This Saturday, the main Campus IBA Auditorium was buzzing with activity. It was time for twenty student teams to pitch their ideas for the 5 Plan 9-P@SHA-PITB Incubation seats up for grabs. The format was a short verbal, non visual pitch, followed by judging, followed by a day of mentoring, followed by a second round of presentations after which the final winners from Karachi would be announced.
Winners get a shot at 3 months of incubation space and expenses in Lahore, a monthly stipend of PKR 20,000 per team member and a shot at spending 3 months in Silicon Valley.
Image 1 Plan 9 P@SHA PITB Judges at the Judges briefing at IBA
Here is a list of the some of the more interesting pitches and teams that presented at the tech startup incubation event. In general compared to when we first started doing P@SHA Launch Pad events the quality of cold pitches has certainly improved. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done with delivery, focus and customer value but it was refreshing to see young teams come together and engage Judges in the Q&A session.
Image 2 Samir from Hybrid Signal presents the first cold pitch
Samir Saleem & Hybrid Signals – Social media marketing and consulting focused on leveraging social media presence by analyzing engagement value across multiple social networks.
The IIEE – Hackistan virtual space – a community for DIY and EE students to exchange electronic tools, components, modules. The IIEE team also presented a simple locally manufactured USB docking station for EE devices that CS and EE students could use to cheaply test control software.
Furrukh Zafar the 911 game – Furrukh Zafar and his team have been working on a massively parallel multiplayer game focused on 911 emergency services.
Electricity Power Utilization Management tool from NED university tracks power consumption directly from the appliance being used.
The Pay2Out payment gateway solution for free lancers that allows them to process payments on PayPal, Google Checkout and credit cards that immediately ran into regulatory trouble with the judges.
Automatic Papers the entry that excited me the most because 16 year old Hunaid Hameed reminded me of our very own Zayd Enam. Automatic Papers allows students to take GCE O and GCE A level practice exams online, grades their performance and shares their score online.
The palliative and geriatric care cross function team that included a medical student, computer scientists and EE engineers was the first cross functional team at the competition.
Image 3 P@SHA PITB Judges in Action
It was great fun to co-judge the event with Ashraf, Jehan, Shahjahan, Yusuf Jan, Imtiaz and Naveed Qazi. Imtiaz even gave me a free billiard lesson while we were waiting for the judges briefing to start.
But there was one big downer at the event that PITB needs to fix for future formats. Judges, students and participants need to be given more opportunities to interact openly at tea and lunch breaks. Keeping them separate kills the purpose of such events. We live for the chance to talk to teams who would like to change the world. For participating teams, one word of advice. Feel free to come upto us and ask us questions and feedback, as some of you did. We don’t bite and we certainly have the time to help despite how busy or terrifying we appear to be. The only way to find out is to ask. Next time – ask.
Image 4 The Incubation competition participants