Meet Latest Batch of Startups at YY Goshti

After a rigorous national search, team YY Goshti has welcomed eight emerging social businesses in its six month long incubation program. These startups are solving critical social issues in the field of agriculture, craftsmanship, youth employment, waste management and urban safety. Here is the complete list-


YOUNIFI: YOUNIFI is a platform for connecting youth and positive impact organizations to develop skills. It helps young individuals to develop their skills through voluntary activities which will help them to apply these in their professional lives. helps users find and connect with their potential roommates. It provides a platform for people to rent out their rooms or to rent one as per their needs. The revenue model is subscription based.

Travel Bangladesh: Travel Bangladesh is a travel information portal and service provider. It is a platform that provides information about each and every place of Bangladesh and generates revenue through tours, advertisements and other services.


Self Protect: Self Protect App is an application designed to support users to connect and provide safety. It allows the user to contact with the concerned authorities in case of any crime. Revenue is generated through advertisements and service subscription fees.

GARBAGEMAN: Garbageman is a platform that aims to convert waste into resources. It collect waste and processes them into compost fertilizers that are sold to customers. Revenue comes through selling compost and fees.

Jute Monarchy: Jute Monarchy makes Innovative and diversified jute products. The aim is to create employment opportunities for unskilled and less skilled persons. It promotes Bangladeshi art and craft in its signature products produced for mostly foreigners.

Nagarkrishi: Nagarik Krishi’ provides eco-friendly gardening solution by utilizing a website/ app platform. Urban centers are polluted and citizens are staying away from farming activities. To improve this situation, it makes people conscious about gardening, planting tree, and green revolution by providing online and offline training.

Shoyong: Shoyong aims to bring variations on spinning and weaving by automation and changing on twist, color combination and fabric design. It provide export quality tribal fabrics with unique designs by empowering disadvantaged Bangladeshis living in Chittagong hill tracks.

We are bringing in our tried and tested Entrepreneurship Development Protocol that has supported 30+ social entrepreneurs in Bangladesh since 2016 to help these startups grow with support from EMK Center, PUM Netherlands and our generous mentors.

Writer: Kaniz Ahmed

Takeaways from YY Social: How digital disruption is transforming Bangladesh’s Agriculture

YY Goshti hosted the ‘YY Social: Disrupting Agriculture’ in partnership with EMK Center on April 26,2018 in Dhaka. The event explored whether digital technologies will enable the third agricultural revolution and bring about the next big productivity gain, and how to catalyze this revolution in Bangladesh. The interactive event took place on April 26, 2018 in EMK Centre, Dhaka which brought together agribusiness leaders, entrepreneurs, civil society advocates, researchers and investors to gauge the scale of the task and work out how best to lead and encourage co-operation on the path to progress in agriculture utilizing the power of technology. The smartest minds at the intersection of technology and agriculture converged at the YY Socials ‘ Disrupting Agriculture’ to tackle critical challenges and showcase the latest innovations for farmers, investors and stakeholders of Bangladesh’s agricultural systems. This event brought insights and innovation from the best in the field. From biotech to precision farming, to big data’s role in feeding a population of 160 billion, our prominent speakers have explored the topics at the heart of technology, entrepreneurialism and agriculture.

Here are top 5 takeaways from ‘YY Social: Disrupting Agriculture’:

  1. Digital disruption creates limitless opportunities

Digital technologies can provide value to farmers at two levels. Through on-farm connectivity, farmers can monitor the status of equipment, livestock, and water levels. Then, as the farm is connected to the outside world, farmers can access advisors, markets, climate information, and best practices. It was really exciting to see what the future of Australian agriculture can look like. Multiple speakers went beyond buzzwords like Big Data, IoT, and Machine Learning to explain specific use cases where technology can deliver value to farmers. In particular, Tafsir M Awal, Director, Multimode Group showed some pretty compelling videos of transforming farming operations.

Other speakers highlighted current and potential applications, such as:
• on-farm 3D printing for cheap, quick access to maintenance equipment
• ability to stream “how to” videos or video conference with a trusted advisor
• real-time decision support, like taking a photo of a struggling plant, uploading it with some diagnostic information, and quickly receiving an analysis that suggests potential causes and optimal next steps
• unlocking funding sources by leveraging on-farm data to provide transparency about working capital resources.

