If you have a good business idea surged by innovation and technology and if you can make a compelling sale pitch in front of an audience then be ready for the “Start-Up Weekend” coming to Lahore University of Management and Sciences in February-2012.
WHAT IS STARTUP WEEKEND?
Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if their startup ideas are viable. On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds.
Startup Weekend was founded by Andrew Hyde in July of 2007 in Boulder, Colorado. The first weekend had 78 people attend and launched a random idea into a worldwide movement.
In the first two years, over 80 Startup Weekends took place from San Francisco to Athens, Greece and now it is happening in Pakistan. To date startup weekend has conducted 381 events and plans another 190 in the coming months, it has helped create over 4,000 startups and has facilitated over 40,000 entrepreneurs in expressing their ideas and thoughts.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
A 54 hour long experience beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product.
In order to facilitate the process of conversion of an idea into a real product companies like Google, Microsoft and Twilio provide powerful technological tools that facilitate teams in the conversion process. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.
STARTUP WEEKEND PAKISTAN
Held in Institute of Business Administration (IBA) – Karachi in October-2011 for the first time, Startup weekend brought together a small audience and a group of wannabe entrepreneurs who then had a chance to present their ideas. The idea was to mash up people with Technology background with people who had Business background and then give them access to some of the best mentors available who could help them polish their ideas.
Majority of today’s new startups are backed by a sound idea that runs on technology therefore the program gives entrepreneurs (Business Graduates) the chance to visualize and convert their ideas into actual startups with the help of Technology Graduates who have the expertise in making technology viable for business.
Startup Weekend Lahore – LUMS would focus on building an ICT (web or mobile) application which could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend. The weekend would bring together people with different skill sets – primarily software developers, graphics designers and business people – to build applications and develop a commercial case around them.
Startup Weekend – Lahore would be facilitated by Google, Microsoft Bizpark, Amazon Web services, Twilio, Startup Labs, oDesk, Open Tok. A list of mentors is not available as of now but its certain that LUMS will be inviting some of the best from the industry for this event.
Startup Weekend is not a “walk away with cash” event, in fact all it does is that it lets an entrepreneur test his/her business idea and see if the idea is workable in the real world. It helps entrepreneurs network with other like minded people who can become future possible business partners.
It helps an idea standout in front of Venture Capitalists and Venture Capital firms. In short Startup Weekend is a whole lot of opportunity for those who have a good idea and have the passion to convert that idea into reality. Events like these are essential for an economy like Pakistan which needs to grow and has sufficient roots embedded in technology.
The event is being brought to Lahore University of Management and Sciences – LUMS by Confiz a company which specializes in providing Web, Mobile and Technology based solution. Its top management constitutes of Mr. Muhammad Raza Saeed (CEO) , Syed Ali (CTO) and Zartash Afzal Uzmi (Director) all of who have educational backgrounds in computer Sciences.
Mr. Zartash Afzal Uzmi has a Phd in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and Mr, Syed Ali has a master’s degree in Computer Science from University of Illinois.