110+ people, fantastic startups, young industry leaders, and great brownies – what a night!

Share this Article


One of the things I’d like us to stop in the industry – especially people from Isb – is to think that Islamabad doesn’t have any innovation, action, excitement, or life. The “dull city” cliche was proven wrong last night by the 110+ people that convened in LMKR to talk Startup at the Startup Insiders event in the city.

The attendees list consisted of 9 odd CEOs, 4 people who’ve been there, done it and had a lifes worth of experiences to share, 3 private investors, 1 representative of the US-Aid / Competitiveness Support Fund, 4 other young leaders who are not only running successful firms but also volunteering their time to help the industry, and 90 odd sharp entrepreneurs not willing to take text-book answers on face value.

LMKR was a phenomenal host – they had everything from visitor registration, security, fire exits, coffee and brownies, professional photography and video, seating and branding figured out and practiced to perfection.

The Panel

  • Atif Khan – CEO LMKR – He must have heard atleast 8 product pitches during the event
  • Ovais Ashraf – Director, Bentley Systems –
  • Saeed Qadri – Director, Voxel Communications
  • Mr. Arshad Ali – NIIT
  • (More) – will fill this up later but I really have to rush to finish this post

Here is a brief highlight of the event – pictures and more to follow in later posts:

– There were atleast 15 startups there with 40-man teams that I had not heard of before, and were doing amazing work. We had people working on optimizing Clustering Engines, a “2.0” online database venture like DabbleDB, building video application platforms, basecamp competitors, action video games, viral facebook applications, making businesses out of Open Source work or free information websites, and more.

– Atleast two of these startups had just recently raised Angel and Series-A investments and were doing their thing very well

– I met 3 other young guys who were also working to do their part for the industry – particularly Faisal Butt working on starting TIE Islamabad, and the Zigron folks building a video package of startups to present to VCs.

Best Question from the event: How much of the rules of the trade / entrepreneurship change when moving from traditional brick-and-mortar business models to models working on the e-economy – e.g. how would you monetize a blog? In what ways can we market our product on the traditional media – what type of access can we get?

Best Answer from the event: Stop talking about Steve Jobs and Guy Kawasaki – we have plenty of successful innovative marketing case studies in this country like Lado Soap and Telefun.

Things that were missed at the event: Jawwad’s “bleep bleep bleep” rant; Faisal Qureshi’s 9 steps to success

Things that Faisal and Jehan missed: Brownies. The LMKR management said they only reveal the source of those brownies to employees who’ve worked with them for a few years.

Highlight of the Event: Many. For me: the fact that we have sponsors for the next 6 months of SI events in Islamabad; that the SI logo was plastered all across one wall of the room; that I was able to find so many fans from within Islamabad; that I was able to see other people giving back to our industry in interesting ways as well.

I’m running late to head out for Lahore so will add more details in time.

But a country where we find people who’ve stopped sitting around waiting for someone else to solve their problems – where you can look across a room at the young future leaders of the industry and think “yes, we’re in good hands”, where we fine a large group of people willing to defeat conventional thinking and think about how to make the world a better place…. that industry and country still has hope.

Thanks for everyone who came down and made the event memorable – again more details to follow

Powered by ScribeFire.

Facebook comments:


  • Hey Osama, it was great! I have a few screenshots of the sessions at my blog: http://www.selfexile.com/startup-insiders-islamabad-it-was-great/

  • Great coverage! Lahoris won’t let you down either. This is so exciting…

  • Sounds exhilirating. On behalf of P@SHA I would like to thank Atif Khan and the LMKR team for putting their heart and soul into this event. I am even sorrier now that I couldn’t be there due to my father’s illness – and no Osama, it is not just because of the brownies. I can see I missed a great event. Photos and videos are on the way to me – yay! Faisal, Jawwad, Adnan and I will watch them together. Zia has great plans for the next SI in Lahore tonight. Go guys go! Plans are already under way for the next one in Karachi

  • Who is working on videos’ uploads of the events?!

  • sheheryar hyderi of itrango should have been there – he is heading what is probably the only company that has developed a full 3D game engine + game in pakistan

  • It was indeed a lovely event osama!

    Updates are also posted on my blog, with some of the major lessons learned here. (Also posted on Islamabad Metblogs here)

  • Osama, this truly was a great event. I’m excited to see entrepreneurship/innovation seminars kicking off here in Islamabad. We’re planning the first TiE Islamabad event for early March. Let’s chat to see how we can team up. – Faisal Butt

  • To my surprise the event had a great turnout and the quality of the conversation was very encouraging and exciting. Hope to attend few more of these before I head back to Silicon Valley.

    Great effort Osama.

