KARACHI: The seventh batch of the Nest I/O, one of the earliest incubators in Karachi, pitched ideas to financiers encompassing diverse fields like education, wedding, health care, lifestyle and e-commerce.
A total of 25 start-up ideas were pitched to a panel of investors at a demo day held at Nest I/O. So far, the incubator has approved 139 start-ups in three years.
“More than 85% of start-ups approved by Nest I/O are still operational,” said founding head Jehan Ara, who considers start-ups as young ideas in the nest ready to be nurtured by the elder bird.
Investors liked few of the ideas presented on the demo day. Some of those were unfruitful so they did not attract funding.
Although some ideas did not promise long-term profits, all had the potential to succeed. “There is profit and there is the impact that a start-up can make,” said Tadrees Founder Chairperson Arooha Dar whose start-up was offering free education to the underprivileged.
“The ideas pitched on the demo day of NUTrack had first-hand investor,” said Nest I/O alumnus and NUTrack co-founder Muhammad Haris Ansari.
According to the World Bank, 90% of world’s start-ups fail. However, in Pakistan, the culture of children living with parents even after 18 years of age is the reason why start-ups continue to stay longer. Staying with parents has its benefits like people can follow their passion. However, much of the youth engaged in start-ups comes from the middle-income class, so they try their best to make it prolific, otherwise parents will pressurise them for jobs.
Nest I/O trains the start-ups in terms of product development, product launch, marketing, traction and business model.
“An investor is only concerned with the number (profit),” said Artistic Corp Business Consultant Kapeel Kumar, who is associated with Nest I/O and plans to invest millions of dollars in innovative start-ups. “The start-ups that come with more numbers attract more investors.”
Sehatmand Mustaqbil Chief Operating Officer Yumna Arif was hopeful for her start-up as she aimed to provide telemedicine services for rural and underserved communities.
“Although, still in the initial phase of their journey, some of the batch 7 start-ups proved their worth already in terms of traction and revenue such as WeMakers, which focuses on areas of science, education and 3D printing and also Paiman, a health and beauty start-up that has generated revenue of Rs45,000 within one week of its launch,” said a statement released by Nest I/O.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2018.