State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak on Wednesday acknowledged young ICT entrepreneurs and innovators as the leaders of Digital Bangladesh.
He made the remark at a virtual press conference held to convey the details about an upcoming reality show for startups titled "Bangabandhu Innovation Grant (Big) 2021," adding that in recent times, new innovations are playing an important role in establishing a self-reliant Bangladesh.
Addressing the event organised by Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Academy (IDEA), Palak continued, "After passing the higher secondary exam, a young visionary can participate in building an innovative Bangladesh through high-tech parks in Bangladesh.
"The Bangabandhu Innovation Grant will aid these entrepreneurs so that they can be in service to the country and across the globe."
Commenting on the development of startups, the state minister said, "Free co-working space is being provided to all startups for six months in every high-tech park throughout the country to help entrepreneurs get bigger.
"Besides, the Startup Bangladesh – one of the sponsors of this competition – is building an entrepreneurial campus to facilitate the development of young people across the country as entrepreneurs. Large groups are also interested in developing this sector."
Providing more details regarding the initiative in a presentation, BIG Coordinator Siddharth Goswami said, "The boot camp for this competition will begin on 12 June and continue till 18 June with 65 startups.
"The reality show will begin from 20 June, and the gala event is scheduled to be held in September. The best startup will receive a special award and a cash prize of $1 lakh. Besides, 26 startups selected by the reality show and 10 winning startups selected from the international level will each get a grant of Tk10 lakh under the IDEA Project."
The objective of this event is to build a startup ecosystem in the country by encouraging young entrepreneurs to innovate.
With the aim of establishing the "BIG" event as a flagship programme at the international level, campaigns in universities, a TV reality show and international road shows will be held soon, he added.
This year, around 7,000 star-ups applied from 142 countries to participate in this event. Sixty-five participants were selected for the final race after going through different selection levels.
IDEA is organising the Bangabandhu Innovation Grant (Big) 2021, while Evaly, Walton and Startup Bangladesh are sponsoring it.