‘National digital start-up ecosystem is growing’

Pakistan’s largest two-day entrepreneurship conference ends

Our Correspondent November 06, 2017
Country's largest entrepreneurship organised by Nest I/O featured talks by well known entrepreneurs. PHOTO COURTESY: 021 DISRUPT

KARACHI: Pakistan’s start-up ecosystem is growing as a lot of exciting companies are emerging, said Jehan Ara, the woman behind Pakistan’s largest entrepreneurship conference, titled ‘021 Disrupt’.

“Young people want to start new businesses but there seems to be no conversation happening among all these stakeholders, whether its mentors, start-ups, professionals or investors,” said the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT and ITES ([email protected]) and The Nest I/O president, while talking to The Express Tribune on the concluding day of the two-day conference.

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According to her, good things are happening in isolation in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad so she, along with her team, decided to bring entrepreneurs together to promote conversation.

"If we collaborate, a lot more can happen than if we try to do it alone,” she added.

This is just the beginning of the conversation that would help sort out investment problems, Ara said. “There are a couple of people who said that they would invest in start-ups who have met during the conference,” she remarked.

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“We never thought it would be an annual event but since everyone wants it to be, we will make it a yearly event,” she disclosed.

“Serious investments have to happen in a start-up ecosystem in order to impact the economy,” she said, adding that with a strong economy, youngsters can do wonders traditional businesses cannot.

The knowledge generated through the internet and technology is being consumed by the youth who are talented and passionate, she praised.

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“Crack the business model in a localised environment,” said CEO and co-founder of VentureDive Atif Azim, while delivering a talk, ‘The Journey from Silicon Valley to Tariq Road’. He added that there has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur in Pakistan.

“A complementary team and a competitive product is the key in developing a successful business,” said Middle East Venture Partners Executive Director Riyad Abou Jaoudeh, during his talk. He advised that a company should have key differentiations in order to compete in a growing market.

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 “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come,” said [email protected] General Secretary Shehryar Hydri. He added that Pakistan, being the sixth most populous country, has 50 million internet users and 46 million 3G/4G users with a population of 125 million people below 25, which is more than Mexico and Japan combined.  According to him, a technological revolution in Pakistan is exciting for inventors and new start-ups.


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