Over 1500 founders, thought leaders and ecosystem enablers came together for the Startup Grind Pakistan Conference, the first-of-its-kind gathering in Pakistan based around stimulating conversations about technology and its role in innovation for Pakistan. Globally successful Pakistani entrepreneurs, innovators and technologists participated in the conference to tell their stories, inspire young entrepreneurs and share how Pakistan as a country can emulate their achievements.
The current size of the IT industry of Pakistan is an estimated $2.6 billion, with its contribution to the GDP being 1.4%. Pakistan has the talent and immense potential to tap into increasing its IT exports and strengthen the industry further. The very first Startup Grind Pakistan Conference aims to start a conversation about the potential of tech innovation and increase the awareness of youth about using technology to fuel economic growth in Pakistan.
The very first edition of Startup Grind Pakistan Conference 2019 took place on the 5th of November, with more than 55 speakers and over a 100 mentors and industry experts from Pakistan and abroad. The speakers included Noman Azhar (JS Bank); Raghib Hussain; Shabahat Ali Shah (NITB, Ignite National Technology Fund); Sufwan Shah; Thomas Tsao; Jamaludin Bujang; Ali Mukhtar (Fatima Ventures); Illango Patchamuthu (World Bank Group); Saad Bashir (City Of Seattle); Atif Awan, Abdul Rahim Ahmad (SECP); Shauzab Ali, Majid Khan (Jabberwock Ventures); Mostafa Kandil (SWVL); Ingrid Johansson (Embassy Of Sweden – Islamabad); Magnus Sparrholm (Talkpool); Zouhair Khaliq (TeamUp); Dr. Shahbaz Khan (KPITB), Parvez Abbasi (TeamUp, NIC Islamabad), Jonas Eichhorst, John Hoover, Richard Crowder, Bernhard Schlagheck, Ali Jehangir Siddiqui; Zeeshan Ali, Muneeb Maayr, Nadeem Shaikh, Omar Moeen Malik, Kaiser Naseem, Shoaib Makani, Shahjahan Chaudhary (NIC Karachi); Dr. Sharah Qureshi, Tafseer-ul-Islam Siddiqui, Bilal Ahmad, Muhammad Nasrullah, Sarah Baxamoosa, Mahboob Mahmood, Yasser Bashir, Faisal Aftab, Faizan Aslam, Aamer Zaheer, Khurram Zafar, Humayun Mazhar, Serena Chang, Erdem Dereli, Shahzeb Memon, Andaleeb Ahmad, Naheed Afzal, Omar Chaudhary, Kalsoom Lakhani, Omar Shah, Omer Jilani, Sardar Abubakar and Ahmed Khan among others.
During their sessions, the speakers discussed ways in which technology can be used to propel Pakistan forward and how startups and the tech community can come together to make technology one of the largest sources of economic growth for the country.