Plan9 is on the forefront of startup ecosystem in the country. Under the umbrella of PITB, they are the people responsible for nurturing the selected talent among us and giving the right direction to blossom further in their career.
Their 11th recruitment cycle ended after a four days exercise attended by industry’s leaders to judge the ideas of a number of people and select the top ones for the next incubation cycle. Here we have the brief of 10 new startups which will strive for success in the coming months.
Zeus Urban Farms: A hydroponics solution for urban farming committed to building and sustaining a community of urban farmers to address the food requirements of a metropolis.
JF LABS: An agritech startup that provides drones to enhance the efficiency of cultivation process.
ShipIt: An app that connects international travelers having extra baggage space with people who want to get or buy products from other countries.
YOVO: A platform helping businesses to communicate over multiple channels through hosted IVR and PBX solutions ensuring the smooth flow of business processes.
Water9: A water filtering mechanism that uses the power of ozone besides reverse osmosis to eradicate water borne diseases in fruits, vegetables and meat.
vSWAT: World’s first 4D VR jacket for gamers that provides haptic feedback for cold/heat and pressure for richer VR experiences.
InovoTech: A device that detects the water level in household tanks and controls the water supply accordingly empowering the households to monitor the water levels through their smart phones.
RepairWala: A repair dispatch service for fixing phones and laptops providing services at doorstep through their shared economy business model.
Smart Mirror: A smart mirror with an LED that displays widgets such as weather, messages, social media apps and emails directly from smart phones.
ReArts: An agent platform for booking and managing upcoming performance artists.
How Plan9 selected these 10 ideas?
The four days long entrepreneurial fiesta kicked-off on the 25th of January with Startup Expo, where over sixty startups from across Pakistan took part to show case their products. Startups coming from various domains such as robotics, VR, sports-tech, health tech, fin-tech and arts, made the event highly experiential engaging audiences of all age groups and backgrounds. Companies like Careem, Zong, Xiamoi, Pakwheels, FINJA and Bookme were also seen at Startup Expo.
The main highlight of the day was the team of Idea Croron Ka – Pakistan’s first startup reality show, judging the startups. Six startups – Studentary, Brain Games Studio, Noerric Technologies, Textte, JF Labs and PharmaTrax, emerged as the stars of the day winning their tickets to pitch at the show.
The second day of the event saw a day full of rigorous training sessions designed exclusively for the startups shortlisted for The Launchpad. The day followed the theme of The Training Terminal in which the startups went through a drill of the business world in four stages.
Each startup had to go through each stage to receive the entry card called, The Boarding Pass, to qualify for the next stage. From Business Ethics to Ideation, Business Modelling and Pitch Training, all the basics were covered on this day.
Day three was full of elevator pitches, that is, the first round of pitching competition to win incubation at Plan9. Out of over 1000 applicants only 97 had earned their way to the elevator pitch round. At the day end, only 20 finalists were announced for the next and final day of The Launchpad. The winners of elevator pitches were given training for their final day pitches by Plan9 team through the night.
On day four, the final round of pitching, the twenty finalists pitched their business models once again, but this time in an elaborate, seven minute long pitch followed by three minutes of Q ’n A by the judges.
The panel of judges comprised of big names from the IT industry of Pakistan:
Faizan Laghari – Chief Disruption Officer TCS; Sadia Khurram – General Manager Punjab, Careem; Abdul Hadi Dar – Regional Director, Govt. & Corporate Sales & Services Central Region, Zong; Qasif Shahid – Cofounder & CEO Finja; Murtaza Saeed – Vice President Professional Services, VentureDive; Bilal Ahmed Choudry – Director Global Services VentureDive; Maqsood Shahzad – Director Technical Services, Inov8 Limited; Ali Aziz – Founder & CEO Shopistan.pk; Ahmed Khan – Founder & CEO Cheetay, Faizan Aslam – Founder & CEO Bookme.pk, Bilal Athar – Cofounder & CEO Wifigen, Mustafa Najoom – Country Head, 1839 Ventures, Talaal Burny – Manager Ecosystem Affairs & External Relations, Careem Pakistan, Rameeza M. Khalid – Founder & CEO Transparent Hands, Ammar Ali Ayub- cofounder, Nearpeer.org, Qasim Asad Salam – Founder & CEO CampusFeed, Ali Rashid – Cofounder Car Chabi, Irfan Ahmed – Founder & CEO Babyplanet.pk and Amna Quraishi – Venture Partner Sabcon.