With recent mega achievements in tow, such as the successful launch of the Qissa website, Daastan went on to apply for the second cohort of Telenor’s digital startup accelerator. The accelerator program had received a whopping number of 105 applications from throughout Pakistan, and 88 out of those were knocked out after careful review of each startup, its practicality and scaling potential. The shortlisted 17 were then invited to present their ideas and fight for a chance to be a part of Telenor’s family. 8 out of those 17 were selected for the cohort, and Daastan was one of them.
About Telenor Velocity:
Telenor Velocity accelerator works by utilizing Telenor’s scale and assets to help amplify the business of promising Pakistani startups. The 6-month program assists startups by admitting them to Telenor’s in-house expertise, and allot them office hours with finest mentors and investors. Along with this, they are provided with a co-working space, access to their distribution channels and 40 million customer base, online payment solutions and a chance to pitch for seed funding. It covers all the requirements of a budding business and helps the startup to go to market and scale.
Daastan Proving its Mettle:
Daastan, a product of small-town boy along with his team, proved its mettle and dominated over teams from Karachi, Lahore and other parts of Pakistan. It was a momentous achievement, which paved the way for Daastan by help the team to improve its abilities, reach over 2000 signups on Qissa, engage tens of thousands of writers who wrote more than a hundred books, and spread the message of literary advancement all over Pakistan.
Daastan’s Journey in the Accelerator:
Daastan was enrolled in the Velocity’s second cohort, and graduated with a renewed and improved business model. It was awarded a grant of 2500 USD from PTX during this acceleration, conducted the second season of Daastan’s signature story writing competition ‘The Stories Untold’ and even took that a step further by incorporating Urdu in it and opening the competition up internationally. On graduating, Qissa was equipped with state-of-the-art technology which was incorporated in collaboration with Telenor. PITB’s chairman Dr. Umer Saif, and CEO Telenor Irfan Wahab, awarded the certificate of appreciation to Team Daastan.