Mohammad Uzair Akram from the BSc (Hons) Economics class of 2016 came second at the Tufts 100K New Ventures Competition. The annual competition, organised by the Tufts Entrepreneurship Centre, draws entries from alumni, faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students from all 10 schools across Tufts University. Teams compete for prizes and in-kind services totaling more than $100,000 in three tracks: General or High-Tech Track, Social Entrepreneurship Track, and Medical Devices & Life Science Track.
Akram is the first LUMS alumnus to secure a position in the competition. He competed in Social Entrepreneurship Track and was able to secure $5,000 for his startup idea ‘Kisaan’, an asset-based micro-finance product aimed at incentivising smallholder farmers to adopt risky yet potentially profitable technologies in Punjab. Akram has also been able to secure additional funding from the Institute for Business in Global Context (IBGC) and the Institute for Global Leadership (IGL) at Tufts. He will be conducting a pilot to check the feasibility of Kisaan in the summer of 2019.
Speaking about his achievement, Akram said: “LUMS has played a vital role in my personal, academic and professional growth. Courses such as ‘Issues in Economic Policy’ and ‘Advanced Corporate Finance’ coupled with constant support from faculty members such as Dr. Kashif Zaheer Malik prepared me to obtain The Emerging Enterprise Scholarship at The Fletcher School, Tufts University. On top of that, the leadership and management skills acquired at LUMS by being part of student-led societies such as LCSS and LUMUN aided me to outperform in my Masters.”
He added, “Being in Boston, I view myself as not only representing LUMS but also Pakistan and it gives me immense pleasure to dedicate this award and funding from IBGC and IGL to the education, dedication and guidance of LUMS faculty members and administration.”