Frequently Asked Question
FAQ

What is the University Innovation Hub Program?

The University Innovation Hub Program is an incubation initiative by Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority (BHTPA) under the ICT Division, financed by the World Bank. It nurtures innovative ideas and startups within universities, including students, faculty, and alumni.

It aims to nurture technology-driven innovations and facilitate the commercialization of these innovations by forming startup ventures or registering intellectual property rights.

Who can participate in the University Innovation Hub Program?

The program is open to university students, graduates, researchers, and alumni from specific universities who are keen to bring in technology-driven innovations. Teams must be from the same university. No mix and matching.

What are the benefits of participating in the program?

Participants will receive foundational training in innovation and entrepreneurship, mentorship from industry experts, access to resources like co-working spaces and technical tools, and opportunities for networking, prototype development, and possibly seed funding for their ventures.

How can I apply for the program?

Please navigate to the registration page and select your university. Follow the instructions on the page.

What criteria are used to select participants for the program?

Participants are selected based on their innovative ideas, potential impact, and alignment with the program's objectives. The specific selection criteria is given below.

Revised Scoring Criteria

Marks

Justification

Innovation and Novelty of Idea 

30

Present a unique and creative idea that stands out from existing solutions. Clearly articulate what makes your idea innovative.

Problem Solutions Fit 

20

Demonstrate a clear understanding of the specific problem your idea solves. Explain why your solution is effective.

Commercialization Prospects    

20

Show the potential for your idea to be turned into a viable product or service. Include potential market size and how it can be scaled.

Team Diversity & Strength          

20

Highlight the diverse backgrounds and expertise of your team members. Explain how this diversity contributes to your project’s strength.

Pitch                    

10

Create a clear, concise, and engaging pitch. Make sure it effectively communicates your idea’s value and impact.           

Female Member                  

Yes/No

Having a female member is mandatory for participation.

Faculty Advisor                

Yes/No

This is mandatory for participation. Teams with faculty advisors outperform teams without faculty advisors. 

Team members of different disciplines

Yes/No

This is mandatory for participation.

Total

100



Is there a deadline for applications?

Yes, there is a deadline. Each university has their own deadline and schedule. Please check the relevant universities’ registration page for more details. Late submissions may not be considered.

What does the curriculum include?

The curriculum consists of three major components: Innovation Cohort, Entrepreneurship Lecture Series and a Certificate Course on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, totalling 100 hours per cohort. It covers a range of topics from ideation, prototype development, IP protection, financial modelling, to startup ecosystem growth strategies.



Item

Hours per cohort

Remarks


  1. Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lecture Series

Total 10 lectures. Any students, faculties, alumni can register and participate in the lecture Series in person or virtually.

1.5-2 hours per lecture, total 15-16 hours

Open for All. In-person and virtual. Number of seats: subject to seat capacity of university. One lecture per university, total 10 lectures.



  1. Certificate Course on Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The student of any discipline will be able to take the course, This course is mandatory for the members of the innovation teams.

24 hours per batch

 

Only for selected students. Number of Seats: 50-150, subject to available seat capacity. Number of seats: subject to seat capacity of university. Maximum number of batches: 6 per university. Competitive.



  1. A. Innovation Cohort: Component 1 [ Guided]

The students will be able to go through a series of workshops ( in class and on the field) from ideation, customer discovery, prototyping to business modeling and commercialization. It's a learning by doing modalities of solution design

80 hours per cohort

Only for selected innovation teams. Maximum number of team 16 per cohort, total team members 50. maximum number of cohorts per university: 6. Competitive. Curriculum for the certificate course is inbuilt in the flow of sessions.


3.B.1 Self-paced Product Development and Learning

Each innovation team will work beyond classroom [ Go out of the building time] for product/service development

Approximately 64 hours

This time is an approximation. Innovation teams will develop their product services beyond the guided sessions by mentors and coaches.


3.B.2 Self-paced Learning [ Video, Presentation]

Each team will go through materials on their own beyond classroom time

16 hours

Supplementary materials for self learning will be available for self-learning.


What is the Innovation Cohort?

The Innovation Cohort is a central element of the program where selected teams work intensively on developing prototypes, MVPs, and commercialization strategies. This component involves guided mentorship, workshops, and self-paced product development activities.


