Why Project Management is Still the Best Job

Project management

Ah, the question of starting salaries. It’s the elephant in the room for most job applicants and hiring managers, something often tiptoed and danced around from the beginning of the application/hiring process. According to Herzberg’s theory of motivation, salary is one of those strange features of the workplace that may not directly impact job satisfaction or employee motivation. But if you are earning a salary you are unhappy with, you can be pretty certain it will have a negative impact in those areas.

Many companies are now adopting numerous ways to manage employee absence, procrastination and as well as their overall performance, because they know that managing these things is the key factor in determining the success of the work they deliver.

For project managers currently mired with an unsatisfactory salary, or for those looking for an upgrade, there’s good news. The demand for project managers is growing across numerous industries and fields, with companies in all sectors looking for experienced and certified project managers to deal with projects big and small. Whether it’s a marketing agency, a high-tech web application development company or an FMCG manufacturing corporation, experience in project management is invaluable to all leading companies and many are willing to pay a hefty sum for the right candidate.

The Project Manager handles the timing and budget and is responsible for communicating goals and deadlines with team members and clients. PMP certified project managers are especially sought after as employers look for seasoned leaders with verifiable skills.

Master of Project Academy, a leading online certification site, looked at some top job sites and company data to scope out the 10 companies with highest project manager salaries and compensation packages.

  1. Cisco

Average Salary for Project Managers: $114,956 / year

The top paying company for Project Managers, Cisco, is headquartered in sunny California and develops, manufactures, and sells networking hardware, telecommunications equipment, and other high-technology services and products.

When we reviewed the comments of their employees, three words caught our attention: “work-life balance”. Cisco values a balance between productive work life and satisfying private life – pretty critical to consider in any job move.

  1. Jacobs

Average Salary for Project Managers: $109,106 / year

Jacobs operates in a wide variety of industries including construction, aerospace and defense, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, and transportation. It is one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of technical, professional, and construction services, so if working for a multinational conglomerate is your thing, this is the place to go.

  1. Southern California Edison

Average Salary for Project Managers: $104,206 / year

One of the US’ largest investor-owned utilities companies, Edison boasts over 5 million customers. The company plans to invest up to $20.4 billion in expanding and strengthening its electric system infrastructure over the next four years, so this is a company with huge growth potential for the driven project manager.

  1. Ericsson

Average Salary for Project Managers: $100,711 / year

Ericsson is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and services to telecom operators. This long established Swedish company has customers in 180 countries, with 40 percent of all mobile calls made through their systems. Employees find the company a fast paced and challenging environment, where hard work is expected and also well rewarded.

  1. SAIC

Average Salary for Project Managers: $96,324 / year

SAIC’s specialties include IT solutions, logistics & supply chain, and systems engineering. Deep customer and domain knowledge enables the company to deliver systems engineering and integration offerings for large, complex projects, so any prospective project managers should have experience in the same.

  1. Accenture

Average Salary for Project Managers: $95,715 / year

The renowned strategy and consulting firm offers a broad range of services and solutions to across over 40 industries. The company is known for helping clients improve performance, and project managers are integral to that process. The company’s HQ is located in Dublin, though satellites offices can be found in many countries around the world.Culture is strong here, so expect lots of company parties and team building events.

  1. Microsoft

Average Salary for Project Managers: $93,721 / year

Established in 1975, Microsoft has always been a pioneer in developing computing technologies. Now, its range of products varies from video games to digital services and smartphones. Multicultural and friendly, the atmosphere here is nonetheless highly competitive.

  1. JPMorgan Chase

Average Salary for Project Managers: $93,349 / year

The financial giant in commercial and corporate banking, JP Morgan Chase has almost 200 years of history. For its size and age, things are certainly moving fast, as the company is in the midst of reinvigorating itself and its services providing financial solutions for consumers, small businesses, corporations, governments and institutions around the world.

  1. Bank of America

Average Salary for Project Managers: $89,950 / year

One rank below is another of the world’s leading financial institutions. Serving everyone from small and middle sized business to large corporations, Bank of America is a global leader in investment, corporate banking, and trading, so project managers should have strong experience in the financial field. As expected of a company of this size, compensation and benefits are highly competitive.

  1. AECOM

Average Salary for Project Managers: $89,069 per year

Rounding out our top 10 list is Fortune 500 firm AECOM, a civil engineering company operating in more than 150 countries. It designs, builds, finances and operates infrastructure assets for governments, businesses, and organizations around the world. Some employees complain of management issues at the top level, but satisfaction with coworkers and a diversity of projects provide good growth and experience.


