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Case study: Amim Shafiq, Founder & CEO of Blazt Ltd

MSc Accounting and Finance
BSc (Hons) Management, Accounting and Finance

When Amim left Alliance Manchester Business School, the former auditor never imagined he would be leading the UK’s next social technology venture.

After receiving a Masters in Finance, Amim went to work as an auditor in London. While working in London he was inspired to develop a new social media app, Blazt, and in 2014 he moved to Pakistan to pursue his idea.

Backed by his own savings, Blazt allows users to see posts and photos that are trending in their local area. The ambition behind the app is to revive the local community and get people involved in the events and opportunities in that area, sharing content with their neighbours.

A big fan of social media, Amim says: “One night I was switching between four major social media platforms. The thought struck me that so many of us spend hours of our lives between those four apps. It seems like such a waste of time that I wanted to create something that would pull the various kinds of social networking onto a single platform.”

“I also noticed that all the current social media platforms show us what is happening around the world, but they don’t tell you what’s happening around the corner as easily. If I was in Manchester, and something exciting was happening in the Student Union, I might miss out because social media has become so focused on the wider global community that we have lost our connection to the local community.”

The app will first be tested by students in Manchester because of the special connection that Amim feels with the city and the people that study here. As a prominent member of the student union and societies, Amim has insight into university life and demographics and feels confident that this is something that Manchester students need and will enjoy using.

Amim is aiming to attain 5,000 users by the time he showcases his app at this year’s Web Summit which is being hosted in Dublin at the beginning of November. This is part of his plan to attract investors into his venture, so that he can begin to market Blazt to a wider audience and further develop the app.

“Manchester is a great testing ground for this piece of technology as there is so much going on here and its students are so engaged. I also want Manchester to be an important part of Blazt’s story in some way as it is here I feel I gained the skills to set up on my own.

“As part of my management course at MBS I had to create a real business plan from scratch which was invaluable training for me. The skills I gained through networking in the societies have also prepared me for meetings with investors which is the next step for Blazt.”

Amim sees ever increasing potential in the app and knows his concept is likely to develop following the product testing and his aim is to secure an investor and find a business incubator to further this in the next 12 months, either in the UK or the US.

In the next five years, and once a large user base has been engaged, Amim hopes his app will be at a stage to build on commercial opportunities to involve local businesses in his built community and offer them another platform for visual marketing and promotions.