Punjab Information Technology Board’s incubator, Plan9 has launched its biggest flagship event, Launchpad, to induct startups for the 12th incubation cohort. With this year’s theme focused on diversity, Plan 9 is on the lookout for futurepreneurs. Launchpad 12 will travel to four cities in Pakistan. Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Faisalabad – the recently added station.
In the past years, Launchpad has provided an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs looking for access to mentorships, capacity building, and investors. Since its inception, Plan 9 has provided these opportunities to over 100 startups. Evaluated at $70 million, startups incubated at Plan 9 have proceeded to raise investments of over $2.5 million. Most significantly, these young ventures have been able to create employment opportunities across various sectors in Pakistan.
With Launchpad, Plan 9 provides a platform to all Pakistani budding entrepreneurs to become a part of its six-month incubation cycle. The judging panel of Launchpad will comprise local and foreign representation from major technology companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft. In the past, Launchpad has received over 3000 applications, out of which only 130 startups have been able to become a part of the coveted entrepreneurial program.
Being a technology incubator, Plan9 is looking for product based business ideas that are integrating a technology component. Following the theme of diversity, this time Plan9 is looking for technology trailblazers working in the following diverse sectors:
- Consumer Tech (e-commerce)
- EdTech (Education Tech)
- FinTech (Finance Tech)
- IoT (Internet of Things)
- SaaS (Software as a Service)
- Mobile App
- Web App
Launchpad will span across four days in Lahore and two days in Karachi, Islamabad, and Faisalabad. The first day will comprise of elevator pitches followed by a short Q/A session. The startups qualified on the first day will proceed to Day 2 to receive extensive mentoring to tweak their business ideas and do a longer pitch. The pitches will be followed by the judges marking all the startups and high scoring ideas will make it to the incubation program.
To be eligible for Plan9, teams need to be Pakistani national with members at the age of 18 years or above. Technology component is mandatory and can fall under any category mentioned above. Each startup applicant can have up to 5 team members that are willing to relocate to Lahore for the incubation cycle, that is six months.
In order to ensure a strong team, a Chief Executive Officer and a qualified Chief Technical Officer are also mandatory. It is important to note that each founder can apply for only one startup. Moreover, startups and founders already incubated in the 11th cohort cannot qualify for this cycle.
Plan9 ensures that the incubated startups have access to the right kind of mentorship and networking that fuels the growth of their business ideas. Here is what all startups get access to if they qualify through the Launchpad,
- Business Model Development
- Free Legal Consultation
- Investment Opportunity
- Zero Equity Return
- Office Space & Free Utilities
- Monthly Stipend
How to apply?
Interested startups can apply to the 12th Launchpad of Plan9 by filling this application form. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to the city rounds of Launchpad and be later selected for the incubation cycle after the qualifying pitches.
The last date to apply for the Launchpad is August 19th.