Yasser Khatak, a teenager who raised 400,000 pounds, was at Digital Youth Summit

Avatar Written by Fatima Rizwan ·  2 min read >

There is a famous quote “Start Early and Finish Strong” which instantly came to my mind when I met and got a chance to know more about Yasser Khatak at the Digital Youth Summit 2015 (DYS15) in Peshawar. Yasser started his first venture at the age of 15. Yes, at the age of 15, when most people generally don’t have any sense of money or how businesses work.

His first venture was importing cheap products and selling them to locals at a good margin. Yasser knew the art of selling and managed to earn 20,000 pounds through this gig. At that point he realized that money is not what makes him happy, rather doing something for others do. He grounded the venture at its prime and continued with his education.

In his college days, he came up with the idea of Den while he was reading a book. He was in his bed enjoying his book, when it struck him, just before he was about to sleep. He didn’t want to get out of the bed to turn off the lights. He thought there should be a remote solution to solve this problem and so Den was born.

Yasser was only 18 at that time and was totally occupied with his studies. Yasser recollects, “It was difficult managing studies and trying to build something from scratch, because of my ability to question the norms, I was suspended 16 times from the college.” Yasser was doing good in studies too, but due to the inability to manage everything, he decided to drop out of college and continue with his passions. His parents were not really happy about his decision to abandon college, but according to Yasser sometimes you have to take a stand, people might not believe in you and try to bring you down, but people don’t matter. Only you should be the person to decide who you want to become — Yasser chose to become an entrepreneur.

Now thinking about his decision, he believes that dropping out from college/university might not be a great idea for everyone. In university specially, there is independence. You can start projects with your friends, fellows and ultimately they can become your co-founders. Yasser believes that the biggest drawback of dropping out was that he hasn’t managed to find a co-founder yet. The feeling grew worse when his first crowdfunding campaign at KickStarter failed miserably. He started questioning his ability to get things done and whether or not the product will ever see the light of the day.

In order to raise funding through traditional means, he started working on a pitch and business model to secure investment. During that time he realized that although his prototype and product are efficient but his campaign, his pitch and his selling style was very poor.

He again worked on the campaign with clear and concise materials and at the time of writing this story, he has managed to raise over 400,000 pounds through crowdfunding platform, which is a lesson for everyone that product is just one part of a business. Getting a product developed doesn’t ensure getting customers and traction. You will have to go out there to get in the way of your clients/customers to get them to buy your product.

Talking about his key learnings and lessons, Yasser smiled and recommended to stay focused, pick something that you are really passionate about, don’t drop out of university for university can be the first place from where you can start your own venture. Believe in yourself because if you don’t, nobody else will and don’t let the gender, age or anything such thing let you down. You can achieve anything you want if you are ready to work hard for it.

You will be seeing more stories on Peshawar Digital Youth Summit. Keep visiting this space!

Written by Fatima Rizwan
I cover startups and entrepreneurs for TechJuice. Email: Profile