By Bangladesh Angels Network (BAN)
Bangladesh AngelsNov 17, 2023
How to Scale a Mental Health Startup
Mainul Mondal is the Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Member of the Board of Directors of Ellipsis Health. As a skilled healthcare IT business leader, Mondal has deep experience in the technology, healthcare, pharmaceutical, retail and defense sectors. In 2020, he was selected as a Milestone Maker by the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center and he serves as a member of the World Economic Forum – working to improve the state of the world by engaging leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas. Previously, Mondal helped launch the ClearStreme initiative with the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University. Prior to founding Ellipsis Health, Mondal was a Rockefeller Fellow at the Public Health Institute. He has presented lectures, ran workshops, and has been a guest speaker at leading universities including Stanford University, the University of California, and the Indian Institutes of Technology.
Healthtech Scaling Lessons from America
Tahasin Alam is a VC-backed CTO and Co-Founder of Belong Health. He also has two major startup exits under his belt: one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States acquired his first startup, and his next startup went public in just 3.5 years - a testament to his strategic prowess and dedication to innovation. As an experienced entrepreneur with over 23 years in healthcare, Tahasin is skilled at building and scaling tech-enabled healthcare companies, with notable success as a founding team member or co-founder in the healthcare space. Startups that he has been a part of have received funding from top healthcare venture capital firms like Bain Capital Ventures, Maverick Ventures, and NEA, among others. This demonstrates the value he provides to the healthcare industry and the quality of his work. In addition to his entrepreneurial achievements, Tahasin possesses extensive domain expertise in health insurance and healthcare delivery. He has been instrumental in helping launch the modern primary care model and has been a driving force behind advancements in population health management. His expertise and experience in healthcare have made him a leading expert and a valuable resource in the ever-changing healthcare landscape. We heard from him on: - His personal background and how he came to be in this space - Going through his career, key health-tech companies he was a part of, experience building teams, products, businesses - Current role and the venture studio model for health - His approach to advisory work - His plans for Bangladesh and emerging markets
A Tech Leader's Lessons in Building Unicorns
IQ is an entrepreneur & technology leader, currently the Cofounder of Fenix, and previously CTO of Circ (acquired by Bird). He leads Engineering, Product, Data & Design teams, and has been advising startups in different stages and sectors (including mobility, e-commerce and fintech), with focus on tech architecture, processes and teams. He spent most of his early career in the Valley, working for VMware, Facebook and Illumio. He then moved to Dubai and built the in-house engineering team for Careem (the leading ride-hailing provider, and now a super-app, in the MENA region), scaling the tech team to 250+ engineers. He then went to Lyft in Munich, to lead the Autonomous Driving team working on AI/ML for AVs.IQ has several patents, and has participated in tech innovation and exponential business growth in multiple markets & verticals. He went to Stanford University for graduate school, where he got an MS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Computational Math.
We will hear from him on:
- His personal background and how he came to be in this space
- His work with Careem, experience building the team from scratch, key inflection points in the tech/business
- Taking an exit, building your own company, selling it
- His approach to angel investing/advisory work
- How Bangladesh & Pakistan tech entrepreneurs/ecosystems can work together
Principles in Early-Stage Investing: A Bangladeshi’s Perspective on Global Venture Capital
Tasnia Huque, she’s Principal at Javelin Venture Partners - a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage startups from a wide variety of industries like cloud, data, enterprise software, education, auto finance, retail, and digital media.At Javelin, Tasnia is focused on new deals and portfolios across the future of work and consumer internet. She also supports the Partners across several other categories, including proptech, fin-tech, B2B SaaS, and web3. She has also worked in technology and capital advisory, directly or peripherally, for over a decade.
Verishop: Unlocking the power of Independent Brands
Imran Khan is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Verishop, a social
commerce company with a mission to create a more joyful shopping experience for its
community. In addition, Imran is also the founder and CEO of Proem Asset
Management, an investment firm that focuses on the technology space.
Prior to co-founding Verishop, Imran served as Snap Inc.’s Chief Strategy Officer,
where he oversaw the company’s corporate strategy, revenue generation, business
operations, and partnerships. Under his leadership, Snap’s annual revenue run rate
increased to $1.6 billion from zero in less than four years.
Previously, Imran was a Managing Director and Head of Global Internet Investment
Banking at Credit Suisse where he advised on more than $45 billion worth of Internet
M& A and financing transactions. Before joining Credit Suisse, Imran held the role of
Managing Director and Head of Global Internet Research at JPMorgan Chase.
We will hear from him on:
- His personal background and journey to get to Verishop
- Experience in his roles as a financier, operator, and investor
- How he sources, onboard, and supports brands through Verishop
- The operating model behind a fully remote company
- Future of retail and e-commerce in America
- Advice for Bangladeshi founders
Pluto Card: Building the B2B Financial Ecosystem in MENA
Mohammed Ridwan and Nayeem Zen, co-founders of Pluto Card.
Mohammed Ridwan is the Co-founder, COO & Chief Product Officer. His core expertise is in go-to-market strategy development and building payment & artificial intelligence infrastructure software products. He has successfully led many strategies & execution of multiple software & payment products with large cross-functional teams of 30+ members. Ridwan will be sharing his expertise in go-to-market strategy development and building payment & artificial intelligence infrastructure software products.
Nayeem Husain Zen is the Co-founder, Chief Technology Officer of Pluto Technologies. He has served at various senior positions as a software engineer and technical leader at multinational technology companies such as Shopify, Square, and Uber. Nayeem also brings in a wealth of fintech experience, having been a core part of the early engineering team at Square’s Cash App - one of the largest consumer payment apps in the US. Nayeem will be sharing his expertise in technical design, strategy and architecture, product delivery, engineering leadership, and data security and compliance.