5 Ways To Think Like An Entrepreneur

What makes someone an entrepreneur? Do they carry a special token which differentiates them from others? Or is it the way they think? Well entrepreneurs are individuals who create something new and unique, an initiative, a business or a company. Moreover in order to become an entrepreneur one must think like one. A little bit of their knowledge can give you an advantage in your professional life.

  1. Entrepreneurs are experts at gambling. The main feature that makes entrepreneurs different from the average professionals is their rich appetite for risk. Entrepreneurs learn to weigh and assess risk and become comfortable with the idea that they must invest time and resources in new ideas. An entrepreneur should not be affected by the losses made from an unsuccessful startup. Instead they gain an unforgettable learning experience which enhances their skills and sets there base in becoming successful entrepreneurs.
  2.  Entrepreneurs tend to show signs of deep passion for their work. Mark Zuckerburg has said, “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” This is a major tool which helps in achieving success in field. If you think how your life would be if you chose a different field, try to think how you can change your life with your field. Try to look for signs to make your field better. Could you translate your position to another industry? If you’re not passionate about your work try not to feel stuck. Instead try to think how you can make the best use of your skills.
  3. In order to survive business must come up with innovative ideas, so entrepreneurs have to use their time to come up with new ideas by constantly brainstorming. Lacking this ability makes one unable to become an entrepreneur. Steve Jobs had quoted that “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower”. In order to brainstorm, try to schedule sometime in a week to come up with ideas. Eventually you will come up with an idea which differentiates you from others.
  4. Have you ever found yourself stuck waiting for responses in order to proceed forward? Entrepreneurs don’t and should not have a high tolerance for inefficiency. Making inefficient decisions makes entrepreneurs fail to realize their full potential. In order to overcome inefficiencies in organizations, entrepreneurs come up with ideas and try to implement them. Due to their continuous attempts they are able to minimize inefficiencies or in some cases they are able to eliminate it completely.
  5. The most important attribute of entrepreneur’s is their resilient nature. Even though they are realistic, entrepreneurs don’t take giving up as an option. In fact they use their failures as stepping stones in achieving what they could not. They tend to aim far beyond the sky because they know even if they can’t achieve their dream they will certainly achieve something when they try.

The main reason why entrepreneurs are different from others is because of their ability to think differently. For this reason they achieve more than an average individual could ever dream of.

By Hussain Jamshed

[Interview] How Thryve is creating an impact on Healthcare, One Stomach at a Time

“Machine learning is changing everything — except maybe healthcare,” said MIT professor, John Guttag at the Big Data and Healthcare Analytics Forum on Oct. 24, 2016.

While Artificial Intelligence or machine learning is already transforming many industries, healthcare providers have done much less with these technologies. I have written up to a hundred stories covering these technologies and the impact I’ve observed so far is enough to prove the hypothesis that machine learning can truly provide convenience to human lives. How? This story will answer that.

Machine learning in healthcare has started changing a lot of things and the revolution we’ve promised through this technology is here. During my recent trip to S.F Bay Area, I’ve had a chance to meet an entrepreneur who is already challenging the statement of Prof. John Guttag.

Richard Lin is an entrepreneur in the Bay Area who is working on a healthcare startup, Thryve. It provides a gut testing kit paired with personalized probiotics to provide knowledge about the microbes inside a human body. His venture aims to improve the health of people by utilizing machine learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) on 35
00+ microbiome studies to provide tips, recommendations, and actions for improvement. What Richard plans to do ahead is in the following interview. Have a read!

Hira: What does Thryve do? How would you explain the idea behind it?

Richard: Thryve helps people learn about the microbes inside their body in order to improve health. We offer a gut wellness test kit and based on the results deliver high-quality pro/prebiotics to their door. Results are sent to customers with information on the various health impacts of the bacteria levels found in their stomach and diet and lifestyle recommendations. Each report also features an overall “Gut Wellness Score” which allows subscribers to track their progress over time.


Hira: What made you choose probiotics for the well-being of humans?

Richard: Using antibiotics allows us to effectively control microbial infections by killing them. However, we have actually been co-evolving with microbes and with recent advancements in biology and DNA sequencing new discoveries are made about their essential role on our health. Probiotics have been known to be beneficial for our health, but we believe what we know is just the tip of the iceberg, and there is so much more potential for them to help people. Although the science is still in its infancy we’ve seen probiotics exert positive effects on mood, muscle growth, inflammation, lincreasing pain thresholds, prenatal growth, and many others.

