First Techstar Startup Weekend Maldives has commenced from 27th to 29th October 2017

The 1st Techstar Startup Weekend Maldives has commenced on 27th October and will go until 29th October 2017 in close partnership Dhiraagu, Ministry of Economic Development (Enterprise Development) and UNDP. Startup Weekend is a non-profit, community-building event that brings together entrepreneurs of different backgrounds, including software developers, marketers, designers, and other enthusiasts. They gather to pitch ideas, form teams and start companies in just 54 hours. The participants that attend have 60 seconds to make a pitch (optional), the pitches are whittled down to the top ideas, and then teams from around the ideas to come out with several developed companies or projects. Finally, the weekend culminates with demonstrations in front of an audience of judges and potential investors


The registration process for the Startup Weekend was started on 27th September 2017 and within 2 weeks, all the slots were allocated and tickets were purchased by the participants. Out of the 60+ Participants, 30% are from IT backgrounds (developers), 30% are from Designing background and the remaining 40% are from Non-Technical Background, which includes all other areas of profession from marketing to finance to analysis.

The three-day networking event witnesses the best minds in the startup ecosystem brain-storming for 54 hours and at the end of it walking out with a fully planned startup idea.

The UNDP Youth Co:Lab is a programme that is brought to life by thousands of young people across the Asia-Pacific region. It aims to empower young people to lead social change in their communities and accelerate the implementation of the SDGs through social innovation and entrepreneurship. The 700 million plus youth in Asia-Pacific can make or break efforts to ensure peace, prosperity and sustainable development in the region and worldwide. Yet millions lack opportunities to realize their potential and play their full part in ensuring a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future.

The event was graced by Minister of State, Mr. Abdul Latheef of Ministry of Economic Development, Ms. Shoko Noda, UNDP Resident Representative and Mr. Ismail Rasheed, CEO and Managing Director of Dhiraagu.

With the Enterprise Development (ED), Ministry of Economic Development is focusing on understanding the challenges faced by the SMEs and working towards addressing these challenges by providing technical support and introducing various microfinance schemes for the overall economic growth and to support in creating a sustainable environment for SME growth. ED through its Business Acceleration Programme supports in the nurturing and development of start-ups and entrepreneurs in Maldives.

Youth empowerment is a key focus area in Dhiraagu’s CSR programme. Dhiraagu’s role in the Startup Weekend stems from their focus on providing opportunities for young people to realize their full potential through learning, innovation and doing.  With the Youth Leadership Programme and the recently implemented Film for Change, Dhiraagu had collaborated with UNDP on key initiatives this year on their focus to empower youth.


It is a 54-hour event that puts aspiring entrepreneurs in direct contact with the sharpest business coaches, mentors, investors and panel of judges from the Industry and let them undertake an entrepreneurial life cycle journey by takings the highs and lows of it with proper guidance and mentorship. This year, the local organizing team has been able to pull together a someone most common names as mentors for the participants, who have experienced the entrepreneurial life cycle and could support them in further strengthening the business ideas of the participants and build a strong product at the end of the day.

The Techstars Startup Weekend is the first international initiative to support and nurture the growth of startups in Maldives. Startup Weekend is a model developed by Techstars, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, who have successfully run the model in over 140 countries

Full details are available from the link below:


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