U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Andrew Schofer joined the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council and Paklaunch in announcing the winners of a pitch competition for women-led startups at a ceremony today at National Science and Technology Park.
First Prize: Arooba Tayab of TheEPO.com for “Revolutionizing B2B eProcurement as per Global Compliances/Standard Operating Procedures.”
First Runner-Up: Aiman Khan of SLOSH AI Solutions for “Systems with Life-Changing and Optimal Solutions for Humanity.”
Second Runner-Up: Romana Rafi of Technoknowledge Pvt. Ltd. for “Coding is Today’s Language of Creativity: All Our Children Deserve a Chance to Become Creators instead of Consumers of Computer Science.”
The three winners will receive expert-level, one-on-one mentoring through Paklaunch and Amazon Web Services (AWS) and will be showcased to potential clients and investors.
Today’s ceremony (Sept 06) marked the culmination of a months-long competitive process. More than 1,000 women-led start-ups applied for 50 available slots. Of those 50, fifteen were chosen as finalists to travel to Islamabad and pitch their ideas before a distinguished panel of judges, including Paklaunch founder Aly Fahd and 500 Global Chief Operating Officer Courtney Powell.
Deputy Chief of Mission Schofer praised the finalists in his remarks: “Today’s finalists have brought incredible innovation, courage, and creativity to this competition, with pitches that respond to real-life issues facing Pakistanis. Getting to this point has taken a lot of hard work and determination. It’s been an extremely competitive process. I hope you are as proud of yourselves as we are of each of you.”
Since 2012, the U.S. Mission to Pakistan has funded more than 181 entrepreneurship-related projects valued at $14.7 million.