The co-founder and COO of DealSmash; Hamza Iftikhar has been selected for the Alibaba’s eFounders Initiative Entrepreneurship Training Programme which will take place from 25 March to 4 April 2018. It is jointly organized by the Alibaba Business School and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Move was made possible by efforts of Ignite — National Technology Fund, lead by Mr. Yousaf Hussain the CEO of the fund. Ignite had nominated seven startups for the program, out of which three — including DealSmash — were selected.
Other selected startups include Anum Kamran of Buyon.PK, Komail Naqvi from FindMyAdventure and Furqan Kidwai of Dawaai.PK
The eFounders Initiative will be hosted in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, where Alibaba Group’s headquarters are located. Key objectives of this program are to:
- Identify and select high-potential entrepreneurs who can become industry champions and builders of a new e-commerce ecosystem in their country
- Empower the participants to not only apply the acquired knowledge in their home countries but also mobilize and inspire others to embrace the new economy paradigm; and
- Create a local community of e-commerce champions who can support one another moving forward.
As a Special Advisor to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Jack recognized that by applying ideas from China’s most innovative businesses to their own ventures, participants will have the opportunity to innovate in their home countries. With this opportunity in mind, the eFounders Fellowship was created to find and empower 1000 platform builders who can leverage Alibaba’s experience in China.
Participants were selected through a rigorous application process. Thirty-seven participants, all from Asia, will participate in the Initiative, where they will learn the skills to effectively advance and develop an e-commerce ecosystem. As a part of the programme, they will pledge to be agents of change in their home countries. After graduating, each of them will commit to applying the programme’s lessons to their own business objectives and to transferring their know-how to others to improve the e-commerce infrastructure of their country. From Pakistan, only 5 start-ups are selected to attend this programme and DealSmash; which recently raised USD150k as seed funding, is one of them.
DealSmash is a retail intelligence tech start-up in Pakistan. At the heart of the company is its namesake mobile app, DealSmash. Using Artificial Intelligence the app aims to provide users with targeted offers on products based on their interests and buying patterns. Shoppers earn free shopping vouchers and cash-back by scanning valid shopping receipts via the app. DealSmash collects and analyses the shopping data from the shopping receipts to provide brands with valuable consumer insights.
After getting selected, Hamza Iftikhar, the co-founder of DealSmash said, “Ali Baba has achieved phenomenal success in scaling their business. We would like to learn their secret sauce on scaling and their method to transform a business into a Unicorn. Since we’re focusing on the market in Pakistan, we are confident that we’ll learn a lot about scaling the startup from this initiative and apply these learnings to our business when I go back to Pakistan and help improve the e-commerce and retail infrastructure of our country.”