UPDATE: Telenor Velocity‘s website is now official. According to the website, the accelerator program has taken equity of 2.5% from the current cohort of startups. But 2.5% is not a fixed number, it might change for the next batch. In addition, the next batch inductions will start from the months of June.
Pakistani telecom operator Telenor has launched its very own accelerator for Pakistani startups and the accelerator is going to go live tomorrow.
Called “Velocity”, the accelerator is the telecom’s very first attempt at accelerating startups in the country. After some speculation about Telenor’s plans, the accelerator was initially announced at the Open Islamabad event and finally launching tomorrow, but no specific details were revealed. Now, the company has announced that “Velocity” will be launching tomorrow along with startup pitches from 8 entrepreneurs.
Momina Rajput, the Head of Telenor Velocity, while talking to TechJuice said,
“We are focused on helping the startups go to market through using Telenor’s customer access and other assets.”
Where as talking to TechJuice at the Open Islamabad event, Irfan Wahab Khan, Deputy CEO of Telenor Pakistan said:
“There are numerous startup incubators and accelerators in Pakistan, but all they do is provide you with space and mentorship. We are hoping to change that with Telenor’s Accelerator Program .”
He added that,
“With our program we are aiming to provide our startups with our API’s for payment facilitation, location and distribution. Our enrolled startups will also have access to our customer base for marketing purposes as well.”
A number of incubators and accelerators have sprung up in the country, spurred on by the outburst of entrepreneurial prowess shown by the youth of this country. Known for its innovative programs like the recently-held IoT Expo and Telenor Youth Forum, this is another good step by the telecom operator to empower the entrepreneurs of Pakistan.