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Friday, July 26, 2019

Little Stars Shine Big at Startup Weekend Karachi Youth 2019

Little Stars Shine Big at Startup Weekend Karachi Youth 2019


Karachi: Hot Tray, an app to improve the food court experience, won first place at Startup Weekend Karachi Youth while Project Polaroid, an idea to “deliver memories to your doorstep”, won second place. The second runner-up was Amuse Cards, an app to replace amusement cards while Re-Green, an idea to reduce plastic waste through recycling, received a Special Mention from the judges.

Almost 50 youngsters ages 10-16 from across Karachi attended Pakistan’s first Startup Weekend Youth organized by The Nest I/O from 18-20 July. Over 30 brilliant ideas were pitched on the first day of the event of which 10 were shortlisted by the participants for the final round. The children spent the next 48 hours turning these ideas into revenue generating business models with the help of mentors and coaches present throughout the two and a half day event.

“When I first came to attend Startup Weekend, I wasn’t expecting much. I just thought we will do a few activities and go home, but when I came here the second day I realized it was a lot more fun, I made new friends, and we all worked on a project together. Even though we didn’t win in the end, it was a lot of fun and a great learning experience,” commented Ammar Naqvi, one of the young participants at the event.

“My dad forced me to attend Startup Weekend and I’m so glad he did because now I don’t want to leave. It was a fabulous event. I learned so much, made so many new friends. I broke down in the end and didn’t want to pitch because I felt my idea was not worth it, but the coaches and mentors helped me through it and our team won second place,” commented Hani Zeeshan, team member of Project Polaroid.

These young entrepreneurs presented their final pitches to a room full of fellow aspiring founders, successful startup founders, and a panel of esteemed judges including Nadia Patel Gangjee, Founder of Sheops & Femprow, Sadaffe Abid, CEO and Founder CIRCLE, and Rabia Garib, Co-Founder Toffee TV and The New Spaces. Also present as Chief Guest during the final pitching session was the British Deputy High Commissioner, Elin Burns.

“The ideas we heard today were innovative and focused on making Pakistan a better place, please don’t lose this passion (….) Congratulations to all and I cannot wait to see these ideas in the marketplace,” commented Elin Burns, after listening to all the pitches.

The judges were so impressed with all the pitches, they announced small rewards for the winners on the spot. Nadia Gangjee offered to do exclusive online coverage for the winner and runner-up on the She Inspires series on Femprow, Sadaffe Abid offered an opportunity for the winner and runner-up to pitch at the final round of She Loves Tech competition, while Rabia Garib also generously offered to make jingles and ads for all winners which will run on Toffee TV. The biggest surprise came from Ashraf Kalim, a renowned Investor and Entrepreneur, who was also present in the audience, when he offered to fund the production of the first 1,000 recycled plastic bags for Re-Green, the team that received the Special Mention.

“The turn out at Startup Weekend Youth was great and the quality of participants and pitches was even better. I am so proud of all these youngsters who pitched so confidently in front of such a big audience. All these young participants are winners because they learnt more about entrepreneurship in last 54 hours than many adults do in a lifetime. They also had fun, made friends and developed ideas that they were passionate about” commented Jehan Ara, President P@SHA and Founder The Nest I/O.

The complete list of ideas pitched at Startup Weekend Youth can be seen here.





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