The competition was held after a month long campaign titled “working wonders” which aimed to encourage all existing and aspiring female entrepreneurs to come forward and turn their dream ideas into running businesses. The campaign received more than 250 applications out of which 100 were shortlisted to attend the event.
Jehan Ara, President P@SHA and Founder of The Nest I/O commented that the purpose of Startup Weekend is to bring people together and give them a platform where they don’t only learn how to start their own company but also get in touch with their innovative side. She said that events like Startup Weekend Women are even more important because they strengthen concepts like starting own businesses and leadership amongst women, eventually increasing the number of female entrepreneurs in the country.
While Startup Weekend is not a new concept and has been taking place all around the world, including Pakistan, since 2007, the Women edition of Startup Weekend was hosted for the first time in Pakistan. The event kicked off on Friday at 5:30 PM, with attendance of more than 90 participants, with 90% female participation. A total of 52 ideas were pitched on the first night out of which 17 were selected by an audience vote for final pitching. These ideas were then developed over the weekend into prototypes and business models.
Over a period of 3 days, the participants also had an opportunity to get advice from mentors who were present throughout to guide and support these aspiring entrepreneurs. Participants were also given short workshops to help them develop their ideas into business. Sidra Iqbal was invited to conduct a small workshop on Communication and Pitching while another workshop was conducted on Prototyping. A speaker session slot was organised on Day 2 in which successful women from different fields took the stage and shared details of their own journey with participants. The speaker line-up included Hiba Masood, writer, educator, and storyteller; Khizra Munir, CEO Co Pakistan; Zarmina Faisal, Yoga Instructor and Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach; Maheen Adamjee, Co-Founder Dot & Line; and Uzma AlKarim, Senior Anchor and Producer Geo TV. To further facilitate the young entrepreneurs, two small workshops were also included.
The winning teams were selected by a panel of judges including Seema Jaffer, CEO & Creative Director Bond Advertising, Sadaf Mehmood, Partner and Enterprise Development Strategist SEED Ventures, Sadaffe Abid, Co-Founder Circle, Lubna Lakhani, CEO Raintree Spa, and Rabia Garib, Co-Founder and Chief Editor The New Spaces.
The following teams were selected as winners by the five esteemed judges:
Winner: DocTech – A decision support system to reduce doctor patient interaction
First Runner-up: Kachra Konnect – An app to educate and connect restaurants with recyclers
Second Runner-up: Jee Lo – a one-stop bucket list app allowing people to chase their dreams
Special Mention: Virtual Gaming – An app that allows users to play any game with the power of their mind.