Pakistan is on the road to Digital, where the startup ecosystem is gaining traction and empowering the youth to provide tech-savvy and digital solutions.
The National Incubation Center – a partnership between Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom, Ignite, Jazz and Teamup – graduated its third and fourth cohort of thirty-two innovative tech startups.
During 12 months of incubation at the innovation hub, start-ups have received rigorous training, one-on-one mentoring sessions, access to industry experts and investors , which are now commercially growing and scaling to create positive economic and social impact. It is pertinent to mention here that NIC has on-boarded over 162 startups in 7 cohorts, with over 300 founders, creating over 5000 jobs, and generating investments of over PKR 500 Million.
Ten of the thirty-two graduating startups received “Stars of NIC and Jazz Xlr8” awards. These were awarded on the basis of investment raised, revenue generated and social impact created.
On the occasion, Aamir Ibrahim, CEO of Jazz, said:
“Although we are celebrating the graduating startups here today, we are also celebrating the three-year collaboration between Jazz and the government of Pakistan for the NIC. The scale comes from joining hands and from public-private partnerships. This is how our vision of a truly #DigitalPakistan will become a reality”.
He further added, “I congratulate those graduating today in making Pakistan’s innovation space robust and sustainable in its impact.”
Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Secretary IT, appreciating the startups on their focus, passion and determination, commented:
“It is overwhelming to see how IT is acting as an enabler across different industries, and startups are building on it to revolutionize sectors and contribute positively towards the economy.”
Junaid Imam, CEO of Ignite, while addressing the graduating startups, commented:
“The startup ecosystem is thriving, and we are all set to make it a strong pillar of Digital Pakistan.”
Startups in the national incubation center have diverse genres including Health-tech, Ed-Tech, Fin-Tech, assistive technologies, and artificial intelligence among others.
Aamer Ejaz, Chief Digital & Strategy Officer of Jazz said, “We are committed to playing our part in supporting the startup ecosystem and empowering the youth to build a progressive and digital Pakistan through the NIC and Jazz xlr8.
As a part of its vision to boost the ecosystem for more opportunities, NIC on this occasion launched a ‘NIC Startup Community App’, with an aim of providing a platform for investors, startups, partners and mentors to connect with each other.
The ceremony also marked the completion of three years of the National Incubation Centre, Islamabad. This achievement poses a promising future for entrepreneurial initiatives to flourish in the country, and the NIC will continue to strive forward in playing an integral role in the ecosystem.
Parvez Abbasi, Project Director at NIC, on this occasion remarked on the exponential growth witnessed by the ecosystem and appreciated how young talent is playing its role in shaping the future of Pakistan.
“Pakistan has immense talent, and through initiatives like the NIC, we can empower the youth to come up with innovative solutions to daunting challenges faced by Pakistan.” Zouhair Khaliq, Co-Founder Teamup on the completion of three years of NIC commented, “The startup eco-system in Pakistan has really matured in the last few years, and NIC has been pivotal in creating a sustained impact to develop and nurture innovative entrepreneurs and startups.”