Top Business Competitions in Bangladesh and everything you need to know

If you are a university student in Bangladesh, Business Competitions are not new terms to you. There’s a chance you know about most of them, there’s a higher chance you might have participated in a few of them. Why you should take part in one, is a discussion for another time. But for now, here’s everything you need to know about the most prestigious competitions in Bangladesh and how you need to prepare for them.

1.Battle of Minds by BAT

Battle of Minds, organised by British American Tobacco is one of the most prestigious and most rewarding business competitions in the country. Every year BAT holds Battle of Minds where university students who are in their final years get to participate for the highest glory. You face off the bests of the bests in the field and upon winning, you get a head start towards a rewarding career path.

Rounds: 4 (Online Exam-Focus Group Discussion-Business Pitch-Case Solving)

Team Members: 4

Awards: A Crest and a headstart in the recruitment process.

2. Bizmaestros by Unilever

Similar to BOM, Bizmaestros is arranged every year by another one of the corporate giants, Unilever. It has challenges and rewards similar to BOM and the competitions themselves are often competitors to each other. However, winning Bizmaestros also lands you a trip abroad to Unilever Future Leaders League, where you compete against international teams.

Rounds: 3 (Online Submission-Practical Marketing-Practical Marketing)

Team Members: 3

Awards: Certification along with a trip to Unilever Future Leaders League.

3. Telenor Youth Summit

The last one in the trio of Corporate giant competitions is the Telenor Youth Summit. Unlike previous ones, TYS accepts individual submissions. And as you can guess, the challenge is tougher, obviously. Subsequently, the reward is also higher. A trip to Norway sounds magical, doesn’t it?

Rounds: 3 (Idea Submission-Screening Round-Final Presentation)

Team Members: Individual submission

Awards: Trip to Norway.

4. Brandwitz by IBACC

Brandwitz is one of the most prominent students run business competitions in the country on University level. Organised by IBACC (IBA Communications Club), every year, Brandwitz sees the best minds of the country battling each other for a prize money of BDT 2,50,000. But the money is a minor factor here. You’ll be benefited most from the experience, the certification and the networking that you make.

Rounds: 4 (Case Solving-Product Branding-Practical Marketing-Idea Branding)

Team Members: 4

Awards: BDT 2,50,000.

5. CreAdive by BUP BCC

Creadive is another of the students run business competitions in the country organised by BUP BCC. The competition offers a unique approach to its rounds where it engages participants in direct ATL and BTL campaigns, requiring them to actually take part in fieldwork. The experience is certainly one of a kind.

Rounds: 4 (Case Solving, ATL Campaign, BTL Campaign, Product Branding)

Team Members: 4

Awards: BDT 3,00,000.

The curious case of BRAC University and its Pohela Boishakh

If you don’t stay under a rock, you should have come across all the memes making fun of BRAC University for celebrating Pahela Boishakh a week earlier. There were loads of trolls and some were actually funny. Most were also kind of hackneyed.

But why though?

First of all, we were told that it was not anything enforced. The students actually played a significant role in the decision as well. Mid-April is the time BRAC University holds its semester final exams. The exam season means no class, and thus the university remains closed.

“Well, we kind of wanted it to celebrate early. We always have our exams in Mid April, and thus it becomes difficult for everyone to attend. Moreover, as the university remains closed, things don’t become much festive.”

Sartaj Islam Shovon, a student of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, commented

“This was not much of a problem. The heat and everything were there. The program was good. The main thing is, we liked it. We mostly couldn’t enjoy in previous years due to exam pressure. This also becomes somewhat of a refreshment before the exams.”


Said Sabreen Alim, an energetic junior doing her BBA

Well, okay. If you put it like that..

All work and no play

Some students are a bit disappointed at the authority for always holding their exams at that time. But most students agree that their university has a specific academic calendar, and rigorous following of that prevents them from all kinds of session jams.

This very “legitimate” reason that was there for the early celebration of Pahela Baishakh is quite unknown to many. Hence, the flood of memes in our newsfeeds has tickled us to laugh, and also causing embarrassment to the people of BRACU at the same time.

Hey! look on the bright side

But, the people of BRAC University should not be disheartened in any way. They have a lot of positives to take from this.

1. Uninterrupted GoT binge

The most anticipated Episode of Game of Thrones will be released on 14th April. They can watch it staying at home, as they are already done with celebrating. BRACU people! Grab your popcorns, stay at your home, and watch your most awaited episode.

2. For the sake of memes!

This had provided some quality memes in our newsfeeds. Think of all the people you made laugh, BRACU people! In these tough times, having a good laugh is rare.

3. Cheap Hilsha! Yes!

Hilsha fish is quite costly in the Pahela Baishakh week. You have saved quite a significant chunk of money for yourselves eating Hilsha a week early. Think of all the productive things you can do with the saved money!

