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Pursuant to a recent collaboration between LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship and the City of Austin in United States, the two launched ATX+PAK Startup Showcase in a collaboration with Capital Factory. The objective of the event was to showcase Pakistani startups to mentors and investors in Austin and engage in a cross cultural to promote entrepreneurship.
The event started off with a welcome note by Kerry O’Connor, Chief Innovation Officer at City of Austin and JD Weinstein, Venture Associate at Capital Factory, followed by an Austin based startup sharing secrets to the art of crafting a winning pitch/proposal for investors. Five startups from LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship presented their ideas to US based Venture Capitalists including Autogenie, a virtual maintenance portal enabling every motorist (car owner) to explore for the nearby workshops, vendors and fix an appointment, Jewelry Design Pro, a virtual global marketplace for trading any digital downloadable jewelry design, Fictive Lab, that develops Interact which brings your home on your fingertips through a single smart app, Savaree, a trust-based, ride share social network that allows drivers to monetize the free passenger seats in their cars by posting routes and connecting with riders that share that route and GrabDeals, an app that connects SMEs with their customers by offering value through hyper local, location based deals & coupons and offline access via SMS.
Talking about the event, Alicia Dean, ATX+PAK program creator, Senior Public Information Specialist, City of Austin said “We’re excited to provide a platform, in partnership with LUMS, that will connect members Austin’s vibrant startup scene to the exceptional creative talent driving Pakistan’s growing Entrepreneurial Eco-system,”
Success stories from both the regions were also shared which gave a lot of encouragement to the startups. Sharing Conrad Labs as an Austin to Pakistan success story, their CEO Abbas Yousafzai said, “We have closely worked with Austin based startups. The reason these startups trust us with their products engineering is that we bring to the table exceptional talent with repeatable and measurable success.
The event also included a panel discussion called, Cross-Cultural Conversation: Exploring the start-up scenes & ecosystems in Austin and Pakistan. The panelists for this discussion included Khurram Zafar, Executive Director LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship, Abbas Yousafzai, CEO Cornard Labs, investors and entrepreneurs from Capital Factory and representatives from the City of Austin Office of Innovation and Economic Development. The conversation focused on emerging trends in entrepreneurship, respective challenges or improvement opportunities in both countries and how the diversity of eco system in Pakistan and Austin can benefit from one another etc.