So what does it take to get to number 1? A great idea, a fantastic team, persistence, sleepless nights and the absolute belief that your idea deserves to get to the top. With only 54 hours to brainstorm and present a game changing idea, stakes are high, pressure is high, competition is high, motivation is high, and the energy in the space is unimaginable.
Sahr Said, the CEO of Beauty Hooked, was driven to disrupt the beauty services industry, and create an online platform that helps women to search, discover, review, compare and book beauty services anytime, anywhere. She walked in with an idea in mind, planned to perfection. What she was looking for was a fantastic team, a platform to get feedback, mentorship and secure incubation. On the Friday pitching night, the first day of Startup Weekend Lahore, Beauty Hooked was pitched as one amongst 61 ideas to an audience of 130 people including participants, coaches and mentors. It was shortlisted as one amongst 16 teams which would be working the next 45 hours to create a minimum viable product to be pitched on Sunday to the panel of judges and investors. This attracted a team of brilliant developers, who worked hard under a tight timeline to build the technology behind the idea. The final pitch was nerve wracking, with a larger panel of judges than any previous startup weekend. Beauty Hooked had to prove its potential, and the team its might. Success didn’t come easy, but when it did, it brought with it opportunities beyond belief.
Beauty Hooked turned from an idea to a reality over a weekend. The big win generated steam. The idea was validated, a strong team was formed, mentorship was obtained, and most importantly, a spot was secured for incubation at the LUMS Center of Entrepreneurship. The team is currently working hard to get their beauty service platform launched.
So after all that, Sahr’s advice: “Startup Weekend Lahore is a hot bed of opportunity, but only if you are prepared, and know what you are looking for. My advice would be to take some time to reflect on, and know, exactly what you want from the event before jumping in. Figure out, is it co-founders you are seeking? Mentors, incubation, networking opportunities or just a space to test your nerves? Whatever it is, it’s important to know what you want, and to focus wholeheartedly on that goal.”