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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.

Aftab Hussain