Karachi, April 30, 2019: The Startup Weekend Karachi event kicked off on Friday, April 26, at The Nest I/O with over 100 participants from diverse backgrounds and different ages gathering under one roof with only one thing in common – a passion for entrepreneurship.
The theme this year was “Start for the City” and over 60 ideas were pitched on the first night, followed by a short networking and lobbying session where participants were busy converting supporters for votes. The event concluded on Sunday, April 28, with three winners and 2 special mentions. With a total of 17 ideas pitched on the final day by more than 100 participants, the event was a big success.
Some of the coaches present throughout the weekend included Sana Farooq, Founder & CEO ELN, Sameer Ahmed Khan, Founder Social Champ, Sabeen Murad, Founder Maya’s Closet, Saba Khalid, Founder Aurat Raaj, Mashood Rastgar, CTO Sastaticket.pk, Nazish Hussain, Founder Secret Stash, SIbtain Jiwani, Founder & CEO Smartchoice.pk, among others.
However, the highlight of the second remained “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Gets Going” – a panel discussion moderated by Sahar Habib Ghazi, with panellists Maha Jawed, Founder of Easy and Fatsos, Kumail Abbas, CEO & Co-Founder, Find My Aventure, Raania Durrani, Co-Founder & Artistic Director Salt Arts, and Marium Kamal, and Safwan Sabzwani, Co-Founders Six Eyes Collective.
The primary goal of Techstars Startup Weekend is to introduce attendees to the basics of lean startup methodology and give them a little taste of what life is like for startups. All of the 17 ideas pitched were able to develop a basic business model, financial plan and marketing campaign around their initial business ideas in just 54 hours.
The winner of Startup Weekend Karachi 2019 was My DOPU, an app that provides a safe and affordable pick and drop van service for school children with a live tracking option for parents. The first runner-up was Water ATM, which gave a solution to the never-ending water problems of Karachi, while the second runner-up was Gamelist, a one-stop shop for all gamers.
“The quality of pitches keeps getting better each time we host Startup Weekend. We had a very difficult time shortlisting the winners, which is a sign of how good all these ideas were. But winning Startup Weekend is hardly the highlight, the highlight is the energy that keeps increasing throughout the 54 hours and learning curve of all our attendees.
All these amazing individuals will leave with basic knowledge of entrepreneurship and first-hand experience of how to build a startup from scratch – and that’s something that no trophy can replace,” commented Jehan Ara, President P@SHA and Founder of The Nest I/O.
The judges, which included Jehan Ara, Misbah Naqvi of i2i Ventures, and Shahid Mustafa of Telenor Microfinance Bank, also gave two special mentions to Positive Parenting – a platform to help new parents with basic parenting, and artist – a platform which allows artists to sell/auction their creations.
“I came here to find motivation and to see what it takes to actually start a startup. I came here with my own idea but it didn’t get enough votes. However, there was another idea that caught my attention and I worked very hard with my team on that idea. In just two days we learned how to populate a business canvas, how to analyze customers and segment them, how to effectively pitch and to actually turn your idea into a startup. The energy here was contagious, but the best part was meeting all these like-minded people who are just as passionate,” commented Samira Wajid, one of the attendees of Startup Weekend Karachi 2019.
The winners of Startup Weekend will get the fast track to the final round of pitches for incubation at The Nest I/O.