Hira: Do you only test for microbiome or do you provide nutritional recommendations too?

Richard: Currently, we test the bacterial microbiome in the human body. We also provide dietary and lifestyle recommendations via our reports.

Hira: Coming to the main point, how are you incorporating Machine Learning into it?

Richard: We use machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing to summarize contextual information from 3500+ microbiome studies and our customer’s profile data. We then use our dashboards and chatbots to deliver relevant and personalized wellness recommendations to our customers in a user-friendly way. Think of it as your very own personal robot scientist and nutritionist working in conjunction to improve your wellness.

Hira: How far has Machine Learning advanced over recent years and what impact it had on healthcare industry?

Richard: We’ve seen some huge leaps in machine learning across consumer Internet companies. For example, Google photos with deep learning to auto-tag and categorize your photos and Facebook’s computer vision for facial recognition. However, we’ve yet to see a huge leap forward with the healthcare industry. Intrinsically, healthcare is a very difficult problem to tackle considering the stakes are much higher. For instance, tagging a photo incorrectly at scale isn’t quite that large of a problem. However, if errors happen with prediction models for healthcare, serious issues arise and the repercussions can be detrimental to a person’s well-being.

Hira: What other technologies are you planning to incorporate in the near future?

Richard: Chatbot interface, Bioinformatics, Machine Learning.

Hira: Many companies are incorporating Chatbots into the healthcare system. Are you planning the same?

Richard: Absolutely. Starting from last year (Q4’15) chat has surpassed social networks in terms of engagement with users. Thus, we are seeing a huge trend in how users interact with applications and the internet. Chatbots will be a key component in how Thryve will extract meaningful customer insights in an intuitive and natural way about diseases, symptoms, supplements, diet, sleep, etc. We can remove the barrier of cumbersome questionnaires and surveys and build an interactive way for users to provide their data to help advance science.

Hira: How are you planning to incorporate big data into the business?

Richard: We are in the business of making sense of microbial genomics. Intrinsically, removing the noise and making sense of these bacterial genes requires large amounts of data flowing through our proprietary bioinformatics pipeline and our algorithms match and summarize research studies to provide relevant information to our customers.  

Hira: What feedback have you received so far on Thryve?

Richard: We were able to build up initial traction with customers in closed Facebook groups dealing with chronic illnesses. The reception has been tremendous and our early adopters are super excited about our product. That said, those who are already healthy have not been as keen to understand the importance of how the microbiome affects their wellness (better sleep, clearer skin, less fatigue, improved mood) and I believe there is an educational process needed to help everyone understand the relevancy.

Hira: Is Google DeepMind your competitor?

Richard: No, I see them as our partners.

Hira:  How are you planning to position Thryve in the coming years?

Richard: Thryve’s mission has always been to solve disease associated with the microbiome. However, it’s naive to think that the microbiome is the only area that affects disease states. That said, we envision our platform will target many areas of wellness across humans, animals, agriculture, food. We hope to bring wellness to all areas of life.


P.S. Any questions you want to ask Richard? Drop them to me at hello@hirasaeed.com and I’ll make sure to have them answered!


Data Acquisition Strategies for Startups

Data Acquisition Strategies

Starting anything from scratch means putting a lot of sweat and effort to make it running. Startups always go through this phase, be it getting their first investment or launching their Beta test. Every step needs their wholesome attention.

Data acquisition strategy usually goes hand-in-hand with the choice of business model that you are opting. For example, startups with a chatbot can assign a human “AI trainers” who manually create or verify the utterances their chatbots make. This gets tougher when you have multiple data centers and information that is coming is very sensitive. If you plan to build a Big data enterprise, you go for application integration and business intelligence firms for data mining, aggregation, and validation. But did I tell you that it will cost much higher than what you earn at your early stages?

The following list of strategies will give you an idea of how to start acquiring data for your startup at the teething stage.

Run a Beta Campaign

Launching a beta before your actual product is another approach. Design a campaign in which the customer can give an input on a web based environment with his information. This is a little challenging though as people hesitate from giving personal data online but if they like the campaign, they will. Many startups create a beta community who will get the product before the world. Making your potential customer feel privileged is the formula here but For this, you need to fascinate your potential user regarding the actual product.

