Helsinki Incubators Alumni Nexus Angle: "Empowering the Next Generation to Make Informed Choices About Their Future"

With less than a week left to apply to the TREMOR programme, we caught up with Afsheen Ahmed and Syed Ahmed Ali, recently graduated alumni and entrepreneurs from the Nexus Angle project. They are dedicated to address today's youth needs, blending career guidance with sustainable initiatives.

In the aftermath of the TREMOR Demo Day, our social impact entrepreneurship programme, we engage into an enlightening dialogue with Afsheen Ahmed and Syed Ahmed Ali, alumni and enterprising minds behind the venture Nexus Angle. Afsheen, pursuing a master's in Changing Education at the University of Helsinki, joined the programme in August, hailing from Pakistan. Syed, an experienced entrepreneur in flexible packaging since 2000, partnered with his wife Afsheen to launch Nexus Angle, contributing his wealth of experience to their business project.

Nexus Angle, an initiative born out of Afsheen's passion for educational reform, aims to assist youth in navigating the complexities of career decisions. Syed, the financial cornerstone of the project, explains, "Our goal with Nexus Angle is to provide clarity and guidance to young individuals as they embark on their career journeys." Afsheen, serving as co-founder, continues, "We're dedicated to empowering the next generation to make informed choices about their futures."

Reflecting on the evolution of Nexus Angle, Afsheen shares, "Our journey began with a different concept, but through TREMOR's guidance and mentorship, we pivoted to focus directly on the needs of today's youth." Syed agrees, adding, "TREMOR played a pivotal role in shaping our vision and refining our approach." As Nexus Angle continues to chart its course, Afsheen and Syed stand as exemplars of the transformative power of entrepreneurship in addressing societal challenges.

But Nexus Angle's scope extends beyond career guidance. Syed, with expertise in environmental and climate issues, is developing initiatives targeting a different demographic. Afsheen notes, "While I focus on youth empowerment, Syed brings his environmental expertise to the table. Together, we're creating a multifaceted approach that speaks to diverse audiences and global challenges." With Nexus Angle's collaborative efforts, the aim is not only to guide individuals towards fulfilling careers but also to foster a sense of purpose and responsibility towards the world around them.

“In response to the issues we've identified, our approach isn't just about training in the traditional sense”.  Afsheen breaks it down for us. She explains, "Our focus lies on two main groups. First, we're targeting students taking gap years. Many of them aren't sure about their future paths and need a space to explore and find purpose. COVID-19 has further complicated things, with some reconsidering expensive degrees in favour of alternative paths like content creation." Afsheen's extensive experience teaching students in this age group has informed her understanding of their needs. She elaborates, "In our culture, career guidance often falls short, leading to uncertainty and, in some cases, unhealthy coping mechanisms like substance abuse."

In discussing Nexus Angle's approach to online education and mentorship, Afsheen sheds light on how the platform operates. "Our platform is rooted in real-life projects, ensuring participants are actively engaged in problem-solving and project-based learning," she explains. "However, for those who seek it, our platform also facilitates group work where participants can connect with mentors and peers, fostering collaboration and networking."

Reflecting on the target market for Nexus Angle, Afsheen highlights the unique challenges facing Pakistani youth. "With Pakistan projected to have one of the largest youth populations in the world, there's a pressing need for accessible and quality education," she remarks. "Factors like the impact of COVID-19 and educational disparities have only heightened this demand." Indeed, recent statistics reveal a significant growth in online learning and mentoring programmes, with an annual growth rate of 44.7%. 

"This underscores the importance of initiatives like Nexus Angle in addressing the evolving needs of Pakistani youth," Afsheen observes. "By targeting the upper-middle section of the population, we aim to provide meaningful educational opportunities that empower individuals to make informed choices about their futures."

As Nexus Angle continues to grow and evolve, Afsheen and Syed remain optimistic about the platform's potential impact. "Our vision is to create a future where education serves as a catalyst for personal and societal development," Syed summarises. "Through our innovative approach to online education and mentorship, we hope to empower the next generation of leaders and changemakers in Pakistan and beyond."

"The Relationships Formed in the Programme Extend Beyond Professional Connections”

As the duo delve deeper into their experiences with the programme, it becomes evident that the learning curve has been profound. Afsheen reflects on the programme's adaptability, highlighting how insights from various sources have shaped the evolution of their approach. "TREMOR provided us with a platform to refine our strategies based on invaluable insights," she notes.

With each session attended, adjustments were made, as mentorship played a pivotal role with guidance contributing significantly to developing their established business idea. "Our mentors guided us through challenges and provided perspective that reshaped our approach," Afsheen shares.

The inclusive nature of TREMOR emerges as a defining factor in their positive experience. The founder couple express gratitude for the supportive environment fostered by mentors like Ari Huczkowski, who went above and beyond to provide assistance. "The relationships formed in the programme extend beyond professional connections, nurturing personal growth alongside professional development," she emphasises.

For Syed, it's a reintroduction to entrepreneurship, offering tools and insights previously inaccessible, drawing from his prior entrepreneurial experience. They highlight the shift towards technological integration and the importance of customer-centric approaches, lessons that reshape their entrepreneurial perspective. "TREMOR opened doors to new possibilities, equipping me with tools to navigate emerging trends with confidence," he reflects. 

In closing, both participants commend TREMOR for its invaluable contributions to their entrepreneurial journeys. With newfound knowledge and perspectives, they are equipped to tackle industry challenges with resilience and adaptability. "The programme's mission to empower social entrepreneurs resonates deeply, providing us with the tools and insights needed to thrive in an evolving business landscape," they affirm.

Afsheen expresses that she would like to nurture the connections forged with the other TREMOR teams. "I really want to have some kind of a very lifelong connection," she shares, emphasising the value of ongoing support from mentors and fellow participants. Her sentiment proves how mutual support is a testament to the programme's lasting impact on personal and professional growth. 

Apply by 17 April

The call for applications to the third round of the TREMOR entrepreneurship programme, taking place between 13 May and 28 November 2024, is open until 17 April - This is you last chance to join us!

For those shaking up the societal status quo, TREMOR is the place to cause shockwaves by taking well-defined solutions and work on turning them into entrepreneurial reality with support & mentoring tailored to their change-making needs. For more information, take a look at the programme webpage or contact project lead Pete Karumo at or through LinkedIn. 

The University of Helsinki's entrepreneurship programmes, the Helsinki Incubators, provides support and opportunities for bold thinkers in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area interested in taking their ideas and turning them into impactful ventures. Interested in applying to one of our pre-incubator or incubator programmes?Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on open calls.