Monday, June 28, 2010

Launchpad by P@SHA in Karachi on 27 June 2010

I attended the launchpad event arranged by P@SHA, yesterday. PSEB and Microsoft were two of the main sponsors.

P@SHA and PSEB are displaying the sort of public private partnership that we need in many other strata of our society. It is heartening to see that events for the promotion of entrepreneurship are taking place in Pakistan. We at RIKSOF, believe that entrepreneurs are an essential asset to society, as they cause creative destruction of its status quo. Even more encouraging was the fact that most of the presentations were either from final year students or fresh out of college grads. And keeping in mind the limitations of startups, P@SHA had arranged one in Lahore on Saturday too.

Without keeping you too bogged down in the spiral of my thoughts, following is the list of presented:

1. Arzi Rehaish - In comparison to bastee.pk and other such real-estate websites, the niche here is arzi or temporary accommodation specifically for bachelors. According to the conceiver's market research there is a greater need for that in Islamabad and Pindi followed by Lahore and then Karachi.

2. H2O or HR2O, presented by Asim Naseem Siddiqui, was an idea to build an eco-system for HR Consultants. The most interesting part for one of the judges was that data from the jobs posted would be used to analyze/suggest salary ranges for that job in the industry. What I found interesting was also the fact that he wanted to build a network for HR consultants, so that referrals from former employers could be shared as well. Mr. Siddiqui himself has been a HR consultant himself for 3 years. This should help cover the trust deficit while hiring in our society.

3. Kitabain - is a sister of the successful business venture of thereadersclub , by Usman Siddiqui, who took the first prize for kitabain this year and thereadersclub in last year's launchpad.

4. Foot Mouse - presented by Muhammad Ahsan from NED University was having the mouse in your feet, so that you can have your hands free for the keyboard, should be good for disabled people and as one of the judges said, could be used to produce an exhilarating game with 2 in the feet and 2 in the hands. Interestingly this young lad had also done sort of a market research, even though this was his final year project. According to that, a Foot Mouse currently available is at the cost of 359 USD. He built one in 700 PKR. A question from the judge, how long would it take and how much would it cost/unit to manufacture 100,000 units, couldn't be answered. Shared the second prize with tagit.

May be it would be good for you to somehow get in touch with Mr. Sheryar Hydri of Trango Interactive. Last time I heard him, he seemed to be passionate about development in general, with his current focus on game development.

5. Pakpolling - by Syed Ali Naqi - presented the idea of using the already available databases of NADRA and PTA for voting either through fingerprints or SMS. As judges pointed out that this should greatly increase the voter turn-out. However, as soon as one claims that his main customer would be the government, the difficult question to answer is "How would you sell?" Another important question from the judges was how much should a voting unit based on finger-print recognition cost. A judge also asked them to refer to UNI voting system being implemented in India.

6. Rensoy - by Adnan Muzaffar - presented a search tool/assistant - As I commented yesterday, you probably haven't done much research on "semantic search engines". And I think Google's wonder wheel is already a step in that direction, with a much simpler interface than Rensoy's. I think you should restart your market survey from here:
i. Semantic Search Engines
ii. Power Search Tool

7. Reflex 360 IDRH - Internet Development and Research Center - presented by a couple of students who had graduated from NED University. The idea is to have a software development center which actually funds a research and development center. They needed a seed money of 2.5 million to raise awareness about "how important is the research/thinking culture in a society". Most of the time was spent explaining just what would be done with the money earned from the software house. What you need to explain to get money from an investor is that how do you plan to generate money from the software house.

8. GSM/GPRS based tracking tool - A software service for companies to track their assets/personnel. They are probably already collaborating with an ambulance service. The advantage that they have over uTrack and other such tracking services is of course that this tool is Telco independent.

9. SEO Analysis Tool - presented by Sadia Allauddin - An automated tool to analyze why a web page won't show up in Google's search results, built by 2 ladies as a final year project in NED University. They were already invited by one of the judges for a talk. Congratulations and Good luck, an investor's time is as important as his/her money.

10. Dhaba - A food ordering service. An already existing service was mentioned by the judges, which I cannot recall now.

11. Global Learning - presented by Subhan Gillani of Gillani Soft - The idea is to have an online learning tools/lectures resource.

12. FYDEST - Find Your Destination - An SMS based tool to find the shortest, easiest and fastest path from tagged points in a city. The most important question How do you get runtime traffic information? There are a lot of stake-holders/risk involved here

13. Shahzebsaeed.com - Selling high-quality shirts without a retail outlet. Is still a student at IBA. Setup the company with a 15,000 savings from his internship.

14. Pakipay - A mobile payment service similar to Telenor's Easy paisa but telco independent. Comment from the judges is to go back and get some feedback from a finance specialist. There is State Bank involved wherever there are financial transactions, and that is probably why Telenor's Easy paisa has Tameer Bank involved. I, personally think that you do need to get a bank involved in between.

15. Telecom Clicking GE - built and presented by two ladies in their final year at NED University, is a tool to assist RF planners inside Telcos. The idea is to have information about 3D buildings etc on mapinfo. Currently, the RF planners use Google Earth to get information about construction(s) in a location and terrain info from mapinfo. Switching between tools is a hassle which they are attempting to target.

16. Help Me - presented by Farzal Dojki
A review here

17. Kidsconvent.com - A school for all ages, lectures audio/animated prepared with experts on different subjects available on DVDs and on line so that anyone can teach children with a unified syllabus. According to them they already have a contract to deploy this material in 40 model schools that CDGK is building.

18. Tagit - An SMS based tagging service, where for example lipton can be tag and people can subscribe for updates to this tag. They shared the second prize with Foot Mouse, they did have a good presentation, but I personally could not differentiate them from chopaal and pringit combined. More on that combination here: http://www.codeweek.pk/2010/02/chopaal-pringit-social-networking-tide-in-pakistan/

In the end I would like to apologize if I have misspelled anyone's names. Congratulations and Good luck to all of you in being the cause of the change you want.

1 comment:

Atiq said...

great coverage i was looking for one