Karachi played host to one of the largest tech conferences in Pakistan this week in the form of “Momentum Pakistan 2017” where upcoming and relatively new startups were given a worthwhile chance to showcase their potential in front of leading entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and businessmen in the technological and corporate sector.
Brought together by the tireless efforts of Jafri brothers (eocean), Dr. Ismail Shah (Chairman, PTA), Mr. M.A.Mannan (CEO, TCS Holdings), Mudassir Sheikh (CEO, Careem), Dr. Umar Saif (CIO, Government of Punjab), Armughan Ahmad (Senior VP, Dell EMC), Naeem Zamindar (CEO, Acumen Pakistan), Hana Habayeb (Director, Microsoft), Gerrit Ribbink (Team Lead, Enclude Holding), Nadeem Hussain (Founder, Planet N), Dr. Jonathan Doerr (CEO, Daraz Asia) etc. alongside many other renowned professionals from the tech industry whose key mission behind this exhibition-plus-competition was to further strengthen the startup ecosystem, which is still in its formative stages inside Pakistan.
The two-day conference was held from 6-7th February 2017 at the Karachi Expo Centre. The Expo Centre was divided into three halls which were based on different themes.
Hall 1 was designated with the theme of ‘Hall of Tech which had new upcoming gadgets on display that were using advanced technologies with leading brands like Zong, Telenor etc. displaying their products.
Hall 2 was titled as the ‘Start-up Village’ which had an exhibition of nearly 120 startup companies with some of them hailing from respected incubators like NEST IO, Enterprise Forum Pakistan, PlanX, Plan 9, LUMS Centre of Entrepreneurship, IBA AMAN CED, TechValley Abbottabad etc.
And lastly, Hall 3 was designated for ‘Speaker Sessions’ where experienced personnel belonging to the Tech Industry in Pakistan and abroad delivered informative talks and conducted panel discussion as to how we can improve the entrepreneurship scope inside Pakistan.
Women representing their startups and organizations at Momentum.
On Day 1, one of the main highlights was the talk given by Dr. Nadeem Hussain (Founder, Planet N) who opined his views on the emerging landscape of entrepreneurship in the last few years and Miss. Jehan Ara (President, P@SHA) who discussed the present conditions and future prospects of startup culture inside Pakistan. Besides that, Syed Irfan Ali (Executive Director – State Bank of Pakistan) also gave an insightful talk on how could innovation play a crucial role in reshaping the financial mindset in our country. In the last phase, fireside chats were also held to discuss the success stories of two featured startups, Careem and Pakwheels with Junaid Iqbal (Managing Director, Careem) and Raza Saeed (CEO, Pakwheels) respectively to mark the conclusion of the first day.
Panel discussion on “How to fund your startup?” being conducted
The second day of Momentum 2017 kicked off with an informative discussion being conducted on the topic “How to fund your startup?” with the panel comprising of Com Mirza (CEO, Mirza Holdings), Bilal Khan (CEO, OneEleven), Omer Ehtisham (CEO, Dot Zero Ventures), Khurram Zafar (Executive Director, LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship) and Saif Akhter (CEO, 10xC). Later on, another panel discussion was organized on the theme of “Building Stronger startups faster” with a panel comprising of Sadaf Mehmood (Partner, Seed Ventures), Jehan Ara (President, P@SHA), Nabeel Qadir (Director, PITB), Shahid Qureshi (Program Director, IBA AMAN CED) and Hassan Bhatti (CBO, Iris Automation).
In addition to this, many other speaker sessions and useful talks were also conducted that catered various significant aspects of entrepreneurship like Women Entrepreneurship, Role of Fintech, Scope of IoT and Brand Building.