Setup a Local Wifi for Free

Free-Wifi is a perk no one denies! Every person carries a mobile device and the need to stay connected with the internet would urge them to use your Free WiFi connection. WiFi network can give the information of people around the area, a number of people inside and outside the specific area, the concentration of users at a particular website, their browsing history and what not. For example, SocialSign.in has created a system where customers catch the wifi, and to use it, they have to log-in via their social media profiles. After signing in, customers can be asked to like a page, subscribe to a mailing list or just land to your website directly. Even when customers don’t bother with that optional step, you can have insights about their customers through their social sign-ins alone

Use social media websites

Engage with your potential customers on these websites and run a campaign to have them onboard. LinkedIn having more than 450 million users is a great source of data on professionals, a suitable amount of information can be collected with their professional profiles. Twitter having over 300 million users with the huge number of images and data they put in every day. Facebook, crossing above 1.75 billion users (and no restriction of 140 characters) has manifolds of data, with the people sharing almost everything from the places they eat to the car they drive. The best part of this approach? You don’t ask for it! 🙂

Use GPS and other Sensors

GPS and many other sensors are embedded in every application we use. Different sensors can be used to analyze different trends of the people. What places they commonly visit, what websites they surf, what stores are the center of attention, all this information can be extracted by using this data provided by the embedded sensor on your application, device or website. For example, with over 100,000 sensor-equipped vehicles on the road, Tesla is currently building the largest training datasets for self-driving cars gathering more autopilot miles every day than Google.

Manual Data Approach

The use of survey tools is the most primary and direct (Read: hassle) way of data acquisition and collection. The survey forms, questionnaires, etc and interviews with the customer targeted on the requisite data with generic and specific questions as per the need. However, this method is not a very attractive approach because filling up these forms can be a hassle for the users at times, or you may need to put in some goodies for the customers in order to motivate them to give you the information you need.

Startup Weekend Lahore FAQs

The following are the frequently asked questions regarding Startup Weekend Lahore:

Q. What is the registration deadline for Startup Weekend Lahore?

       A. The registration deadline for Startup Weekend Lahore is 14th February 2017.

Q. What are the timings for the event?   

       A. The event will start on Friday at 4 pm and will end on Sunday at 10 pm.

Q. What is the mode of payment?

      A. Mode of payment will be through bank draft, details will be communicated to the shortlisted applicants.

Q. What is the payment deadline for Startup Weekend Lahore event?

      A. Payment deadline will be disclosed to the shortlisted candidates. Participants will have ample of time to   process and submit their payments.

Q. Is there any refund policy for the payment in case I cannot attend the event?

     A. No, there is no refund policy. If you get shortlisted, please be sure before making the payment.

Q. What is the schedule of the event?

    A. You can view the schedule of the event from this link.

Q. Can I still apply if I don’t have an idea?

    A. Yes, you can apply even if you don’t have an idea. In that case, you can extend your expertise to people    who have an idea by joining their team.

Q. Can I pitch more than one idea?

    A. Yes. Prioritize your ideas, pitch your best idea and the one you have most prepared for first.

Q. Can I pitch my existing business idea?

    A. No. You can only pitch your existing idea if MVP (minimal viable product) has not been developed yet.

Q. Can all university students or professionals apply?

    A. Anybody with an idea which would help bring innovation and creativity  is more than welcome to apply.

Q. Will you be provided accomodation?

    A. No, but you will be able to stay over the 54 hours on venue.

Q. Do we need a team before applying to Startup Weekend Lahore?

    A. You may have a team but it is not a condition. If you have a team, each team member will have to register individually.

For further queries contact you can email or you can inbox us at our Facebook Page

5 Ways an IPO Can Hurt Your Startup


For small businesses, an initial public offering (IPO) is sometimes a key milestone that many strive for. It is the first time that the stock of the company is offered to the public, and represents a new wave of capital and expansion. Small businesses often use IPOs to further their company’s growth and see the IPO as a necessary and crucial step forward. However, sometimes the IPO turns out to be more hindrance than help imposing limitations and headache son the very company that sought to use the IPO as a source of expansion. “Data published by Renaissance Capital indicate that as of June 2, 2016, there were only 34 IPO pricings, compared to the same point in 2015 when there were 70 IPO pricings. These 34 IPOs raised only $5.5 billion as of June 2, 2016. This amount is 55.8% below the $12.5 billion raised by IPOs between Jan. 1, 2015, and June 2, 2015.”