4. Festival hopping

Finally, this gives a chance to the BRACU students to explore the Pahela Baishakh program of other Universities! A golden opportunity to explore and getting out of your shell!

5 Bangladeshi platforms where you can pitch your startup

There is an imminent need for entrepreneurs who are willing to change Bangladesh, home to 160 million people, for the better . Professionals are being encouraged to defy convention and pursue entrepreneurship over traditional career paths like doctors and engineers, now more than ever. However, entrepreneurs need the know-hows and the resources which are hard to get, especially at the beginning. With a growing local start-up ecosystem, we can only hope that more industry experts will pave the way for young bloods to build sustainable businesses.

A number of Bangladeshi startup incubators have been working closely with local talents to scale up businesses, especially tech ventures.

Our country abounds with go-getters who can shape our economic landscape for the better. And these platforms can be a breeding ground of startups that can have commercial success in Bangladesh, possibly across the world. Here are 5 deshi incubators where you can pitch your dream startup.

Grameenphone Accelerator 

The GP Accelerator is an incubator that accelerates 5 startups every year.
35 teams are called in to participate in a two-day long boot camp, from which 15 startups were selected for further rounds of assessment, face-to-face interviews and pitch presentations. Finally, after fierce competition, five companies are selected. This way, from over a thousand applications, 5 standout companies are selected on the basis of the team’s ability to execute and the strength of the business.

GPA provides a 4-month bootcamp at GPhouse. Office space, structured curricula, investor access and mentorship are offered to the top 5 teams in this program.

Teams get the opportunity to learn from local and foreign mentors, industry experts and professionals on critical development elements like term sheet, valuation, financial modeling, branding, etc. Starting from 2014, 5 batches of startups have graduated from this program. Winners receive seed funding of 12+ lakh taka and Grameenphone may take up to 8-10% equity. Some of the notable alumni include Sheba, CMED, Doctorkoi etc.

More about Grameenphone Accelerator

Toru Impactors

The Toru Institute of Inclusive Innovation has launched the ‘Impactor’ program for early stage startups. Saif Kamal, founder of Toru said in an interview, “We have always had accelerator programs or competitions, but ideas need extensive and long-term support in order to become impactful enterprises.” Impactor program is a 8-month long business incubation program for entrepreneurs who want to transform their idea, early form of a product or an early stage business into a successful business enterprise with a social impact.

30 Impactors learn through a series of workshops. From that cohort, 15 Impactors are selected to continue their engagement, building a business model canvas and growth strategy. The top 10 Impactors embark on a 6-month long journey of business incubation, taking their venture to grow and be investment ready. These Impactors are matched with experts from their respective sectors, receiving individually tailored support. The final 3 Impactors receive up to 10 lakh taka seed funding, and workspace from Startup Bangladesh.

Startups who have worked with Toru include Sheba.xyz, iFarmer, ShopUp and 10MS.

More about Impactors

Urban Innovation Challenge

“Our cities, our solutions”- with this motto, UIC embarked on the journey to find urban entrepreneurs to reshape our cities with a smart solution. UIC throws 5 challenges which are healthcare, wash, renewable energy, climate change and low-cost urban housing. 5 teams are selected for incubation and each of them receive 5+ lakh taka seed funding. Hands-on training, access to partnerships. further funding opportunities- UIC has it all. The best thing about UIC is that it empowers startups to make our urban lives better. Besides commercial success, startups should also demonstrate societal impact, which UIC strives to achieve. UIC is powered by BRAC.

More about the Urban Innovation Challenge

Tiger Cage  

Are you one of those people who binge ‘Shark Tank’ and wishfully think of a Bangladeshi reality show about seed funding? If yes, you’ve got it. ‘Tiger Cage’-an incubator in the form of a reality show where real investors meet real entrepreneurs. Startups with demonstrable prototypes pitch their idea to angel investors. The judges of this show are the ‘Tigers’; when they are convinced, they can choose to invest in the businesses. Participants can get funding of as much as 2 crore taka.

Intelligence Machines Limited, the first startup featured on the pilot episode, have raised 2 crore taka of funding in exchange for 45% of ownership. Sounds cool, huh? Tiger Cage is an initiative of Startup Dhaka.

More about Tiger Cage

iDEA Accelerator

iDEA Accelerator was founded by ICT ministry of Bangladesh to foster the culture of entrepreneurship among innovators. Startups that are in both ideation or seed stage are eligible to apply for enlistment. A big cohort of early tech companies have received funding from this platform. It is commendable to see that our govt. is taking part in the revolution of the startup era.

More about iDEA Accelerator

The startup culture may have been romanticized by movies and tv shows, but it’s quite challenging in real life, to say the least. It takes a lot of dedication, failure and passion to see a dream flourish. Do check out these prominent platforms to get that leg up. Who knows, you may be building the next Pathao or 10 Minute School.