  1. Long way to go in reaping the benefits to everyone

Despite the huge potential, thus far the digital revolution has over promised and under delivered for Bangladesh’s farmers. Huge technological challenges remain unsolved, such as interoperability –enabling hardware devices and software platforms across providers to work with one another — infrastructure, and connectivity.  The concept of on-farm real time decision support seems like a science fiction movie when touted problems such as call drop. Prominent telecommunication companies of country has introduced agricultural value-added service (Agri VAS)  different services related to cultivation together in order to aid the farmers to find all the relevant information. One such service is not the only source of information for most users, 66% of users reported their mobile as one of the two main sources of information leading them to make changes in their practices, compared to 42% of non-users. Digital technologies show promise, but we have a long way to go to realize their full potential.

  1. Data ownership and privacy concerns abound

Trust in technology remains a huge issue and barrier to adoption. This is increasingly important in a world where more data is produced and used in new and unforeseen ways. There is widespread agreement that farmers should own their own data. The issue may be subtler, requiring language that is more specific and transparent. However, it’s not yet clear how to best manage who has control of the data, what can be done with them, and how to distribute the value.

  1. Adoption of disruptive technologies itself requires innovative approaches

Organizational and societal changes are also necessary. For example, an innovation ecosystem that incentivizes Bangladeshi AgTech entrepreneurs is necessary. Bangladesh lacks both commercialization pathways out of universities, as well as opportunities for early-stage businesses to attract capital. Business model innovation is also necessary; even the best technologies need paying customers to become sustainable businesses. Solutions developed for the Bangladesh context will be critical, as successful businesses in other countries cannot easily apply their technologies to Bangladeshi agriculture — corn or wheat are subsidiary crop in Bangladesh, for example contrast to American or EU market.

Increasing adoption of digital technologies will also require innovative approaches. Farmers are not clear on the value proposition of many of these technologies, and don’t feel that they are addressing real problems. Including, but evolving, the role of the trusted advisor — such as an agronomist — may be one solution. Farmers are more likely to trust innovations that augment expertise, rather than replace it. Including farmers in an iterative development process can also help increase adoption.

  1. Public discourse has to evolve in disrupting agriculture

Bangladesh needs to prepare the next generation of farmers, agronomists, and Agtech entrepreneurs for an agriculture system in which digital technologies are ubiquitous. Academicians should collaborate on interdisciplinary research with agronomists, producers, technology developers, and entrepreneurs to mirror needs of farmers. Bangladeshi students also need training in foundational skills. Data analysis and software engineering, specifically, as well as a basis in STEM more generally, will be necessary. The agriculture industry will continue to remain critically important for Bangladesh’s economy as it experiences its third revolution. The education system needs to prepare future generations to work effectively with technology, nature, and each other. While media should create awareness among farmers for using disruptive technologies to improve farming practice and yields.

From Intern’s Diary

By Ozair Ahmed

Every person needs a starting point in their life, which shows them the way and inspires them to achieve greater things in life. YY Goshti has been that starting point in my life. I have always been a person who had big dreams, enormous aspirations. But I was confused, I didn’t know where or how to start. Then YY Goshti happened. I have been working at YY Goshti since this year. Since then it has been a journey of exploring my abilities. Before YY Goshti I tried my luck in various places. But lack of experience always came in the way. YY Goshti is different. Here people aren’t judged on the basis of experience, age or educational qualifications, rather this place always has vacancy for people who are dedicated, passionate, hardworking and most importantly people who aspire to make a change.

At the beginning of this internship I believed I would be vested with small work or “unimportant” to be precise. But in a short span of time I realized things work differently here. I was amazed by the level of confidence people at YY Goshti had on me. I was being assigned to projects only experienced people are supposed to do but as I already mentioned “things work differently at YY Goshti”. Usually all this confidence and responsibility are supposed to feel like a pressure. But my feeling about all this was different. For me it was all about realizing what I am capable of, the responsibilities I can bear. It isn’t like I never made mistakes but people here makes sure your mistake isn’t only a mistake but a lesson you learn from.

YY Goshti isn’t just a work place for me rather it’s a place where I am growing every day. Thanks to the people here who makes sure every day I leave this place leaning something new, exploring a new ability of mine. YY Goshti is helping me grow confidence in myself and making my own identity. It has given me the opportunity to do things people of my age dream of. One of the key elements of building a successful future is building key networks. Since the day I joined here I am being introduced to people who I believe are going to play significant role in building my future.