Callum Laing, a partner in the private equity firm Unity-Group and co-author of a new book “Agglomerate – From Idea to IPO in 12 Months”, shares a whole new insight of five ways an IPO can hurt a small business. These are a few ways that you should avoid at all costs, or your next IPO may become one of the many that flounder.

1.     Succession

Entrepreneurs are usually integral to the business. They build the company from the ground up, know the ins and outs of the business, are familiar with its culture, and are even at times central to the image of the business. Most of the times, they are the driving force and passion behind the enterprise who are working tirelessly for years to help the company reach an IPO. However, when it is the time for an IPO there may be shifts in how much they can be involved in the day to day running of the business, and often, the original entrepreneur leaves, taking most of the drive and passion with them.

2.     Culture

With the major changes that come from an IPO, key people often leave the business, sometimes with the key customers. This is truer if the business is not well prepared for the transition. For small businesses, talent is crucial and the dynamics of the team and the unique talents of those involved are often a central selling point. Often, even the departure of a single customer or key staff member can result in serious fiscal consequences. An IPO can also result in a shift in the brand identity, forgetting that the brand is actually a valuable asset that should be retained. However, with the brand and culture now controlled by a board of investors rather than individual entrepreneurs, culture and identity may fall second to maximising profit margins, ultimately hurting both.

3.     Cost

Listing IPO’s is extremely expensive and time-consuming. Entrepreneurs used to working with a small tight knit cabinet find they will need a board to run the business and the IPO. In addition to advisors, specialist non-executives and experienced board members are often essential to attracting investors. Some companies think having strong international markets and business partners is a great way to reduce risk and improve valuation, but the added risk and expense of operating in a foreign country can mitigate any of the benefits such a strategy provides. Finally, public company investors are a generally very different from the angel investors and venture capitalists that the business would have worked with so far. Because of this, most roll-ups are either debt funded or investor funded – either way, this creates huge stress on the business.

4.     Liquidity

Raising money for smaller businesses is very hard. Small businesses may find that they are just not big enough or de-risked enough to attract adequate funding from an IPO. With the Federation of Small Businesses reporting 99% of all businesses globally as small or medium enterprises, the competition is stiff. And even when you do get investments, it is often at the price of control over the business. Publicly listed shares will often carry a premium for their liquidity, and the entrepreneurs must show a strong business case for every use of money to their new board of investors. Even with more capital, the lack of liquidity and slow movement of funds can prove more of a hindrance than a boon.

5.     Timing

Timing is critical to creating the best value and wealth from an IPO. Many good businesses that were keepers back in 2007 or 2008 do not exist anymore. The biggest question is always when to sell? Sell too early and you may miss out on all those contracts that you have slowly been building trust and market presence to acquire. The biggest issue with wealth creation in business is that only a small percentage of businesses actually create any wealth for their owners, and often nothing more than a return on capital. Not a great return if you add up all the hours, risks, and sacrifices required to start a business.

What is the Alternative to Traditional IPO?

Instead of going at an IPO alone, and potentially facing all of the pitfalls, small businesses can consider joining together with other small businesses and forming a holding company, banding together for a collective IPO. This process, known as “agglomeration”, can give all the member businesses an instant boost in scale and diversification, as well as boost the geographic reach of each member if other members are in diverse locations. This can immediately increase valuation and make the small business more attractive to investors. The public listing allows business owners more financial freedom while tackling the public listing with other small business owners helps foster cooperation to drive share value. Agglomeration allows a pooling of resources that also reduces the cost of the IPO, eliminating the need for separate advisors, boards, and non-specialist executives for each company.

Best of all, each individual entrepreneur can remain 100% in charge of their own business, retaining their own brand name, culture, and staff. This reduces the risk of shifts in company culture and staff or leadership that often mars the IPO process. Since each business is an individual unit within the group, there is limited liability – and if one entrepreneur chooses to leave, it is relatively easy with publicly listed stock to go and bring a similar business unit into the holding company and assimilate their management team. This creates easy natural succession without having to sell the entire parent company.

IPO’s can be difficult for small businesses to go at alone, with many pitfalls that can wind up hurting the business more than the increased capital can help. Agglomeration with other small businesses can allow entrepreneurs to have a better chance of making the IPO, and their business, a true success.

Global Phenomenon of Startup Weekend Returns to Karachi!


400 cities, 135 countries and the 54-hours! Startup Weekend has a reputation of being one of the biggest entrepreneurial events held throughout the world and it has produced hundreds of successful startups. The Startup Weekend is coming back to Karachi with its 4th edition this November. Aplos Innovations has teamed up with SEED Ventures is hosting it on the dates of 25th to 27th November.