We will hear from them on:
- How the Pluto team built a product that meets customer needs through user research, rapid prototyping, and iterative design.
- Strategies for building partnerships with other companies, including approaches to identifying potential partners, negotiating deals, and managing ongoing relationships.
- The importance of customer experience and how Pluto built a trusted and valued brand that puts customers first
- What Pluto does to cultivate a culture of teamwork
- Their thoughts on driving innovation and growth in Bangladesh's fintech space
Kae Capital: A Conversation on the Early-Stage Investing Landscape
Sasha Mirchandani is Managing Director and Founder of Kae Capital and Co-founder of Mumbai Angels. Kae Capital is a pioneer of early-stage investing in India, focused on tech startups, and has been investing in India for 10+ years. Founded in 2012, and based out of Mumbai and Bengaluru, Kae is a sector-agnostic fund that invests in pre-seed to pre-series A stages. Kae has a portfolio enterprise valuation of $8.52 billion, having invested in over 79 startups, with a portfolio mix of B2B and B2C startups. Some of the marquee names are Tata 1mg (health tech), @Zetwerk (manufacturing tech), Porter (logistics tech), 1K (B2B retail tech), and Wysa (health tech).
Previously, Sasha was at BlueRun Ventures as Managing Director for the India operations. Before joining BlueRun Ventures he was CEO and Founder of Imercius Technologies. Earlier he was at Mirc Electronics (Onida) where he was Head of Corporate Affairs and new business. His investments include Inmobi, Healthkart,1Mg, Myntra, Porter and Fractal Analytics. Sasha sits on the Boards of Zee Entertainment, Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited, Nazara Technologies Limited, Healthkart and Mumbai Angels Venture Mentors among others. Previously he was on the Boards of Fractal Analytics, Myntra and Ador Welding.
Sasha completed his Business Administration from Strayer University and MMDP program at IIM, Ahmedabad. He is a Charter Member at TiE Mumbai and was inducted into their 2019 Hall of Fame as an Outstanding Angel Investor. He is also the Past President of the Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) Mumbai.
We will hear from him on:
- The early-stage investing landscape in India and how it has evolved
- The key factors that investors look for in a startup before making an investment
- How to build a successful startup in today's competitive market
- Common mistakes that startups make and how to avoid them
- The future of early-stage investing and the opportunities it presents
- His thoughts on Bangladesh’s Startup Ecosystem
Seedstars International Ventures: Pioneering Emerging Market VC
Patricia Sosrodjojo is General Partner at Seedstars International Ventures, an early-stage VC fund focused on emerging markets. The fund has invested in over 30 countries across Latam, Africa, MENA, CEE and Asia, backing ventures working to solve key societal challenges such as access to financial services, commerce, healthcare, and education. The fund is part of the Seedstars Group, founded in 2012 in Switzerland with a network covering over 90 countries.
Patricia has over 15 years of investing and management consulting experience across Asia Pacific and the U.S. Prior to joining Seedstars, she was a Venture Partner at AC Ventures, an early-stage VC in Indonesia, where she led portfolio management and value creation platform for the fund. Previously, Patricia was an Executive Director at Falcon House Partners, an Indonesian private equity fund, where she invested in high-growth companies in the consumer space. Earlier in her career, Patricia worked in the private equity arm of Lehman Brothers as well as global consulting firms such as Booz Allen Hamilton and L.E.K Consulting.
An advocate for greater diversity and inclusion in the investment sector, Patricia is active in the startup community and has been involved in initiatives on gender lens investing and impact investing. She holds a BA in Economics and International Relations from Tufts University and an M.A in Economic Development from The Fletcher School, Tufts University.
Sturgeon Capital: Powering the Digital Transition
Robin Butler is a Partner at Sturgeon Capital, a London-based VC investing in early-stage startups in nascent venture ecosystems.
Robin has spent the last 10 years living, working, and studying in emerging markets, including a degree in Arabic and Middle Eastern History, 9 months living in Iran learning Farsi, and the last five and a half years working for Sturgeon Capital in Central and South Asia. This somewhat eclectic, atypical background for a VC brings a different perspective on the opportunity set in the countries where Sturgeon invests, as well as a passion for delivering a positive impact through our portfolio investments.
Robin is responsible for the deal sourcing, due diligence, and investment side of the business at Sturgeon, spending two-thirds of his time traveling.
We will hear from him on:
-His role in accelerating the digital transition in emerging markets such as Bangladesh
-The future of digital transformation and its impact on businesses and society
-The role of venture capital in promoting digital transformation
-The cultural understanding of investment decision-making & his strategies for making successful early-stage investments
Paklaunch: Connecting Pakistani Talent Across the Globe
We in the Bangladesh ecosystem look at Pakistan's with a mixture of awe and wonder...how exactly have they been able to grow so much faster than ours, when we have comparable economies? Here's a chance to learn from one of their greatest connectors: Aly Fahd from Paklaunch.
Aly Fahd is the Founder of Paklaunch (PL), a global community of Pakistani entrepreneurs, professionals and investors. Paklaunch started as a single WhatsApp group on 29th April, 2020 by seven friends to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan and the larger MENAPT region.
The platform has since grown to 300K+ member strong, hosted three major tech conferences and 300+ events; and facilitated 80+ startups raising $80M+ in the last two years. They are now planning an UnConference in Dubai where top 50 Pakistani entrepreneurs, large family offices and Pakistan-based investors will be coming to Dubai for two days to meet global investors.
