KARACHI: After making inroads into Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar, a national incubation centre (NIC) is being established in Karachi to train youth who are looking forward to becoming tech-based entrepreneurs with the objective of dismantling old-fashioned systems and introducing new creative solutions.
“A technology company based in Islamabad, called LMKT, is all set to start NIC operations in Karachi in May,” announced Yousaf Hussain, CEO of Ignite, at a press conference on Monday.
LMKT is setting up the incubation centre in partnership with the NED University, Habib Bank, Pakistan Telecommunication Company, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, Founder Institute and i2i. Funding will come from Ignite, formerly called National ICT R&D Fund.
The centre will offer talented entrepreneurs and promising start-ups of Sindh quality incubation programmes, access to mentor and investor networks as well as technical resources.
“A halt to innovation can create gap between us and Bangladesh (which is among least developed countries) in terms of development; this is what we see in comparison to eastern Europe today,” Hussain said.
The NIC in Karachi, which aims to provide incubation services for over 200 next-generation businesses in the first five years, will empower aspiring Sindh-based entrepreneurs to create high-growth and sustainable businesses.
It will utilise its resources on identifying and nurturing promising start-ups by running various programmes that will range from two-day boot camps to year-long acceleration programmes.
These include the centre’s SPARK Accelerator programme, which will work on digital transformation in 13 areas of focus including fintech, real estate, commerce, cyber security and robotics.
As a major port city and one of the largest metropolises in the world, Karachi can be a magnet for the country’s innovative young minds.
“Good thing about Pakistan’s start-up culture is that all the start-ups are emerging from real problems,” remarked Atif Rais Khan, CEO and Co-founder of LMKT.
“NIC Karachi will tap innovative spirit of the region by helping young minds create newer, disruptive solutions that can positively impact businesses by addressing their future challenges,” said Shahjahan Chaudhary, Project Director of NIC Karachi.
“Our in-house innovation platforms such as Makers’ Labs, Innovation Labs, Design Lab and Fintech Lab will foster a unique partnership between world-class enterprises and promising start-ups.”
After NIC Peshawar, NIC Karachi is LMKT’s second venture in the national incubation arena. It will bring together experts focused on marketing, culture, start-up accounting, product design, user testing and sales who will give accelerated business insights.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2018.