Ever since the day we won our three golds in Jakarta Indonesia for Qualitatum, PixSense and TPS, mentoring team Pakistan for the annual APICTA Awards has become the most looked forward event in our lives.
This year we had some remarkable companies and individuals who flew with us to Brunei Darussalam to represent Pakistan and our technology industry. The event received 160+ entries from 15 economies in the Asia Pacific region and as always TeamPakistan stood tall at the Awards night. ?Here your chance to meet the individuals who kept our flag flying high on 5th December 2012 at the Empire Hotel in Brunei Darussalam.
Areej – Reducing the cost of encryption layer in Satellite communications using GPU and RHBS.
Areej is a final year student in the Telecommunication department at NED UET in Karachi. She won the best Tertiary student project category award at the P@SHA ICT Awards held in Lahore earlier this year. Areej showed up with a winning attitude on day one of mentoring and kept on incorporating feedback from her assigned P@SHA mentors. She didn’t stop till 8 am on Monday morning. The morning she was due to pitch in front of 5 judges at the Empire.
Areej presented “Making encryption more accessible and affordable for satellite communications” on Monday morning at 8:30 am at the Tertiary student category and blew away her P@SHA mentors with the distance she had covered from day one of mentoring. Her project focused on Radiation Hardening by Software (RHBS) and reducing both the payload weight as well as the cost of encryption layer in telecommunication equipment designed to operate in the upper atmosphere and space. She heads back to Karachi as a very different person. Armed with new self confidence (not that she was short on it earlier), friends and a brand new Asia Pacific Facebook network.
Sadaf – Pakistan’ Economy Coordinator at APICTA 2012
Sadaf bravely took on the role of Economy coordinator for P@SHA on this trip and did an amazing job keeping delegates, Judges and Exco members informed and happy during their stay in Brunei Darussalam. She was also the Chief Tweeper, interview recorder, Facebook updater and photographer for the delegation. Despite the five mean old men of P@SHA who represented Pakistan as judges this year in Brunei and the many missing participants Sadaf never stopped smiling. Even when the Head of the Delegation offered her a taste of Durian.
Done with her daily responsibilities, together with Areej she explored The Mall and night markets and the more exotic flavors of Thai food in Brunei Darussalam.
Sajjad Kirmani – Infogistic – InfoSec Rapid Deployment Seal Teams
Sajjad Kirmani’s Infogistic is one of the fastest growing organically funded startup to come out of Lahore in recent years. In the last ten months they locked in the largest names and some of the largest projects in the Information Security space.
Infogistic’s pitch this year was focused on a peculiar niche. If your network has been hacked or breached, how long are you willing to wait for your consulting team to staff up and fix the vulnerability? What if you are large publicly listed company and you have lost sensitive data or an automated production facility and have no option but to shut down? Sajjad first presented the rapid deployment Infosec Seal team concept to the P@SHA mentoring team and then did an amazing job in front of the Judges at APICTA. Impressive enough for the Head Judge in his category to recommend a change in rules to award a third merit this year in the Startup category.
Some P@SHA companies don’t win the category but put up a show with so much heart that everyone in the Pakistan delegation hears about it. Last year Five Rivers, Tuna Code and Toffee TV won the heart of judges and the Pakistan delegation in Thailand. This year Sajjad Kirmani and Infogistic picked up the baton where 5 Rivers and Tuna Code had left it.
Salman / Dr. Shoaib – Tuna Code – gKrypt GPU Encryption Engine
Salman fell victim to a last minute accident of fate that made him miss his flight to Brunei on Saturday. He will never trust a certain Far Eastern consulate in Islamabad (that shall remain unnamed) ever again with his passport. Especially two days before his trip.
Tuna code is an exciting startups out of Islamabad/NUST neighborhood. It specializes in using GPU’s rather than FPGA’s and CPU on specialist computational intensive tasks that require heavy vector processing. Last year Salman came very close to a win with his Image processing engine that used GPU’s rather CPUs. This year he pitched gKrypt. gKrypt is an encryption engine on steriods that uses GPU’s to accelerate encryption of large amounts of data (in Terra Bytes) on the cloud at previously unthinkable speeds.
In Salman’s absence, Dr. Shoaib, his faculty advisor and mentor agreed to pitch on his behalf. Dr Shoaib had run into his own logistics issues in Dubai but was able to make it to the event in time and presented Tunacode after presenting two different projects on behalf of the CARE /NUST network.
The combined magic worked and Tuna Code won a silver in the Security category at the APICTA Awards 2012 at the Awards ceremony held at the Empire last night.
Munir Usman – Pi Labs – Feed Garfield / Candy Pot gaming engine.
Imagine being the last candidate presenting in front of APICTA Judges after a full day of Judging. Imagine being up for three consecutive nights. Imagine transiting through awkward and difficult connections and arriving after 24 hour of travel to find that you have another night of work ahead of you. Without caffeine or red bull.
Every P@SHA APICTA nominee is familiar with the drill. It’s what the two nights before the awards are notorious for. Munir graduated with flying colors.
Pi-Labs only has one goal for the next 12 month. Break 500,000 downloads for a title thrice in a year. It’s the story Munir told at APICTA with conviction and passion. The substance and depth in his narrative won him a silver in the Media and Entertainment category.
Like Dr. Shoaib Munir also doubled up as a presenter for Amyn Farooqi’s Salah for Kids in the e-learning category. Salah for Kids is a brilliant iPad app that teach young children and adults how to offer Salah (Namaz) as well as do Wuddu (abulations) using a teach through play framework.
Dr. Shoaib – CARE /NUST
Dr. Shoaib is now an accomplished APICTA veteran. Over the year we have become good friends and share a passion for early morning walks, Thai food and empty pebbled beaches immediately after sunrise.
This year CARE presented two projects and both projects won the Silver in their respective category. ?Secure?customized?waveform for Software Defined Radio in Communications Category and Detection of Diabetic Retinopathy without die injection in Research & Development categories. Both presentations were ranked very highly by ?judges and were specifically mentioned in the Judges briefing. One judge went as far as telling Dr Shoaib that it was no longer fair to other participants in the category if Dr. Shoaib was presenting his product ideas.
The early detection of diabetic retinopathy in patients across Pakistan is a remarkable project that has cut a fairly inconvenient and slightly painful process to a fraction of its original time budget and dramatically improved prediction efficiency. CARE/NUST and the Shifa Hospital system worked on rolling out the project across Ophthalmology labs across the Federal Capital and Punjab and hope to improve chances of early detection of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy in working professionals.