Tina Jabeen is currently the CEO and MD responsible for Investment Advisor, Startup Bangladesh, ICT Ministry, Govt. of Bangladesh. She guided the team in crafting the investment and operations guidelines and building the accelerator. Tina coordinates international roadshows and strategic meetings with partners globally. She held positions as the Director of Finance and Tax in Horsley Bridge Partner, a premier fund-of-fund and the Senior Director in PricewaterhouseCoopers, San Francisco.
Tina Jabeen is serving as Managing Director and CEO of Startup Bangladesh Ltd., the first venture capital company sponsored by the Government of Bangladesh. Tina also serves as a senior policy advisor to the ICT Ministry. She brings 25+ years of Silicon Valley experience in collaborating on complex projects across multiple stakeholder groups. In 2016, Tina led the ICT Ministry’s establishment and launch of Startup Bangladesh – iDEA campaign to fund and support the country’s fledgeling start-up sector. Since 2016, Tina has assisted the ICT Ministry in policy and investment initiatives with other governments and private industries across Asia, North America, and Europe. Tina’s network of access includes numerous foreign government agencies as well as private companies in technology, banking, health care, private equity, venture capital, and accelerators. As Senior Advisor, she promotes ICT’s entrepreneurship and start-up ecosystem initiatives at prestigious international forums such as the World Economic Forum (Davos), UNDP and United Nations Capital Development Fund.
Her vision can be found in a recent interview with Dinis Guarda. About promoting startups and building startup ecosystems. “When you do something very sincerely and the result is satisfying… that is something that fulfils you and I have that feeling now with startup Bangladesh. When I was working at PwC in San Francisco I learnt a lot about the importance of investment for entrepreneurs. It was an amazing experience and it was something I wanted to bring back to Bangladesh. The way this PwC is run, managed, etc. but applied to the Bangladesh context. What I do here now in Bangladesh is much bigger, more meaningful than what I was doing in San Francisco because here the need is more critical”. About the startup ecosystem in Bangladesh. “The startup ecosystem in Bangladesh started 9 years ago. It was then that we realized we needed a pipeline for entrepreneurs. Firstly, the government tried to promote entrepreneurship by providing grants and fostering business education. That is the first step: mentoring and funding young generations, leveraging a business culture. Another pillar of our strategy was through accelerator programs. We have various accelerators across the country and we are trying to work hand-in-hand with them. Accelerators provide mentorship, networking and funding to entrepreneurs”. “Startups have been instrumental through innovation in the pursuit of Vision 2021 and Digital Bangladesh. Startups have attracted foreign investment of over $200 million + over the past 5 years; ICT Ministry invested more than $20+ million; developmental agencies also invested millions of dollars to build the robust startup ecosystem in the last 5-8 years. Startups nationwide employ 1.5 million+ people and indirectly support the livelihood of 6 million+ people. Ride-sharing, food delivery and logistics companies alone employ 300,000+ individuals and support 30,000+ small businesses, 150,000+ SMEs/micro-entrepreneurs”. About Digital Transformation. “The idea of equitable society lies in and outside Bangladesh too, to me it’s not just Bangladesh but it is something that needs to be addressed worldwide. At the end of the day, digital transformation should make people’s lives better. It should be green, sustainable. For example, Bcash app enables domestic workers and rickshaw pullers to earn money. Digital transformation is also about tackling the digital divide. Technology should be accessible to everyone. Digital transformation needs to address pay gap inequalities and how wealth is distributed so everyone can benefit from it”.