Nest I/O hosted a Startup Weekend event over the past weekend. During the 54-hour event which stretched from 24th to 26th March, over 60 ideas were pitched in total of which 27 companies were shortlisted. 3 teams managed to bag the top positions while 2 teams were given special shout-outs.
People from diverse backgrounds, entrepreneurs and industry people thronged onto the event to collaborate on ideas, form teams, and pitch in front of a panel of judges. On the first day, the event was able to attract some more than 80 attendees who pitched 60+ ideas ranging across a diverse mix of fields. Initial shortlisting was done through audience voting in which 25 teams were selected. During the next two days of the event, the teams formed from the shortlisted lot exercised building the companies. The products were prototyped, tested and validated.
A number of coaches and mentors were their to guide the teams and make sure that all teams made the best product pitches possible. The coaches included industry leaders like Humayun Bashir, Babar Khan Javed, Faizan Laghari, Hasnain Gangjee and alumni of The Nest I/O which included CEO Sheops Nadia Patel Gangjee, Founders Sukoon.com.pk Shoaib Iqbal and Qazi Umair, Founders WonderTree Muhammad Waqas and Muhammad Usman, Co-founder Botsify Talha Yasin, Co-Founder Social Champ Sameer Ahmed Khan, and Founder ELN Sana Farooq.
Along way, various mini-sessions from speakers were also conducted which threw light on topics like entrepreneurship, video-marketing, and the art of pitching. The speakers which addressed the teams during the said event, include CEO of NexDegree Imran Moinuddin, CEO of Venture Dive Atif Azim, online video-content specialist Salma Jafri and Jawwad Ahmed Farid who is a serial entrepreneur.
Final presentations were held on Sunday night and each team was given three minutes to pitch with two minutes being allotted to questions and answers. The judges included Faizan Siddiqi, Yusuf Jan, Rabia Garib, Raza Matin, Badar Khushnood, Syed Talha Izhar and Midhat Fatima. The judges scored the pitches and tallied results after the pitches were over.
The winner of the event was Mirror Magican, a mirror that would take a picture using augmented reality and picture automation. The runner up was TrashIt, a composting bin which enables people to dispose off their trash more efficiently while the second runner up was Gardener, an online gardening service which provides gardening services through an application. A special mention was also given to Auctee, a real-time auctioning service through secure accounts, and ChampionMango, a service offering premium mangos with great packaging through a variety of distribution channels.
It would be worth mentioning that the female participation at Startup weekend Karachi 2017 remained noteworthy. Out of 83 participants, 30 were women who pitched their ideas on the first day and worked pro-actively in the later sessions. Some of the teams shortlisted for the final pitch day were also led by women included The Calorie Shop, an application that provides a customized health and diet plan for diabetic patients, UNIGON, an interuniversity multilayered resource sharing portal which would allow universities to outsource their unused resources, BlindTech, an assistive tech solution for the visually impaired, and FitnShape, an application to find a personal trainer with ease. Stitchry and Auctee ended up becoming top favorites of the judges. Stitchry, an online space for people to find a reliable tailor near them, even gained attention from some investors.
Other ideas pitched on the final day include:
- TrafficWALA: An app that provide real-time interactive updates about traffic.
- ToYourTable: Delivering healthy homemade food with calorie count to the health-conscious
- Secure & Private Internet: Helps you protect your privacy and secures you on the internet from malware
- MyLearnHub: A safe online community to connect educators with students and parents
- OrderBooker: An application to bring together all order bookers on one platform more an efficient business transaction
- Community Call: An online forum to bring together all socially conscious people in the community to work together for a common cause
- MeraGhar: An app that would visualise your dream house into a 3D drawing.
- Delivery360: A high-tech online on-demand delivery platform
- Frecr: An online social recommendations service & universal structured data provider
- iMap: Drone mapping service for construction industry.
- BizzUp: Boosting business performance by providing the best technology consultation/solutions
- BookShare: An online platform to bring together all book enthusiast to buy and sell books
- NowRewards: An online reward system for sharing Facebook content on personal profiles
- DreamX: A 24/7 intelligent client service
Startup Weekend is a global event held by local organizers in over 150 cities all over the world. The aforementioned event was held and organized by The Nest I/O, a technology incubator set up by P@SHA. The Nest i/o is a technology incubator and community center launched by the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA) with global partners Google for Entrepreneurs and Samsung, and through a supporting grant from the US State Department.