Aly Fahd is Head of Strategic Sourcing at a Bay Area Tech Startup. He has previously worked in Engineering, Product Management and Operations for tech companies such as Amazon and Juniper. He has an MBA from Cornell University, NY and MS Mechanical Engineering from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX.
We will hear from him on:
- Initial vision, strategy and evolving operating model of PKL
- 30000 ft view of the Pakistan ecosystem and its operating model, its similarities/differences compared to Bangladesh
- Key businesses/companies in the ecosystem
- How Bangladesh & Pakistan tech entrepreneurs can work together
Lessons from building a 1000+ Angel Syndicate
Jed Ng from Angel School joins us for the latest episode of SCALE. Jed is an Operator who builds tech businesses from the ground up. He built and ran the world's largest API marketplace in partnership with a16z-backed, RapidAPI. As an Angel, he has backed 2 startups from seed to Unicorn, and has an exit. Since 2020, he has built his own syndicate and is backed by a Super Network of 900+ LPs globally.
He founded AngelSchool.vc with the mission of helping Angel investors build their own investor networks and invest at $100k+ scale.
In this episode hear from him on:
- The initial vision and evolving operating model of AngelSchool.vc
- How to build an investment thesis, how to conduct due diligence, how to structure a syndicate, zero cost acquisition of LPs
- Vision for expansion into Asia
- How BAN members can be involved
Sharetrip: Building the Travel Economy of Bangladesh
Sadia Haque is the CEO and Co-Founder at ShareTrip, the country’s first and leading online travel platform that provides end to end travel solutions and experience.
Since its establishment, ShareTrip has served more than half a million travelers and onboarded over 5,000 agents onto its platform. It recently raised $500K from Startup Bangladesh Limited to fuel its international expansion, including another $4M from US-based VC Skycatcher earlier this year.
In this episode, we will hear from her on:
- How she transitioned from her corporate role into becoming a startup founder
- Advice for founders when fundraising across key stages
- How she manages her time, stakeholders and priorities as a founder, including as a women founder
- How can we foster a community of women entrepreneurs & investors in Bangladesh.
wagely: Financial Empowerment in Frontier Asia
Amrita Vir is the Head of Strategy & Business Expansion, and Acting Country Manager at wagely and Sanjida Tanny is Lead of Community, and Communications, PR at wagely. wagely is Asia's leading financial wellbeing platform providing earned-wage access fintech operating in Bangladesh and Indonesia. It recently raised $8.3 million in pre-Series A funding, led by East Ventures (Growth Fund), with participation from returning investors like Integra Partners, the Asian Development Fund, Global Founders Capital, Trihill Capital, Blauwpark Partners and 1982 Ventures. The raise will go towards fueling Wagely’s expansion in Bangladesh, where it recently launched, and build other features to become a “holistic financial wellness platform".
In this episode, we will hear from them on:
- the initial vision, the evolving operating model of wagely and the earned wage access product
- their thoughts on the Bangladesh ecosystem, especially as it compares to Indonesia
- Amrita's experience in investing as an angel
Secrets of Scaling in Consumer Tech
Amarjit Singh Batra is the Managing Director for Spotify India and joined the company in April 2018 to set up operations and build the business in the country.
Before Spotify, Amar founded OLX Group in India and was the country CEO for 9.5 years, where he led more than 500 team members across marketing, product, technology, analytics, customer support, and sales. His role was to create the market for C2C (consumer to consumer) trade in India, through buying and selling of pre-owned goods for anyone who had access to a mobile phone and internet in the country.
Prior to Spotify and OLX, Amar was with Baazee/eBay India, where he spent over 5 years, and he headed their B2B auctions, cross-border trade, category management, advertising sales & partnerships, and new business initiatives. Amar also did stints in B2B marketplaces and international trade during the first decade of his career before joining Baazee. Amar holds a Bachelors in Industrial Engineering and has an MBA from University Business School (UBS), Chandigarh.
In this episode, hear from Amarjit on the do's and don'ts from the perspective of consumer tech startups, building a playbook for scale, how he pioneered the consumer-to-consumer (C2C) classifieds business in India, building an organic marketing engine and more!
Merging Social Impact & Tech
Samira Khan has most recently worked at the intersection of social innovation/impact + tech at both Microsoft, where she was a Director on the AI & Sustainability Market Development team, and Salesforce. While at Salesforce, she was involved in piloting a program with the WEF COVID Response Alliance for Social Entrepreneurs. Samira has worked across corporations, governments, and the social sector for over fifteen years on innovative solutions to solving some of society’s greatest challenges. She is especially interested in business model innovations for good. Her work spans the Americas, the Middle East, and Asia. She is a former strategy / management consultant; and while at A.T. Kearney in Southeast Asia, she played a lead role in starting and building its social impact organization. She is also passionate about topics related to gender and youth empowerment toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
We will hear from her on:
👉What are leading trends in impact measurement with technology
👉Mistakes companies make in measuring their impact
👉How can big corporates work with startups across various stages
👉Her angel investing thesis
👉How can we foster a community of women business angels, especially in emerging markets such as Bangladesh
The Power of PR in the Changing Media Landscape
Umaila Akhter is the Founder & CEO of Turn Up PR, Producer at The Turn Up Network and Turn Up Studio. She is a Public Relations and Communication Professional with over 12 years of experience in PR, Brand Communications and Advertising. Her passion lies around helping purpose-driven brands/ new products/startups/ curating go-to-market strategies to bring big ideas to life.
Turn Up is an unapologetic spin on publicity curation: a PR firm with a focus on collaboration, coverage of untold stories & creative voices. It integrates various tools that extend beyond the traditional media for publicity curation. It aims to promulgate success stories of Bangladesh, particularly about businesses that are based in the outskirts of the cities or abroad, globally.
