DHA Suffa University (DSU) facilitates students on the road to a successful career. Whether it be preparing for a job market or starting their own business. At DSU many students have launched their business through the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Development (CEID).
For any startup, their business launch is one of the biggest milestones and the most exciting day for their business. Founders take all measures to make it memorable. Due to the covid-19 pandemic situation, holding a grand physical launch has become difficult. But at DHA Suffa University (DSU) we make things happen. Covid-19 did not stop our startups on their journey. Holding an exciting launch event was made possible by an alternate live online launch event.
On 12th June 2021, the Computer Science department at the DSU in collaboration with the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Development (CEID) organized a launch event for eleven businesses initiated by students. This event marked a milestone in the journey of the new businesses and students very enthusiastically prepared for this big day. Their excitement and passion were clearly evident by their preparations. Invitations were extended not only to family & friends but guests from the industry were also invited.
Students joined the online event well on time where more than 100 guests joined in to cherish their big day. The event started with the first team launching their business with the name ‘Qafila’ selling an exclusive range of footwear followed by the next team launching their business with the name ‘Grand Motors’ dealing in used cars targeting customers who want quality but at an affordable price. Launching an exclusive range of gadgets for the youth ‘Midnight Enterprise’ brought in a stylish range of products like earphones, watches, and more. ‘My Choice’ launched an elegant range of kids wear whereas ‘Stunning Clothing’ launched a trendy clothing range for adults. Valuing the needs of women ‘Jewelry Palace’ introduced an elegant range of jewelry. Stationary is an item that is always needed by everyone and looking at this need ‘EcoTone’ launched their range of stationery products. Keeping in view the growing need for computer and accessories ‘E-Mart’ launched their product related to computer and accessories. Realizing the need for books and to cater to the affordability problem of the lower-income group ‘Used Books’ launched a business of buying and selling of used books. Catering to the taste buds ‘Vittels’ launched a range of scrumptious food items including shakes and frozen foods. Last but not least came in a different kind of business with the name ‘Dhoondo’. They did not offer any product rather they offered a service. Being computer science students they used their software development skills and developed a tool for the convenience of customers doing online shopping. Through this tool, customers can easily find the right product for the right price.
All these businesses displayed their products while giving superb presentations through lively videos and live chats. Some businesses attracted the attention of the audience by offering discounts on their products. The event not only served as a milestone for the businesses but the customers also experienced an amazing time. Throughout the session, the audience was engaged in talking to the businesses asking queries about the products, and even placed orders.
The event was one of a kind as being online it delivered all the flavors of an offline business launch event. All the teams received great applause from the guests.
Last but not least we would like to extend a big shout-out to our sponsor DJ Pizza for the support.
The exploding growth of technology has shifted the dynamics of the world. The imminent technologies have put every resource, all the information, on the tips of our fingers. As the future is in the hands of our youth, it is crucial for them to equip themselves with the upcoming technologies. To cater this need, on 1st April 2021, DHA Suffa University took an initiative to discuss such technologies and their impact on future career opportunities.
Mr. Hassan Syed, CEO of Bir Ventures USA and the founder of IdeaGist was invited to have an edifying conversation on “7 Emerging Technologies Disrupting Our Future and Career Planning”. Mr. Hassan is also one of the founding directors of the Institute for Innovators and Entrepreneurs at Hamline University Minnesota. Further, he sits in the advisory committee for the Minister of Information Technology and Telecom on Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Emerging Technologies. Last but not least, he is part of the President’s National Committee on the Emerging Technologies under the Digital Pakistan Initiative.
Hassan expressed that the communities worldwide are about to face major job losses due to automation and emerging technologies like AI, 3D Printing, Smart Robots, and Intelligent Vehicles. Without proper planning to retrain and develop capacity, it will be chaotic. Many communities will be facing the devastating financial and social impact of these changes. He emphasized in the ability to think or recognize the future by looking at this change. Further, Hassan accentuated that the youth must explore and be aware of their competencies as the world is evolving rapidly.
In this event, the students gained knowledge about how the world has shifted from industrial age to a knowledge age, how the world economies are changing via the emerging technologies and how the world is having technological advancement hence how significant for an individual it is to be aware of their leadership and entrepreneurial qualities to survive and thrive in this age. The highlight of this event was the interactive sessions with the students where the students were able to take part in short activities to push their limitations and overcome their self-limiting beliefs.
Concluding the event, Engr. Prof. Dr. Afzal Haque, Vice-Chancellor of DHA Suffa University, presented a vote of thanks to the speaker. He stated that there’s no doubt that emerging technologies are becoming increasingly pertinent in businesses and they are geared towards making our lives more comfortable, easier, better, and faster. The phenomenal growth in technologies is so rapid, that it is envisioned that they will change the world in the years ahead. This makes it increasingly important for youth to be equipped with these modern trends to prepare them for the future business world. Dr. Afzal also presented a souvenir to Hasan Syed as a gesture of appreciation for taking time out for the students and the University.
The Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Development (CEID) at DSU, in collaboration with Commonwealth Business Women Network, organized: Boss Women – a Commonwealth Certified Entrepreneurship Training for women entrepreneurs. Other collaborating partners for the training were PINE global and INJAZ Pakistan.
Female entrepreneurs from all over Karachi participated in this training to learn the tools necessary to establish their business and pursue their dream of becoming a successful startup owner.
During the event, participants shared their business plans and got feedback for mobilizing their business. Director CEID; Eram Abbasi guided participants on how to build their business model, developing customer relationships and identifying the resources necessary for their startups. Erum Masood, CEO PINE Global with enriched the participants with marketing tools & techniques. Ms.Saba Haider, from Injaz Pakistan discussed the financial aspects of businesses.
Among the DSU participants, Asma Abdul Latif an undergraduate student who runs an online food and craft business, shared her startup journey. Her work was not only praised and appreciated by the audience but the chief guest at the event, Dr. Farhan Essa, CEO Essa Labs, applauding her work, presented her with a seed money to further grow her business to new heights.
Ayesha Zaheer, CEO INJAZ Pakistan, Fatima Ali, CEO Sew Sole, and Adnan Faisal, CEO FHM embraced the event as guest speakers and enlightened the participants with their experience. The esteemed guests appreciated the efforts of DHA Suffa University, stating that their efforts to promote entrepreneurship is a valiant effort.
The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Development (CEID) at DSU has been proving virtual incubation and mentoring services to DSU community as well as budding entrepreneurs outside DSU. “Entrepreneur’s Den” (ED) is one such startup that has been groomed/mentored under CEID.
“Entrepreneur’s Den” (ED) is headed by Mr. Asad Ayaz Ansari, an energetic and passionate youth of our society. ED is purely a youth led non-profitable & non-political association providing a platform for Entrepreneurial development within our society at large. ED is on a mission to create a learning environment for aspiring entrepreneurs by bringing in experiences of successful entrepreneurs. Hence, ED aims to create a pool of leaders who can support the economic system of the country by their unfailing determination to learn.
ED has recently achieved a milestone and has collaborated with Rotary Club Karachi for promoting Entrepreneurial services for the youth and formed “The Rotary Club of Karachi Entrepreneurs” (RCKE). RCKE is an extended club under the Rotary Club of Karachi that is affiliated with Rotary International. The organization aims to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. It is a non-political and non-religious organization open to all.
As the journey of a startup is never smooth. Despite seeing many ups & downs Mr. Asad remained consistent and under the umbrella of “Entrepreneur’s Den” have successfully organized many Entrepreneurial activates within their one year journey. Moving ahead Entrepreneurs Den, recently achieved a milestone and has collaborated with Rotary Club Karachi for promoting Entrepreneurial services for the youth and formed “The Rotary Club of Karachi Entrepreneurs” (RCKE). RCKE is an extended club under the Rotary Club of Karachi that is affiliated with Rotary International. The organization aims to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service and to advance goodwill and peace around the world. It is a non-political and non-religious organization open to all.
To celebrate this milestone DSU-CEID celebrated their “Charter Installation Ceremony” on 13th October, 2020. The ceremony was attended by leading business tycoons like: Hamza Tabani (CEO Tabani Group), Abdullah Akhtar (Chairman, Schole International Academy), Prof Dr. Farhan Essa (CEO, Essa Laboratory and Diagnostic Centres), Mirza Ishtiaq Baig (Vice President, Baig Grop), and Ambassador Jamil Ahmad (Former Ambassador UAE), Junaid Naqi (Vice President, KATI), Syed Turab Shah (Chairman, AZB Global Trade) who inspired and imparted their wisdom to young minds through enlightened discussions. The ceremony was covered by Radio Pakistan, Karachi, and Daily Ausaf.
The esteemed panelists discussed the challenges that a young entrepreneur face when they want to make their way in the business world and what are the necessary measures that they should take to overcome those obstacles.
Mirza Ishtiaq Baig emphasized that how important it is to have a specialized team when you want to start your venture. He said, “Most ventures fail as they lack team development. You cannot hire an unprofessional in your team, even though he’s your relative.”
Abdullah Akhtar was asked whether a person is an inborn entrepreneur, to which he replied,” You learn with time and though it’s something that a person has in itself, you cannot discourage anyone who wants to start their venture.”
