KARACHI: The final round of She Loves Tech Pakistan 2019 took place on Friday at Karachi Arts Council where names of the winners were decided.
After competing locally, 12 tech startups led by women from all over Pakistan gathered in Karachi for the national finals.
Inspiring female entrepreneurs presented their ideas to an esteemed panel of judges who then decided the final winner who will travel to Beijing, China in September to compete in the global finals.
The competition was designed to encourage women from diverse fields to participate. Issues in the fields of mental health, science, education, and tourism were all brought to the surface, as the participants discussed the challenges their companies address.
The final began with an opening speech by Sadaffe Abid, CEO and founder of CIRCLE, and was followed by keynote speech by chief guest Dr Shamshad Akhtar, Former State Bank Governor who said, “In this time especially, we must rely on the muscle of our women to uplift and galvanise Pakistan’s economy.”
After this, Humayun Javed Khan, Head of Corporate Communications, Interloop Limited highlighted “We truly believe in inclusion and women empowerment and as part of our Vision 2020, we have made targeted efforts to hire, train and retain more women in #STEM, with currently more than 45% of our female employees having STEM degrees and working in such roles.”
Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner, was also present to inspire young entrepreneurs. Leanne Robers, one of the co-founders of She Loves Tech, flew to Pakistan especially to attend the final.
DOT-Mind Unlocked, a startup that has developed a headset that reads brainwave activity to diagnose and treat mental disorders such as ADHD more efficiently was declared the winner of She Loves Tech Pakistan 2019.
Founder Yishel Khan won a Rs150,000 cash prize from Cargill and a trip to Beijing, China to compete in the Global Round for a $15,000 equity-free cash prize.
The first runner up was PSSEC (Pakistan Space Science Education Centre) which offers hands-on, project based learning experiences themed around space science to encourage STEM education in Pakistan and co-founder Zartaj Waseem won Rs75,000 from ArbiSoft.
The second runner up was The Mad Hatters which is a female-led platform to allow travellers (especially female) to explore the culturally rich part of Pakistan with ease and guidance. For this, Aneeqa Ali won Rs50,000 from E.Ocean.
Leanne Robers, Co-Founder She Loves Tech, expressed her appreciation, “I’m blown away with the amount of work that different businesses run by women across Pakistan are doing.”
She Loves Tech is the world’s largest women and tech startup competition focused on businesses either led by women or that impact women.
It was launched in Pakistan in 2017 by CIRCLE, a social enterprise dedicated to advancing women’s economic participation in Pakistan, to encourage women-led startups to showcase their work to a large audience.
Every year the national winner travels to China to attend the She Loves Tech Global conference to pitch their startup to an international audience as well as to participate in a boot camp.
The conference is held in more than 20 countries and in over 4 continents and aims to provide female entrepreneurs with a chance to stand out in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.