In this episode, we will hear from Umaila on:
👉🏽 Dissolving the lines between PR and marketing
👉🏽 PR for startups to large corporations, and trends you've seen
👉🏽 Evolution of the media and influencer environment
👉🏽 How is technology evolving in the communication sector
👉🏽 Her advice for founders
Lunchbox: Taking Back Control for Restaurants
Lunchbox is a collection of powerful digital ordering platforms for restaurants, built by restauranteurs. It creates white-label apps, web ordering, and in-restaurant kiosk systems, and more as parts of its modern and creative online ordering solutions for enterprise restaurant chains and ghost kitchens. Earlier this year, the company announced the closing of its $50 million Series B funding round led by Coatue Management with participation from existing investors Primary Venture Partners and 645 Ventures as well as executives from DoorDash, Sweetgreen, and &pizza.
Nabeel Alamgir is the CEO and Co-Founder at Lunchbox.
Hear from Nabeel on:
👉How he came to found the company
👉Idea testing in the beginning and gaining initial traction
👉How Lunchbox raised its first funds and support from its early investors
👉The story / metrics you have to focus on during pre-seed, seed, series A and B
👉How he builds and stokes a culture within the organization
Sketchnote Partners Fund: Backing First-Class Entrepreneurs in Asia
Julio Arias is Co-founder at Sketchnote & Managing Director at Sketchnote Partners. He is an expert in Asian markets where he lived for over 20 years, first as a Beijing-based management consultant for clients such as eBay and PayPal, then as an analyst and diplomat for the EU in China, Belgium, Indonesia, and Japan. Julio is a prolific angel investor and advisor to 50+ startups. He's an early member of Angel Investment Network Indonesia, Partner at Cupido Capital and Chairman of Trevol Labs. Julio received an MSc from the LSE and a BA from Durham University, and a scholar at the EU-China Young Managers Training Program in Beijing.
Sketchnote Partners Fund is focused on enabling and empowering entrepreneurs through an all-in-one learning, productivity, and collaboration platform. Sketchnote aims to facilitate access to finance to first-time entrepreneurs. In this podcast, we will hear from Julio on:
👉🏽 Sketchnote's screening/due diligence process and portfolio companies
👉🏽 Approach towards the Indian and SE Asian ecosystems, and how Bangladesh compares
👉🏽 Thoughts on the Bangladesh tech ecosystem and the opportunities here
Super Capital VC: Bridging France and Asia
In this episode we have with us Francisque Lebrunie, Venture Partner at Super Capital. Entrepreneur and investor, Francisque has over 15 years of experience in running e-commerce companies. He founded Chemise-Homme.com in 2004 and sold it in 2017. Based in India for several years, Francisque is the venture partner of Super Capital, one of the largest communities of business angels in France. He is in charge of the local sourcing and the relationship with the acceleration structures. Hear from Francisque about the initial vision of Super Capital, its due diligence and syndication process, portfolio companies, its approach towards the Indian ecosystem, and investing in South Asian opportunities, including in Bangladesh.
Promoting The Startup Ecosystem in Bangladesh: The DACH Connection
Catch Hannes Kirchhoff from SOLshare, Julian Weber from SELISE and Zahin Razeen from Hydroquo+ in the third episode of The Bridge, where they talk about:
- Bangladesh's startup ecosystem and leveraging the DACH connection to create stronger regional corporations and accelerate the startup ecosystem in Bangladesh
- the areas of work of each of their respective companies
- building the local talent pipeline and leveraging Bangladeshi talent
The Bangladesh-German Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BGCCI) is a trusted name among German and Bangladeshi businesses. Since its inception, BGCCI has been working as a catalyst for accelerating economic growth for both the partner countries. Being an independent, member-driven bilateral trade organization, BGCCI is known for its vast network at home and abroad.
About the Bridge:
In this podcast series, we highlight stories of Bangladeshi diaspora entrepreneurship around the world, bringing lessons and perspectives from such entrepreneurs back to Bangladesh and vice versa.
Epic Angels: Democratizing Angel Investing
Epic Angels is a network of female executives and operators who have built and expanded companies in all parts of the world. Based in Singapore, it's on track to become the largest female-only angel network in Asia.
Its focus is early-stage startups in Asia across all verticals. It invests in pre-seed, seed, and Series A rounds. As a strong advocate of female leadership, it prefers having at least one woman in the executive team of its pipeline companies.
About the speaker:
Maaike Doyer is an entrepreneur, educator, and design strategist with a twisted love for numbers. She studied math, had a career in M&A, and in the past decade, she led a global design firm as the CFO / COO. She personally brought the company from Europe to the US where she founded and scaled their offices in San Francisco and New York. Her company produced the famous business model canvas book, Business Model Generation. She has supported hundreds of organizations of all sizes, all industries, and all geographies with their business model strategy.
In the end of 2020 she moved to Singapore to learn more about the Asian culture, and launched Epic Angels within a short period of time.
Investing in Women: Closing the Gender Gap in Southeast Asia
Marie Torres is the Senior Partnerships Manager at Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government, which catalyses inclusive economic growth through women’s economic empowerment in South East Asia. Established in 2016, Investing in Women tackles one of the most critical social and economic issues of our time: gender inequality.
Marie Torres is a highly skilled Program Lead working 20 years at the intersection of finance and international development. She oversees a portfolio of investment firms and contributes to IW’s learning agenda on blended finance and gender lens investing to accelerate women’s economic empowerment. Prior to IW, she was an Assistant Manager of ICCO Foundation’s (now CordAid) Global Guarantee Fund. Working across Southeast Asia, she led ICCO’s Financial Services Program that delivered grants and investments for small to medium enterprises and cooperatives. In the Philippines, Marie served as a Program Manager at the Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc. where she grew their Development investments portfolio by 3x. Marie holds an MBA from Ateneo Graduate School of Business and a BA from the University of the Philippines. She also has a Diploma in Corporate Finance, Certificate in Environmental Management Accounting, and completing her MA in Women and Development. She is passionate about entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and gender equality.
