Air University Organized Start Up Weekend Islamabad 2016

A Unique event Where 12 companies were created just within 54 hours

After success of Startup Weekend 2015, Air University Islamabad has organized yet another exciting, bigger and very successful event, Start Up Weekend Islamabad 2016 (Sep 30th - Oct 2nd, 2016). The weekend started on Friday evening with 100 plus participants, 36 pitches, 15 teams and eventually ended up with 12 startups…. Most of the startups were offered investment opportunities during the weekend and as a reward, top three were offered wild card entry by Plan9, Pakistan’s largest business incubator.

Air University put the show together in collaboration with Startup Hub and Plan 9. The event activities were fully hosted, supported & funded by Air University.

Startup Weekend is a global phenomenon - 54 hours of fast and furious transformation of ideas to viable businesses featuring, development of business models, value proposition, financial models, working prototypes, marketing strategy, customer validation etc through extensive coaching & mentoring from experienced serial entrepreneurs, business professionals & industry experts. 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.

Start Up Weekend at Air University’s organizing team (Student Affairs together with AU ORIC, Startup Hub & AU Sha’oor Society) 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), LCE, ILM 2 Ideas, JumpStart Pakistan, Bookitnow.pk, AU ORIC, Eventual, Careem, Streamkar and Pro Pakistani. The Techstars appointed Mr. Hashim Yasin to be the facilitator of the event who flew all the way from Karachi to conduct and facilitate a very lively event in the footprints of Margalla Hills. Air University provided a range of cost free services to the participants, including 3 meals per day, refreshments / beverages, transport and on-campus accommodation.

Other than extensive on-on one coaching sessions, two valuable workshops were also organized for the participants, for instance Plan9 workshop on Business Canvas Modeling and Lean startup Methodologies by Rafi Imran Amjad from Teamup.

During start Up 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 one-minute pitching session, followed by co-founder dating session, 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 start up 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 alongwith VC Air University and Director ORIC AU for a mentoring session and also gave a very enlightening and informative speech shared with the budding entrepreneurs all those lucrative funding as well as business development and support opportunities, which National ICT R&D is bringing for them. 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. Imtiaz Rastgar, serial entrepreneur, Chairman Rastgar Group of Companies, and Mr. Mansoor Malik, Chairman Kamyab Pakistan & Member Board of Governer TiE (Islamabad Chapter), 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 venture team had to face a tough question-answer session by the experienced panel of judges. The panel of judges included Mr. Imtiaz Rastgar, 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 the venture teams exhibited quality work, which they had developed during last 50 hours of continuous effort. To name a few included, Mobile OK(Used Mobile Certification Services), Shop Desk, Turbo Charging, Track n Drop, Android Home Automation, Exo-Skeleton, Garden Fresh etc. The Winners of the Start Up Weekend Islamabad, 2016 were I-Matter (3rd position), Portable Incubator (2nd position) and the Mad Hunt (1st position). The all three were chosen by Plan9 to be given a wildcard entry in their next incubation session, for further incubation and acceleration / funding purposes.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s Chairman Dr. Syed Ismail Shah honored the event with his presence. Mehk Najam, Warda Altaf and Hammad Khalique represented Plan9 at Start Up Weekend Islamabad. Live video coverage & online video streaming was done of the entire event by streamkar.

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.

By Web Team AU