LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship, in collaboration with Ilm Ideas 2 and Techstars, organized a themed Startup Weekend event at LUMS to scout and support innovators looking to address the enrollment, retention and learning outcome challenges in the education sector of Pakistan. The event started on Friday evening, August 5, with Dr. Zartash Afzal Uzmi, LUMS faculty member and facilitator for Startup Weekend Lahore, commencing the proceedings and opening remarks presented by Shahida Saleem, Team Lead Pakistan Education Innovation Fund (Ilm Ideas 2). From among the 130 participants of the Start Weekend, a total of 63 startups made their elevator pitches to the audience on Friday evening. 19 startups were shortlisted to continue with the competition and mentoring support for the rest of the weekend.
Participants worked tirelessly throughout the weekend including the nights with a passion that was palpable. Through Saturday until Sunday evening, successful business people and educators came in to mentor and coach the startups and help them polish their business models, financials and even presentations. The hard work of all the teams culminated on Sunday, August 7, where all the 19 shortlisted teams pitched in front of a panel of judges comprising of Khurram Zafar, Abid Malik, Faisal Bari, Izza Farrukh, Shahida Saleem, Imran Sarwar and Gauher Aftab.
Ilmistan, an online platform for teachers training won the competition. Keep Schools Safe, a startup focused on imparting disaster preparedness training to schools, came in second. According to the founders, there are hundreds of thousands of kids whose education suffer because of disruptions caused by natural disasters and people-caused incidents in Pakistan. Edu Care, a startup formed by students of Namal University that aims to build an online networking platform to connect students in any part of the country with volunteer tutors and coaches, came in third. The founders of Educare dedicated the win to the generous donors of Namal University that enabled them to seek good education and gave them the confidence to start their own ambitious venture. The Audience Favorite vote went out to SS Gamification, a team who is working on gamifying social sciences subjects in schools.
Addressing the participants of the Startup Weekend, Shahida Saleem of Ilm Ideas 2 said, “You all blew me away! Your energy, your passion and your commitment is infectious and I believe that a lot of social enterprises we saw develop over the weekend will play a pivotal role in providing 25 million out of school children access to good education.”
The winning team and the top two runners up are offered guaranteed incubation at LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship while all other participants were encouraged to apply for incubation for the 6th batch of LCE through the online application process.
About Startup Weekend Lahore:
Startup Weekend Lahore is the Lahore chapter of the global Startup Weekend event held at LUMS every year. The event is backed by Google for Entrepreneurs, .CO and TechStars and is a 54-hour event that brings together enthusiastic and driven budding entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups leading to the path of launching successful ventures.
About LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship:
LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship (LCE) is Pakistan’s most comprehensive experiential development platform for budding entrepreneurs that formalizes the process of scouting, grooming and facilitating passionate startup founders. Gust and Fundacity recently rated LCE the #1 accelerator in Pakistan and #11 in Asia. Since its inception in May 2014, LCE has mentored over 130 entrepreneurs who have created over 400 direct jobs and provided better economic and livelihood opportunities for thousands more. LCE graduates have already generated PKR 200 Million in revenues and are valued at PKR 1.5 Billion backed by approximately PKR 150 Million in investment capital by local and foreign investors. More about LCE at: https://lce.lums.edu.pk and http://www.facebook.com/lumscent and http://www.twitter.com/lumscent
About Ilm Ideas 2:
Ilm Ideas 2, supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), provides a platform for the generation, piloting and scaling up of innovative solutions to address critical education challenges in Pakistan. Phase 2 of the program, launched in 2015, is managed by Cambridge Education, a member of the Mott MacDonald group. More about Ilm Ideas 2 at: http://www.ilmideas2.pk/ and https://www.facebook.com/IlmIdeas and https://twitter.com/IlmIdeas2