We will hear from Marie on the work and model of IWA, why angel investors and early-stage VCs should think about applying a gender lens to their investment approach, lessons for the nascent ecosystem in Bangladesh, and how we can get more women investors involved in the ecosystem.
FiBAN: Nordic Angel Investing
In this episode we have with us, Reima Linnanvirta, Chair of the Board at the Finnish Business Angels Network (FiBAN). Structured as a non-profit association of private investors on a mission to inspire private investments, the network is one of the largest and most active business angel networks in the world with over 650+ approved members. Its three main activities consist of matchmaking of startups and investors, sharing of best practices, and representing the interest of private investors.
Hear from Reima on the model and focus of FiBAN, its due diligence and syndication process, portfolio companies, and its training program for current and aspiring business angels.
Value for Women: Accelerating Gender Smart Investing
Value For Women Ltd. offers holistic and tailored advisory support with a gender lens to a diverse set of organizations, investors, and SGBs (Small and Growing businesses).
Increasingly, studies indicate that gender inclusion is not only the right thing to do in terms of promoting gender equality but also a key strategy for improving business performance, efficiency, and productivity. In this session, we will hear from Rebecca about the work and model of Value for Women, the four types of gender smart investing, gender forward businesses and lessons for Bangladesh.
As Chief Executive Officer and Founding Director of Value for Women, Rebecca has spearheaded the growth of the organization into a globally-recognized leader in gender-inclusive business practice. With over 20 years of global expertise, Rebecca leads Value for Women in its efforts to design innovation for gender inclusion with investors, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), banks, financial institutions, development organizations and corporate foundations.
Under Rebecca’s leadership, the Value for Women team works globally in a collaborative, multidisciplinary manner, applying practical, hands-on approaches to solve business and investment challenges with a gender and inclusion lens. This involves the delivery of advisory services, and the design of research, training and communications.
Rebecca has also authored and led sector-changing research on the intersection of gender, investment, entrepreneurship and economic development across sectors such as Sustainable Energy, Finance, Agriculture and Entrepreneurship. Rebecca is frequently invited to speak as an industry expert in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
Finprojections: Startup Finance Made Easier | the BRIDGE | Sadaf Sultan
With 10+ years of experience as an investment banker and investor, Sadaf Sultan has worked at the bleeding edge of venture capital and private equity globally. Based in Singapore, he is currently leading a financial advisory firm focused on startup founders and investors called Finprojections. An INSEAD alumnus, Sadaf Sultan has honed his experience in world-renowned organizations such as Goldman Sachs and IFC. He is also a mentor at 500 Startups. Finprojections is a financial advisory firm focused on providing high-impact tailored solutions to the startup ecosystem. The firm currently provides financial modeling and virtual CFO services to startups and transaction diligence services to startup investors.
Hear from Sadaf Sultan about Finprojections, how it was founded, the virtual CFO movement, and how FinProjections helps founders navigate the world of fundraising.
Constructing Sustainably Diverse Portfolios By Backing Underrepresented Founders
In this episode, we will hear from Vera Elizabeth Baker, Venture Partner at Jua Fund, about the Jua Fund, her experience as an angel investor with the Atomico Angel Programme, diversity in the European tech ecosystem and lessons for emerging markets such as Bangladesh, barriers that underrepresented founders face in attracting investments, and why it's important to invest in/support more such ventures.
Vera Elizabeth Baker is a Paris-based Venture Partner at Jua Fund. Jua Fund is an early-stage, Pan-African fund that invests capital and community into exceptional founders. She invests in European startups as an Angel Investor for Atomico in the areas of sustainable solutions, future of food, future of work and broadening access to care.
She has also built a global community of women of color (and allies) via For Colored Girls Who Tech, a curated weekly newsletter highlighting entrepreneurship and venture capital in the tech ecosystem.
Roots of Impact: Scaling Impact Ecosystems
Maxime Cheng is the Lead Market and Capacity Building Programs at Roots of Impact, an Impact Linked Finance advisory firm based in Germany. She is also the programme manager of the impact investing eco-system building programme Biniyog Briddhi in Bangladesh, working with the Embassy of Switzerland and LightCastle Partners to address both supply and demand side of the Bangladeshi Impact Investing pipeline.
Throughout her 10+ years of experience working in the sector of impact entrepreneurship, she gathers expertise in impact measurement and is a skilled translator of the subject to both impact entrepreneurs and investors and facilitated over 10 Impact Linked Finance transactions globally as of today.
In this episode, Maxime talks about Roots of Impact, impact linked finance in the Bangladeshi context, the Biniyog Briddhi program in Bangladesh, challenges Bangladeshi entrepreneurs face in raising institutional impact funds, and more!
Alma Angels: Supercharging Female Angels & Female Entrepreneurs
Deepali is an advisor to female founders and an angel investor with a keen interest in digital health, femtech, and sustainability. Deepali invests in female founders/mixed teams and some of her investments include LiveBetterWith, PensionBee, Polipop, Parla, PLANERA, Kama Labs, Sano Genetics, Shellworks, SideQuest, JunoBio, FLOWN, Okko and yhangry.
