Usman Institute of Technology (UIT) affiliated with NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi, held a competition titled ‘Virtual Innovation Competition’ (VIC) organized by UIT DICE Student Chapter at UIT auditorium. The well attended event featured an innovative ‘idea competition’ which features opportunities for students and teams to pitch their innovative startup ideas for cash prize awards up to Rs.75,000. Esteemed guests and judges included: AzharRizvi – CEO and Director, Cambridge Advisors Network, Owais Mangalwala – Senior Producer, HUM TV, Rizwan Khan – Founder, BI Structures, Interim Manager Global Investment, Sasi Group, Shazia Hassan – Journalist, Dawn along with SaifAkhter – Co-Founder & CEO, 10xC.pk and StartupSpace.pk
DICE is a strategic initiative of DICE Foundation, USA aimed at fostering innovation and entrepreneurship culture in the country at all levels. DICE UIT Student Chapter is a society that promotes the concept of entrepreneurship amongst students, encourages and motivates them to develop themselves as healthy entrepreneurial leaders. The event brought together UIT students, IT professionals, software developers, designers and data analysts to create entrepreneurial solutions.
Starting in 2014, DICE launched focused innovation platforms in various key sectors of economy such as Automotive, Energy & Water, Health, and Information & Enabling Technologies. Through these focused platforms DICE promotes innovation and local product development, collaboration among stakeholders, capacity building through expatriate mobilization, commercialization of innovations, providing access to Pakistani businesses to international markets through extensive expatriate network, and providing support to Government of Pakistan in policy-making. DICE also established several innovation centers throughout the country for focused platforms to pursue strategic projects such as design and development of an indigenous demo car, medical devices, innovative textile products, and low cost renewable energy.
It is worth mentioning that last year DICE Sharks was launched in Pakistan to support commercialization of innovative ideas by connecting young innovators and entrepreneurs with potential investors. Several projects have already been funded (~4M PKR) and are being executed through DICE Sharks initiative. In addition, National Innovation Basket (NIB) initiative was also launched last year to identify opportunities, strengths, issues, weaknesses, and threats in each of the strategic areas of economy, as represented by various platforms.
UIT stated that – “UIT is happy to collaborate with DICE to promote development of local innovative products to reduce imports and increase exports of local products creating a sustainable job market for youth in Pakistan.