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“Be The Star of Entrepreneurship” Mentorship Sessions: Fund Raising
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“Be The Star of Entrepreneurship” Mentorship Sessions: Fund Raising 

The latest mentorship session of “Be The Star of Entrepreneurship” 2022 was conducted on the 28th of April on Fund Raising. The session was about how to approach investors, interact, network, communicate, pitch to investors, and finally, gameplays of how to arrange and manage funds. The session was conducted by Bijon Islam, the mentor for this particular session. 

Read ahead to know further details on the mentorship session! 

 

“Be The Star of Entrepreneurship” Mentorship Sessions: Fund Raising

 

Bijon Islam is the co-founder and CEO of LightCastle Partners. Over the last seven years, he has led the company in engagements across 

130+ businesses /development partners, 400+ SMEs/Startups, and 30+ accelerator programs in multiple industries including Technology, Agriculture, Health, Energy, and Manufacturing. 

Previously he has worked with Citibank, N.A. and Citi Foundation and oversaw the execution of Bangladesh’s first Interest Rate Swap, Equity Convertible Bonds, Largest IPO, Microfinance Securitization, and Block Equity Trades.

 

The session kicked off with general niceties between the mentor and the participants. The session went on to discuss the definition and simplification of the structure of funding in startups.

 

During the discussion he stated,

“If you ask the right questions, and have accurate information to provide, investors will be more interested if you can structure your pitch properly.”

 

He also noted, 

 

“There are no stupid questions only stupid answers”

 

The session continued as he discussed further how to approach investors and what criteria investors search for while considering pitch for business plans. He continued to discuss how the common misconception people have about startup investments in Bangladesh is not that common and not widespread.

 

He disagreed with that notion and proceeded to note that Bangladesh’s funding landscape startup ecosystem has successfully gotten 742 Million USD within the last 10 years. As recently as last year (2021) we gave received a stunning 400 million USD in investments. 

The sectors the investments went in are- fintech, ride-sharing, E-commerce/retail, logistics and mobility, healthcare, software and technology, education, food, and agriculture, energy, RMG, travel and tourism, sports and entertainment, consumer services, and real estate and property. 

 

Then he went in-depth into more about the requirements to receive investment for your company. You need to have a good product concept, creativity, and the ability to network & communicate well.

 

He proceeded to show the participants the gameplay of fundraising for startups. He discussed demo day, financial models and a product or product idea, pitch deck, and business plan.

 

The gameplay topics were:

 

Gameplay 1-  Angel syndicate and co-financing

Gameplay 2- Know investors, actively track and match

Gameplay 3- Corporate strategic investors (maintain a database of the market)

Gameplay 4- Design instruments

Gameplay 5- Financial institutions

Gameplay 6- Join wealth management and alternative investments forums

Gameplay 7- Deeply understand regulatory incentives

Gameplay 8- Get a high profile board

Gameplay 9- Build your track record 

Gameplay 10- Manage investors as much as your clients

 

He discussed the details of the gameplay topics and presented data to explain further about each one. There is a myriad of local and global investors for Bangladeshi startups. He discussed the stages of startup funding while showing the participants which startups and investors are working together. 

 

After understanding what funding stages are, the startups can start to arrange and manage funding step by step. They can learn to evaluate and scale their business plans. After a brief interaction segment between the mentor and the participants, the session came to an end. 

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Global e-commerce giant Alibaba has bought HungryNaki, a local Bangladeshi food delivery company at around Tk8 crore, to strengthen its footprint in Bangladesh. Established in 2013, HungryNaki is the first on-demand food delivery company in Bangladesh HungryNaki is serving more than 500,000 customers across Dhaka, Chattogram, Sylhet, Cox’s Bazar, and Narayanganj through its network of over 4,000 restaurants in these cities and towns. The company has around 500 drivers and 100 staff. General secretary of the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh, Muhammad Abdul Wahed Tomal said, “This will be a positive move, “HungryNaki will get bigger.” Bangladesh’s food delivery market has attracted international interest before. Berlin-based Foodpanda launched in the country soon after HungryNaki. More recently, Singapore-based Golden Gate Ventures led a $15 million round for rival delivery service Shohoz. Industry insiders said now the country is witnessing a boom of different types of e-commerce services and global companies are showing utmost interest to invest in the Bangladesh market. Alibaba started investing in Bangladesh by acquiring the largest online shopping company Daraz in 2018. At the same year, “Alipay”, the Chinese mobile payment giant owned by Alibaba Group, bought 20 percent stakes in Bangladesh’s largest mobile financial services provider “bKash Limited”. Alibaba, the Chinese multinational technology company that works in e-commerce, retail, internet, and technology, was founded in 1999. It is one of the top 10 most valuable corporations and is named the 31st-largest public company in the world on the Forbes Global 2020 list. In December 2020, the Chinese authorities launched an investigation into the alleged monopolistic practices of Alibaba Group. 

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