What is a Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event that includes brainstorming of ideas, creation and pitching. It is usually held over the course of three days at the end of the week. It provides aspiring entrepreneurs not only a platform on which they can develop their ideas into an applicable business plan and structure in the 54 hours, but also pitch and sell their product on a global scale.

The event provides a platform to all the entrepreneurs and professionals like designers developers and business analysts to work on their big idea and create a successful unique Startup out of it! Don’t worry if there is nothing in your mind yet or you don’t have an idea, you can still join Startup Weekend Karachi and be a part of it if you are good at what you do. You can join a team, work with them on their idea and become a partner!

This program is for everyone. You can become a part of it just by registering yourself and paying a small fee. Once you’re registered, you have become a participant and you can pitch your idea and receive help and feedback on that from the speakers, mentors and judges at SW over the weekend, they will help you work on your idea and turn it into a potential and useful business product. Since this event is also a part of the Global Startup Battle, It is a global competition and the winning team gets qualified to participate in it. They’ll get a chance to go to compete in finale of the Global Startup Battle.

Who is hosting Startup Weekend in Karachi ?

Aplos Innovations has teamed up with SEED Ventures to bring this unique platform once again in Karachi. Aplos Innovations have always played an encouraging role in this regard. They believe in the strength of technology and entrepreneurship. Entrepreneur acting as strong catalysts to our socio-economical growth is Aplos Innovation’s catch in this. Hashim Yasin is the official facilitator credible for past three Startup Weekends held in Karachi. Here’s what he has to say:

“Startup Weekend is a big opportunity for all the budding entrepreneurs who need a platform to pitch and present their ideas.

Startup Weekend Karachi is part of a global celebration happening in over 250 cities around the world and we really want our winning team to be among the shortlisted ideas which will be competing with other startups in the Global Battle. It would be a moment of pride for all of us”.

–  Mr. Hashim Yasin, Facilitator of Startup Weekend

With partners like eventbrite, .CO, Google for Entrepreneurs, KASBIT, Starlinks, Jang Group, Pizza Hut, FM 91, bookitnow.pk and Lipton, this Startup Weekend is expected to be the biggest and most successful Startup Weekend ever.

This year, this prestigious program is being arranged as a part of Global Startup Battle(GSB) from Friday, 25th of November 2016 to Sunday 27th of November 2016.

Startup Weekend Karachi will incorporate three distinct events:

  • Opening night with a wonderful theme dinner.
  • Working & Mentoring Sessions which will be followed by a Social Night
  • The Closing Ceremony followed by a Theme Dinner.

Reach Us At?

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Youtube


Ask us anything you want to at: startupweekendkarachi@gmail.com 

Or call us at: +92-336-4069-039

‘We are Even More Motivated to Bring this Idea to the Market’ – Winner Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016

Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016 was a huge success, converting ideas to reality by involving people who can do intensive work and by providing top notch mentorship to the participants. After the event many team’s appreciated the efforts of organizing team and were energetic to take on the market with the ideas they have worked on over the weekend. Here are views of some of the teams at Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016:

Winner Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016
Winner Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016

Mars is still far away, there are enough wonders to explore on planet Earth! This is the vision behind team Mad Hunt and this is exactly how we came up with the idea of Mad Hunt.

Mad Hunt is an amalgamation of real time and mobile gaming. How? Mad hunt is a real time scavenger hunt in which location specific clues are spread throughout your city and there are numerous vouchers hidden under those clues. But here’s the catch. You can only view the clue through our application and once you are present near that point physically. The GPS will guide you know where exactly the clues are placed. All you have to do is go to that point physically, solve our clue and Viola! In this manner solve as many clues as possible and not only increase your chances of winning amazing vouchers but also stay on top of the leaderboard.

You can play this game while coming back from office, during your class break, literally any time when you just want to relax and have a little fun. Also you don’t have to be worried anymore when going to a new city. Mad hunt will be your personal tourist guide wherever you go! So what are you waiting for! Download this game today and experience for yourself the madness that we have to offer:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=pk.codistan.madhunt

Our experience at Startup Weekend was amazing as we got very useful insights on how we can refine our idea even better.  All the mentors were very encouraging and this experience helped give us a huge confidence boost as well and now

with a bang! The organization of the event was also professional, credit goes to Startup Hub, Air university and partners of startup weekend Islamabad.

