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Virtual Start-up Summit held with US-based Entrepreneurs

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington convened a Virtual Start-up Summit entitled “Science & Technology as a Catalyst for Entrepreneurship”.

The Summit was held in collaboration with the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MOITT), Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the Higher Education Commission (HEC), National Science & Technology Park (NSTP) and Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA).

The Virtual Start-up Summit brought together 120 start-up industry stakeholders from the Pakistani diaspora in the US and in Pakistan.

In his keynote address, the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi highlighted the role of the Foreign Office as a facilitator in bringing together diverse innovation-related stakeholders.

The foreign minister said that the Start-up Summit provided the platform for building connectivity between the relevant players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pakistan and promoting their partnerships with US-based Pakistani entrepreneurs and investors.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi appreciated the contribution of the diaspora towards the knowledge economy in the US.

In their comments, the Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood and the Federal Secretary Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui emphasized the role that diaspora could play in supporting and scaling the local hi-technology industry.

During the open discussion session, Pakistani-origin innovators and business leaders in the US made concrete recommendations for further strengthening of institutionalized mechanisms for collaboration and commercialization linkages between Pakistan S&T start-ups and relevant sectors, investors, and US-based entrepreneurs.

In his closing remarks, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Dr. Asad Majeed Khan appreciated the interest of the diaspora and thanked the local stakeholders in providing a holistic picture.

Follow-up events will be organized in the near future including sector-specific start-up meetings as well as mentorship events involving Pakistani Universities and US-based entrepreneurs.

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