She is also a co-founder at Alma Angels (www.alma-angels.com), set-up to democratize and demystify angel investing and create more female angel investors that invest in female founders. She is also an Atomico Angel and a Venture Partner at Speedinvest (where she focuses on female founders). Deepali is the UK Business Angels Association's Angel Investor of the Year.
In this episode, we will hear from her about Alma Angels, supporting early-stage tech founders with the right tools, barriers that female founding teams face in attracting investments, investing in early-stage tech startups and more!
Episode 4 | HoriZen Capital: A Saas Operators Syndicate
Akeel Jabber is the Investment Director and GP at Horizen Capital, a leading SaaS operations group consisting of Marketing and Finance experts who specialize in growth marketing and Mergers & Acquisitions. They are focused on partnering up with hand-picked B2B SaaS companies with the aim of helping founders maximize company growth with the help of their data-driven approach. In addition, through the help of their global network of investors and strategic acquirers, they also help companies raise funds or undertake M&A processes. The 4 core values of Horizen Capital are Integrity, Autonomy, Commitment, and Personal Development, and their entire team strives towards living up to these values by continuously seeking partners who share them.
Akeel is a growth marketing expert who also specializes in business operations. He started his career as an engineer before entering the world of digital marketing. He then took on the role of CEO at 2 different digital marketing firms - $99 Social and Increase Visibility Inc. Before joining HoriZen Capital, Akeel was a partner and operations director at Wire Investors, a private equity firm specializing in digital asset acquisitions.
Accelerating Asia - Catalyzing High Growth Founders
Amra is the Co-Founder of Accelerating Asia and General Partner at Accelerating Asia Ventures, an award-winning startup accelerator that scouts and propels the best founders in the region and provides pre-Series A startups with the resources and investment to scale their growth.
She is the Southeast Asia Lead for Impact Capital and Outgoing Curator for the Global Shapers Singapore Hub, an initiative of the World Economic Forum and is the host and creator of the Doing Good Podcast. She has been interviewed and featured as a guest author on industry blogs, including The Straits Times, Techcrunch, Reuters, is a regular guest on 938Now’s national radio show and named as one of Harpers Bazaar’s Women Who Inspire Others. Amra regularly speaks about the intersection of business and impact, including at global events such as Money 20/20 (Singapore), Singularity University Impact Challenge (Poland) and the Asia Corporate Sustainability Summit (Philippines).
Potential of Deeptech in Europe | the Bridge
Munawar Hafiz is the founder and CEO of OpenRefactory, Inc., an application security company that intends to improve the way developers write secure, reliable, and compliant code. Recently AISI, in partnership with BAN, has led a pre-seed investment into OpenRefactory, which is serving clients around the world, from its bases in both US and Bangladesh. In this episode, Munawar will discuss the possibilities of deeptech in Europe.
Education Innovation Before and After Covid
Deborah Quazzo is the Managing Partner at GSV Ventures. GSV Ventures is a venture fund investing in education and workforce skills technologies that are disrupting the $7 Trillion sector and named to Insider’s inaugural list of top 100 seed investors. In addition, Deborah is the Co-founder of the ASU+GSV Summit. Now in its 13th year, the ASU+GSV Summit celebrates innovations and innovators across the global “preK to Gray” learning and talent landscape and attracts over 5,500 attendees. Hear from Deborah on the history of GSV and the ASU+GSV summit, how has GSV's investment thesis or process changed as a result of the pandemic, GSV's investment strategy when investing into emerging markets such as India and Indonesia, de-risking investments, and more.
Building Out a Cross-Border Women's Network in the SEA Region
With 9 years of experience across Ed-tech, Food-tech, Beauty-tech, Media-tech, and Healthcare tech, Deeksha wears many hats as an entrepreneur, consultant, investor, collaborator. She is committed to enabling growth in the startup ecosystem through diversity and sustainability as the driving force behind her work.
Encubay is a diversity-focused startup network that is creating a connected and inclusive ecosystem for female founders. Encubay Angel Network , one of the initiatives under Encubay's banner, aims to unlock the huge potential of funds that rest with women & men who are keen to invest in diverse founders.
Founded in 2020, Encubay was launched in collaboration with GreenHouse Capital Africa that aims at bringing up the percentage of women in the startup ecosystem from the current 14% which is dismal.
In her journey with Encubay, Deeksha also realized that there was a lack of funding that was making its way into the hands of early-stage startups founded by women. It was hypothesized that part of the reason was a lack of female angel investors in India. After some women reached out and expressed their interest in investing in diverse startups, the idea for the Encubay Angel Network was born.
The angel network aims to create a collective of women who want to invest in women-led startups, thereby increasing the funding that is being provided to diverse startups. The network was founded in partnership with Deeksha’s co-founder at Encubay - Eashita Maheshwary, and three other accomplished women investors and founders - Ankita Vashistha, Jayaroopa Jeyabarathi and Anisha Patnaik.
They facilitated their first angel investment in Ready Set Jet - a beauty and social-impact lead company founded by Shalini Vadhera. The investment was done from some of the top women in the country who were partners at the largest VC funds. The Network is also preparing to announce their second investment and they aim to also provide access to smart capital to any startup that they invest in through the networks that were built at Encubay.
In this episode, Deeksha talks about the investing strategy & process of Encubay, cross border pollination, collaboration, and co-investments in the region, gender lens investing in SEA, among other things.
Saison Capital: Building the Japanese-SEA VC Bridge
Visa Kannan is a Partner at Saison Capital, a single LP fund backed by Credit Saison Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. that invests in Pre-Seed to Series B companies globally, but with a focus on South East Asia and India. Investing across all verticals, including but not limited to SaaS, marketplaces, fintech, Saison Capital has a deep fondness for embedded finance – non-fintech companies and industry leaders that are looking to build fintech arms within their ecosystems.