Team Mad Hunt, Winner Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016

I-Matter,2nd Runner up Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016

I-Matter is aimed to be a finishing school of business for the transgender community based on the theme of “Learn and Earn”. It intends to provide them with basic education, vocational skills and freelancing skills so that they can earn and stand with the whole nation at the same level. I-Matter believes that considering gender as a binary system makes our views narrow and we lose some of the greatest talents present around us. It also believes that now is the time to refute the social stereotypes of the society to give transgender a platform where they can become successful without any discrimination. Our team members include Muhammad Mujtaba Khan Raja, Maham Johnson and Talha Ahmad. It was a great fortune to be a part of Startup Weekend Islamabad, 2016. The SWISB16 team was very welcoming, cooperative and made us feel at home. The mentors were no less than a magic spell who gave our ideas a touch of perfection and reality. They were an immense source of help and inspiration who made us see the flaws of our project and pushed us to break the confining walls of our minds to think out of the box. These three days gave a new shape and broadened the vision and aim of our project. Being at Startup Weekend Islamabad doubled the level of our motivation, focus, commitment and passion for I-Matter. We are now sure that we are ready to take any challenge coming our way and will leave no stone unturned for the success of I-Matter. The 54 hours spent at startup weekend Islamabad, no doubt, built a pressure on us and were tiring too but in the end it was all worth it. Startup Weekend Islamabad went all fair with the description:”No Talk. All Action. Launch a Startup in 54 hours.”

Team I-Matter, 2nd runner up

Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016

Startup Hub and Air University collaboratively presented Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016 (Sep. 30th – Oct 2nd, 2016) partnered with Plan 9. Startup Hub is very thankful to our collaborative partner Air University for providing support to make Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016 happen. Startup Hub also want to thank all of the participants, judges, mentors and partners to make this event a huge success, and as our tag line suggest “Nurturing Entrepreneurial Eco System”, we are readily available to take these ideas pitched at Startup Weekend Islamabad 2016 further by facilitating them through all our resources.

Group Photo
A group photo of mentors and participants after successful event.

Startup Weekend is a global phenomenon – 54 hours of fast and furious prototype development through to exploring potential markets and pitching. It’s an unparalleled opportunity to build lasting relationships with co-founders; mentors, and investors. The real value comes from taking an idea from concept through to execution using Lean tactics and working under high pressure with the best startups.

Startup Weekend Islamabad was able to create a highly dependable entrepreneurial eco-system for the event where they were able to attract eminent industry professionals, business leaders, serial entrepreneurs, heads / representatives of associations of local entrepreneurs in the form of inspirational speakers, coaches, mentors, judges a well as incubators. The major event partner of startup weekend Islamabad was Plan9. Among other event partners included Team UP, TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs), ILM 2 Ideas, JumpStart Pakistan, Bookitnow.pk, AU ORIC, Eventual, Careem, Streamkar and Pro Pakistani. Hashim Yasin was appointed by Techstars as facilitator for the event who flew all the way from Karachi to conduct and facilitate a very lively event in the footprints of Margalla Hills.

Other than extensive one on one coaching sessions and intensive work environment, a few valuable workshops were also organized for the participants, including Plan9 workshop on Business Canvas Modeling and Lean Startup Methodologies by Rafi Imran Amjad from Teamup. During Startup Weekend, participants from various academic and professional backgrounds were supposed to transform their business ideas to minimum viable businesses or product in 54 hours. The exciting weekend started on Friday evening with Ice breaking session conducted by Qasim Mumtaz(Trainer/Consultant of Startup Hub), which broke communication barriers between participants, afterwards Helen Kamal told the participant about the prospects of ED-Tech Startup in Pakistan and about vision of Ilm 2 Ideas, followed by  elevator pitching session, later on co-founder dating session happened over dinner, during which different participants teamed up to develop their business venture. During next day and a half, experienced industry professionals and serial entrepreneurs kept joining Startup Weekend as coaches and mentors in order to grill and polish the venture projects of young enthusiasts and guiding them to the right direction.

On Saturday morning Dr. Syed Ismail Shah, Chairman PTA & CEO ICT R&D fund joined the event along with VC Air University and Director ORIC AU for a mentoring session and told participants about the opportunities available for entrepreneurs. Chairman PTA / CEO ICT R&D Fund was presented with the souvenir by VC Air University followed by a hi-tea. During the course of the day, Syed Ahmad Masood (CEO Channel 7, Change Mechanics, Co-Director The Founder Institute, Chartered Member TiE), ICT professionals & serial entrepreneurs like , Hammad Khalique, Parvez Abbasi and Rafi Imran Amjad from TeamUp, Saad Hamid from I2I, Helen Kamal, Qasim Mumtaz, Shoaib Ahmed, Asif Ejaz, Syed Rehan Afzal, Agha Hamza, Nausheen Fatima and Khurram Shehzad  were few among so many of the mentors who added value to the event by providing extensive coaching and mentoring to the event participants.

