OPEN Karachi launches its incubator space in Karachi

Asra Rizwan Written by Asra Rizwan · 1 min read>

Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs (OPEN) Karachi Incubator was launched as a Startup Accelerator Space back in November, 2015. Under all the city chapters that come under OPEN, the Karachi chapter is the first to initiate an incubator of its own.

What are they looking for?

The incubator is focusing on attracting service based and innovation based startups. In their first cycle, that initiated in November the accelerator space interviewed 8 startups out of which a set of 4 diverse startups qualified for the final selection.

The basic criteria for a business to score incubation is to be operational for a year or two. Companies, that are aiming to launch a new business product can also apply. Secondly, the applicant should have a strong team with an entrepreneurial mindset. Moreover, the space will incubate applicants only if they are not in a direct competition with existing incubatees. However, preference will be given to those who have formulated a well defined business plan, performed pre-feasibility study, and have a bank account and NTN number.

The incubation cycle consists of a six month period while the selection process spans over a month. In the first two weeks, the applications are reviewed and incubatees are invited to pitch their business ideas in an internal meeting by the third week. In the last week, the applicant is notified of the decision of selection committee and signs a tenancy agreement highlighting the milestones and timeline of the projected progress.

What are they offering?

OPEN Karachi Incubator is working on a non-profit model, therefore they are not keeping any equity. ZRG has provided seed grant money for the set up of the space. Therefore, they only ask for a security deposit and a reasonable rent per seat to meet facilitation costs.

In the six month incubation program the center will facilitate startups through subsidized rent and product development support. They also provide dedicated one-on-one mentoring opportunities and supports capacity building for various business functions. Coming under the international banner of OPEN, the center also provides global as well as local networking opportunities and also facilitates startups to seek investors.

Current Incubatee Profiles launched its operation on the 1st of January. The startup has partnered with various high end brands in the city to offer a voucher book priced at Rs. 1999 that promises a saving of Rs. 300,000 to its users. The voucher book is available at super markets and can also be order online. In the first two weeks of operation, the startup has shown promise with the sale of books and is garnering positive feedback from the customers. The book has vouchers for discounted offers for dine-in experiences, traveling and logistics, beauty and spa, wedding services, etc.

Open-BDA started as an initiative of Innovative Management Services in June 2014, and is a platform to support the adoption of Data Driven Business and Big Data Analytics in Pakistan by providing state-of-the-art knowledge and skillsets to Pakistani professionals through Summits, Trainings, Webinars, and BDA Products & Services. Company is Co-Founded by Mr. Rashid Jamal and Mr. Sameer Shamsi and it currently incubated at OPEN Karachi. Open-BDA has already been recognized as a comprehensive platform globally. The beta version of Open-BDA will be launched in Feb 2016.

You can apply here for OPEN Karachi’s second incubation cycle.

Update: 2-2-2016 — startup details updated.

Written by Asra Rizwan
I profile people and startups contributing to the Pakistani technology entrepreneurial ecosystem. Share a story with me, Profile