Prof Dr. Farhan Essa advised the youth to take an active part in community service and make sure you spread happiness where ever you get a chance. Sharing his involvement in this direction he mentioned that, “We run an organization with the name ‘Make a wish’, the prime objective of this organization is to fulfill the wishes of children having terminal diseases. We recently organized a meet up of Engin Altan Guzyatan with two children who are fighting with cancer. I’ll like to encourage youngsters to be a part of such activities.”
The role of female entrepreneurs became a hot part of the discussion on how they have changed the corporate world, and now making mark in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The country needs their input and hard work to lift the status of the country across the globe.
The panel appreciated CEID and it’s hard work to change the core of studies from a conventional way to an entrepreneurial mindset where engineering and management students are jointly engaged in developing entrepreneurial projects that further turned into successful business.
The recent plan of setting an Incubation Center in the vicinity of DSU was applauded by the guests where students would be allowed to use the services free of cost so that they can settle their business with ease.
Along with this, the Rotary Club of Karachi Entrepreneurs under Rotary International held their oath-taking ceremony, where young enterprisers solemnly swear to work for the betterment of the entrepreneur’s sector in Karachi and Pakistan.
A journey that started with a single step is now taking leaps and bounds on a path to success. We wish Mr. Asad Ayaz Ansari success in his future endeavors.
Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Development at DSU joined hand as an academic partner with Built by Her, a 48-hour long online hackathon that focuses on empowering young women between the ages of 18 and 35 in building solutions for 12 developmental challenges that fall under the Asia Foundation’s key themes, offering prize money of 1.65 million.
The event was conducted in collaboration with the Asia Foundation and the US Department of State. Director CEID, Miss. Eram Abbasi was also invited as a judge and tech mentor for the event.
The event commenced on 23.Oct to 25.Oct where different teams across Pakistan participated to showcase their talent. Multiple teams from DHA Suffa also participated in the event and displayed their skills. The event focused on expanding economic opportunities for women by Increasing female economic participation through Innovation and digitizing tourism and culture. The agenda that this year’s event took in hand was Technology and Development through Innovating access to quality healthcare technology and enabling access to education.
Due to COVID-19, the event was scheduled online focusing on Improving Institutional performance in tackling COVID19 through Data and the Internet as a tool for civil society and government partnerships in relief efforts. It also enlighted the need for technology for Improving disaster management and planning.
At the end of the event, 20 teams were shortlisted from which 2 teams were selected as winners. On 5.Nov,2020 team Elletech and team Barricade were declared winners of the competition.
To foster entrepreneurial culture in the university, on 14th February, 2020 DHA Suffa University entered into an international collaboration with Bir Ventures USA Ltd. (IdeaGist). IdeaGist is a virtual incubation platform for people of every walk of life but with especial focus for the students. This platform trains them and connects them with innovators, entrepreneurs, investors and students globally to help them launch their dream business. It is an online community of students, alumni, researchers and industry to work together towards a better future by developing innovation-driven enterprises.
The MOU was signed by Brig. Muhammad Rafiq Ahmed (Registrar) representing DHA Suffa University, in the presence of Mr. Muhammad Afzal Haque (Vice. Chancellor), Engr. Dr. Johar Khurshid (Dean) and Ms. Eram Abbasi (Director Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation Development – CEID). Mr. Hassan Syed the CEO of IdeaGist himself was present to sign the MOU.
This main purpose of this collaboration is to support the Prime Minister’s Startup Pakistan program by establishing strategic partnerships with the university and to offer virtual incubation to their students and alumni by offering entrepreneurship as a carrier choice. So, the idea is to work together under the initiative by starting, mentoring and supporting ‘business incubation programs’ and provide access to investment and funding for innovative new products developed by aspiring entrepreneurs especially by DSU faculty and students.
Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation Development (CEID) recently organized the first stage of Startup Gathering Program ‘Startup Baithak’ exclusively for Alumni who are interested in mentorship for their business ideas or in need for strategic opinions for their running startup. Mr. Shabbir Halai, a Pakistani American Engineer running his business in USA for long and having widespread experience of working in the Microelectronics industry in USA and Canada, was the lead mentor for that session.
During the session he shared his valuable experience with the young entrepreneurs and discussed the modern insights of entrepreneurial practices throughout the globe. Mr. Halai had a very detailed and interactive sessions with all the startups where he not only discussed and addressed the problems related to each startup’s operations but also provided one-to-one mentoring and feedback to all the startups for further advancement and sustainability of their startups in the long run.
The purpose of initiating such sessions is to provide practical knowledge, realistic insight and entrepreneurial support for our alumni so that they can excel themselves and their startups to a much efficient level to remain sustainable.
