bangladesh has also seen tremendous growth in the ICT sector in the last couple of years. He added, "Through this mentoring programme, start-ups in Bangladesh will gain more knowledge about modern technology and, at the same time, the relationship between these hosting organisations of both Bangladesh and India will be stronger."
As a special guest, Sujit Baksi, president of Corporate Affairs of Tech Mahindra Ltd, India, thanked the ICT Division of the Government of Bangladesh and the High Commission of India in Bangladesh for making the event a success.
He said that through the global business experiences of Tech Mahindra and mentoring by a skilled team to these start-ups from the National Hackathon, supreme efforts will be made to prepare them.
The executive director of the Bangladesh Computer Council Parthapratim Deb, head of Global Innovation of TechM Nikhil Malhotra was present as the special guest.
From 349 shortlisted innovative solutions from all the applications across the country, the top 51 teams, consisting of 150 innovators, participated in the hackathon. Forty mentors were there to guide all the participants. Finally, the top 10 teams were awarded as the winners at the closing ceremony of the national hackathon on February 29, 2020. The High Commission of India in Bangladesh was the partner of the National Hackathon.
The programme was presided over by the Project Director (additional secretary) of iDEA project Syed Mojibul Huq.
Additionally, AVP and Function Head of Innovation Shreeni Chetlapalli, Head of Startnet and Campus Connect Umesh Kad, Head of Customer Relationship Makerslab Akash Dolas, Country Manager (Bangladesh) Debashish Mitra on behalf of the team of Tech Mahindra Ltd – and deputy director of iDEA Project Kazi Hosna Ara – were also present. Officers from the ICT division also attended the inaugural programme.