The purpose of the contest is to encourage innovation to help improve the quality of life of aging populations in the West and the rest of the world.
The 2017 Stanford Longevity Design Challenge had the following goals:
1. Create well-designed, practical solutions that address key issues associated with aging
2. Encourage a new generation of students to become knowledgeable about aging issues
3. Provide promising designers with a path to drive change in the world
|2017 Stanford Longevity Design Challenge Winners|
NUST's Hooriya Anam, Awais Shafique, and Arsalan Javed defeated teams from around the world with their anti-tremor prototype project TAME. The team from famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) placed second while Virginia Tech team stood third, according to results announced by the Center.
|NUST's Stanford Challenge Winners From L to R: Arsalan Javed, Hooriya Anam, Awais Shafique|
In addition to NUST, MIT and Virginia Tech teams, there were other teams from Cornell University, University of Sao Paolo Brazil, China's Beijing University and Silicon Valley's Stanford University who also competed in the contest.
The winners received $17,000 in cash prizes along with paid travel to Stanford where they presented their designs to industry, academic, and government leaders.
College and University Enrollment in Pakistan:
Wins such as the Stanford Challenge are the result of improvements in higher education in Pakistan since the year 2000.
There are over 3 million students enrolled in grades 13 through 16 in Pakistan's 1,086 degree colleges and 161 universities, according to Pakistan Higher Education Commission report for 2013-14. The 3 million enrollment is 15% of the 20 million Pakistanis in the eligible age group of 18-24 years. In addition, there are over 255,000 Pakistanis enrolled in vocational training schools, according to Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA).
|Graduation Day at NED Engineering University For 1300 Graduates in 2013|
|Source: UNESCO's Global Education Digest 2009|
Higher education in Pakistan has come a long way since its independence in 1947 when there was only one university, the University of Punjab. By 1997, the number of universities had risen to 35, of which 3 were federally administered and 22 were under the provincial governments, with a combined enrollment of 71,819 students. A big spending boost by President Pervez Musharraf helped establish 51 new universities and awarding institutions during 2002-2008. This helped triple university enrollment from 135,000 in 2003 to about 400,000 in 2008, according to Dr. Ata ur Rehman who led the charge for expanding higher education during Musharraf years. There are 161 universities with 1.5 million students enrolled in Pakistan as of 2014.
Rise of research and publications at Pakistani universities began during Musharraf years when the annual budget for higher education increased from only Rs 500 million in 2000 to Rs 28 billion in 2008, to lay the foundations of the development of a strong knowledge economy, according to former education minister Dr. Ata ur Rehman. Student enrollment in universities increased from 270,000 to 900,000 and the number of universities and degree awarding institutions increased from 57 in 2000 to 137 by 2008. Government R&D spending jumped seven-fold as percentage of GDP from 0.1% of GDP in 1999 to 0.7% of GDP in 2007. It has since declined as percentage of GDP.
Pakistani students, scientists and researchers are continuing to produced highly recognized and cited research in spite of serious economic and security challenges. Enrollment in higher education is rising and giving a boost to innovation. With better policy focus and more investment in higher education, Pakistan can make an even greater impact with its young demographics.
Pakistan Beats BRICS in Highly Cited Research
Pakistan Becomes CERN Member
Pakistani Scientists at CERN
Rising College Enrollment in Pakistan
10 Pakistani Universities Among Asia's Top 300
Genomics and Biotech Research in Pakistan
Human Capital Growth in Pakistan
Educational Attainment in Pakistan
Pakistan Human Development in Musharraf Years
Robotics Growth in Pakistan
Dr Ata ur Rehman on Geo TV's Jirga with Saleem Safi
2.6% of 17-24 yrs of age group enrolled in higher education in 2000 jumped to 13-14% now.
Only 10% of students have access to higher education in country
Access to education beyond higher secondary schooling is a mere 10% among the university-age population in India. This is the finding of a report "Intergenerational and Regional Differentials in Higher Education in India" authored by development economist, Abusaleh Shariff of the Delhi-based Centre for Research and Debates in Development Policy and Amit Sharma, research analyst of the National Council of Applied Economic Research.
The report says that a huge disparity exists — as far as access to higher education is concerned — across gender, socio-economic religious groups and geographical regions. The skew is most marked across regions. Thus, a dalit or Muslim in south India, though from the most disadvantaged among communities, would have better access to higher education than even upper caste Hindus in many other regions. Interestingly, people living in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal — designated as the north central region — and those in northeast India have the worst access to higher education. Those in southern India and in the northern region — consisting of Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chandigarh, Haryana and Delhi — are relatively better placed in this regard.
