The first class of the international idea-stage accelerator The Founder Institute celebrated their graduation in Karachi. The Chief Guest Yusuf Jan, mentors, and families and friends of graduates attended the event that saw four incorporated companies pitching their ideas and receiving the graduation certificates.
The Founder Institute is the world’s largest entrepreneur training and startup launch program helping aspiring founders build enduring technology-enabled companies. The institute launched in Karachi in late 2014 and invited applications for its first semester. Over 350 people attended its events, 80 applied to be part of the program and only 25 were accepted.
Unlike other incubators, the Founder Institute generally accepts experienced professionals, who want to start their own company but need help to make the move from an employee to an entrepreneur and tools to ensure a higher degree of success. The enrolled founders may or may not have an idea to be accepted into the program.
Over the course of three months, the founders went through a gruelling semester consisting of structured training courses, carefully crafted company-building assignments and expert consultations. Owing to the intensive nature of the program, not every founder can survive. Therefore, only 4 companies were able to graduate out of 25 who were initially enrolled.
The quality of the graduates was overwhelmingly recognised by the Chief Guest Yusuf Jan “the graduates are indeed of very high quality and we must continue to add great companies which will help our economy grow faster-well done!”
One of the graduating founders Asif Jaffri has also been selected to attend a 10-day, more advanced program called ‘Founder Lab’ to be held in Silicon Valley. Another graduate Sibtain Jiwani has been inducted into Nest i/o to accelerate his startup further.
Hassan Qureshi, Abdullah Soomro and Umar Alam who are the local Founder Institute Directors thanked all mentors, partners, founders and everyone who contributed to the program.
Profiles of graduating companies and co-founders:
Animation Gig, Inc. is a global online marketplace exclusively focused on animation, where customers post projects and hire qualified service providers, within this marketplace are tools and resources to manage and track production progress, communication and revenues.
Founder: Syed Ali Asad Jafri is a 14 year media and animation industry veteran, having worked on a variety of animation projects ranging from games to films. He has also taught for 4 years at Iqra University media and animation related courses, has keen interest in art, media, business, technology, space and animation.
Approkers is an advertising platform that enables developers & game publishers to boost their installs and app discovery by incentivizing Android phone consumers with real rewards such as cash and mobile credit among others.
Founder: Wajahat Karim is a game developer by profession, a worldwide published author by hobby, and a passionate entrepreneur interested in technology startups.
Smartchoice.pk is a price comparison platform that helps consumers make smarter decisions and save time. With us, you can compare and save money on wide range of services including internet services, insurance etc.
Founder: Sibtain Jiwani has 6 years of business development experience in electronic banking and payment products.
Verifapp is a multi channel asset verification platform that allows citizens to verify the ownership of assets instantly and in real time. With us, you can verify assets such as cars, motorcycles and mobile phones by sending a SMS to a short code.
Founder: Syed Muhammad Asif Jafri is a 12 year mobile and digital media industry veteran , having served many leading multinationals before establishing his own venture by the name of Verifapp. He has successfully delivered many exciting and result oriented mobile campaigns for some of the leading international brands.