To motivate women in digital technology the event titled “Digital Innovation Challenge for Women 2023" has kicked off on Tuesday (Mar 14) at KIB centre, Dhaka.
The fourth edition of the program has organised by Women in Digital, women lead organization in collaboration with The World Bank & UNDP Accelerator Lab. The first edition of the challenge was held in 2021. This technology-based contest for women has initiated with the objective to inspire women in tech innovation so that they became confident and encouraged towards technology.
The inauguration ceremony was held at 10:00 am in KIB Complex - Krishibid Institute Bangladesh.
Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury, MP, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Education, Bangladesh was present at the session as chief guest while Sayma Rahman, Founder, and CEO at SR Ventures & Consultancy, Suraiya Zannath, Lead Financial Management Specialist for the Governance Global Practice, The World Bank, Towhid Hossain, Secretary General, BACCO, Dr. Fahreen Hannan, Founder of Dhaka Cast; ANM Fakrul Amin Forhad, Founder of Actionist Foundation were present the session as special guest and Sabah Moyeen, Senior Social Development Specialist, The World Bank, M M Zimran Khan, Head of Exploration, UNDP Bangladesh Accelerator Lab were present the session as a guest of honour.
While addressing the audience Sabah Moyeen said, "The contestant must realize the gravity of the movement and I am enthusiastically waiting to enjoy the challenge that participants are going to solve through innovation. She also shared her thought and emphasis on cyber safety.
M M Zimran Khan who works with Women in Digital for 3 years said, "Technology is moving fast, and to match with it we have to get out of our comfort zone".
Debanjana Saha, Winner, The National Women Hackathon 2017 gave an inspirational speech. She shared her previous journey experiences. She said, "Girls be focused on the competition, it will be a lifetime experience ".
Suraiya Zannath said in her speech that "Women are our strength, our treasure, and our pride." She has urged female participants to work hard in this field and reduce the gender gap.
Registration will be open till March 31, 2023. All over Bangladesh, more than 60 participants are taking part in this contest. They already received an overwhelming 20+ projects from more than 16 universities all around the country and hoping for more than 50 projects after the registration.
The shortlisted projects will go through a series of grooming sessions over a span of one month. With consequent presentation and elimination method, the contest winner will be determined. A panel of mentors will guide the shortlisted contestants to polish their budding ideas.
Teams can only have up to 10% male participants to qualify as a team pushing the female contestants to take the challenge.
Achia Khaleda Nila, Founder, of Women in Digital conducted an interactive dialoguing session it the participants to break the ice and fuel their motivation for the upcoming month-long competition. Sharing her experience with the participants she mentioned how she always had a tough time with the assigned mentors.
In this contest she thus allowed the contestant to choose the mentors according to their needs. Mentors from different sectors of the industry will be available throughout the contest to help them to turn their ideas into sustainable products. Participants will present their innovative ideas in front of the mentors and judges.
The mentors and judges will select some good projects for the next round. The final selection will be made based on four criteria- innovation, impact, scalability, and readiness of the project.
In his speech as chief of the inauguration ceremony MP Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury said: "I am very happy to see the women participants here and feeling of enthusiastic for the contest. Such initiative helps us to encourage more women in technology and support us to move forward and remove discriminatory thoughts from the curriculum. We are working to replace the home science as a subject with the addition of other science education so that our girls can get more opportunity to learn technology at the school level."
The contest will end with the award-giving ceremony on May 14, 2023. The top three teams will win a total of Tk 1,75,000. Besides, they will be provided with a product development facility. The winners will also get assistance to protect their ideas through copyright.
Woman in Digital was founded in 2013 and has been working tirelessly to create a new bunch of female leaders and entrepreneurs in the country.
BDST: 1611 HRS, MAR 15, 2023