In the age group 22-35 years, over 15% in the northern region and 13% in the southern region have access to higher education. In the north-central region, the number is just 10% for men and 6% for women whereas in the northeast, only 8% men and 4% women have access to higher education.
The report, brought out by the US-India Policy Institute in Washington, is based on data from the 64th round of NSSO survey 2007-08. It throws up quite a few other interesting facts. For instance, among communities, tribals and dalits fare worst with just 1.8% of them having any higher education. Muslims are almost as badly off, with just 2.1% able to go for further learning. Similarly, just 2% of the rural population is educated beyond higher secondary level, compared to 12% of the urban population and just 3% of women got a college education compared to 6% of men.
South India offers the best opportunities for socially inclusive access to higher education including technical education and education in English medium. For instance, the share of Hindu SC/ST in technical education in south India is about 22%, and the share of Muslims 25%. These were the lowest shares among all communities in south India. But this was higher than the share of most communities including Hindu OBCs and upper caste Hindus in most other regions. South India also has the highest proportion of higher education in the private sector at about 42%, followed by western India where it is 22%. The northeast has the least privatized higher education sector and is almost entirely dependent on government-run or aided institutions.
A 17-year-old Pakistani high school student's physics paper has surprised some older scientists
This is an electric honeycomb. It’s what happens when certain kinds of electrically charged particles travel between a pointy electrode and a flat one, but bump into a puddle of oil along the way.
The polygonal pattern that emerges is what some physicists also call the rose-window instability, because it resembles the circular, stained-glass designs found in Gothic churches. It’s what happens as natural forces work to keep an electric charge moving in an interrupted circuit.
This visualization reveals fundamental principles about how electricity moves through fluids that engineers can use to develop technology for printing, heating or biomedicine. But it also reminds us that humans aren’t the only ones seeking stability in an unstable world. Even tiny, unconscious objects need balance. You can see similar patterns in wax honeycombs, fly’s eyes and soap bubbles.
Physicists knew of this phenomenon decades before Muhammad Shaheer Niazi, a 17-year-old high school student from Pakistan met the electric honeycomb. In 2016, as one of the first Pakistani participants in the International Young Physicists’ Tournament, he replicated the phenomenon and presented his work as any professional scientist would. But he also developed photographic evidence of charged ions creating the honeycomb, and published his work Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science.
But first: How does the honeycomb form?
Just about every electronic device in your home contains capacitors, which store electricity, a bit like a battery. Electricity travels from the top electrode, through the insulator, to the bottom, or ground electrode.
An electric honeycomb behaves like a capacitor. In this case, the top electrode is a needle that delivers high voltage to the air just a few centimeters above a thin layer of oil on the other flat, grounded surface electrode.
The high voltage strips molecules in the air of their electrons, and creates what’s called a corona discharge, pouring down these electrically charged particles, or ions, like water from a fountain, onto the surface of the oil. Just as lightning strives to strike the ground, these ions want to hit their ground electrode. But because oil is an inefficient conductor, they can’t get through it.
“We can say this is frustrated lightning,” said Alberto T. Pérez Izquierdo, a physicist at the University of Seville in Spain whose 1997 work on the subject inspired Mr. Niazi’s project.
The ions start accumulating on top of the oil until their force is too much. They sink down, forming a dimple in the oil that exposes the bottom electrode, allowing them to find their ground.
But now, the surface of the oil is no longer even. Within milliseconds, dozens of hexagonal shapes form in the layer that help maintain the equilibrium nature demands. The polygons keep the amount of energy flowing into and out of the system equal, and balance two forces — gravity, which keeps the oil’s surface horizontal, and the electric field pushing down on top of it.
To prove that the ions were moving, Mr. Niazi photographed images of the shadows formed by their wind as they exited the needle and recorded the heat presumed to come from the friction of their travel through the oil. Heat appeared to originate at the needle, and dissipate outward, increasing with time — even five minutes after the honeycomb formed.
The thermal images puzzled Dr. Pérez Izquierdo. Neither he nor others had previously explored temperature changes on the oil’s surface, and he would have expected a smaller and more even heating effect than Mr. Niazi observed. Determining the heat’s origin is an interesting question that requires more study, he said, while also praising Mr. Niazi’s experimental skill.
“I think it’s outstanding for so young a scientist to reproduce these results,” Dr. Pérez Izquierdo said.
