ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The National Incubation Center (NIC) will start accepting the first round of applications for its incubation program from December 8, 2016.
Startups from across the country are open to apply to the largest incubation program in Pakistan launched under the public-private partnership of Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom (MOITT), National ICT R&D Fund, Jazz and Teamup.
The NIC will provide startups with a free of cost workspace, incubation, acceleration – Jazz xlr8 program – seed funding and access to 50 million plus mobile customers. The Center will also give entrepreneurs access to industry leaders and world-class mentors, who will help startups realize their full potential.
Combined, it shall provide Pakistani startups with the resources required to build sustainable companies, which will boost the economic growth of Pakistan.
International and local partners including FbStart, Hult Prize, Invest2Innovate and Acumen Fund will also be working with NIC to drive economic growth through innovation in information and communication technology (ICT).
Being the driving force since its inception, Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rahman Khan sees NIC as a strategic initiative aimed at facilitating innovation and economic growth.
“The National Incubation Center will provide state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities to foster economic growth through innovation and wealth creation. Through this initiative, we hope to encourage an ecosystem of indigenous product development in the arena of ICTs. This initiative is in pursuance with Vision of the Government of Pakistan, which endeavors to encourage entrepreneurship-led growth. These tech start-ups will help us as a nation better embrace the innovation-centric knowledge economy,” said Ms. Anusha Rahman Khan.
The National ICT R&D Fund CEO and Chairman of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Dr. Syed Ismail Shah, sees the Center as a critical component for Pakistan’s economic development.
“National ICT R&D Fund is committed to bring about a technology revolution in Pakistan by motivating both academia and industry to perform research and develop state-of-the-art technologies and software. National Incubation Center will provide an innovative system designed to assist entrepreneurs and inventors in the development of new technology-based firms. It will effectively link talent, technology, capital and skill in order to accelerate the development of new businesses and thereby help the commercialization of technology,” said Dr. Syed Ismail Shah.
The Jazz xlr8 program at the NIC will offer startups access to Jazz user base, a global network of mentors, and its digital platforms. Jazz wants to play its part in laying the foundation for a sustainable technology ecosystem, and will provide resources and expertise to help young entrepreneurs fulfill their potential. Jazz xlr8 works in-line with Vimpelcom’s ‘Make Your Mark’ initiative, which aims to help shape the future generation through exposure and seed funds. Under the Jazz xlr8 program, 5 teams will be taken to the Mobile World Congress in Spain for global recognition. To ignite entrepreneurship among students and tech-savvy young minds, Jazz xlr8 program is to impart significant, demonstrable value to startups in the accelerator stage looking to take their business to the next level.
Sharing his thoughts, CEO – Mobilink and Warid Pakistan, Aamir Ibrahim, added, “Jazz xlr8 provides a launching pad for young entrepreneurs to test and market their ideas into the broader economy. The National Incubation Center with its Jazz xlr8 program provides a great opportunity to Pakistan’s budding entrepreneur community to let the world know about their immense potential, and how they can use this potential to bring a positive change in the society.”
Teamup, service delivery partner for this project, will be responsible for the management of the National Incubation Center. Teamup is headed by industry veterans Zouhair Khaliq and Parvez Abbasi and provides startups with the strategic and operational expertise required to build a successful business.
Teamup is working with exceptional mentors with global expertise in venture capital, technology, banking, engineering, finance, and marketing. Teamup will provide startups access to seed and angel investors, and pair entrepreneurs with previous successful startups.
“In Pakistan, where an overwhelming percentage of the population is below 25 years of age, the potential of these young people to influence the future of our country, the region and the world is huge! For any country to develop and eradicate poverty, deprivation, and disenchantment, we need businesses and entrepreneurs to influence economic growth and provide the bedrock of a stable, growing economy. The National Incubation Center will help entrepreneurs to create groundbreaking technologies and businesses which will dramatically change the future and make a difference in people’s lives,” Zouhair Khaliq, Co-Founder – Teamup.