9:05 am - Wednesday January 17, 2018

Venture Capital to Help Achieve Sustainable Development Goals

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“Whichever country leads the way in disruptive technologies will come to dominate global affairs. Being able to perceive trends in emerging industries within Bangladesh economy before it becomes mainstream, will enable to create exceptional consumer, business and public solutions for all over the world. This will bring about many unique offerings that will not only revolutionize the investment scenario, but will also help build the ecosystem needed for the local IT businesses to flourish and compete at a global stage.”, echoed the speakers who joined the VIP roundtable at Digital World 2017 on Friday.

Mr. Emanuel R. Breiter, CEO, AAIC Ventures and Director, TiE Hong Kong; Mr. Axel Angeli, Chairman, Logos! Informatik GmbH and Mr. Navneet S. Chugh, Founder, TiE Southern California and Mr. Wali-ul-Maroof Matin, Founder & Managing Director, Maslin Capital presented keynotes on emerging technologies, digital future and venture capital funding in this market.

The VIP roundtable titled “Disruptive technologies venture capitalists are investing in” was organized by TiE Dhaka and Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh (VCPEAB) at the Green View hall of Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in Dhaka. Mr. Abul Kalam Azad, Chief Coordinator of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) attended the session as the Chief Guest. Mr. Kazi M Aminul Islam, Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) was present as a Special Guest whileMr. Shameem Ahsan, President of TiE Dhaka and Chairman of VCPEAB chaired the session. The multi-stakeholder VIP roundtable had participations of key personnel from different sectors.

Mr. Shameem Ahsan talked about venture capital and disruptive technology facilitation as a mechanism to attain SDG in his welcome speech. He said, timely adoption and appropriate application of disruptive technologies can be critical for achieving sustainable development goals. Globally there are a growing number of use cases for disruptive technologies like AI, machine learning, IoT which we can implement solving the challenges, including accelerating all SDGs.

Mr. Shawkat Hossain, General Secretary of VCPEABsaid,although the government and Bangladesh Bank have made rules that support the VCs, raisingfunds from institutions is still very challenging. Entrepreneurship is one of the aspects in SDG goals, and for entrepreneurship VCs are must.Mr. Syed Nasim Manzur, Managing Director, Apex Footwears shed a light on technology needs and gaps in retail industry and urged the VCs to help the technologiesthat nobody is focusing on besides disruptive technologies..

Mr. Kazi M Aminul Islam said,in near future we will need double digit economic growth we will need the new generation of entrepreneurs and accelerators.Government has that understanding and taking up massive programs to bring the young people from remotest areas andmaking them part of the mainstream economic activities. Venture capital industry has huge prospects to reach our SDG goals. We are willing to listen from the industry what it needs and we will take into consideration any suggestion that can help the industry to flourish.

Mr. Abul Kalam Azad said, “Bangladesh now has a GDP of three times, electricity production of 4 times of what they were before; all of these developments were unimaginable few years back. We must make forward looking initiatives that will help us keeping up the pace at which the country is making progress. We should hold regular brainstorming sessions to bridge the gaps we have in the VC ecosystem and Prime Minister’s Office will support any positive initiative that comes out.”

TiE Dhaka is a nonprofit association dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship, hosts networking events and mentors startup founders. The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), was founded in 1992 in Silicon Valley. There are currently 13,000 members, including over 2,500 charter members in 61 chapters across 18 countries. On the other hand, VCPEABadvocates on behalf of the local venture capital and private equity industry to ensure sound public policy that encourages a favorable environment for investment.

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