Startup Weekend Lahore, which was being held at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), concluded today with Paycard coming out on top of 11 shortlisted ideas. Paycard, along with 1st and 2nd runner ups, will be given a chance to get incubated at LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship.
Proceedings from the final two days
After the first day, 11 ideas were shortlisted from more than 60 pitches. The teams were then given about 70 hours to work on ideas, create a demo and present it in front of judges on the final day. The teams were assigned mentors to help them in market strategies and customer acquisition techniques to further polish their product before it was ready for the big showdown. Speaking at the event, Samar Hasan, Head of Communications at Karandaaz Pakistan said,
“The cross-cutting themes at Karandaaz are innovation, youth, and women entrepreneurship.
At Karandaaz we strongly believe that you guys (youth) are the future. You are the driving force of the nation. If you go places, we need to be behind you to support you, to uplift you, and I am sure you will go places regardless of whether we are there to support you or not. But we are here to reiterate that commitment to you.”
From an observer’s point of view, there was a night and day difference between participants’ first pitches and their final ones. Although the participants were given 5 minutes this time as compared to the 1 minute on the first day, but their hard work over the past 1 and a half day was easily reflected through their preparedness. Most of the teams had their demos ready and were prepared with any market strategy and financial questions that the judges threw at them. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t some amusing moments here and there.
Dream X startup, pitching at the event, was an Urdu speech recognition and digital assistance platform, their demo turned out to be an amusing one when they announced their digital assistant name to be “Pinky” (which I am 90 percent sure spoke with a man’s voice), but some technical implementation details and limitations hampered their chances of winning the top prize.
From the 11 ideas that were pitched, a total of 3 were chosen to be given an incubation slot at LCE. A fourth idea was also given an honorable mention but wasn’t lucky enough to win a position at LCE. Here is a brief description of all four winning startups:
Proximate (honorable mention)
Proximate, as you might remember from our previous coverage, is a proximity based advertisement solution which aims to revolutionize the advertisement scene in Pakistan. Proximate, targeting this 60 billion rupee market, will provide users with relevant ads when they pass near a proximate beacon installed on any retail outlet. For example, if the user is passing near Levi’s outlet, he will be shown ad content relative to Levi’s on his phone.
Home Grown (2nd runner-up)
Home Grown is a platform to encourage horticulture enthusiasts into growing healthy plants and vegetables. Home Grown provides starting kits to buyers to help them set a roof or a vertical garden, which is a clever way to compensate for the lack of backyard space in congested cities. The starting kit also includes a collection of seedlings which are specially catered to improve health and fitness of buyers.
Groupie (1st runner-up)
Groupie uses a simple but unique twist on the regular selfie. It works as a social media network which connects friends living far from one another by stitching their individual selfies into a group picture. It uses a request based system in which you can send your friends a request for a groupie, which when accepted, will show a countdown on both devices and will then click two individual selfies. These selfies, after going through some online processing magic, are converted into a single groupie.
The winning idea, Paycard, aims to improve the existing payment solutions by using an NFC-enabled prepaid card which can be charged up to 5000 at a time through the easy load. Using Paycard merchant, retailers and sellers can enable a simple swipe-based payment method for customers carrying a Paycard.