LAHORE: The Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) has selected a local start-up to represent Pakistan in the upcoming Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) start-up event, scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates in March this year.
The local start-up, ‘Eyeautomate’, won the slot after competing with as many as 12 local start-ups and qualified to represent Pakistan in AIM-2020. The start-up will pitch its business idea at the event where firms from 80 other countries will also participate.
PBIT CEO Jahanzeb Burana said that this is a new phase of investments which PBIT has managed to arrange for local start-ups with the help of UAE.
“We have started with UAE, as it has become a global hub for business,” Burana told The Express Tribune. He said that they are also engaged in talks with the London mayor and US consulate for opportunities where Pakistani start-ups could get a fair chance to display their model in front of global audience and investors.
AIM, under the aegis of the Ministry of Economy UAE, organises a yearly international event on investments in Dubai. It is an international competition for entrepreneurs where participants from over 80 countries pitch their business projects to a panel of judges. The winners would be given cash prizes and an opportunity to be mentored by industry experts for attracting investments or funding.
The criteria for participants were declared by AIM and all local start-ups apply online to present their business. Some of the criteria’s include minimum turnover of $100,000 to $1,000,000 with less than 50 employees with a start-up’s age of in between two to seven years.
Speaking on the occasion, Adviser to Punjab Chief Minister Salman Shah said that there is a need to provide facilities and a proper ecosystem to nurture more and more start-ups.
“The IT sector of Punjab depends upon knowledge economy and a proper ecosystem should be in place to cater to the potential talent in this sector,” Shah said.
He added, “It is fascinating to see young Pakistani entrepreneurs with such amazing skills. We hope that they will take up the global stage and represent the country’s tech talent there.”
Punjab Industries Secretary Zafar Iqbal said that the Punjab government is already working to increase its capacity to provide trainings and further revenue related facilitates for our youth and start-ups.
“We have allocated Rs30 billion for some 300,000 start-ups and Rs10 billion have already been handed over to the Bank of Punjab to promote our start-up eco system,” Iqbal said.
This will encourage and provide a platform to our youth to take-off, he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2020.