From 28th September – 30th September 2021, Grameenphone Accelerator 3.0 powered by LightCastle Partners, BetterStories, and Upskill, three of Bangladesh’s leading ecosystem builders, conducted the first Regional Design Thinking Bootcamp. The Bootcamp was conducted over a span of 3 days with 25 of the best idea/early-stage startups from the Dhaka Region.
Through the Regional Design Thinking Bootcamps, GPA 3.0 aims to find the top 25 ideators or idea/early-stage startups from 5 regions across Bangladesh to validate their idea along with a unique proposition with 5 Online Design Thinking Bootcamps. The goal of the Bootcamps is to equip the participants with skills to take their concepts and turn them into MVPs/Prototypes in order to be able to go to market quickly and offer value back to communities. The consortium was also assisted by its outreach partner from Dhaka, Turtle Venture in organizing these sessions.
The first day of the boot camp focused on Design Thinking principles such as HCD, Customer Persona, Lean Startup Model – augmented by real-life case studies. In doing so, participants were able to grasp the core components of Design Thinking that were crucial to establishing before moving on to the more Real-World business models. Day 1 also featured a breakout session whereby participants were randomly split into 3 groups and had to discuss and experiment with three specific global/local cases to come up with prototype solutions. By the end of Day 1, participants were expected to come out with a creative thinking mindset; insights on how to identify latent needs of customers; and use hypothesis-driven innovation processes to develop a viable prototype. The sessions on the First Day of the Bootcamp were conducted by Bijon Islam, CEO, LightCastle Partners. The sessions were also attended by Farhana Islam, Head of Youth Programs at Grameenphone, and Sohel Rana, Lead Specialist for GP Accelerator at Grameenphone.
The sessions on Day 2 focused on more real-world applications. Armed with the knowledge of Design Thinking, participants were now taught about business models. During the first half of Day 2, participants were taught about Product Development and Business Model Canvas. This gave the participants a more immersive outlook on how products and business models are designed and developed in the real world. This was followed by a breakout group activity, where participants had to individually create, test, and develop a business model for a real global/local business. By the end of Day 2, participants were equipped with: insights into product development; an understanding of different types of business models; development, and test real-world business cases in preparation for their respective entrepreneurial journey. At the end of Day 2, the participants also took part in a session on the Art of Pitching, where they were taught the fundamentals of creating pitch decks for their businesses. The session on Product Development was conducted by Mustafizur Rahman Khan, Partner IDLC Venture Capital Fund I & CEO of Startup Dhaka. The session on Business Model Canvas was conducted by Minhaz Anwar, Chief Storyteller, BetterStories Ltd. Finally, The Art of Pitching session was conducted by Ivdad Ahmed Khan Mojlish, Co-Founder & Managing Director, LightCastle Partners.
On Day 3 of the Bootcamps, participants had to use the concepts they had learned over the past few days and apply them to their ideas to present a pitch deck to a panel of judges during a Pitch Session. The Panel of Judges for the Pitch Session consisted of:
The 3-day Bootcamps were attended by representatives from Grameenphone, LightCastle Partners, BetterStories Ltd, UpSkill, TurtleVenture, the Community Builders from the Dhaka region, and the participants.