LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship Calls for ‘Entrepreneurship Challenge 2014’ Applications
We brought you the news of LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship (LCE) just last month. Run by a seasoned management team at LUMS, LCE is a recently-established platform that scouts for promising startup ideas that are presented by the talented Pakistani youth at entrepreneurial events organized throughout the country. Startup Weekends, Young Leaders and Entrepreneurs Summits and the Entrepreneurship Challenge are examples of such events that are organized around the year by different organizations and societies. Promising startup ideas from these events will be given an opportunity to compete for the incubation process by LCE. These ideas will then be shortlisted for incubation by the Foundation Council—a team that comprises of highly professional and successful businesspersons and entrepreneurs.
LCE is ready to commence its first round of incubation this year and is calling for the determined youth with their unique ideas of commercial or social ventures to apply online for the Entrepreneurship Challenge 2014.
The Entrepreneurship Challenge aims to:
- Select promising business ideas presented by the talented youth from around the country
- Bring the selected teams together for a round of mentorship under the umbrella of the institute’s business incubator—‘The Foundation’—to provide them a proper environment necessary for the startup’s progress
- Provide professional advice for refinement of the selected business models, and mentor the participants to hone their relevant skills
LUMS’ business incubator, dubbed ‘The Foundation’, promises a number of perks and facilities for the selected teams which include office-space, utilities, a progressive environment and other critical infrastructure necessary for a startup in its initial stages. Besides this, the participants will be provided guidance and advice, and their performance will be evaluated by the Foundation Council. LCE will promote the participating startups in local and international media in order to supplement enough exposure for their success. A non-resident acceleration program will be offered by The Foundation for the founders of young companies as well, where they will be able to avail the perks of networking, mentoring and investment resources.
3 incubation cycles will be completed yearly where a single incubation period will last 4 months. Throughout the procession, progress of the competing business models will be judged by predefined milestones set by the Council.
After a startup successfully graduates from The Foundation, LCE envisions to provide them immediate follow-up facilities through its Plug ‘N’ Play Centers, which fundamentally constitute of highly dynamic co-working office space that is furnished with the requirements of companies between the stages of graduation and becoming self-sufficient by generating enough revenue or funding. Facilities at such centers will include office furniture, meeting rooms, backup power facility, data centers, and staff members like receptionists, security guards and office boys. These PNP centers will be allocated to the qualifying teams based on the economics of graduating rent scale, where the rent will be subsidized according to the level of maturity a company attains overtime. The more a company progresses with its financials and head count, the more will the PNP facility cost them; hence facilitating the transition of younger companies moving in to take their place.
An Investors Conference will be held at the end of incubation cycle where the business models that stand the test of time and show promise alongside progress will be presented in front of potential investors. In addition to this funding opportunity, LCE will raise capital to invest in promising startups in exchange for equity in the companies. This will work both ways by providing financial backing to the budding startups and setting up a stream of revenue for LCE so that it may support more of such ideas in the future. The initial goal for this Foundation Fund has been set at PKR 100 million, a large percentage of which has already been raised thanks to the collaboration of LUMS Alumni Association and Dawood School of Business.
LCE’s long-term goals include setting up a permanent source of funding for future ventures, establishing a Research & Policies wing to influence the national-level legislation process in the favor of entrepreneurial ideas, and to launch a Skills Commercialization Center to find skilled workers spread throughout the country and match them with exceptional marketers who not only provide these workers a respectable earning but also tap their skills in the most efficient way possible.
The challenge provides a unique opportunity of networking, exposure, progression and investment for the participating ventures. Interested teams may apply for the Entrepreneurship Challenge before 11PM PKT, April 6th, 2014, here: http://goo.gl/G8kDtD.
Successful applicants will be notified by April 8th, and will be invited to contest in the Entrepreneurship Challenge that is scheduled to take place on April 12th—13th, 2014.
In order to remain up-to-date regarding the developments at LCE Challenge and latest announcements, keep visiting this space and also subscribe to LCE’s social media channels on Facebook (http://goo.gl/3uR3hE) and Twitter (http://goo.gl/qPkcgh).
Update 1: Deadline extended to 6th April.