Grameenphone has launched GPA 3.0, the flagship accelerator programme to co-create a startup ecosystem and accelerate the journey of digitalisation in Bangladesh.
The "GP Accelerator" journey started back in 2015, intending to work closely with the startups, developers, and innovators, enabling them with the resources they need to build, grow, and exceed their possibilities, said a press release.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for ICT Division, was present at the virtual launching event as the Chief Guest along with Grameenphone CEO Yasir Azman.
Earlier this year, a partnership deal had been signed between Grameenphone and the three pioneering startup ecosystems shapers of Bangladesh – BetterStories Ltd., LightCastle Partners, and Upskill – to deliver GP Accelerator 3.0 as a program that supports the "global-first" Bangladeshi startups born through COVID.
Grameenphone, the tech service leader and connectivity partner to Digital Bangladesh, along with three leading ecosystem shapers of the country, teamed up to run the twelve-month program with the vision to connect the nation in search of the best homegrown startups and boost their potential with best-fitting resources following the industry needs.
During his speech, State Minister for ICT Division, said "I strongly believe that this programme will enable the potential youth of this country to continue to gain the knowledge and support they need to build innovative startups and establish them commercially in the days to come."
"I would like to encourage both private and public sector to jointly come forward and help us build a self-sustained knowledge-based economy.," he added.
"We have come a long way to deliver on our promises to become a digitally inclusive society. In this journey around so far, 44 GP accelerator startups across the country have played a pivotal role in addressing citizens' digital needs and developing relevant solutions to address our needs." said Yasir Azman, CEO of Grameenphone.
GP Accelerator programme has already completed six cohorts with 44 promising startups (creating 5 lakh jobs across the country).
Grameenphone contributed over BDT 142 million (over 42 million as direct cash grant and more than 100 million in-kind support), with each team getting approximately BDT 6.5 million' worth of support.
Impactful startups like Sheba.XYZ, CMED Health, Dhakacast, Cramstack, Doctorkoi, and many more found their way to success and are flourishing through the GP Accelerator programme.
Sheba.XYZ, CMED Health, and Parkingkoi have exceeded the USD 5 million valuation mark, too. The value has increased 3.7 times during the 4.5 months' boot camp, following an average 16 times growth from demo day.
Aside from minimizing the digital divide, GP Accelerator also plays a significant role in reducing inequalities and promoting women's empowerment in the country.
GP Accelerator 3.0 will expand its opportunities in sync with the consortium of the three partners through national outreach and regional design thinking boot camps for pipeline building; building an online content platform for entrepreneurs to ensure innovation practices for all without any cost, and a 06-months' growth-focused push to help to boost the business in real sense.