Pakistan’s startup accelerator Invest2Innovate (i2i) announced today that its fourth batch of fledgling companies are ready to set the world alight. The five young startups were chosen from over 200 applicants.
Out of a total of 11 graduating founders, seven are women, with three startups having an all-female management team.
Founded in 2011, i2i is different from other accelerators in Pakistan in the sense that it only works with civic-minded startups. It believes in the power of entrepreneurship to inculcate deep-rooted civic change.
One of the key metrics for success is the number of new employment opportunities created by the companies. Last year, the accelerator claimed over 200 new jobs had sprung up since it first established operations.
Here are the newest graduating startups:
1. Emperors Bazaar
Think of Emperors Bazaar as a Pakistani version of Etsy or Craftsvilla. The startup, a curated marketplace for artisanal and handcrafted goods, is trying to solve the problem of discoverability by bringing rural artisans to the global stage.
Craftspeople in Pakistan are similar to those in the rest of the region – they ply their trade outside major cities. But the uniqueness and authenticity of their goods cannot be easily replicated, so there’s massive potential for scale if the startup manages to hit the right notes.
2. The Dot & The Line
The Dot & The Line is trying to improve learning outcomes for children by improving the quality of content in the home tuition market, which is largely unregulated and highly fragmented in Pakistan.
The startup is working with home tutors to monitor learning outcomes, content curation, and overall delivery of education.
EzPz is aiming to bring transparency to the overall health space in Pakistan. It empowers patients to search for doctors, scan through reviews, and make appointments.
For doctors, it helps enhance their personal profiles and reputations, without having to rely on word-of-mouth.
4. Smart Security Solutions
Smart Security Solutions is an IoT company that develops hardware and software products to improve security. It’s currently developing a prototype for cars but hasn’t fully launched yet.
DoctHERs is a marketplace that connects female doctors with underserved patients. Many qualified healthcare professionals in Pakistan are under or unemployed due to sociocultural barriers that restrict them from pursuing professional careers.
The startup helps them get access to work from the comfort of their homes and with less rigid hours.
On the consumer side, the startup targets mainly those who are unable to afford quality healthcare – like rural dwellers, blue-collar workers, and communities that lack healthcare options.
“Our eligibility criteria includes companies past their prototype stage, for-profit and impact-first companies,” explained Kalsoom Lakhani, the founder of i2i. “We started our selection process in the summer and entrepreneurs went through three rounds of screening […] before we made our final decision.”
This article originally appeared on Tech in Asia.