Preston University Entrepreneurial Challenge 2014: Winners get Rs 800,000 to set up businesses

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ISLAMABAD: Seventy-five teams representing thirty-eight eminent universities from across the country took part in the mega inter-university competition of “Preston Entrepreneurial Challenge (PEC 14)” held recently.The teams that won first, second and third positions in the competition received cash prizes of Rs 100,000, Rs 75,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively, in a ceremony held on Wednesday. The winners were given seed money to the tune of Rs 800,000 for establishing their businesses. The event, under the slogan “Khud pey Yaqeen”, was held at the Preston University from April 24-25 with participation of eminent public and private universities from across the country. The programme encompassed business plan competition, elevator pitch competition, launchpad competition, business quiz competition, surprise activities and workshops. This competition showcased the entrepreneurial prowess of students in major areas of health care, education, livestock and dairy, agriculture, environment, energy, food, chemical, mechanical engineering, textile and garments, media and communication, disaster relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction, sports, tourism, etc. Universities which participated in the grand finale included Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad, Lahore College for Women University, Lahore, Preston University Islamabad, EME NUST, Rawalpindi, SZABIST Islamabad, International Islamic University, Islamabad and IBA Sukkur, who qualified out of the total 75 teams. The others were KITE, Comsats, Bahauddin Zakria University, Islamia University, University of Agriculture, University of Gujrat, Sargodha University, Institute of Space Technology, NUML and others. The PEC kicked off, on the first day, with stakeholders’ conference followed by the elevator pitch competition, business plan competition and recreational activities at the end of the day. The second day of the event featured business quiz competition, workshop on motivation and self concept. It was conducted by award winning writer of the book `Tik Tik Dollar’ and speaker Qaiser Abbas.  This was followed by an important address by the Nayatel Ltd CEO Wihaj Siraj, a leading name in the field of communication and technology. The day concluded with the `launch pad competition’.After a hard-hitting and nail-biting competition, team `Plasto’ from Comsats lifted the coveted winners’ trophy and cash prize of Rs 100,000 beating their counterparts. Second position was grabbed by team `Innovation’ from IBA, Sukkur. It was awarded a trophy and cash prize of Rs 75,000. The third position went to the team `Emergineers’ from EME-NUST, Rawalpindi. It was awarded a trophy and cash prize of Rs 50,000. Pakistan Flour Mills Association (PFMA) former chairman and SUFI Wheat Products Director Bilal Aslam Sufi was the chief guest at the closing ceremony of PEC 14. Preston University Chancellor Abdul Basit graced the occasion as guest of honour. On the occasion, they immensely appreciated the entrepreneurial skills, particularly the universities which had won trophies and cash prizes for standing first, second and third in the competition. They said that the youth of Pakistan are extremely talented and they must be encouraged in every possible manner to employ their talents in constructive activities. Basit expressed his profound gratitude to the strategic partners and sponsors of the PEC 14 for their moral and financial support to the event. The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) and TIE Islamabad were the strategic partners of the event. Eminent among the sponsors of the event were Habib Bank Ltd, Naimat Pvt Ltd. Zia Steel and Re-rolling Mills, and Eventie Event Management, Rawalpindi. 

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