How is the Innovation Cohort structured?

The Cohort follows a three-step process: Explore, Test, and Propel. It starts with ideation and lean canvas development, moves to prototyping and business model canvas creation, and culminates in MVP development and venture launch preparation.

What kind of support do Innovation Cohort participants receive?

Participants receive comprehensive support including mentorship from business and technical experts, access to facilities, and guidance through product development life cycles, customer acquisition strategies, and investment readiness.

What is the time commitment of this series?

This series requires students’ active participation for 84 hours during the 4-5 months of a cohort. These will be a series of workshops (in class and on the field) using a learning by doing modality of solution design. This is approximately 4.5 hours per week.

Furthermore, there is an additional requirement of 64 hours self-guided and self-paced learning. This is another 3.7 hours per week.

What is the Entrepreneurship Lecture Series?

The Entrepreneurship Lecture Series is a set of 10 lectures organised across participating universities, focusing on various aspects of innovation and entrepreneurship. These lectures are delivered by renowned national and international innovators and founders.

Who can attend the Entrepreneurship Lecture Series?

These lectures are open to all students, faculty, and alumni. While they might require a ticket for general attendees, they are free for members of the Innovation Cohort and Certificate Course students.

What topics are covered in the Lecture Series?

The Lecture Series covers diverse topics such as Startup Ecosystem Growth Strategy, Systems Thinking, IP Protection, Unit Economics, Emotional Intelligence in Entrepreneurship, Financial Modeling, Fundraising Strategies, and more.

What is the time commitment of this series?

Each lecture will be 1.5 to 2 hours long. Applicants need to commit 15 – 16 hours over 4 or 5 months.

What is the Certificate Course on Innovation and Entrepreneurship?

This is a 24-hour certificate course designed to build awareness and skills in innovation and entrepreneurship among students from all disciplines. It aims to prepare students for entrepreneurial roles and career development.

What are the main topics covered in the Certificate Course?

The course covers essential entrepreneurial skills such as opportunity identification, business model development, financial management, marketing strategies, building interdisciplinary teams, and legal considerations for entrepreneurs.

Who can enroll in the Certificate Course?

The course is open to all university students, including those not part of the Innovation Cohort, subject to seat availability. All Innovation Cohort students are required to go through this course.

Is there a possibility of integrating the Certificate Course into the university curriculum?

Based on the success and feedback from the course, there is potential for mainstreaming it into the university's program with appropriate accreditation by the University Grants Commission.

How long is the program?

The program duration is 24 hours spread over 4 – 5 months. This is approximately 1.4 hours per week.

What kind of mentorship and support is provided?

Participants will receive mentorship from experienced professionals and industry experts. The program offers guided engagement with mentors, including a Technical Mentor for product development and a Business Mentor for commercialization.

Who are the mentors, and how are they selected?

Mentors are seasoned professionals with a track record in innovation, entrepreneurship, or specific industry expertise. They are selected based on their experience, achievements, and commitment to fostering new talent.

Can participants access resources outside the university?

Yes, participants will have opportunities to engage with the broader innovation ecosystem, including industry linkages, professional networking, and potential investment raising opportunities.

Is there any funding available for participating projects?

The program provides pre-seed and seed funding to top teams for building and testing prototypes and developing MVPs. A jury board of distinguished members will determine the top teams according to a scoring matrix.

What resources will be available to participants?

Participants will have access to co-working spaces, learning facilities, technical tools and equipment, and digital infrastructure essential for running the innovation hubs.

Are there any costs associated with participating in the program?

The program is completely free to attend. There are no fees.

What are the expected outcomes for participants?

Participants are expected to develop working prototypes, form startup ventures, register intellectual property rights, and acquire the skills and knowledge to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape successfully.

Are there opportunities for networking and showcasing projects?

Yes, the program includes events like the national innovation challenge, innovation showcasing events, and boot camps to facilitate networking, engagement, and showcasing of innovations to potential investors and industry stakeholders.

How does the program support post-graduation ventures?

The program offers post-graduation support including professional networking, product scaling, fund-raising, and partnership development opportunities to ensure the sustainability and growth of the ventures.