After a week of packed sessions and workshops, Plan9’s 10th Launchpad has come to an end. The five day event was all about learning, activities and the enthusiastic energy present in the arena was quite contagious.
The first four days of the event also featured PEP talks given by Plan9 alumni sharing their success journey so far with the audience.
The event kicked-off on the 19th of July with Startup Expo. Almost a 100 startups set up stalls on the 3rd floor, including Plan9’s alumni.
These stalls were visited, not only by attendees, but also by investors and industry experts, who encouraged the budding entrepreneurs and offered advice as to how they could take their startup to the next level.
Simultaneously, workshops and sessions were being run in the auditorium by prominent figures of the industry such as Umair Jaliawala, Qasif Shahid (Co-founder & CEO Finja) and Omar Jamil (CEO Latitude).
The event was open to public and attendees flocked to the venue, looking for insight and inspiration to start their own startups. The day ended with myZindagi.pk winning a cash prize of PKR 100,000 after being voted for by our judges.
Day two was primarily focused on speaker sessions. Jonas Eichhorst (Founder and Director, Positive Impact Network) initiated the sessions followed by Faizan Laghari (Chief Disruption Officer TCS), Omar Jamil (CEO Latitude) and Abdul Rehman Talat (Founder & CEO BlueEast and Investor Idea Croron Ka) conducted sessions.
While most talks were scheduled in the auditorium, Startup Girls workshops were being held on the 9th floor guiding aspiring female entrepreneurs on pitching, marketing and how to make it big in their fields.
Day three was all about making sure that the startups were ready to pitch. Rabeel Warraich (Founder Sarmayacar), came in talk to the startups about how to deliver a convincing pitch.
This was followed by a speed networking session, powered by Developers Circle from Facebook, where startups were given a chance to network with like-minded individuals.
At the same time, Plan9 team was busy giving product feedback to the shortlisted startups. Startups also had one-on-one meetups with Jonas Eichhorst and Rabeel Warraich.
Day four began at 1:00 PM, as startups formed a queue to register on the 3rd floor. Once registered, the startups were divided into 3 pools. The startups were called out in groups from each pool to pitch and were led to the 9th floor.
While the startups pitched on the 9th floor, those waiting for their turn in the auditorium, got to learn and take inspiration from on-going PEP-talks given by various Plan9 alumni and budding entrepreneurs of our country.
Judges too, were divided into pools. The Launchpad 10 judges included foreign and local investors, experts from the IT industry, and Plan9’s board members.
After the gruelling and intense pitching competition between 120 startups, only 21 were short listed for the final round to be held next day. The judges felt that most ideas had potential and encouraged the remaining participants to pursue their dreams and to continue working on their ideas.
The Final Day
The final day of The Launchpad 10 began with the startups submitting their final pitch decks to the management team and the final pitching session began soon after.
The competition was intense and the judges thoroughly grilled the startups. US Consul General Yuriy Fedkiw, accompanied by Ann Mason and Meghan Mercier from US Embassy, also attended the event. While talking to the young entrepreneurs he said:
I hope many of you here today will take your ideas, implement them and soon we’ll be using your products. Whether you win or lose today, keep celebrating the dreamer in you and keep pursuing your dreams.
List of Winning Startups
1) RC Health Care
RC Health Care will be providing hospitals with, locally manufactured, infusion pumps to be used in general wards. Their product will be affordable.
NoErric’s product can reduce errors in cricket. Their device that can detect no-ball, stumped wicket and run outs with minimum alterations required on field
Studentary is a platform that connects the sellers of used textbooks with those who want to buy them and makes textbooks affordable. Using geo-location they’ll minimize the cost of logistics, making Studentary both convenient and affordable for the buyers
BagAdverts is a lifestyle brand that aims to add value to people’s lives and at the same time transform the advertising industry. They will be marketing brands by providing environment friendly plastic bags to various shopkeepers.
Team up aims to connect millions of talented youngsters across the globe and help them reach their true potentials and be recognized. Using a digital platform, they hope to provide more opportunities to casual players.
6) Her Ground
‘Her Ground’ is a fast growing subscription for women sanitary pads which delivers 90-day supply of branded sanitary pads (Always) for PKR 450. ‘Her Ground’ is spreading awareness on the importance of hygienic products but also focus on making it easily accessible for women.
Nazdeeq is an ecommerce technology company that provides emerging markets with a direct access to buy from international online stores that do not operate in their geographies.
8) Virtual Eye
Virtual Eye will manufacture smart glasses to assist blind & visually impaired people. The device will capture images from the surroundings, recognize objects and scenarios and relay that information through audio.
Foodappa will be creating an online portal for home chefs and food lovers.