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Interview

US-BANGLADESH TECH INVESTMENTS

Silicon Valley in Santa Clara became the last stop for the BSEC Roadshow that traveled to four prominent cities in the USA showcasing the potential and strength of Bangladesh as an emerging destination for investment. COLORS Business’ Contributing Editor Rehnuma Karim Ph.D. caught up with Tina Jabeen, Managing Director and CEO of Startup Bangladesh Ltd., to know about her thoughts and takeaways on the event and its impact on Bangladesh.

Tina Jabeen. Photographer: Kazi Mukul.

For Tina Jabeen the BSEC Roadshow supercharged the Silicon Valley Tech NRBs and the diaspora. It was encouraging for her to see so many people have expressed interest to invest in Bangladeshi startups. For example, BD Advisors in Residence, USMAC, and angel NRB investors want to engage with relevant private and public agencies to invest in Bangladeshi startups in the form of money, technical knowledge, and in-kind and be part of building the ecosystem in the country. The Road Show in Silicon Valley was more geared towards exploring future possibilities in US-Bangladesh tech investments. She emphasized how the narrative of Digital Bangladesh has come to fruition, in millions of lives, in the form of tremendous digital penetration, MFS, Digital Education (NCTB), telemedicine, agro-tech, women empowerment, and e-commerce, etc. These platforms thus supported the startups that are playing a crucial role in the economic growth of our country. With enthusiasm, she added that the Silicon Valley NRB diaspora wants to contribute to building unstoppable Bangladesh – a leader in Asia, which rests solidly on innovation, technology, and social equity as outlined by Digital Bangladesh. She said, “Invoking such a sense of “need to give back to Bangladesh”, I believe is a huge gain which is driven by passion and a sense of responsibility as an NRB, besides the many, follow-ups for potential business engagements. And we must seize the moment and capitalize on the energy of our NRB community in Silicon Valley and globally. “

Tina Jabeen speaks at the US Roadshow conference

When asked to provide any suggestions for the future to make these types of international events more impactful, she mentioned how the BSEC Roadshow, as an overall attempt to promote Bangladesh and engage in dialogue with potential investors, was a strong start of an amazing journey. Tina Jabeen believes that these types of initiatives would attract a sizable amount of FDI into technology sectors and startups, women empowerment, and other strategic areas in Bangladesh. As future engagements, she proposed that we could consider showcasing startups, TedEx/roundtable dialogue with prospective investors. Additionally, she highlighted the need to incorporate the lens of impact investment, women empowerment, Ed-tech, and health-tech and bring in advocates – VC funds, MNCs, and others who have already invested in Bangladesh. She had no doubt that hearing the tremendous growth story of Bangladesh from existing investors can positively influence potential investors to explore Bangladesh as their next tech- manufacturing and startup destination.

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