    Haris Khan

  • here are the details of this event with pictures


Leave a Reply


Recent Posts

  • Events General Mobile Apps Container Run a continuation of politically motivated apps

    Container Run a continuation of politically motivated apps

    First we had Angry Imran which brought smiles and some short lived fun for us during the election campaign. Then came Gullu Butt following the incident of Model Town Lahore, which stayed on top of charts (Pakistan play store) for quite some while. Also Gullu Butt made an update with having the famous “Aam Khaiyga” quote form Aamir Liaqat in which a character resembling Aamir Liaqt throws mangoes and the Gullu Butt character tries to catch them. Gullu butt currently has more than 100,000 Installs

    And now during this extremely politically tense situation which had the whole nation on its toes on 14th August we have another app continuing the …

    Read more →
  • Announcements Featured Startup General Meritaleem.com aims to help student make better decision regarding their future.

    Meritaleem.com aims to help student make better decision regarding their future.

    MeriTaleem.com aims to solve an age old problem for our students, where to go next?

    If you have just completed your primary school which college to pick, if you have completed your college which university to pick. There has always been lack of information or rather consolidated information regarding these questions. The best source till now has always been relatives and friends (mostly of your parents). So some uncle did CA and made a good living you should talk to him and decide, or daughter of my sister completed her medical and is practicing follow that career.

    The fact that online presence of our existing universities are limited and not …

    Read more →
  • General Mobile Apps Eccentria Technologies launches an app which shoots to the top of the charts

    Eccentria Technologies launches an app which shoots to the top of the charts

    Whoa!! this was quick so Eccentia technologies launched an app a few days ago called “Ajj Kia Pakaen” or what to cook today and today it has reached the top of charts for Pakistani Stores on iTunes and google play store.

    “Ajj Kia Pakaen” is the most common question asked at every house hold in the morning. The ladies of the family have a hard time deciding what to cook for the day. The app has a fun interface and is simple to use, you fire it up, and it gives you an option of what to cook for the day, if you like the option you can check the …

    Read more →
  • Coffee Session General Marketing/Adv Rise of facebook marketing in Pakistan

    Rise of facebook marketing in Pakistan


    Until a few years back we used to have closed groups and forums, which gathered the like minded people and anyone targeting the online audience would tap into that forum and market his/her services. So PakGamers , PakPassion initially even PakWheels used to be driven by members talking about what they loved, people used to create marketing and sales opportunities from within those discussions (so you could get a good router cheap or a gaming PC etc).
    The advent of facebook changed all that, most of the forum goers moved to the new social media. It also made a very attractive market place for some one who does not …

    Read more →
  • General Getting back

    Getting back

    I  have been out of blogging for a long long long time, a lot of things happening on personal front (including a little startup I have ben doing my self). However during my absence I met a lot of people who had followed GreenWhite at its peak, read the articles regularly.

    I had hope there would be some one else who would come ahead and cover everything going on and around us in the local tech world. There are some guys doing a great job, but for some reason I still could not find one source where I can go and read about everything, so my routine usually is to …

    Read more →
  • General Mobile Apps Software & I.T. GeniTeam launches official app for Pakistan Idol

    GeniTeam launches official app for Pakistan Idol

    GeniITeam has successfully launched an official app for PakistanIdol. This is one of the first collaboration between a reality game show and a local app development company. I am sure a lot more would follow. Previously we have seen seenreport becoming the basis of mostly all channels citizen reporting system (Like Geo Dost). This is a healthy sign and with the advent of 3G round the corner it should become a business generator for our local firms.

    App allows you to follow the contestants that you like, promote them, comment on live feedback on an episode. It offers official content from the show since it is developed with partnership with …

    Read more →
  • General 10Pearls and National Geographic Release A Geography Challenge App

    10Pearls and National Geographic Release A Geography Challenge App

    10Pearls, one of the leading Pakistani IT companies, has recently added another feather to its cap. This time, in partnership with National Geographic, 10Pearls has released the new and improved GeoBee Challenge App – an interactive app to challenge and grow the geographic knowledge of the users.

    Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic Bee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society. The competition is designed to encourage geography in the classroom, ignite student interest in the world around them, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test …

    Read more →
  • General 10Pearls Spins Off Game Plan8

    10Pearls Spins Off Game Plan8

    It’s heartening to see that Pakistani IT companies have now started to diversify themselves into non traditional areas, and are competing with global players in areas such as gaming. We have received information that 10Pearls, one of the leading  mobile and enterprise web development services companies in Pakistan, has spun-off a separate entity focused solely on developing and publishing casual mobile games.  The new entity, Game Plan8, will focus on creating 2D and 3D games for the iOS, Google Android, Kindle, Facebook and other platforms. Details can be seen on the company’s official press release at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/12/prweb11428177.htm


    Read more →
  • General Telecom CCP Gives Guidelines Against Telecom Companies’ Deceptive Marketing

    CCP Gives Guidelines Against Telecom Companies’ Deceptive Marketing

    If only were there two things when it comes to the law, firstly the fear of breaking it and by passing the legal authority, and secondly, implementation of the law given full dedication, there would have been less competency and dishonesty in business and society. However, keeping good faith, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has put forward “Deceptive Marketing Guidelines” which will maintain the Section 10 of the Competition Act, 2010. In order to enforce this part of the law and stop anti-competitive conduct on part of the telecom companies in advertising, the guidelines have been shared with Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and other concerned telecommunication sector members, in …

    Read more →