The Bank of Punjab (BOP) hosted a launch ceremony to announce the details of their highly anticipated Pakistan’s largest hackathon, “Sprint Pakistan – Powered by digiBOP, Empowering Innovation for Global Impact,” in collaboration with its executing partner, (NICL) at LUMS, who will be involving NICs throughout these cities. This ceremony serves as the official beginning of a series of hackathons in 7 important Pakistani cities, allowing all startups and fintechs to compete for the most creative ideas. The winners of the city hackathons will next participate in the grand final hackathon, which will take place at NICL LUMS in Lahore. The grand hackathon’s lucky winners will receive PKR 2.2 million in cash awards and a fully sponsored trip to Singapore with round-way airfare to represent Pakistan at the Singapore Fintech Festival in 2023.
Among the prestigious partners of Sprint Pakistan – Powered by digiBOP are the Pakistan High Commission in Singapore, SFA, StartKar 2.0, Elevandi, and APIX.
The ceremony, which was place at NICL Auditorium (LUMS), included startup founders, including NICs and BICs, from seven of Pakistan’s largest cities as well as the leadership of BOP. Mr. Nofel Daud, Group Head of Strategy & Strategic Initiatives at BOP, emphasized BOP’s ongoing efforts in the process of going digital. “I am confident that Sprint Pakistan will be a game changer in the startup ecosystem as well as render itself as another feat in BOP’s journey toward digital transformation,” he said.
The significance and scope of programs for youth were stressed by Ms. Alia Zafar (Group Head People & Organizational Excellence – BOP). According to her, “Sprint Pakistan” offers companies a distinctive platform to display their ingenuity and acts as a fertile ground for innovation.
A detailed plan for the hackathon was presented to the audience by Mr. Imran Ashraf (Chief Digital Officer – BOP), who also highlighted the opportunities that it presents to startups, including international recognition, cash awards, and fully sponsored trips with return tickets for participation in SFF.
H. E. Both Mr. Shadab Taiyabi, President of SFA, and Ms. Rukhsana Afzaal, High Commissioner of Pakistan to Singapore, honoured the launch ceremony with their presence via e-video message. Both Mr. Farhan Mumtaz, working group StartKar from Singapore, and Mr. Umang Moondra, CEO Synfindo APIX, attended online and interacted with the audience, providing useful information regarding Singapore Fintech Festival 2023. Through e-connect, the event was mostly watched both domestically and abroad in Singapore.
At the occasion, Mr. Badar Khushnood, a businessman, industry expert, and member of the NICL board, praised BOP for its ongoing support of the startup ecosystem and encouragement of innovation. In his closing remarks, Mr. Hussain Merchant (Head Fintech, CE & Innovation – BOP) urged the candidates to get ready for the upcoming city-specific hackathons for winning startups.