In the May of 2018, Preston University Islamabad organized its 6th successive national Inter University business plan competition called “Preston Entrepreneurial Challenge”. They opened gates to almost a hundred students from all across Pakistan to bring their innovative idea to the forefront. The teams that applied for the prestigious award included private university students, as well as public universities, to ensure fair chance to exhibit their product or idea. Out of 237 entries, only 31 were selected for the grand finale. Selected teams were invited to the university. The event had various challenges so that one clear winner could rise to the top. Daastan stood singular among all, and was awarded Preston University’s first ever Startup Cup.
Daastan Stands Tall
The purpose of this event was to provide a platform to the rising entrepreneurs of our country. It was a great opportuniy for participants to exhibit their ideas to the most expert minds in the domain so they could provide technical guidance to them. Daastan pitched Qissa to the jury members from both private sectors such as SA Consulting Private Limited and government sector, like Ignite. The contest was sponsored by more than ten different brands and businesses. The chief guest of the competition wasPresident Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sheikh Amir Waheed, and the event was organized under the distinguished leadership of Mr. Shuja Humayun, the Director Entrepreneurship at Preston University.
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After a gruesome year of rejections and heartache for the founders of Daastan, we finally had our break when the company and its vision was incubated by Plan9 in 2015. Since then Daastan has been rising to the top and jostling the otherwise stagnant and dying literary industry of Pakistan. Earlier in 2016 Daastan published its first novel and has already started working on the publication of its second novel, all the while having already shipped out its very first orders. All this, however, was just the stage being set for a groundbreaking achievement that was yet to come – being selected as one of the Top 25 Startups in the Pakistan Startup Cup Challenge.
What is this Challenge?
The Pakistan Startup Cup challenge is a business model competition, which welcomes all kinds of business ideas from all over the country to compete among each other, meanwhile empowering them from a grass-root level to grow and flourish their business, and provide them with insight of the experts on how to build sustainable ecosystem. The challenge is a brainchild of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Islamabad, and is held in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan.
Daastan rising to the top:
The Startup Cup Challenge received almost a thousand applications from all over Pakistan. Only 130 of those were called to be a part of the challenge and participate in round one, i.e. Build a Business Workshop, and after a tough competition the top 25 made it to the next round, Daastan being one of them. Daastan eliminated more than a hundred mature startups, which were assumed to be better in theory by those who thought literature is dead end when it comes to business. It was the winning of this cup, that proved everyone who thought that way wrong.
Team Daastan exhibited Qissa Self-Publishing launched by Daastan for Pakistan’s budding authors, which enables them to bring their work into print ready format and get it published, without the hassle of going through the legalities themselves. If you have a manuscript and are looking to get published, reach out to us through our Facebook or sign up on Qissa.