On Sunday morning Mr. Mansoor Malik, Chairman Kamyab Pakistan & Member Board of Governer TiE (Islamabad Chapter), also joined in to mentor startups. Later in the evening, the venture teams were invited to present their working prototypes along with the realistic business plan (including customer validation results, business model, revenue model, unique selling point, business growth strategy etc.) in front of eminent judges, business leaders and incubators / funding agencies. Each team had to face a tough question-answer session by the experienced panel of judges. The panel of judges included Mr. Imtiaz Rastgar, serial entrepreneur, Chairman Rastgar Group of Companies, Mr. Faisal Khan (CEO Ovex Technology), Meer Anwar (ICT Specialist & Consultant), Ms. Warda Altaf from Plan9 and Mr. Adeel Sheikh from National ICT R&D Fund.

Almost all of the teams exhibited quality work, which they had developed during last 48 hours of continuous effort. To name a few included, Mobile OK kro, Shop Desk, Turbo Charger, Track n Drop, Android based Home Automation, Exo-Skeleton, Garden Fresh etc. The Winners of the Startup Weekend Islamabad, 2016 were Mad Hunt (1st position), Portable Incubator (2nd position) and I-Matter (3rd position). Idea details of winning startups is mentioned in this blog post. All three were chosen by Plan9 to be given a wildcard entry in their next incubation session, for further incubation and acceleration / funding purposes.

The Event was covered live by Streamkar and event was also covered on social media on Startup Hub’s Official Facebook page, Instagram and twitter, Facebook Event and on Startup Weekend Islamabad Facebook Page as well.

At the end of event the participants were awarded certificates, partners were presented with shields and judges and mentors were presented souvenirs of Startup Weekend Islamabad. After concluding remarks by VC Air University, Air Vice Marshal (retd) Faaiz Amir, group pictures were taken with all the Guests, Mentors and Judges, and the event was formally closed with a corporate dinner from VC of Air University.

Startup Hub highly appreciate the response and support of Local Startup Community. We hope to carry on the mission to nurture the entrepreneurial eco-system forward and be a part of such initiatives in future.

Startup Weekend Lahore Ed-Innovation FAQ’s

These are the frequently asked questions regarding Startup Weekend Lahore Ed-Innovation:

What is the registration deadline for Startup Weekend Lahore?

The registration deadline for Startup Weekend Ed-Innovation is 24th July 2016.

What is the timings of the event?   

The event will start on Friday at 4 pm and will end on Sunday at 10 pm.

What is the mode of payment?

Mode of payment will be disclosed to the shortlisted candidates.

What is the payment deadline for Startup Weekend Lahore event?

Payment deadline will be disclosed to the shortlisted candidates. Participants will have ample time to process and submit their payments.

Is there any refund policy for the payment in case i cannot attend the event?

No, there is no refund policy. If you get shortlisted, please be sure before making the payment.

What is the schedule of the event?

You can view the schedule of the event from this link

What does Ed-Innovation mean?

Ed-Innovation mean Innovation in Education. In education, innovation often results when ideas are applied to satisfy the needs and expectations of the students.

Can I still apply if I don’t have an idea?

Yes, you can apply even if you don’t have an idea. In that case, you can extend your expertise to people who have an idea by joining their team.

I have an idea but it is not education related, can i still apply?

Unfortunately, you may not apply if you don’t have an education related idea as participants have to follow the theme. You may, however, join hands with people who have an idea by teaming up with them.

Can I pitch more than one idea?

Yes. Prioritize your ideas, pitch your best idea and the one you have most prepared for first.

Can I pitch my existing business idea?

No. You can only pitch your existing idea if MVP (minimal viable product) has not been developed yet.

Can all university students or professionals apply?

Anybody with an idea to improve and innovate the existing education system in Pakistan is more than welcome to apply.

Do we need a team before applying to Startup Weekend Lahore?

You may have a team but it is not a condition. If you have a team, each team member will have to register individually.

For further queries contact you can email or you can inbox us at our Facebook Page