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Pakistani startup for kids with special needs wins big at US contest

Pakistani startup for kids with special needs wins big at US contest

Team of startup WonderTree made Pakistanis proud by winning third prize at the GIST TECH-I startup competition held at Stanford University

WonderTree which develops interactive, augmented reality-based games for children with special needs using Microsoft Kinect technology, with a focus on home-based physical therapy, biofeedback and tracking won the third prize at the Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Tech-I Startup Competition held at Stanford University in California.

WonderTree games use the concept of augmented reality, making the child interact using movements and gestures. The games require a Kinect v2 sensor, a laptop and a TV screen.

WonderTree competed in the startup category of the annual competition and was one of 15 applicants selected from 1,074 teams from around the world.

GIST (Global Innovation through Science & Technology) is an annual competition in the field of science and technology. It gives chance to emerging economies worldwide. The event showcased entrepreneurship and innovation globally.

The CEO and co-Founder of WonderTree Muhammad Waqas said that it’s a great experience for him and his team to meet investors and networking with industry experts from different countries at the platform of GIST 2016. Ahmed Hassan, one of the co-founders of WonderTree said that the motivation behind this project is to improve education for special children. It will also turn imagination into reality with the help of technology.

The WonderTree team comprises psychologists and special teachers and has also partnered with several institutions such as Institute for Personal Psychology, DOW University of Health Sciences, Special Olympics Pakistan and the Karachi Vocational and Training Centre.

The GIST  Tech-I Startup Competition was part of this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES 2016), an event that showcased entrepreneurship and innovation globally and featured talks and panel discussions by the likes of President Obama, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Sergey Brin and Sundar Pichai of Google, Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn, Travis Kalanick of Uber, and many more.

Jehan Ara, a Pakistani tech entrepreneur was also invited to speak as part of a panel on investment opportunities in South Asia said:

“It was a moment of immense pride when WonderTree was declared a winner. I have watched this team work hard for a social cause and their hard work recognized at a global event in Silicon Valley, means so much.”

WonderTree has previously participated in the P@SHA ICT Awards 2015 and also represented Pakistan at APICTA 2015. The startup also received the P@SHA Social Innovative Fund.

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