Profiles of main tech parks, accelerators, hackathons

The Software Technology Park has been established at the Janata Tower that is situated at the heart of the capital city. A conducive business environment has been created there to smoothen operations of multinational companies. Some IT companies are now engaged in developing software for national and international purposes.

Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City has been set up in Kaliakoir, at the outskirts of the capital city. First of its kind in Bangladesh, this high-tech city has created job opportunities for about 70,000 people.

On the other hand, Sheikh Hasina Software Technology Park is located in the southwestern part of the country, Jessore, aiming to spread the benefits of ICT developments to the region. Software development, call centre services, freelancing and research and development works will be conducted at the park.

The Grameenphone Accelerator is a platform for digital startups to find a foothold in the ICT Industry and explore their ideas freely. Together with local company SD Asia, Grameenphone selects aspiring startups, mentors them and provides seed money to accelerate their businesses.

Hackathons are drawing attraction and popularity over the last several years; they are open to all and have an increasing number of followers. Different organisations are organising hackathons on various issues to extract innovative ideas and to find digital solutions for many problems. There is also a hackathon competition at a national level.

In 2016, Grameenphone held a Smart City Hackathon in association with Preneur Lab and White Board, with the aim to find digital solutions for many problems of Dhaka. Several groups took part in the 36-hour-long event and came up with solutions to some problems.

One of the most interesting hackathons was in 2017, when BRAC University students embarked with a revolutionary idea to save a Dhaka river from pollution, by attempting to create a genetically modified bacteria to eradicate the harmful heavy metals of the river water.

The idea was brainstormed by seven participating teams. The team with the best solution was awarded as the winner of the first ever ChemBio Hackathon in Bangladesh. Their computationally designed microorganism was acknowledged by the hackathon judges as the most feasible one among all comparable entries from the seven participating teams.

The National Hackathon for Women took place in 2018. The goal of this event was to help women and girls shape their dreams by converting their ideas into digital products like apps, websites and other online services.