Business Incubation Center, Bahria University Karachi Campus Alumni Startup Company, Wondertree has selected into Google For Startups Accelerator for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). AllhumdulilALLAH Wondertree is the only startup that is selected from Pakistan and Asia to beat over 12,000 applications around the world to become 1 of the only 11 startups worldwide to win Google For Startups Accelerator for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At this moment I want to special thanks to Engr. Nabiha Faisal who supervised this startup as FYP when she was at timein the Software Engineering Department Karachi Campus.
As Wondertree wrote to me and said “This wonderful feat adds another feather to Bahria University’s well decorated cap as the co-founder of WonderTree, Engr. Muhammad Usman, happens to be an alumnus of Bahria University, Karachi Campus – Software Engineering who brought this idea to life at the Business Incubation Centerr, Karachi Campus.“
The other selected startups for Google’s accelerator program are from France, Germany (2), Israel, Kenya (2), Netherlands, Nigeria, and the UK (2).
Wondertree will work closely with engineers from over 20 Google teams and other subject matter experts to address product, engineering, business development, and funding challenges. Since this accelerator is focused on sustainability, startups will learn these skills through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals and relevant partners. WonderGames are available for free trial download on their website for children with special needs and can be reached on their social media platforms. But the journey of WonderTree from a mere idea in mind to becoming one of the best tech startups in Pakistan is a story of wonder.
It all started with Engr. Muhammad Usman’s observation of his elder brother, who is special needs playing a video game. Usman noticed how motivated and engaged he was while he was playing Usman’s Xbox. This struck Usman, that why can’t the same motivation and engagement be used to teach and develop him. Usman pitched his idea to Waqas, his neighbor and a close friend.
Engr. Waqas was intrigued by the idea and both of the co-founders started their research by asking parents, special ed teachers and people if they needed the product that the they were deciding to develop. After realizing the state of special education and development in Pakistan and parents and teacher’s dire need for something like WonderTree.
Their research showed that the special education and therapy is either not accessible or very costly by majority of Pakistanis. And without proper development these children are left out of the society unable to achieve their full potential. There is no standardized special ed curriculum in Pakistan either. Furthermore, the economic cost of excluding these children and PWDs from the society is 11 Billion USD annually in Pakistan. Hence there existed a space for a solution that solved all these problems, enter: WonderTree with a solution named “WonderGames”. Using Augmented Reality, WonderTree makes interactive “WonderGames” for motor, academic and cognitive development and education of children with special needs. Deployed in 5 cities across Pakistan, WonderTree engages 4000+ active users in 40+ schools. The WonderTree team has grown from 2 co-founders to an amazing 17 young, passionate and talented individuals, many of whom are graduates of Bahria University, Karachi Campus. WonderTree is the only company Pakistani company using technology to meet the special needs of the marginalized population of Pakistan. Currently, WonderTree is working towards spreading its operations in Middle East, South East Asia and Africa. Key features of WonderTree games include fully customizable settings, immersive experiences for different target populations and real time clinically backed reporting. WonderTree games are designed to develop physical, cognitive, language and social skills in children with special needs with the target audience being children on various spectrum of motor and cognitive disability which include autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, learning disability.
WonderTree meets three Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN, namely SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all and SDG 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries. To think back, it all started with an idea in Usman’s head which became a reality through hard work, dedication and some help from friends and Business Incubation Centre at Bahria University, Karachi. But now, WonderTree aims to change the dilapidated state of Special Education and Physiotherapy in Pakistan by providing affordable, efficient, measurable and accessible solution; a solution that needs to not only be limited to Pakistan but can serve a global need of development of 200 Million Children with special needs.