NSTP & U.S. Embassy’s Rising Stars Startup Competition Enters its Final Phase

The National Science & Technology Park and U.S. Embassy’s Rising Stars Startup Competition is approaching its final phase.

Throughout the regional stages of the competition, startup founders from across the country have undergone comprehensive training to refine their business models, enhance financial management skills, and improve their pitching abilities. Esteemed experts and industry leaders, including Silicon Valley experts from Draper University, have actively provided invaluable guidance and personalized feedback to the founders, sharing their experiences and knowledge.

During the competition’s semi-final stage, where more than 80 teams participated, the startup founders had the opportunity to embark on industry visits in their respective regions, including Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Peshawar, and Islamabad.

These visits encompassed renowned incubators, innovation hubs, and national incubation centers, exposing participants to successful startups, cutting-edge technologies, and experienced mentors. The visits offered practical insights, inspiration, and networking opportunities, thereby enhancing participants’ understanding of the startup landscape.

The startups that have now advanced to the national level will compete for prestigious awards, including the Rising Star Award, Best Female Team Award, Regional Winner Award, and the Special Recognition Award for the most outstanding idea. These awards not only acknowledge excellence but also come with cash prizes, with the Rising Star Award offering the highest prize of PKR 1,000,000.

The Grand Finale will now be hosted at NUST, Islamabad, where the winning teams will get their due recognition.

In addition to the training and competitive aspects, the Rising Stars Startup Competition has strongly emphasized inclusivity and diversity. It is a collaborative effort between the National Science and Technology Park, NUST, and the U.S. Embassy, with a particular focus on empowering women and ethnic and religious minorities.

By equipping participants with valuable knowledge, skills, and opportunities, the competition aims to foster innovation and inclusivity within the startup ecosystem.

As the Rising Stars Startup Competition enters its final phase, the participating startups are well-equipped with knowledge, skills, and valuable connections to propel their businesses forward.

Among the trainers from Draper University were Sabahat Ashraf, International Advisor for Alerti, Abdus Salam, Product Designer at Meta FinTech, and Talha Masood, Co-Founder of Remotebase. Kieran White, Co-Founder & CEO of Return, Asra Rizwan Khan, Founder & Training Manager at OpenMic, and Shante Frazier, Co-founder of WellCapped, also shared their expertise. Syed Raza Hussain, a Content and Digital Marketing Manager, and Ehsan Gul, a Sustainability Manager, were also part of the training team.

The list of trainers also included Tarun Gaur, CEO qikfox, and Usama Abid, Founder of Inventhub. Zahid Lalani, a Sr. Indirect Tax Analyst, Rabiya Shahid, Culture Officer at Optimyse, and Hira Saeed, Founder and CEO of Koi.work, also contributed their knowledge and skills.

Lastly, Manik Mehta, Founder & CEO of Omnify, was also a part of this esteemed group of trainers.

The competition remains a source of inspiration and support for entrepreneurs, contributing to the advancement of innovation, inclusivity, and economic growth within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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