Bangladesh NutriStar: Nutrition Innovation Challenge launched its competition with the Dhaka roadshow
event at the Daffodil University on January 13th, 2020.
Mr. Syed Muntasir Ridwan, the national coordinator of SUN Business Network, gave the key-note
speech to outline the areas of innovation across the food system and ways of investing in food safety and
nutrition in Bangladesh. To attract more applications, more roadshow events will be conducted outside
Dhaka in cities like Chattagram, Khulna, Rangpur, and Jessore.
He said, “Poor diet is a major killer when it comes to maintenance of the wellbeing of consumers, through
commercially scalable solutions and innovations, this challenge can be easily solved with help created
from more awareness and nutrition programs.”
Bangladesh Nutristar is a competition to harness innovative solutions for improved nutrition by
connecting startups and businesses in emerging markets with technical assistance and investment
opportunities. The competition is organized as part of the global Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement
pitch competition taking part in 13 other countries across Asia and Africa, the SUN Business Network
Bangladesh co-convened by The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), World Food Programme
(WFP) and hosted by the Ministry of Industries are the implementing partners. LightCastle Partners is the
organizing partner of the competition while Daffodil International University is the academic partner of the
Dhaka Roadshow event.
The program also included a panel discussion on “Transforming Food Safety and Nutrition Security
through business innovation” moderated by Mr. Bijon Islam, CEO of LightCastle Partners. The panel
was comprised of Ms. Colleen Conner, Nutrition Officer of World Food Programme (WFP) – the world’s
largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security and nutrition; Mr.
Subrata Kumar Kundu, Co-founder & CEO of Bhalo Social Enterprise – an initiative that create access
to good products, services, and markets for people living in the hard-to-reach areas; Mr. Mustafizur
Khan, Partner of IDLC Venture Capital Fund-1, a BDT 45 crore (US$ 5milion) VC fund in Bangladesh;
and Mr. Zia Ashraf, Co-founder & COO of Chaldal.com – the largest e-commerce player in the country in
the grocery and consumer food space.
“There is a huge untapped market when it comes to nutritious food, which corporations and multinationals
can work towards. By making more collaborations and maintaining cooperation, it can be easily
captured.” said Ms. Colleen Conner.
“Agricultural side is slowly growing in popularity; however, it needs to be made more scalable and more
differentiated approaches need to be implemented. Differentiation, Value, and Consistency are factors
that need to be maintained by the popular and up-and-coming brands, to capture and grow in a more
sustainable way and build more trust with the consumers.” added Mr. Subrutu Kumar.
20 teams from food systems and agro space will be shortlisted from all the applications for incubation
boot camp in February. 10 finalist teams will receive tickets to investor night and final demo day in March
to win BDT 250 thousand grant money and a chance to visit the international SUN pitch competition finals
in Singapore in April.
The last date of application is January 31st, 2020.