Pakistan’s biggest Science Olympiad LUMS PsiFi set to kick off this Friday
The biggest science Olympiad of the country, PsiFi, which is hosted by the Lahore University of Management and Sciences’ Society for Promotion of Engineering and Sciences is set to start from tomorrow.
PsiFi is entering into its 9th edition, thus the name “PsiFi IX”. The first edition of the series gave LUMS the honour of being the pioneer of Science Olympiads in Pakistan. Since then, PsiFi has been held on an annual basis and each event promises a better experience than before.
SPADES’ executive body is determined to make this year’s event a success, putting in days and nights to ensure that the participants have an exhilarating start to the year. PsiFi consists of a bundle of science-oriented competitions. It revolves around 16 academic events and 4 socials spread over 4 days, starting from the 13th till the 16th of January, 2018.
SPADES quotes the drive to counter the narrative of science being a “boring” field as the root cause of the efforts to make Psifi a “Feast of Fun”. It has set out with all the right weapons required to convince everyone that science is fun and interesting.
The 16 academic events are spread over a wide array of backgrounds and are not confined to one branch of science. Some of them are:
See also: Upcoming Lahore Science Mela is all about blending science with culture
1. Diagnosis Dilemma
This event is based on 3 rounds, starting off from a Crisis scenario wherein participants will take up the role of a paramedic and try to counter the crisis situation, participants will put their surgical ability to test and pull out a tumor from a dummy without damaging internal organs.
This event aims to bring out the Matt Damon in everyone and test their knowledge of space and planets. Nowadays, space travel and the possibility of people living on other planets is constantly being explored by governments and firms like SpaceX. Now, students have the chance to present their proposals in front of a learned judging panel. Galactica, where limits extend beyond the sky.
3. Geek Wars
This event is bound to exploit the movie and seasons knowledge of the participants. Based on 5 rounds, this event will bring out the sci-fi movie nerd inside everyone. The rounds will comprise of MCQs, riddles and dares, all of them aiming to bring the Sci-Fi element in Psifi!
4. Vine’d Up
This event is all about laughter, humor and the best thing in our lives: Memes! Based on 3 rounds in addition to a bonus round, this event will comprise of participants making memes out of images given to them and using imaginary gadgets in (hopefully) funny videos. This event promises to be one of the most enjoyable of the roster of events, and rightfully so. After all, what’s life without laughter, right?
Other than the academic events, Psifi will also host 4 social events including a concert which is bound to be the highlight of the event. Starting from the amazing opening ceremony all the way up to the Black and Gold themed Closing Dinner, the socials will be an amazing remedy for the stress from the academic events.
Pakistani student’s ‘sonic eye’ a ray of light for the visually impaired
Hifza is also working on a mobile app that can help the partially blind find their way around
Two years ago when Faizan Khan woke up in hospital following a car crash, he rubbed his eyes hard but still couldn’t see a thing. He initially thought it was an effect of the trauma from which he would recover with time but he had in fact been blinded.
Today, the horrors of his car accident are long gone but he is still learning to live in a world he cannot see anymore. “I had great difficulty at first as I simply wasn’t prepared for it” says Faizan. “One of the most detrimental impacts of vision loss is that you’re not able to move around like before. The fact that you are dependent on someone for movement is the worst feeling.”
Faizan and millions of visually impaired people like him now have a chance to make sense of their surroundings with the help of Sonic Eye, a device that acts as a navigational prop through the medium of sound.
The innovative device has been developed by 23-year-old Hifza Jamal, a student from Peshawar in the north-western province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — signifying how young Pakistani women in the field of technology are transforming society.
Talking to Gulf News, Hifza explained that Sonic Eye is basically a stick that is attached to a navigation system. “This navigation helps to identify the objects in the path. These sensors alert the visually impaired with a loud sound when an object is nearby,” she said.
“The device releases frequencies in the shape of a cone, which when they come in contact with any object in a certain range, activate the buzzer,” said Hifza detailing her invention.
The device can indicate obstacles ahead and makes it easier for visually impaired people to find their way around. The device could be extremely useful for not only the blind but also the partially blind or people with complex eye diseases.
During her research for the project, Hifza spoke to several visually impaired persons as well as eye therapists to understand the problems faced by people with vision loss.
“What struck me most was that vision loss can have a debilitating impact on the mobility and independence of people. They are stuck in one place and become dependent on other people.”