Visa comes with a wealth of experience in the startup space, having previously held leadership roles at 2 unicorns - Grofers and Lazada. She also has a background in consulting and law. In this episode, Visa talks about Saison Capital, its investment thesis, Saison's portfolio companies in Pakistan and India, scaling startups, and more!
Sleek: Digitizing the Cross-Border Office
Adrien Barthel is a co-founder of Sleek - Asia's leading corporate services platform with more than 5,000 SMEs under management in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia.
Prior to this role, Adrien spent six years in the eCommerce space as CMO with Luxola expanding in Southeast Asia (Sold to the LVMH Group in 2015) and with the Carrefour Groupe as their Head of eCommerce in Indonesia. Adrien is also an active angel investor in Southeast Asia.
Hear from Adrien on how he built Sleek, attaining product-market fit, and Sleek's fundraising strategy which has resulted in $9M raised to date.
37Angels: The Untapped Potential of Women Investors
Hear from Angela Lee, Founder of 37 Angels, about the story behind 37 Angels, its initiatives, guiding principles in due diligence, her approach to value creation in getting companies from Seed to Series A, and more. 37 Angels, based out of New York, is one of the leading communities of women investors committed to funding early stage startups.
Angela Lee is an award-winning professor and former Chief Innovation Officer at Columbia Business School where she teaches venture capital and leadership courses. Angela started her career in product management and then moved to consulting at McKinsey & Company. She has started 4 startups and is also the founder of 37 Angels, an investing network that has evaluated over 15000 startups, invested in 70+, and activates new investors through a startup investment bootcamp. She also serves as a venture partner at Fresco Capital, an early-stage venture fund that focuses on the future of work, digital health, and sustainability.
Angela has spoken at the White House and NASA and is an expert in teaching online and making learning scalable. She is a sought-after expert on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, MSNBC and Fox Business. She was recognized by Inc. as one of 17 Inspiring Women to Watch, by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of 6 Innovative Women to Watch, and by Crain’s as a Notable Women in Tech. In 2020, she was awarded the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence at Columbia Business School.
Backing Early Stage Frontier Market Companies | Women Startup Leaders Series
Eugenia Shevchenko is an Acceleration & Growth Programs Manager at Seedstars. Seedstars is a global venture capital fund, investing in early-stage tech startups in emerging markets, with over 50 portfolio companies. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, it operates across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Central-Eastern Europe, and Asia, with an aim to support changemakers who are passionate about making a difference in emerging and frontier markets through entrepreneurship and technology.
Hear from her on Seedstars' curated programs, service accelerator, and portfolio, creating pathways for exits and follow-on funding, her experience as a female entrepreneur and ecosystem builder, and how they can be better supported,
Building & Supporting Women in Startups with BWIT | Women Startup Leaders Series
In the ninth episode of the Women Startup Leaders Series, we have Lafifa Jamal (President @ BWIT), Rezwana Khan (CEO of Star Computer Systems Limited and Secretary General @ BWIT), and Tawhida Shiropa (Founder & CEO @ Moner Bondhu) speaking on the bottlenecks and challenges for women in building startups, moving beyond SME-type models, and how we can get more female investors and mentors involved in the Bangladeshi ecosystem. This is an exclusive episode in collaboration with the Bangladesh Women In Technology (BWIT), which is dedicated to mobilizing women involved in different levels of the technology industry in Bangladesh and creating a wide range of professional development and networking opportunities for them.
Classplus: South Asia's Emerging Edtech Company | SCALE
Welcome to the second episode of SCALE by Bangladesh Angels. In this podcast series, we talk to entrepreneurs and investors who built and invested in businesses that have gone on to raise or generate revenues of millions of dollars, employ hundreds or more employees and serve millions of users in order to unlock the secrets of scaling a company
In the second episode of SCALE, we have Mukul Rustagi, Co-founder and CEO of Classplus, where he engages in a fireside chat with the BAN community and a host of other edtech founders from the Bangladeshi ecosystem on how Classplus has been able to raise $85 million on their way to becoming South Asia's emerging edtech company
Classplus is a #SaaS platform that enables private coaching institutes to streamline their video distribution, payments, communication, and online assessments through a single platform. It is currently backed by global venture capitalists, serial entrepreneur-investors, and giant tech companies, such as RTP Global — a prolific investor in early-stage startups, Tiger Global Management , GSV Ventures, FALCON EDGE CAPITAL, LP, Times Internet, Blume Ventures, Sequoia Capital Surge, Spiral Ventures Pte. Ltd. and STRIVE.
FastScaling: The Growth Handbook for Founder and Investors | SCALE
Welcome to the first episode of SCALE by Bangladesh Angels. In this podcast series, we talk to entrepreneurs and investors who built and invested in businesses that have gone on to raise or generate revenues of millions of dollars, employ hundreds or more employees and serve millions of users in order to unlock the secrets of scaling a company
Patrick Flesner is a growth capital investor and a partner at the investment firm LeadX Capital Partners. Each year, he looks at hundreds of tech companies that want to raise capital in order to accelerate growth. He sees patterns in companies that fail and companies that succeed. His respective growth expertise and his knowledge deriving from more than 16 years in Private Equity and Venture Capital have gone into his latest book, FastScaling.
Prior to joining LeadX Capital Partners where he built one of the largest European portfolios of B2B tech companies active in consumer industries, Patrick Flesner was a lawyer and partner at reputable German business law firms. His articles on Venture Capital and M&A have been published by renowned magazines like the MIT Sloan Management Review and the Global Corporate Venturing Magazine.