It was a very interactive session and well-received by alumni as well as DSU faculty & management. Members from various Startups were present to attend that session and were well satisfied and benefited a lot with the valuable guidance and tips being offered by Mr. Halai.
Year 2020 had taken a terrific start at DHA Suffa University, as the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation Development (CEID) along with the Entrepreneurship Society (ES) organized the most awaited “Hult Prize; OnCampus” Competition on 6th January, 2020.
Hult Prize is one of the world’s most acclaimed entrepreneurship programs operating on more than 1500 university campuses in 121 countries and has become a benchmark startup challenge for social entrepreneurship. Being part of this global initiative, DHA Suffa University is organized the “Hult Prize; OnCampus” competition to train, educate and inspire students by building an impact community. Through this Hult Prize competition the youth were challenged to solve the world’s issues and make life better for millions of people. This competition enabled students to solve critical social problems, launch disruptive social enterprises that are impact centered, and market driven. The Hult Prize competition transforms how young people envision their own possibilities as leaders of change in the world around them. The Hult Prize theme for the year 2020 is “Building Startups That Have a Positive Impact on Our Planet with Every Dollar Earned”
The organizing team was led by Ms. Eram Abbasi (Director CEID) and Mr. Muneeb Ahmed (Campus Director for DSU Hult Prize; OnCampus program). Muneeb is a student enrolled in the BBA Program at DSU and was selected as Campus Director for “DSU Hult Prize; OnCampus program” by the Hult Prize, Pakistan team. His efforts were instrumental in organizing this challenge at DSU. Mr. Muneeb gathered a team of very enthusiastic students from various departments at DSU who collectively put together a highly acclaimed competition. Every member of the team realizing their responsibility, did take care of every detail to make this competition a success. Details of the team members are available at http://www.hultprizeat.com/dhasuffa
To evaluate the ideas presented by the student teams, high profile panel of judges were invited from the industry. Among the panel of judges were Dr. Muhammad Imran Yousuf – Founder Transformation International, MD Jofa Group (Movenpick), Consul General a,h.Philippines; Mr. Azeem Pirani – Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Pak-Qatar General Takaful Limited, Country Head BancaTakaful & Alternate Distribution Channels (ADC) Pak-Qatar Family Takaful Limited; Mr. Faizan Laghari – CEO rnnr, Serial Entrepreneur; Mr. Syed Abdul Basit – CEO VISIONi, Director Founder Institute Karachi, Mr. Abdullah Akhtar – Owner/CEO Schole International Academy, Board Member Pak UK Business Council, Executive Committee member Italian Development Committee; Mr. Kh. Tanveer Saleem – CIO at UEP (ex British Petroleum), exCIO Engro gp & exCIO Unilevers.
Students at DSU took keen interest in the competition. 27 teams from various departments registered to participate in the competition. All the teams were frenzied to pitch their ground breaking ideas and determined to win the Hult Prize OnCampus Competition to be able to reach regional finals and further continuing their journey towards the global finals.
The winning team of this competition was “Team Marauders” was a mix team comprising of students from the Electrical Engineering and Management Science Department. They presented an idea that addressed the energy shortage problem by proposing energy management for home users. The solution if implemented would not only help in conserving energy but would also help the households reduce their electricity bills. The solution also helped in reducing carbon emission making the air healthier to breath.
The first runner up team called themselves as “Reformers”. This was again a mix team comprising of students from the Mechanical Engineering and Management Science Department. The problem that they addressed was related to the plastic waste in the oceans affecting marine life and appearance of sea shores. The solution presented was an army of autonomous amphibian robots which can collect the waste from the sea and dump it in designated area on shore all by itself. The second runner-up team calling themselves as “Team Relentless” presented a solution to save electric consumption by using tubular solar devices.
A key note was delivered by the guest of honor, Dr. Farhan Essa Abdullah – CEO of Dr Essa Laboratory & Diagnostic Centers, Managing Director at Dr Essa Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation Centers, Pharmacy & Vaccination Centers, Dental Services & Institute of Health Sciences. He is also President at OPEN Karachi, Vice President, Pakistan Medical Association, Karachi and Chairman, Sind Consumer Association of Pakistan. Dr. Farhan presented the Hult Prize souvenir to the winning teams and the esteemed judges.
The event ended with a vote of thanks delivered by the Dean at DHA Suffa University, Dr. Johar K. Farooqi. He congratulated the winning teams and all the teams who participated in this competition. He also valued the time and efforts put in by the judges in meticulously evaluating all the teams. The key note delivered by the guest of honor was acclaimed with high regards. Last but not the least the efforts of the organizing teams was highly appreciated.
The event ended with a high energy and good wishes for the winning team to move ahead for competing in the Hult Prize Regionals and making way to the Finals.