Startup Weekend Women Pakistan Sets Off to Resounding Start

The Nest I/O launches the third women’s edition of Startup Weekend in Karachi Pakistan today.
Image Credit: ngGirls Karachi Team

Over the past several years, Pakistan has witnessed a breakthrough when it comes to female entrepreneurship especially through technology. Celebrating and encouraging women’s participation in economy and promoting female entrepreneurship, the country’s leading technology incubator the Nest I/O has organized the third edition of Startup Weekend Women happening starting from today, September 13th, 2019.

Offering a unique experience, Startup Weekend is an immersion event that enables entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to understand what it means to be a part of a startup eco-system as well as help them walk through the different phases of launching their venture. Through Startup Weekend, entrepreneurs get a platform to share their ideas, form diverse teams and launchtheir startups over the course of a weekend.

The Nest I/O is a technology incubator in Pakistan, a community hub launched by P@SHAwith global partners Google for Entrepreneurs and Samsung, and through a supporting grant from the US State Department. P@SHA,Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT and ITES (P@SHA) is an organization initiated by a number of software houses in an attempt to create a functional trade association for the IT industry in Pakistan.

The Nest I/O provides budding entrepreneurs with space, infrastructure, facilities and knowledge sessions as well as access to a network of mentors and potential investors. The Nest I/O’s mission is to power the next generation of entrepreneurs in Pakistan.

The three-day event, September 13th– 15th, aims to foster female entrepreneurship and facilitate the creation of women-owned businesses. Startup Weekend Women strives to inspire women and girls to take up leadership roles in startup teams; in addition to connecting them to resources and with mentors available in the startup community.

The first-ever edition of Startup Weekend Women was held in Karachi, Pakistan in March 2018 by The Nest I/O, with the response exceeding expectations. This year, organizers with the help of partners envision to surpass the benchmark set by the last Startup Weekend Women event.

Speakers, coaches and friends of the event include, Nadia Patel Gangjee, a Fellow at Facebook Community Leadership Program and founder of Femprow, a social initiative to help advance women’s professional growth and economic empowerment through offline and online entrepreneurship education, support and capacity building.

Faiza Yousuf is a technologist and a serial entrepreneur with almost nine years of experience in building products and teams. She runs a consultation company with a focus on helping small businesses to embrace technology and she also runs a community called WomenInTechPK. Faiza is also co-running a coding boot camp called CodeGirls by ConsulNet Corporation, a Blockchain training program for women and consulting for a couple of local and international clients on Requirement Engineering, Team Management and Agile Transformation.

Amtul Baweja, Co-founder at Patangeer, is also joining Startup Weekend Karachi Women 2019 as a Friend of #SWWKhi19.

Nusrat Hidayatullah, founder of The Forty Two Day Challenge, works for the 42 Day Challenge, a popular fitness boot camp. A lawyer by education and a fitness coach by profession, she has been an athlete all her life, training and cross training since she could walk. Martial arts, karate, dance, horse riding, belly dance, aerobics, yoga, HIIT and weight training are only a few of the things she has learned over the years. She, along with her partner, designed the 42 Day Challenge’s program and nutritional guidelines.

A coach at the Startup Weekend Karachi Women 2019, Nida Farid is an aerospace engineer and energy efficiency consultant. With her energy flow diagram, Nida has shown Pakistan’s energy crisis is a wastage problem, not a supply one, and must be solved through energy efficiency. Through Save Joules, Nida shares daily tips to help Pakistanis dramatically reduce their electricity, gas and petrol bills. Before buying new appliances, visit to compare appliances by energy consumption and lifecycle costs.

Jahan Ara, a speaker at the event, is an HR professional, working as part of the Culture team at Engro. She has previously worked as the project lead for Women Dump Truck Driving Program (WDDP), an initiative of Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company to create employment opportunities for the local women of Tharparkar. WDDP provided skills training to women and facilitated their induction as professional dump truck drivers at the mines of Tharparkar.

Madiha Latif is the Program Coordinator at Shirkat Gah – Women’s Resource Centre, a national feminist organisation working toward a gender-just society, stationed in four provincial offices in Pakistan. Madiha is also an admin of a local women support group, Soul Bitches.

Asra Rizwan, founder of OpenMic & one of NEST I/O’s batch eight incubatees, is also joining as one of the coaches for Startup Weekend Karachi Women 2019! OpenMic is a platform that engages millennials in the conversations about the future of Pakistan through open dialogue and policy debates.

Hadeel Obaid is the founder of KheloKricket. KheloKricket is Pakistan’s first social hub for the cricket player. Aiming to cover cricket matches and give teams a platform where they can display their team news, player profiles, gallery of pictures and videos, scorecards, schedules and a forum to find a suitable opponent, their main idea is to develop, encourage and celebrate a love for cricket on the grass root level.Amneh Shaikh-Farooqui, joining as a part of the mentoring team, is the co-founder of Co-founder of polly and other stories. The entity is an inclusive, curated, e-marketplace that assists artisans and small enterprises develop and sell contemporary, handmade products while enabling them to grow, learn, and make a living. Amneh is a consulting professional, gender specialist and activist with 12 years of experience in economic development, poverty reduction and environmental initiatives.

Zehra H. Zaidi is the Program Director at Karachi Citizen Lab, a social incubator that helps young social entrepreneurs and change-makers bring their ideas to life.

Amna Asif is the founder of Relivenow, an online platform that provides a mobile connection between psychologists and people looking for counselling and therapy. The startup has won a number of awards since its inception, including the Techcamp 2018 worth USD 5,000, UNICEF GenUnlimited Challenge, and Westerwelle Foundation Young Founders Programme (Spring 2019). They also recently won the Standard Chartered Pakistan Women in Tech Program 2019 and received seed funding of USD 10,000.

Sahar Habib Ghazi is a senior media strategist, multimedia journalist, and community builder. Azima Dhanjee is the CEO & Co-Founder of ConnectHear. ConnectHear is a social entrepreneurial startup that aims to bridge the communication gap between the deaf & mute people and the community at large.

Startup Weekend Karachi Women 2019 powered by Techstars and Google for Startups is the starting pointing for entrepreneurship. Participants will be selected after being shortlisted. All shortlisted candidates will receive a new registration link on their given email ids to purchase the tickets for the event. SW Women edition is entirely focused on women and revolves around supporting women entrepreneurs. The winner of the event will have an opportunity to represent Pakistan at Global Startup Weekend Women being held in Singapore in the month of October. Follow the event on social media using the hashtag: #SWWKhi19

Date: 13th – 15th September 2019
Venue: The Nest I/O
Ticket Prices:
For Student: Rs.2500
For Professionals/Entrepreneurs: Rs.3000

After Early Bird Discount:
For Students: Rs. 1500
For Professionals/Entrepreneurs: Rs. 1800

Seats are filling up fast so make sure you register today:

Ananke is the media partner of Startup Weekend Women Karachi Pakistan 2019. WATCH THIS SPACE FOR MORE NEWS AND INFORMATION.

Photo Credit Correction: The image is taken by ngGirls Karachi Team and not NEST I/O.


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