Investing in High-Impact SMEs in Bangladesh
Sharawwat Islam has been leading the Truvalu Bangladesh team for the last 3 years. With more than 15 years of work experience in well-known investment banks and banks in Bangladesh, Sharawwat joined Truvalu in 2018 from her passion to work with impact investments. She is responsible for the overall country operations of Truvalu Bangladesh and also represents Truvalu in the Boards of investee companies.
In the latest episode of our Women Startup Leaders series, she outlines her career and her experience in managing an international investment firm in Bangladesh, and the growth potential of key sectors such as agritech.
Strategic Branding & PR as a Competitive Advantage
Naushaba Salahuddin is the Director, Head of PR & Communications at Zilingo - the largest B2B e-commerce ecosystem in Southeast Asia and South Asia, having raised over $308 million in funding to date.
She is a Communications Specialist and has worked across a spectrum of companies ranging from multinationals to startups. With experience spanning international markets and sectors including development, finance, technology, retail, and travel, her highly adaptable nature coupled with a strong understanding of global markets, make her an ideal leader with the foresight to predict industry trends and devise communication strategies.
In this episode with the BAN community, Naushaba shares her experience in building a career on how to leverage strategic branding and PR as a competitive advantage.
Building a Career in Impact Enterprise
Nitida Wongthipkongka is passionate about social impact and improving the quality of lives around the world. She is currently a Venture Director at Rippleworks, a foundation focused on helping high-impact ventures scale. She works with CEOs, investors, and other partners to help ventures tackle their current challenges to enable them to expand their impact and scale. Prior to Rippleworks, Nitida developed and supported social ventures with SC Johnson, Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), and with other non-profit organizations in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. She also has deep private sector experience through her roles at Boston Consulting Group, Novartis, Kraft Foods, and ExxonMobil.
In this fireside with the BAN community, Nitida shares her experience in building a career in the impact industry and how to retain and manage talent in impact enterprises.
From the Corporate World to Angel Investing
Sayma Rahman is an active startup mentor, investor, and advisor, with companies such as Thrive Edtech and Jobike under her portfolio. An INSEAD and North South University alumna, Sayma has held several positions of leadership across top organizations in Bangladesh. Her expertise and experience across digitalization, partnerships, retail modernization, product development, projects, intrapreneurship & angel investing make her an asset to any startup founder.
Hear from her on her journey, as a third culture kid growing up in the Middle East, to coming back to Bangladesh and helping to set up partnerships with major international tech companies and startups for the largest telco in Bangladesh. She also details how she has applied her lessons and skills from the corporate world to advising and investing in startups. Finally, she shares tips on personal finance and angel investing for other corporate executives looking to explore this asset class.
BA Women Presents: Fostering Women in IT
Rezwana Khan is the CEO of Star Computer Systems, a technology company working on enterprise application solutions, development & implementation, high skilled tech resource development, managed service and cyber security.
Educated in Computer Science, Software Engineering and in Advanced Management Programme, Ms. Khan started working with her company and has been doing Professional Consultancy for leveraging ICT to support different industry & Government. Her expertise include strategic planning & growth, technology upgrade, team building and change management.
In addition to these roles, she's also an active angel investor and serves as the Secretary General for Bangladesh Women in Technology (BWIT).
• Advisor & Investor of Digitong, is a technology startup that aims to create value for micro-retailers by building state-of-the-art prefab kiosks, and digital systems (Point of Sales, Inventory Management, WIFI, Surveillance, Charging Station etc.).
• Investor of Handymama, is the 1st and Largest Web & Mobile based Standardized On-demand Household and Office Maintenance Services Platform of Bangladesh, launched in 2015 in Dhaka to help people live a BETTER, SMARTER and HAPPIER life.
• Investor of Dreamerz Lab Ltd, is a startup company offers services on mobile application development, web development, e-commerce, augmented reality based app, virtual reality based simulations & game development.
Praava Health: Building a Consumer First Healthcare Company
Ms. Sylvana Q. Sinha, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Praava Health, is a Bangladeshi-American lawyer and entrepreneur. Ms. Sinha built Praava Health from scratch after experiencing the challenges facing the Bangladeshi health system first-hand. Praava’s “brick-and-click” healthcare platform integrates digital health and in-clinic experiences convenient to where everyone lives, works, and clicks. Tripling growth every year since launching in 2018, Praava’s tech-forward model is designed to be efficient, accessible, and scalable across emerging markets, where 85 percent of the world live. In 2020, Praava was recognized by Fast Company as a World Changing Idea. Praava Health is a patient-driven company disrupting the standard for healthcare for Bangladesh’s 170 million citizens. Ms. Sinha is Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a graduate of Columbia Law School, Harvard's Kennedy School, and Wellesley College.
Investing in Growth Stage Asian Startups
In this episode, Karen Contet, co-founder of WHub.io - Hong Kong's biggest startup community and power connector, and co-founder & CEO of AngelHub, dives into investing in growth-stage tech companies scaling or established in Asia. Karen is also the founding board member of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong. Immersed in the startup scene, she is a French Foreign Trade Advisor, Community Leader for Techstars, Accelerator Programs Mentor, International Conference Speaker (InspireFest2018 in Dublin, JS conference in Singapore, Vivatech in France, RISE in Hong Kong), FrenchTech Ambassador, and WomenWhoCodeHK Founder.
Legal Aspects of Startup Investing
Bangladesh Angels is the nation’s first and angel investment network created with a mission to nurture innovation & entrepreneurship in Bangladesh by connecting innovative startups to both local & global investors. In this episode, Anita Ghazi Rahman, who has been a constant mentor to the burgeoning Bangladeshi startup ecosystem since its inception, will walk us through the legal aspects of startup investing.