In recent years, Pakistan has seen a rise in the number of tech-centric startups. However, there is also a need for developing incubators and accelerators for these startups to nourish. As of now, PM Khaqan Abbasi has inaugurated an incubation center in Peshawar on Saturday, which will provide tech startups with technical resources and guidance to develop and design new technologies.
PTCL, Pakistan’s leading telecommunications services provider, and LMKT, an emerging tech company have announced the formal inauguration of National Incubation Center (NIC) in Peshawar, which has been funded by the Ministry of IT&T and Ignite Fund (formerly known as National ICT R&D Fund). The launch ceremony was graced by the Honorable Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi as Chief Guest, along with Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mr. Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Minister of IT&T Ms. Anusha Rahman, and other renowned dignitaries from the public and private sectors.
A massive 12,000 sq. ft. facility in the heart of Peshawar at PTCL Training Center has been repurposed to incubate more than 25 handpicked startups each year. NIC Peshawar will be equipped with the latest ICT infrastructure offering high-speed connectivity, seamless audio, and video conferencing facilities, fully-managed IT and telecom services, among others. Incubatees will have access to comprehensive mentoring services allowing them to seek guidance and support on design thinking, business planning, financial and operational aspects related to their startups such as marketing and communication, legal services, etc. NIC Peshawar will provide the access to investors to support technology-driven disruptive startups.
PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi while speaking at the inauguration ceremony said,
“I’m extremely pleased with the growing synergy between the public and private sectors to promote youth-led entrepreneurship in the country and realize the dream of a Digital Pakistan. NIC Peshawar is proof of the government’s commitment to extending all kinds of support to relevant stakeholders in developing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s technology landscape and startup ecosystem.”
Industry-renowned startup incubation curriculum developed by Founder’s Institute will be implemented for the various cohorts that are inducted as part of NIC Peshawar. In addition, specialized workshops designed in collaboration with Microsoft, IBM, and other global technology leaders will be conducted throughout each session.
Yousuf Hussain, CEO, Ignite said,
“A singular opportunity for Startups that seek to solve meaningful problems with the help of Academia and for Corporates that seek to transform and thrive in this age of global competition and pervasive change by partnering with and investing in Startups.”
President & CEO PTCL, Dr. Daniel Ritz, on the occasion, stated, “The National Incubation Center, Peshawar is an important milestone in the burgeoning innovation climate of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This center is a testimony to PTCL’s promise to empower the people of Pakistan through its ICT and Digital services.”
NIC Peshawar’s launch has been received very positively by academia, public and private sectors with significant partnerships and MoUs lined up with leading organizations and universities. Some of these collaborations include design thinking workshops by IBM, FinTech lab, BioTech &CNC lab by CECOS University and linkages with Google Business Groups.
According to Atif Khan, CEO LMKT,
“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has enormous untapped talent and potential that can become a major driver in boosting Pakistan’s economy. I’m really excited about the prospect of working with inventive local entrepreneurs and startups in our pursuit of creating success stories bigger than ours.”
A couple of months ago at Peshawar, another agreement was signed between PTCL and KP IT Board for establishing an Incubation Center (Innovation Lab) and Software Technology Park (STP). Whereas, Revolt is another startup incubator under Peshawar 2.0, which provides an intensive 3 months training program with a curriculum specially designed for startups.
Meanwhile, at NIC Peshawar, the induction of the initial cohort of 25 startups is already underway and the first session is expected to commence by March 2018. In the following months, the NIC Peshawar team and all its partners will work closely with local bodies and universities to identify and induct top talent from KP province. Apply Now!