The final round of 'She Loves Tech Pakistan 2019' has been won by "DOT-Mind Unlocked" of Yishel Khan, a startup that has developed a headset that reads brainwave activity to diagnose and treat mental disorders such as ADHD more efficiently. 'She Loves Tech' is the world's largest women and tech startup competition, launched in Pakistan in 2017 by CIRCLE, focused on businesses either led by women or that impact women.
The final round of 'She Loves Tech Pakistan 2019' took place on Saturday at Karachi Arts Council supported by strong partners like Interloop Limited; one of the largest Hosiery manufactures of the world and a progressive company working on bringing more women into the workforce, HBL; the largest bank in the country and UNDP Pakistan. Founder Yishel Khan won a Rs 150,000 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 Rs 75,000 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 Rs 50,000 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." 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.
'She Loves Tech Conference 2019' was a combined effort of top organizations including Interloop Limited, HBL, and UNDP showing their strong commitment to diversity and innovation. Chief guest of the final was 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".
Humayun Javed Khan, Head of Corporate Communications, Interloop Limited said that "We truly believe in inclusion and women empowerment and as part of our Vision 2020, we have made targeted efforts to hire, train & retain more women in STEM, with currently more than 45% of our female employees having STEM degrees and working in such roles." Other industry leaders such as Ikram Sehgal, Chairperson of K-Electric, and Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner, were 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.
The judges included Faisal Sherjan, Director of NIC Lahore, Dr Ayesha Khan, CEO and Country Head Acumen, Dr Sara Khurram, Founder, Sehat Kahani, Maleeha Bangash, Head of Ease of Doing Business & Investment Climate, Ministry of Finance, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Humayun Javed Khan, Head of Corporate Communication, Interloop Limited amongst others.--PR