KARACHI: From planning a wedding to locating a residential address on digital maps and finding a plumber who can fix one’s flush tank, people face a number of issues in their day-to-day life.
However, there are various solutions on the cards as the first cohort of 15 teams graduated from the Nest i/o on Friday with as many promising ideas to address the aforesaid problems.
Incubated for four months at the Nest i/o – a Karachi-based technology incubator of Pakistan Software Houses Association ([email protected]) for IT and IT-enabled Services – these 15 teams completed a rigorous mentorship and training programme with at least five of them valuing more than $1 million, according to Jehan Ara, who is the president of [email protected]
The graduating startups were as diverse in ideas as in academic backgrounds. More than half the teams had no business background. While one team – a trio of siblings 18, 16 and 14 years old – was home-schooled, other teams included people with background in finance, engineering, marketing and information technology.
These startups are ready to move out and pitch ideas to investors, said Jehan Ara. In fact, some of them are already generating revenues and have growing customers and even raised substantial amount in funding, she said without disclosing the amount.
“Locating residential addresses is still a problem. Our app will help people locate home addresses in 500 cities and 1,500 small towns with a population of over 2,000,” said Amar Makhdoom, CEO of Knavix – a mapping company graduating from the Nest i/o.
“We are developing our own alpha-numeric algorithm to assign a unique six-digit code to every location, which will help even uneducated people to locate a given destination,” Makhdoom said, adding they were also working on taking the map offline.
Among others was Investor Lounge, which aims to help people take educated decisions on investments in stocks, commodities or foreign exchange. Sukoon.com.pk, on the other hand, is a services company, which promises to connect customers with carpenters, electricians, painters, plumbers and drivers only after their background is verified from the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC).
The mission behind the Nest i/o was to create a space where startups from Sindh – particularly Karachi – could receive guidance and support from the management and experts from the community, Jehan Ara said. These startups are attracting investment, generating revenues and creating jobs, she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2015.