It’s that time again! Pakistan’s 2016 Startup Expo on April 15th and 16th has been dubbed the biggest entrepreneurial event in the country. Hosted by Startup Magazine, the second annual, two-day expo aims to encourage entrepreneurship and bolster Pakistan’s economy, while showcasing some of the most brilliant business minds in Pakistan.
Last year, one of our writers covered the action-packed event, which featured promising startups like Firefly, Lootlo.pk, BabyPlanet.pk, and several others. The event was packed with tech and social entrepreneurs, along with products and services from a variety of industries.
This year will likely be no different, as a fresh new batch of startups is prepping to showcase their skills. The creators describe the event as a festival, featuring workshops, booths for startups, an award ceremony, and several speakers. Did we mention food? Yes — there will be food. The Islamabad Food Festival will take place from 9:00 AM–6:00 PM with everything from Desi to Italian goodies. Here is a quick preview of what you can expect at this year’s Startup Expo.
100 lucky startups will showcase their ideas. Attendees will be able to observe these emerging startups and notice areas of strength and weakness within their business plan. It’s a good opportunity for startups to see how the public reacts to their model, and a good way for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn some of what goes into planning a startup. Featured this year are startups like Webx, a cloud ecommerce platform; Gray Beak, a transport service; Thofaydo; a retailer for household essentials and electronics; Dastawezat, a service helping students with admission forms; and tons more.
While it is unlikely these sessions will be available to everyone at the event, the Startup Expo will offer one-on-one coaching sessions for entrepreneurs. Mentors will share ideas and relay some of their knowledge to those seeking useful business advice.
The award ceremony will offer awards for startups that have excelled in particular categories. For startups participating in the event, this adds a little extra incentive to truly shine and display your strengths throughout the day. Innovation and bright ideas will be recognized during this portion of the festival.
It wouldn’t be a startup event without some of the most successful business folks in Pakistan coming to speak. Nabeel Qadeer, head of Plan9 will be in attendance, along with Kamran Rizvi, founder of Sol, and several more. Sol is the School of Leadership, a center empowering young people to become educated through events, consulting, training sessions, and more.
What many founders are probably waiting for, this portion of the event offers an incredibly valuable opportunity to interaction with investors. Not every startup will have an opportunity to pitch, but a handful will be selected. This is intended to help founders learn the process and get comfortable pitching and receiving objective feedback from investors.
A Live Concert
Finally, at the end of the event participants will be invited to relax and enjoy a live concert performed by Mustafa Zahid and Roxen.
So these are just a few things you can expect at this year’s Startup Expo — not to mention the plethora of networking opportunities you’ll encounter. And if you’ve yet to get your ticket, visit http://startupexpo.pk/2016/. For varying prices, there is a student pass, standard pass, business pass, and the option to book a stall. Each pass includes different portions of the event, so check out the registration form and choose carefully.