Determined to instil hope in the physically challenged population of Pakistan, Hifza decided to resume work on her university project. “Sonic Eye was basically my university final year project made with the help of my colleagues under the supervision of my professors,” said Hifza, who completed her Bachelor of Computer Science degree from the Institute of Management Sciences Peshawar.
“I am perhaps the first one to launch this technological device in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” she reckons.
Hifza is currently busy working to develop a mobile app that will be able to offer a navigational aid for the blind without even having to use the stick. The app has image processing, face recognition and object detection features, which will help partially sighted persons perceive their surroundings with the use of a mobile camera. “The app is basically aimed at partially blind people,” Hifza explained.
“The app will also recognise currency by speaking the denomination, enabling visually impaired people to easily identify and count bills.”
Hifza is also the co-founder of Sympathizers, an organisation working to provide better education, health and everyday facilities to special people in Peshawar.
Armed with the Sonic Eye and the app she is working on, Hifza aims to bring about a phenomenal change in the lives of people with visual impairments. “This technology can allow sightless people to live an independent life,” she said.
Pakistan needs a balanced mix of quality skilled workers, technicians, technologists, engineers, researchers and development scientists to promote the country's industrialization. National University of Technology is Pakistan government's answer to fulfill this need.
The problem with Pakistan’s technological education hitherto has been a surfeit of theory adept engineers, who lack practical skills upon graduation and are therefore of limited use for industry that demands hands on technologists, who could run industrial processes with the desired degree of competence. NUTECH seeks to fill that void through degree programs that will give both respectability and international recognition to the technologists who would undergo four year degree programs in different disciplines of engineering technology. These engineering technology graduates would be exposed to a curriculum geared towards practical aspects of technology that come in handy for an industrial employer. While the engineering degree holders would concentrate on designing and policy aspects the graduates of NUTECH would be focused on actual execution of technological tasks on shop floor. With a practical orientation these engineering technology graduates would already be adept in engineering practices on graduation unlike a normal engineering graduate whose learning starts upon graduation.
The production of top quality engineering technologists accredited to top class international technology regimes like the ‘Dublin, Sydney, and Bologna Accords’ would be a big shot in the arm for our human resource starved industrial sector. As a pioneer technology university under the Ministry of Education and affiliated with the Higher Education Commission, the University is charged with forging a direct linkage with the industry. While NUTECH would be mainly conducting Degree Programs, it is capable of reaching out to less developed areas through its widespread network of technical and vocational training institutes, producing skilled workers for the industry. With more focus on hands on practical training and inclusion of the industrial sector as a stakeholder in designing of curricula, it would synergise the academic output for the benefit of industry.
Pakistan that has suffered because it has completely bypassed industrial development by taking a shortcut to the services sector. Without industrial sinews, no country in the contemporary world can enjoy sustainable economic development. The time has come to correct that egregious flaw in our national development planning through sustainable initiatives. NUTECH is one such initiative, which was long overdue.
#Pakistani Students Win #MIT Sloan health care prize for Umbulizer, a Life-Saving Low-cost ventilator. Winning team: Shaheer Piracha, Sanchay Gupta, Moiz Imam, Abdurrahman Akkas, Wasay Anwer, Rohan Jadeja & Farzan Khan. #healthcare #innovation #technology http://news.mit.edu/2019/umbulizer-sloan-health-care-innovation-prize-0225#.XIFmZJJLqCw.twitter
If someone begins struggling to breathe on their own, machine ventilators are the best way to keep them alive. Unfortunately, the high price of the machines forces many hospitals in the poorest regions of the world to rely on a simple solution known as an Ambu Bag that requires hospital staff or even a patient’s own family member to apply constant manual pressure in order to get oxygen to the lungs.
Ambu Bags are imprecise and carry their own risks, which helps explain why respiratory disease is one of the leading causes of death in more than 60 developing countries worldwide.
On Feb. 21, the student team Umbulizer won $20,000 to help address that problem with a device it claims can help 90 percent of patients struggling to breathe, at a fraction of the cost of traditional ventilators. The money was part of the company’s first-place finish in the annual MIT Sloan Healthcare Innovations Prize competition.
The event, which is open to entrepreneurial students from Boston-area colleges and universities, featured eight finalist teams pitching their health care innovations to a group of judges and a packed audience at MIT Sloan’s Wong Auditorium.
Boston University graduate Shaheer Piracha and Harvard Medical School student Sanchay Gupta gave the winning pitch for the Umbulizer team, which also includes MIT alumni Moiz Imam ’18 and Abdurrahman Akkas ’18, MIT mechanical engineering student Wasay Anwer, Boston University student Rohan Jadeja, and Farzan Khan, who recently graduated from New York University Abu Dhabi.
