Varendra University [VU]

Published On : November 20th, 2023 11:34:09 am

Do you have an Idea to Change the world? Want to take that Idea to the next level? Apply now!

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Semester is Coming to your University!

Do you want to create a new online revolution? Do you and your friends have genius ideas locked away? Want to learn how to make them a reality? Apply for the ‘Smart Unibator’ program coming to YOUR UNIVERSITY!

The ‘Smart Unibator’ program offers an unparalleled opportunity for university students to immerse themselves in the world of innovation and entrepreneurship. It is tailored to ignite the creative minds of young innovators, providing substantial support and resources for the discovery and development of groundbreaking business ideas. 


[Apply for Innovation Cohort]

 [Apply for Certificate Course on Innovation and Entrepreneurship]

[Apply for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lecture Series]

Key features of the program include:

  • Innovation Hub Access: A comprehensive platform for ideation, design, prototyping, and proof of concept, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to bring your ideas to life.

  • Funding Opportunities: Access to pre-seed and seed funds, crucial for transforming your innovative ideas into tangible prototypes or minimum viable products (MVPs).

  • Global Insights: Unique opportunities to engage with and learn from global and national leaders in innovation and startups, offering invaluable perspectives and guidance.

  • Extensive Networks: Connect with national and global corporate and startup networks. This access facilitates partnerships and serves as a vital link in bridging the gap between academia and industry.

  • IPR Learning and Support: Comprehensive learning resources and support for the protection of intellectual property rights, ensuring your ideas are safeguarded.

  • Academic Credit: Earn credit for the completion of the innovation and entrepreneurship semester, integrating academic achievement with practical experience.

  • Smart Bangladesh Accelerator Enrollment: An exclusive opportunity to join the largest accelerator program in Bangladesh. This includes access to larger funding pools and market access through partners like Startup Bangladesh Limited, StartupBootCamp, Microsoft, and more.

This program is not just an educational journey; it's a launchpad to the forefront of innovation, providing the tools, resources, and networks necessary to turn visionary ideas into reality. Whether your passion lies in technology, business, or social change, this program is your stepping stone to making a significant impact in the world of startups and beyond.

YOUR UNIVERSITY is one of the 10 universities with an Innovation Hub. A total of six cohorts of 10 - 15 teams will be run in the university over a period till December 2025. 

Who can apply?

  • A team of 3-5 students, alumni, or faculty members of any discipline.

  • A team, who do not run only for grades, but have a hunger for solving a real-life problem with innovation and forming a startup.

  • No coding experience required!

We are especially looking for teams which are women-led or have women involvement.

What is the composition of the program?

The program will run over a period of 4-5 months with average 4 hours of commitment per week from the participants of the Innovation Cohort.


Hours Per Cohort


  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, a total of 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.

Phases and Content of Innovation Cohort

Explore    >

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The goal of the first phase is to identify a problem to solve and solve through the engagement of potential groups of customers through the application of design thinking. The output of the first phase is a prototype of proof of concept. 

The goal of this stage is to take the prototype/proof of concept to the level of minimum viable product [ MVP].

The goal of the phase is to make the innovation teams ready for the launching of the potential venture by building an appropriate founding team and preparing to attract investment. The potential innovation also may take the direction of registering for intellectual property rights (IPR) and offering to potential other startups. Customer acquisition is expected to have a proper shape and real data would give ideas about future direction. 

  1. Design Thinking

  2. Ideation 

  3. Lean Canvas

  4. Market Research

  5. Designing Customer   Surveys and Interviews

  6. Customer Discovery and Customer Feedback

  7. Customer Value Proposition

  8. Prototype or Proof of Concept.

  1. Product Development Life Cycle 

  2. Customer Acquisition for Market Testing 

  3. Unit Economics

  4. Minimum Viable Product

  5. Pitch Deck. 

  1. Business Model Development

  2. Product Branding and Marketing 

  3. Systematic Customer Acquisition

  4. Financial Model Development

  5. Roadmap Development for venture or IP

  6. Corporate Compliance [ Optional]

  7. Investment Readiness [ Optional]

  8. Investment Pitch [ Optional].


Bangladesh aspires to develop a robust innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem for a flourishing economy to keep pace with the dynamics induced by 4IR. Bangladesh High-tech Park Authority [BHTPA] has launched the ‘University Innovation Hub Program’ titled ‘Smart Unibator’ for building 10 innovation hubs in 10 universities that will serve as the foundational block for the ecosystem above. The hubs are going to function as epicenters for raising greater awareness of the importance of innovation, nurturing a culture of innovation, inculcating an entrepreneurship mindset, and promoting a collaborative environment, and openness among students, graduates, researchers, and faculty members within and around participating universities. The hub will also strive to break stereotypes, which traditionally block entrepreneurship development processes, especially gender biases. 

Some Key features of the Program [for all 10 universities together]

-Number of University-based innovation teams to be nurtured

Up to 900 teams comprising 3000 students, faculties and alumni

Duration of the Program

3 Years

Average Number of Cohorts per University


Minimum Number of Cohorts per year


Number of Innovation teams per cohort

Up to 15

Gender lens

Minimum 20% participation of women in cohorts

Number of prototypes of innovation teams to receive pre-seed fund


Number of MVPs of Innovation teams to receive seed fund


Amount of pre-seed and seed fund

BDT 25,000,000 for all cohorts

Mentor-hours for prototypes per team

minimum 15 hours

Mento-hours for MVP

minimum 35 hours

How to Join the Program? 
Terms & Conditions of Programs

Registration and idea submission Deadline: Please check your respective universities deadlines!

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