Umar Saif tells his story
Dr Umar Saif, who prefers to be called a Researcher, but is better known to us as a serial entrepreneur and mentor of young companies, was in what he termed the graveyard shift. Well the hall of people were certainly not behaving as if they were part of such a shift and Umar wasn’t either.
He knows how to work a room that’s for sure. Umar told his story and shared experiences that kept everyone engaged.
He spoke about how he got to Cambridge and then to MIT and why he decided to move back to Pakistan to work here. He thought he could make a difference. He believed that in some small way he could bring about change. Once that was clear in his mind, he just had to come back. And he certainly has brought about change in the lives of many young people who look up to him as a mentor, as a teacher, as a co-conspirator and as a guide. Four Lahore-based startups later he is still going strong and wants to help set up many more in the Saif Center for Innovation that he has set up in Lahore.
Umar spoke about raising capital and how it is very important to recognize when to go for angel funding and when to look for VC funding. Many questions followed and he answered each of them as fully as possible but finally he handed over to his colleague Adil Saleem the CTO of SeenReport, a company that Umar Saif helped to incubate.
Adil spoke about why he gave up a well-paid job to enter the crazy world of a startup and what that experience has been like so far. He also talked about when they knew that Seenreport would really take off – during the Lawyer’s movement when people put so many photos and videos and reports of protests and the marches that were taking place. Perhaps the timing was just right and the SeenReport team has not looked back since. The content on their site has been picked up by foreign news sites and they have signed up a few corporate customers. They have also raised VC funding and there is no way to go but forward. Good luck guys!
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