The company’s device looks more like a desktop printer than a traditional bedside ventilator and is capable of running on batteries for added mobility. After an operator connects the device’s single tube to a patient, it rhythmically pumps a safe amount of air into their lungs.
Umbulizer’s device will cost around $2,000 compared to the $15,000 price tag of regular ventilators. The key to the student team’s cost savings is its decision to focus on providing the four most common functions of ventilators with their device. Machine ventilators are typically designed to perform 15 different functions, many of which are rarely needed to save a life, Piracha told the audience.
The team is currently focused on bringing its solution to Pakistan, a country with over 200 million people that Piracha says has less than 2,000 machine ventilators across all of its hospitals. The company says early results from a clinical trial there are promising.
“When we spoke to Pakistani doctors and hospital administrators, they expressed a need for a device that is simple to operate, capable of remote monitoring, portable, and built using locally sourced material. All of those considerations have informed our [first iteration of this machine],” Piracha told the audience. “Our device’s competitive advantage lies in the fact that we’ve balanced the accuracy and consistency of a traditional ventilator with the portability and affordability of an Ambu Bag.”
Here's Maha Yusuf introducing herself:
I was 16 when I left home, and I’ve worked very hard to become the independent 26-year-old that I am today. I was born in a rural village in Pakistan called Jhang, and grew up in a conservative Muslim family. I’m the first woman in my family to go to college, and I’m lucky to have been able to attend high school. In a male-dominated society, where females are not encouraged to go to school let alone to pursue higher education, I decided to become an engineer.
After college, I worked as a drilling specialist on oil rigs in the Amazon rainforests in Colombia. Aged 22, with barely a word of Spanish except ¡Hola!, and having lived in a protective environment all my life, I found myself working 16+ hours for 30-40 days at a time, sleeping in trailers on-site, and often the only woman on the rigs. It was hard work, but I was proud of myself, and excited to be independent. During the year of rigorous field work, I recognized the power of technology to solve real-world problems. I realized that solving problems was what I cared deeply about, and decided that I wanted to pursue advanced research in order to do this.
While in Colombia, I applied to graduate school at Stanford and got in. Currently, I’m a PhD student in Chemical Engineering. The primary focus of my research is to develop a high-resolution, fast-detection X-ray imaging system to improve traditional X-ray imaging. This work brings together multiple disciplines including optics, X-ray physics, microfluidics, chemistry and computer science. There are many applications, one being the potential to improve the diagnostic accuracy of early-stage breast cancer at a reduced radiation dose.
My mom is very proud of me. She keeps telling me that she didn’t live the life she wanted to, and she’s glad that I am pursuing my dreams. Hearing those words from her have motivated me to stay on my path. I was recently awarded the Schlumberger Faculty for the Future fellowship. The grant funds PhD studies of aspiring female professors from developing countries. My dream is to one day have a research lab and commercialize technologies that the lab develops. I’m passionate about research, but I want to make sure it has real-world applications.
Saad Gulzar, Political Science Professor at Stanford University
The broad area that I’m interested in right now is how to make politics more inclusive. How to get the voices of the unheard heard through the formal process. Within that, I’m interested in affirmative action in politics and getting regular people to think about joining politics, so making politics something that’s for everyone.
The main projects I’m working on have to do with getting regular people to run for office. There was a big reform in Pakistan in 2015 where they introduced elections at the village level for the first time in the country’s history. To give you a sense of the scale of this reform, the province that I’m working in has a population of about 30 million people and previously, they were only directly electing 125 people to the provincial assembly. Now they have elected more than 40,000 people. It was a huge democratizing reform and I was interested in thinking about how one might encourage regular people to participate in this reform. One might expect that even if you devolve politics down to the village level, it will likely be elites within the village who are going to run for office. So I was interested in how to make that process even more inclusive.
In 2015, I conducted a field experiment canvasing neighborhoods and asking regular people if they would be interested in running for office. The big result was that just asking regular people if they would run for office increases the probability that they will run five-fold. Just having that conversation has a massive effect on people’s willingness to run for office. It’s also the case that they end up winning office, so these are viable candidates who are not running just because nobody asked them.
In the summer of 2019, those who were elected in this reform are ending their tenure, and my hope is to trace these people over time, to see which of them run for office again and follow their careers as first-time politicians. For future work, I’m trying to design experiments to engage more women in politics.
