Author Topic: Challenges in the ecosystem  (Read 1795 times)


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Challenges in the ecosystem
« on: July 11, 2019, 10:43:54 AM »
Challenges in the ecosystem

As with all new communities, the startup community of Bangladesh has quite a few challenges to deal with. The following among them stand out:

Lack of Innovation: There is a conspicuous lack of useful innovations as most startups tend to mimic successful foreign startups without taking into consideration the differences in market dynamics. There is a tendency to replicate successful ideas instead of culturing an innovator’s mindset.
Knowledge gap: The education system is not built on greater analytical process, multidisciplinary thinking and creative methods of problem solving. Furthermore, potential innovators often lack technical expertise, knowledge of product development and multidisciplinary business approach. Participants in many accelerator programs have also complained about how the programs suffer from a lack of proper organization, procedural inefficiency and a lack of variety in the activities they run.
Information gap: There exists a lack of access to information at market access levels and a lack of linkage between academia and industry. An absence of network immersion into the problems faced by communities and testing prototypes result in unrealistic innovations.
Infrastructure gap: There is an absence of an integrated support system stemming from the lack of incubation and coordination between stakeholders in the ecosystem. There are also bureaucratic difficulties that often hinder proper execution of plans and thus fail to achieve the goals of the startup.
Financial gap: There is no financial support for testing ideas (early stage grants) and negligible access to seed, angel, and other investment support.
Stakeholder gap: While many institution and organizations are keen on supporting social innovations, they often operate in silos.
Leadership and cultural gap: The lack of empathetic role models and a cultural mindset that leans heavily towards the conventional, risk-averse careers discourage youth to pursue social entrepreneurship.
Mindset gap: What is often forgotten is that innovation is not only about doing something different; it also has to be scalable to have an actual impact. Most startups fail primarily because of how they don’t pay enough attention to this crucial aspect and quickly run out of resources. Hence, a number of short-term solutions exist but tangible growth remains invisible.

How can you contribute to the ecosystem?
Being a part of the community as an entrepreneur means that your responsibility is to contribute to the growth of a robust ecosystem that will in turn benefit all. The idea is that the whole ecosystem is always more than the sum of its individual parts, and the stronger it is, the more everyone gains.

Entrepreneurs should also be educators to effect the sort of cultural change that creates change-makers, and for this, they themselves must possess an innovator’s mindset. In his book about the Innovator’s mindset, George Couros lays out 8 salient traits, including being empathetic and reflective, that are important to excel as educators and innovators.

As most high-achievers in universities aim to work at MNCs or high paying jobs, partnerships with universities can be formed to groom and attract young talents who can address this recruitment issue that most Bangladeshi startups face.