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It has been a long day, but every moment was worth it!

We kicked off at 6 pm sharp on Friday. More than 80 participants of all ages and backgrounds turned up at The Nest I/O to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. The organizing team had been working tirelessly for two weeks, making sure all details were taken care of.

We started off Day 1 with a little orientation session with tech legend Jehan Ara and The Nest I/O Program Manager Akash Shaikh. We also had a guest speaker to pump the audience up, Imran Moinudddin, a Stanford graduate and CEO of NexDegree. The most fun was had during the ‘Half-Baked’ ice-breaking session, where all participants came up with ideas ranging from the practical to the ridiculous. It worked, however, in teaching attendees basics of pitching and helped ‘break the ice’.

When it came to ideas pitching, we were expecting maybe 20 or so pitches, but were pleasantly surprised when nearly the entire room raised their hand, indicating they wanted to pitch. Very soon one entire wall of our Mind Gym was covered with sheets scribbled with ideas, and then voting began.

We’d given each participant three stars to vote for their top three ideas, and it was great fun to see participants walking around selling their ideas and soliciting votes from fellow attendees. Very soon we had a list of the top 16 ideas, which were announced around 10 pm.

This was when we were scheduled to end, but the participants surprised us by insisting on staying another hour, forming teams, sharing ideas, basically preparing for the next day. We finally closed the venue around 11:30 pm at night, exhausted but elated. It had been a great day, and we couldn’t wait to welcome this bunch again the next morning.

Lo and behold, nearly all the participants were at the door at 9 am sharp the next morning. On a Saturday morning! Full of energy and excitement and ready to get to work! To say we were amazed, would be an understatement. We’re almost through Saturday now and can’t wait to see what these superstars present tomorrow.

Uzma Ghaznavi