U.S. Embassy Islamabad
Congrats to Team Invictus, a group of Pakistani students from Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute for winning 2nd place in the 2021 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (Design, Build and Fly) competition, beating MIT & Stanford!
Pakistani students win big in America's Design, Build and Fly competition
US Embassy in Pakistan congratulates GIKI's Team Invictus for bagging second position
The students of Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology (GIKI) participated in the Design, Build and Fly contest in the United States of America and bagged the second position. Team Invictus from GIKI managed to win the second prize in the competition hosted by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
The competition had participation from students from all across the globe including renowned institutions such as MIT, UC Berkeley, and Stanford.
The 2021 iteration of the competition aimed to build and test a UAV with a towed sensor. All student teams were tasked to design, fabricate and demonstrate capabilities of their crewless radio-controlled aircraft, which is designed to meet a specific mission objective.
According to techjuice, GIKI's team used advanced manufacturing techniques which included 3D printed parts and a pod and boom aircraft configuration to get their design ready.
The prestigious contest is sponsored by the American Cessna Aircraft Company and Raytheon Missile Systems. The students of GIKI were also congratulated by the US Embassy in Pakistan on a Facebook post:
Pakistani start-up wins first place across South Asia in maiden Stanford SEED Spark Program
January 21, 2022
Usman Aslam, TechJuice
National Incubation Center (NIC) Lahore at LUMS nominated start-up Codeschool.pk has won top laurels and a cash prize in the capstone business pitch competition in the Stanford Seed Spark Program for high-achieving entrepreneurs across South Asia. This was the inaugural cohort from Pakistan and was introduced by NIC LUMS.
“Our partnership with Stanford SEED Spark reflects our confidence in Pakistani entrepreneurs and their ability to compete with the very best talent globally,” said Saleem Ahmad, Chairman NIC LUMS Lahore, and Quetta at the graduation ceremony of Stanford SEED Spark’s inaugural cohort in Pakistan. “Our conviction is reinforced by the fact that all of NIC LUMS mentored start-ups made the top 20 finalists and have brought home much pride in also winning the top position across South Asia.”
83 ventures participated in the program, from across 17 collaborating institutions such as IIT Bombay, TiE Chennai and CII-Young Indians. The competition selected only the top 20 graduates as finalists. After a rigorous scoring process, the top three start-ups were selected to win a cash prize as well as a virtual showcase feature in the global Stanford SEED Spark gallery.
“Our collaboration with NIC LUMS for Spark’s maiden cohort in the Pakistan start-up ecosystem has been a great experience,” said P. R. Ganapathy, Regional Director, Stanford Seed South Asia. “We are thrilled to see the energy and enthusiasm that NIC LUMS nominated entrepreneurs brought to the program. We are looking forward to meeting more innovators and problem solvers from Pakistan to apply and make best use of a word-class online entrepreneurship program at their own pace and time.”
Speaking about her journey with the program, co-founder Sadaf Rehman commented,
“The Stanford SEED Spark Program was instrumental in helping us articulate our vision. The frameworks, expert sessions, as well as the one-on-one mentorship provided just the right mix to propel us beyond what we could have achieved on our own. I am deeply grateful to NIC LUMS for introducing this program to Pakistan, and for the networking opportunities and support that they have provided along our journey.”
Her venture, Codeschool.pk, provides fun, interactive coding classes to children aged six years and up, with the aim to promote critical 21st-century skills like problem-solving, creativity, and resilience. Within the first year of operations, the startup is reaching over 450 students in ten countries. She was mentored by LUMS alumnus Adeel Saya, Program Manager, Google in Zurich.
Another NIC LUMS-backed entrepreneur, Malik Waleed Tariq, founder of XStak, also made the top 20 finalist list. His venture is an all-in-one, self-service Retail Operating System that enables retailers to perform omnichannel commerce, marketing, payments, and business intelligence operations on a transaction-based pricing model. He was mentored by another LUMS alumnus, Ali Almakky, Strategy and Operations, JPMorgan, London.
Haris Anwaar, AWS Finance, Amazon, (Seattle) also joined the NIC mentors list with a start-up in the top 20 finalists.
The Stanford SEED Spark Program is a four-month training for early-stage entrepreneurs in the traction or growth stage and seeks to empower them with practical tools to refine and develop their businesses through an action-based curriculum, networking opportunities with peers, one-on-one mentorship, and live expert sessions. NIC LUMS brought the Stanford SEED Spark program to Pakistan and will be expanding it nationwide, with the second cohort due to begin in March 2022.
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