Since my appointment here at YY Goshti I have been associated with different projects. My first ever project here was Social Business Youth Summit 2017. Being a part of this prestigious event was a breakthrough for me as it was a platform where this journey of learning and exploring myself began. After three months of dedication and hard work witnessing a successful event was truly inspiring.

YY Goshti is not only about desk work. Few months back we had a trip to Khulna for the Blue Gold Innovation Challenge. During this visit we perceived idea state social entrepreneurs. We came through lots of amazing business ideas and we are going to start working with them in a few weeks. Currently I am associated with a project with UNDP. Besides I am also working with YY Camp which is a creative workshop for school students and a lot of other exciting projects. This is one thing about YY Goshti, it has tons of exciting projects lined up for its interns.

YY Goshti is more of a home than a workplace where you grow every day with the support of an amazing team amidst fun and enthusiasm. I am truly glad being a part of this beautiful and passionate family and thankful to YY Goshti for helping me build self-confidence and creating my own identity.


YY Goshti is collaborating with Frontier Innovators as a Regional Advisory Group Member.

YY Goshti is collaborating with Frontier Innovators as a regional advisory group member. Frontier Innovators is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s innovationXchange, and delivered by SecondMuse is in the lookout for innovative businesses in the Asia-Pacific that are delivering impact through their work that supports the Sustainable Development Goals. Winning businesses will receive grant funding and tailored support, along with access to advisors, potential partners and investors.

Frontier Innovators are businesses that are leading by example.  15 of these businesses will get access to funding and access to resources to grow. Finalists from each region will also be provided with access to training and mentoring opportunities to help them grow. Whether you are an established business, a growing startup with an innovative product or service, or a social enterprise with a business model – if your work benefits people in the Asia-Pacific, apply now for your chance to win a package of funding and tailored support.

Through this important partnership we will be helping Frontier Innovators target high potential applicants, and align their work with local organisations already working with local entrepreneurs. By joining the Frontier Innovators Advisory Group, YY Goshti is helping great local businesses and unlock pathways to sustainable growth.

YY Pitch Day 2017 held in Dhaka

The YY Pitch Day was the culmination of the first phase of Blue Gold Innovation Challenge. It was held on April 2, 2017 at EMK Center from 5.00pm to 8.00pm. Top 12 Entrepreneurs showcased their social innovations for funding to start commercial operations. An eclectic audience of social business experts, development sector representatives and entrepreneurs attended the event.

The event started with an introductory session about BGIC’s journey so far, by Mr. Boudewijn Sterk, Manager Innovation Fund. This was followed by a short speech by Mr. Shazeeb M. Khairul Islam, President of SBYA Global and the Program Coordinator of BGIC, where he talked about what the event aims to do. After the introductory speeches, the official presentation session began. The 12 entrepreneurs pitched their business in 3 minute slots, followed by 3 minute question and answer sessions. The participants were scored by a panel of judges as well as the audience. The panel consisted of Ms. Hasin Jahan, Country Director, Practical Action; Mr. Najmul Huq, CEO of Grameen Uniqlo and Mr. A.S.M. Shahidul Haque, Private Sector Development Expert, Blue Gold Program.

Salman Sadek, Founder of Tomalu, Syed Sadhli Ahmed Roomy, Founder of FarmVest,Tanjia Akter Tanu from Tanu’s Strawberry Farm and Gourab Sarker, Co-founder of Sunfarm were the winners of the Pitch Day and now are building their ventures with financial and strategic support from the YY Goshti & Blue Gold Program.

A business of commercial harvesting of Pomato seedlings – a hybrid form of potato and tomatoes using grafting method to produce a new kind of crop that can be grown readily in coastal areas.

A sustainable model farm to grow vegetables like broccoli, capsicum, cherry tomatoes,
strawberries and lettuce, as well as 2500 chickens, whose eggs and meat will be packaged and sold to locals through super shops/stores.

An e-commerce matchmaking platform for farmers where customers directly crowd fund the farmers by booking their crops in advance. Firmest aims to ensure that farmers can have proper market price for their crops.

A business of using the intercropping method to harvest sunflowers, extracting oil and advancing supply chain development, and using sun-flower crops to reduce
soil salinity.

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