by Abdullah Ahmad and Muhammad Bin Munim
About the Authors: Abdullah loves reading books, watching movies and dramas. He is a keen observer who’s always on the lookout for technicalities and delivery details.
Munim is doing A Levels from Lahore Grammar School, JT. He loves reading and history.
Plan9 (a project of PITB and ITU) is Pakistan’s largest and arguably, the most successful tech incubator that facilitates nascent Pakistani tech startups. It is an organization working directly under the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB). Plan9 serves to provide the bourgeoning startups with mentorship, helping them to initiate their code as an entrepreneur. To date, Plan9 has played a crucial role in pitching Pakistan’s new talents, their products and ideas in front of greater audience.
Yesterday, Plan9 concluded its 5th incubation cycle that began on 22nd November 2014. This blog is a shout-out to all the 5th cycle startups having completed their incubation at Plan9. Which one do you think is the most exciting startup of all? Leave us a comment below!
Patari is a Pakistan-only music portal that aims to promote Pakistan’s music industry. The idea of a new music portal is nothing new as many online portals are already up and running since early 2000s. However, a music portal that caters to Pakistani music only is something exclusively new. In this year, Patari launched their beta website with invite-based access and went viral on social media websites. Initially Patari planned to entertain 1000 invitations only but they had to increase their count to 7,000 invites in just the first 3 weeks due to an overwhelming flow of requests. Right now, they have 20,000 sign-ups with more than 7,000 active users. Given the heartwarming feedback of users, the team at Patari is now working on developing their own mobile application, too.
Since the launch of their website, Patari has further raised the expectations of various journalists and artists, who are hopeful for the success of the startup. Being well within their legal jurisdiction, Patari is conscious of the tracks’ copyrights and thus indulges in the legitimate sharing of Pakistani music. Patari is filling the gap left by a musicians’ inability to connect to fans everywhere.
Wifi-Gen is a service for business owners to get likes and followers on social media platforms as well as to obtain all the legitimate information relating to their business.
It is a dream of every business owner to know about first-hand customer reviews and complaints and Wifi-Gen aims to turn this dream into a reality. It provides an access point to the business which customers can use to connect to internet. This is where the beauty of IT comes handy. Business owners or managers in charge can get the first hand information from the customers who are using their Wi-Fi for browsing through social media websites. Not only this, whenever a customer visits again, the owner or the manager can evaluate the previous reviews left by him earlier.
WifiGen has reached a 500 satisfied customer base in New Zealand, and are currently expanding to Australia with the help of their recent nvestment valuating their startup at $1 Million from ex-vice president of IBM. They also have the honor to be featured in Asia’s Top 24 Startups in 2015.
The product is, however, still in the beta phase, and team is working hard to ensure its launch by the end of this year. You can follow and support them through their website, Facebook (WifigenOfficial), and Twitter account (Wifigen_official).
Are you worried that your expensive college curriculum books will go to waste? An avid book reader but feel that book prices today have sky rocketed? If so, then Bookworm has the solution for you. Bookworm is a community based website, and mobile application, that makes the 3As of ‘ility’ possible in Karachi that is it strives to overcome the problems of Accessibility, Affordability and Availability of books anywhere in Karachi (and all over Pakistan in next year).
As the website’s homepage says, “Books are ready to be bought and swapped”, Bookworm will not only provide home delivery of books, but will also help users to swap them with ease. Bookworm is expected to be success especially in schools where senior year students are looking to exchange/sell their old books to juniors.
The book swap process is as easy as ABC:
Upload the snapshot of the book cover
Choose the book from BookWorm Library
Place a request
Get the book (physically or through BookWorm’s service)
Don’t get lost in a bookstore trying to find the perfect book, instead save your time and choose bookworm’s home delivery option for ‘delivery at the footstep’.
SportsKot is a platform where sports manufacturers can connect with local and international buyers and retailers. SportsKot has the honor of being the first-caller in online sports shopping in Pakistan and engaging all the international and local brands.
They deal in fitness and sports categories and target their market by gender and age segmentation i.e. men, women and children. Currently, they are operating via their website and Facebook page only. They carried out sales worth PKR 10 lac in the first three months of the launch of their website.They are expected to launch their mobile application later this year.
SportsKot also provides free home delivery service in Lahore, with a customer-friendly return policy.
They successfully raised £90,000 pounds from a Scotland based investor.
Check out their website.
SMAC Factory is another promising startup from Plan9. Their product MySmaced intends to link and bridge the gap between students, parents, teachers and institution administration. With the belief that today’s educated youth means a prosperous tomorrow, mysmaced gives parents access to their child’s scorecard, attendance, books, school bus schedule and location. It also allows parents to provide feedback instantly. Furthermore, it will soon enable the social features such as the interaction between parents and teachers to discuss study plan etc.
Tech in Asia has given an exclusive shout out to SMAC-ED team for their unparalleled idea of turning EVERYTHING digital from a paper transcript. (https://www.techinasia.com/pakistani-ed-tech-startup-raises-funding-smart-communication-platform/ ). They raised investment at a valuation of USD $2 million.
The SMAC-ED team, which consists of highly passionate and technical stakeholders, has raised significant funds to develop their application and create an online portal to share data among every stakeholder in a child’s education.
