YLES 13th Edition; Celebrating Growth, Perseverance, Commitment and Innovation
From the 23rd to the 27th of December 2018, LUMS Entrepreneurial Society; Pakistan’s first and largest student-run business society, hosted its much anticipated flagship event, the 13th Edition of Young Leaders’ and Entrepreneurs’ Summit (YLES). Lauded as one of Asia’s Largest Youth Business competitions, the 5-day event YLES comprised of a diverse range of intellectually stimulating rounds, confidence building activities and networking based socials. The theme for this year was ‘to inspire and be inspired’ which was inculcated in every aspect of the competition. What was especially note-worthy, was the fact that for the very first time in YLES’ history, International Teams participated in the event, which was a moment of pride, as our society, university and country, was given the opportunity to be seen in a positive, progressive light amongst the international community. Through a series of meticulously designed, multifaceted rounds, YLES enabled students from across the country and abroad, to project their inherent aptitude and acquire the skills necessary for effective entrepreneurship.
The first day of YLES was inaugurated with an exuberant opening ceremony, as renowned entrepreneur and founder of Innovation District 92, Nabeel Qadeer, addressed the participants and shared words of wisdom and valuable advice to everyone present. The ceremony was followed by the Social Enterprise Round 1 where participants incorporated social responsibility within their proposed business ideas. The participants were able to present their ideas through PowerPoint presentations as a visual aide, while honing their public speaking skills, as esteemed judges critiqued their performance. Day one closed with the Networking Night, where participants were provided with the momentous opportunity to discuss their future business ideas and receive constructive feedback from some of the most distinguished individuals in the corporate world.
The second day began with one of the most exciting rounds of the event, Investomania. A virtual stock market was established, enabling the participants to channel their inner financial analysts, through actively trading company shares, amidst simulated stock market fluctuations and corresponding news crises. Idea Junction round 1 followed, in which participants pitched their business ideas to fictitious potential investors, similar to the acclaimed television shows Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank, with the most innovative and well-researched pitch winning the round. Next in line was the Strategic Business Management round wherein the participants’ analytical and critical thinking abilities were put to the test through the provision of challenging case studies, which required more than just quick-wittedness to solve! As an end to the hectic day, a food street was arranged, so that the participants could unwind and socialize with others, while treating themselves to a variety of delicious foods.
The third day carried forth the Idea Junction and Social Enterprise rounds to inculcate the value of patience and perseverance in the participants, as every successful entrepreneur can reaffirm the importance of paramount effort and utmost dedication. Brand Rush Round 1 followed, which as the name suggests, required participants to set up a stall and creatively brand their products in an interactive manner through employing samples, banners and games. The Christmas Night served as a much deserved break from the day’s activities, with festive decor adorning the venue and the famous DJ Trix ensuring every single person danced the night away.
The fourth day of YLES comprised of Plug It In and Strategic Business Management Rounds, which allowed participants to polish their persuasive and marketing skills through creative ad-making, as well as gauged their critical thinking abilities and effectiveness of working cohesively as a team to solve pressing business dilemmas. What proceeded was the most eagerly awaited social event, which the YLES team had managed to keep under wraps in order to build up anticipation. This secrecy paid off as inexplicable excitement perpetuated when it was revealed that Pakistan’s most acclaimed pop rock band ‘Strings’ was going to perform at YLES. As always, the band mesmerized the crowd with their enthusiasm and musical prowess and prove to be the highlight of the night.
The last and final day of YLES 13th Edition commenced with second rounds of Brand Rush and Investomania and ended with a flamboyant closing ceremony, where the winners and runner ups were awarded for their efforts. The coveted YLES trophy, was unveiled after an energetic dance-off choreographed by the managers of the event and the winners were given the opportunity to incubate their prospective business ideas in LUMS very own National Incubation Center. The event was closed by motivational speaker and founder of Tayaba.org, Bilal Saqib addressing the participants and a celebratory dinner marked the end of the 13th edition of YLES.
In conclusion, the unprecedented genius of YLES lies in its recognition of the entrepreneurial spirit that resides within each one of us and its consequent determination to create a safe space wherein such ideas freely interact, echo, and flourish. What results is a series of enigmatic events, each of which is marked by the dynamic experience it provides for both the participants and the organizers. To witness the zest with which delegates worked and progressed towards the final day, and to experience the enhancement of the familial feelings within the society, was not only heart-warming, but also proof of our deliverance in upholding our promise of nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit underlying within each one of us.
Here’s to celebrating growth, perseverance, commitment and innovation! And many more editions of YLES; each bigger and better than the last!
- Maheen Salman
- Abdur Raffey
- Urooj Tariq
- Malaikah Shah