LAHORE - Startup Lahore, the largest ever technology event of its own kind in Pakistan, concluded at Arfa Software Technology Park yesterday.

In the two-day event, hosted by MIT Enterprise Forum and Pakistan and Information Technology University, entrepreneurs from various cities of Pakistan participated and discourse on the emerging startup industry of country.

On the second day of Lahore Startup, a panel discussion titled Pakistan: An Emerging Market in which Chairman Punjab Information Technology Board Dr Umar Saif, Co-Founder Careem Mudassir Sheikha and Country Lead Google Khurram Jamali were panelists.

The event concluded with an award-distribution ceremony among Startup Rumble Competition in which Neurostic stood first Runners up of the competition while second runners up was Campus Feed.

Dr Saif said that the interest witnessed in the Starup Lahore was highly encouraging as 220 companies applied and 85 exhibitors established their stalls. He added: “It confirms that our youth are determined to prove the power of entrepreneurship by making best use of their talent.

“Innovative ideas and emergence of new companies proved that doors of opportunity have forced the world to talk about the Startup ecosystem of World’s 6th populated country Pakistan.”

According to ITU spokespersons, ITU Vice Chancellor Umar Saif along with Dr Richard Anderson, Head DFSRG & Professor Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington (Seattle, USA), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) yesterday to establish a pioneering FinTech research Center in Pakistan in collaboration with the Digital Financial Services Research Group (DFSRG) University of Washington (Seattle) at ITU.

The centre is being established with an aim of research into the financial technology space for improvement of access, creation and adoption of digital financial services and a step towards a global collaboration in DFS research.

Under the MOU, the FinTech Center and DFSRG will conduct collaborative research in the areas of cybersecurity, authentication, financial education, fraud prevention, data analytics, and customer experience studies in digital financial services.

The FinTech center will also perform research on the digitization of Government-to-Person (G2P) and Person-to-Government (P2G) payments in the country. The Center aims at working closely with the industry, government institutions, academia and customers.

Dr Richard Anderson said that it was the first ever collaboration in the world with Pakistan, which will be extended in the Africans and other Asian countries. Dr Umar Saif stated that it would facilitate the smartphone transactions and establish transparency in the system.

DFSRG is a research group at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Washington and is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The goal of the research group is to develop and deploy technological solutions to specific challenges that impede the introduction and wide-scale deployment of digital financial services.