Tech competition to offer investment opportunities to women-led startups in Pakistan

SOURCE: Pakistan Today

A women-centric global technology startup competition will be held in Pakistan for the fourth time. She Loves Tech will be offering women-led startups a chance to compete for $15,000 equity-free cash prize, investment opportunities, and other benefits. 

Startups that are in the early stages seeking seed, angel, or A round funding (under $5M) and have a viable product beyond a conceptual stage are eligible to apply. Startups applying should be solving key problems affecting women, with the end product targeting female users.

The 2020 edition of She Loves Tech will take place at more than 30 locations including China, Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, and more. In Pakistan, it is being hosted by CIRCLE Women Association, a social enterprise that aims to build and develop the entrepreneurial and leadership capacity of women in Pakistan. 

The competition will be hosted in 10 cities in Pakistan, while working with different NGOs, academic institutes, incubators, and ecosystem partners across the country. CIRCLE will be hosting 10 local rounds that will all happen virtually, making it possible for women anywhere in Pakistan to join from home. 

For 2020, the competition is looking for startups from: fintech, enterprise solutions, health and wellbeing, education, cleantech and sustainability, consumer and retail, food and agritech, women’s issues, and smart cities. As many as 20 startups from the local rounds will pitch in the semifinals and then the country’s top 10 will compete in the final round. 

Prior to the final, top mentors will be assigned to the finalists who will be able to hold office hours with the mentors on topics ranging from marketing, business planning, fundraising, and more. 

The competition is not restricted to females only. Male entrepreneurs can also apply if their technology startup is impacting women positively or technology startups that have at least one woman entrepreneur in the founding team. 

CIRCLE Founder Sadaffe Abid said, “This year we aim to impact 10,000 young women and girls through She Loves Tech Pakistan which will include pitches, digital boot camps, workshops and more. Investing in women is smart economics. Pakistan must build policies and ecosystems to support women.”

The successful startup will be able to win the equity-free cash prize, special media feature, mentorship session with top VC partner, pass to THK forum, customised boot camps, and lots of investment opportunities. 

Last year, CIRCLE team of six women embarked on a journey using trains, buses and public transport to promote She Loves Tech and encourage women to believe in themselves. The team was received with enthusiasm, reinforcing the fact that the roads do belong to women. 

Yishel Khan of DOT Mind Unlocked had won the ‘Pakistan She Loves Tech National Competition’ in 2019 and travelled to China to represent the country and compete with 20 startups at the global finals in Beijing. “We at DOT use a data-driven approach. We have developed a wearable headset that reads brainwave activities and uses artificial intelligence to predict different mental health conditions and provide therapy through games,” Yishel said. 

The Real Estate industry saw sizable investment activity over the last 5 years, with a total of 16 investment deals from 2015 to 2019. Access more trends and data in our 2019 Real Estate Venture Investment Report.