Startups are key for the growth and innovation of a country. To discover the next generation of women innovators and inspire youth, CIRCLE team of six women has been traveling by train from Karachi to Lahore. The She Loves Tech Lahore round was held at Innovation District 92. She Loves Tech is the world’s largest startup competition for women and tech, happening in 14 countries including Pakistan, China, UAE, Singapore, Indonesia, Germany, Kenya amongst others. It is a global initiative showcasing the convergence of the latest trends in technology, entrepreneurship, innovation and the opportunities it creates for women.
The Lahore round kicked off on the 14th of July with Ambassador Ardi Stoios-Braken from Netherlands, who presented the welcome keynote to a room full of startups, youth and leading business leaders. She said, “The Lahore round of the She Loves Tech shows the ingenuity of young Pakistani women in developing tech startups (and) providing solutions for social challenges.” Top 10 female applicants from Lahore pitched their ideas about how to create social change through the use of tech and tackle some of Pakistan’s pressing challenges. The pitches were judged by leaders in the ecosystem such as Faisal Sherjan, Director NIC Lahore, Nusrat Jamil, COO Latitude, Amna Quraishi Colabs and Rabeel Warraich, CEO Sarmayacar.
The two finalists from Lahore are Aero Engine Craft by Dr. Sarah Qureshi and MARHAM by Asma Salman Omer and Farwa Ali. Aero Engine aims on reducing the aviation industry’s influence on global warming by turning emission into artificial rain and making airplanes sustainable. While Second place winners from MARHAM aim to create Pakistan’s largest online health space, where you can find the best doctors according to how your fellow Pakistanis have rated them.
These finalists will go on to compete in the Finals in Karachi at NIC on August 18th, the winner gets to go to China for global finals, boot camp and mentorship. They will be paired with local mentors from the tech industry. She Loves Tech Pakistan is sponsored by Habib Bank NISA which is focused on economic empowerment and financial inclusion of women.
Nabeel Qadeer, Co-Founder of Innovation District 92, said, “It’s good to see initiatives highlighting young entrepreneurs and encouraging the culture of startups for our women. More power to CIRCLE and all the work they are doing.”
Led by Sadaffe Abid, former COO and CEO of Kashf Foundation, CIRCLE is a social enterprise that aims to advance women’s economic participation and empowerment through innovative entrepreneurship and leadership labs, advocacy campaigns, digital skills, and research.