Mysmaced has started off in three schools in Dubai and Pakistan simultaneously before hitting the global market. The demo version of the application is available for download on Google Playstore. You can follow them on all the social media websites with the name “smacfactory”.
Augmented reality is certainly the next big thing and the application potential of augmented reality is very vast- ranging from realistic gaming to interactive advertisement. Pakistan has always been unable to move with the same technical pace the world moves with, but this doesn’t seem to be the case with augmented reality. The young pioneers of Plane Solutions are all set to bring the virtual experience to Pakistan.
The Plane Solutions app will bring life to still images and invoke the interest of viewers in a pristine fashion. Augmented reality has a potential to revolutionize everything done on a digital platform, be it 3D model designing, interactive tutorials or presenting statistics in an exquisite manner; the limit is your imagination.
The Plane Solutions team is currently focusing on fashion magazines for their beta version launch. The app would remodel the shopping experience for the customer; allowing the customer to order the product, check its availability and even share it on social media. Plane Solutions App is set to release its beta version real soon.
In over a decade the Pakistani fashion industry has grown exponentially. Today, our designers are recognized globally for the work they put up. Every year, we see new breakthroughs in Pakistan’s fashion industry.
This growth serving as a prime motivation, the Mezaaj team came up with an idea of virtual fashion world that allows young designers to showcase their designs under their name. Designers, such as students, that are unable to have the spotlight put on their ideas can use Mezaaj to pitch their creativity.
The team of Mezaaj consists of 4 members, Maryam Izhar, Missal Nawaz, Ahmad Izhar and Rameez Javed. With a background in fashion, they have the required knowledge to work in this industry. These four are an amalgamation of an unflagging and vivacious attitude required to make it big. This coupled with an unwavering approach to any complication and obstinacy for their vision undoubtedly ensures that Mezaaj will go places.
Currently, Meezaj has a mobile application on iOS platform and an active Facebook page for users to interact. They look forward to expanding their operations within this year after having successfully raised a handsome investment from a local investor, valuating their startup at USD $500,000.
Mezaaj does not only focus on the amateur fashion designers, they also aim to promote designs belonging to the genre of footwear accessories and others. They also look forward to working with indie brands. Currently they are working with names like Millie Chappal, Izza Shopping, Mehr Hussain’s Gul Amor, and look forward to working with others. Start following them at:
Mezaaj.com and Facebook.com/MyMezaaj.
Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and a rite of passage for Muslims around the globe where millions of people congregate to perform this act. Despite having the prolonged spells of informatory and guiding sessions before kick-off, families and members usually get lost in the ever-increasing crowd and locating them then proves difficult.
In order to assist pilgrims from all over the world, Hajj guider is a wearable technology that connects with the mobile application. The application offers a range of services such as navigation, maps, health check, real time check ins, and emergency services. The band pilgrims are going to wear is free from the cellular-locks- meaning that they do not require any internet or cellular access to work. These bands are going to create their own network within the 5km radii.
Hajj guider has gained global recognition after attending several startup expos all over the world. They were given the green signal to participate in the biggest Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition in Singapore.
Hajj Guider has been pitched by a team of co-founders fully committed to the cause of a diverse solution that makes pilgrimage more convenient for millions with the help of technology. It includes Hasam Ahmed Khan, Arif Qadir, Azmat Bilal and Moiz Qadri. Hajj Guider is in the development stage right now, and plans to test the product really soon. They are currently incubated at Oasis500 in Jordan.
Pakistan has been blessed with some of the world’s most renowned writers. Newcomers every year give readers something new to look forward to. However, understanding the weakness of literature development in our country is lacking and thus, Daastan came up with an idea to provide writers with a platform to pitch their writings to greater audience and gain recognition.
Daastan aims to bring Pakistan into the limelight within the global literary world. If anyone in the world requires quality writers, then Pakistani talent is not to be overlooked and should therefore approach Daastan for their pool of writers. They are all set to bring back the culture of literati and the written word that once existed in Pakistan. With a basic aim to regain the interest of the people in the written word, they want to create notable literary hubs all over the nation where the people interested in literature gather.
Founder and Co-founders of Daastan are working passionately and are highly devoted to revive this dying industry of Pakistan. With a contributory business idea, this young group of entrepreneurs are all set to give the under-appreciated and uncovered writers of Pakistan the prominence and recognition they deserve.
Named among the top 100 start ups in Pakistan, Daastan is currently working on development of their website and mobile application. This will enable writers to pursue and develop their career as a writer and earn a decent living from it. Support them by liking their Facebook page and visiting their website.
With the turn of the century everything is turning smart. You had Smart TVs and Smart Phones, but recently the focus has shifted towards wearable technology and fashion technology; Smart Watches and Smart Glasses are epitomes of this. One thing you don’t have yet is a smart bag, and the team at SMAG is working to change that.
The SMAG Smart bag is a bag capable of metamorphosing into two distinct shapes giving it variable capacity. Furthermore it can connect to your smartphone and receive updates. It can even charge your smartphone over five times. It certainly can’t get any better!
SMAG unveiled the bag at the Collision Conference in Las Vegas this year, and hopefully it will hit the market real soon. You can sign up at http://smag.io to subscribe to updates and avail a special discount.
Edited by Plan9 Content Team.