The Global Entrepreneurship Network is excited to announce the opening of Startup Huddle in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to help local entrepreneurs hone their pitch skills and discover solutions to the challenges they face.
Startup Huddle is a program designed to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs. As an experiential learning opportunity, the Startup Huddle format is consistent in each location: on a given morning, one or two early-stage startup founders give a six-minute presentation of their companies to a diverse audience of peers, mentors, educators and advisers. Each presentation is followed by a 20-minute question and answer session.
Asif Iqbal, Startup Huddle organizer in Dhaka, said one of the main priorities for Bangladesh is to support small business growth through entrepreneurship. The hope is that Startup Huddle drives this type of growth through the safe space it creates for entrepreneurs.
“The program like Startup Huddle is important to introduce in a country [like ours] because it provides fruitful connections among the startups and will inspire them to do something innovative,” said Iqbal. “Here, the knowledge will be shared, learning will be cross-checked, networking will flourish.”
The culture surrounding Startup Huddle is that of a supportive, neutral space, welcoming entrepreneurs to be open and honest about their businesses and the challenges they face. Each event is organized by local entrepreneurs and community builders who volunteer their time to secure a venue, vet and select presenters and publicize the event.
As opposed to a traditional “pitch” environment, Startup Huddle was not created to be critical of entrepreneurs, but rather for the presenters to learn from shared experiences and find ways to support one another as a community.
Iqbal is hoping that the positive effects of Startup Huddle on the startup ecosystem in Dhaka will translate to positive economic gains as well. For Iqbal, entrepreneurship provides the opportunity that many young people are seeking in Bangladesh.
“We want to create opportunities for startups to share their prospects and challenge,” said Iqbal. “A hub for entrepreneurs will be made which will work as the key contributor of entrepreneurial ecosystems in Bangladesh.”
Startup Huddle is an educational experience for both the audience and the presenters. Presenters are given resources and support to prepare for their presentation and surveyed after their presentation to see what they’ve learned.