Information technology-oriented entrepreneurs can get registered by Apr 22 to take part in the contest of Bangabandhu Innovation Grant (BIG) 2023. State Minister for the ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak on Tuesday (Mar 28) inaugurated BIG 2023 with the theme "Dare to Stand BIG" at a function held at the BCC Auditorium of ICT Tower in the city's Agargaon area, said a press release.
Secretary of the ICT Division Md Shamsul Arefin, Executive Director of BCC Ranajit Kumar and Managing Director of the Startup Bangladesh Limited Sami Ahmed were present as special guests at the function with Project Director (Joint Secretary) of iDEA project Md Altaf Hossain in the chair.
The biggest initiative ‘BIG’ is being organised for the country's entrepreneurs since 2019 by the Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Academy (iDEA) Project of Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) under the ICT Division.
The aspirant entrepreneurs can get registered by visiting the website www.big.gov.bd . BIG Authority plans to select 300 innovative startups at the initial stage among the applications received.
Later, a three-day bootcamp will be organized with the selected top startups. This bootcamp includes day-long workshops, mentoring and pitching with the participation of startups. The top 51 startups of "BIG 2023" will be selected from the most promising startups of the bootcamp, and the final round of BIG will be organized with the best five startups selected among them.
As recognition of the BIG 2023, the best startup will be awarded a special honor and a grant of Tk 1 crore. The rest of the top 50 startups will also be given a grant of Tk 10 lakh each. The best 51 startups of BIG 2023 will also be given special certificates of appreciation.
Speaking at the inaugural function, Zunaid Ahmed Palak urged young innovators to tackle the economic crisis by providing technology-based solutions to the country's problems and said, "Our youth is not short of talent, they need cooperation. We are providing that opportunity through BIG".
He expressed hope that the young innovators will solve the problems not only of the country but also of the globe.
"We have launched the iDEA Project and established Startup Bangladesh Limited to support entrepreneurs. A startup ecosystem will be developed in the country through these institutions," he said, adding, besides, Bangladesh will become an attractive hub for investors in the future.
Senior Consultant of iDEA and BIG 2023 Chief Coordinator Siddhartho Goushami gave a presentation on BIG 2023 at the event.
Deputy Project Director (Deputy Secretary) of iDEA Dr Md Mizanur Rahman, iDEA Project Communications Consultant and Associate Coordinator of BIG 2023 Sohag Chandra Das, iDEA Project Consultant and BIG 2023 Technology Associate Coordinator Abul Kalam Ahsanul Azad and iDEA Human Resources Consultant Md Nazim Uddin were present at the function, among others.