APICTA 2016 polished my pitching skills and boosted my art of storytelling. It made me realize there is more to be done. Being ‘comfortable’ for any ‘startup’ is devastating, I never was, but it firmed my belief more.
I participated in a category called, “Tools & Applications” but the teams from Hong Kong rocked that category. They truly deserved the win with their idea related to Augmented Reality. A Social Media Tool needs to be way more than it is now to compete with a tool related to Augmented Reality.
When my expectations crashed as the winners from Hong Kong were announced, my immediate thoughts were that I’ll never participate again, but it was a moment when I paused, it was a moment when I reflected back, it was when I felt that there is more to do, much beyond than the technology of Augmented or Virtual Reality itself. The process and learning I went through to win, the friends I made in Taiwan, is far more important than winning itself. I’ll do more and move forward with the amazing support of my family and friends!
The love and support, the training, the mentoring – everything I experienced is far more greater than anyone can ever expect from a competition. Thank you Jehan Ara for making it happen and enabling startups to compete at such a level. The way you listen to us, fight for us and help us in making a change is beyond one can ever imagine. It takes more than a lifetime to help so many selflessly.
My slide deck kept changing every single day, the story, the start, the end, the pictures, the content – everything. There were times when I thought it was too much for me as the script in my head kept mixing and overlapping. But in the end, I came to know my product more than I ever knew it before. Thank you Jawwad Farid for this gift. Thank you for training us aggressively, for reviewing the story deck, for being so apt in responding to my emails, for helping me in graphs, for training me at The Nest IO, in your office, home, and even in your car! This is the way he worked with not only me but many startups that participated in APICTA 2016! The way he conducted the 30-day experiment on Social Champ boosted my confidence more. Thank you!
The reason I could focus on my pitching was because Rumaisa handled everything related to our traveling, visa, ticket, and hotel. Her constant reminders of upcoming events, schedules, made me relax and focus on my pitch. Her constant design suggestions made me significantly improve the dark black and white presentation design I previously had. I’m so glad that she was always there for every startup, advising, suggesting, and forcing us to make things right in her own way.
Pakistan broke all its previous records in APICTA 2016 by winning 3 Golds, and 6 Silvers! The details of winning teams and judging criteria can be read here. It couldn’t have been possible without the support from PASHA and THE NEST IO, the team, and the mentors that started training us 3 weeks before APICTA 2016.
Thank you, Jehan Ara, Jawwad Farid, Rumaisa Mughal, The NEST IO, and PASHA for a memorable and productive trip to Taiwan. I owe the experience and learning I received, to the next upcoming startups. My pitch deck is ready and final, it will stay that way for many months to come, with of course some minor data changes as Social Champ continues to grow!