The National Incubation Center held a hybrid Open House on Friday 9th of October. The agenda of the event was to connect interested applicants to the NIC team, so they can learn more about the offerings of the program.
The National Incubation Center has opened applications for its six month Fast-Track Incubation Program, aiming to facilitate innovators and change makers in moving fast forward towards growth. Selected startups will gain access to NICIC (NIC’s Investors Community) with over 60 active investors across regions, mentorship & market linkages, get insights on growth hacking and performance marketing from industry experts and serial entrepreneurs, be a part of a vibrant and growing startup community-the NICSC (NIC’s Startup Community), and have the opportunity to learn from Unicorn founders across Pakistan and abroad, and much more.
The NIC received an overwhelming response with hundreds of interested candidates attending the Open House physically as well as virtually. The co-founders of NIC- Zouhair Khaliq and Parvez Abbasi talked of their vision for the project and how they have witnessed a boom in the ecosystem in the last few years. Both founders urged the attendants to build on their vision, and to strive to materialize their dreams.
“We are immensely proud of how the ecosystem has evolved in the last few years, and we are very optimistic that the future of entrepreneurship in Pakistan is very bright. We look up to changemakers to create disruption, drive positive change and take the ecosystem forward”-Zouhair Khaliq, co-founder Teamup.
“Entrepreneurship is all about taking risks-but make sure you do the groundwork that allows you to make sense out of your business idea. Do not fear failure, we are here to take you forward”– Parvez Abbasi, co-founder Teamup
The Program Manager at the NIC, Fasieh Mehta talked of the NIC offerings in detail, and how the NIC operates as a hybrid incubation program. He discussed how the upcoming cohort will be different from the existing ones, in terms of time duration, offerings, and type of startups that will be brought on board.
“For the upcoming cohort, we are looking for ideas that are validated, or have exceptional execution plans if at ideation stage. Our core focus will be on commercialization so investor linkages, mentorship, industry connections, investor preparedness, and pitching are embedded as core offerings of the program”– Fasieh Mehta, Program Manager NIC
The management team from Jazz and Ignite also talked of the benefits the individual organizations bring to the table, to create an experience like no other at the NIC.
“Jazz supports the NIC startups by providing access to Jazz mentors, digital marketing support and access to its state-of-the-art usability lab. The startups also get a chance to become part of the Jazz xlr8 program”– Ali Rizvi, Expert Digital Products and Innovation, Jazz
“The establishment of NICs across Pakistan is in line with the government’s vision of a Digital Pakistan, and Ignite will continue to provide all necessary support to build the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country.”– Ihsan Elahi – Ignite – National Technology Fund
A major highlight of the event was the rich panel discussion on the Pakistan Startup Ecosystem. NIC Startup Alumni -founders of Fowrry, PakAgri Market and MyTm, and Meenah Tariq from Karavan were part of the esteemed panel. The panel discussed how the ecosystem has evolved over the years, what opportunities are emerging, and how the NIC is playing a pivotal role in steering the ecosystem in the positive direction.
“At the NIC, we learnt to evaluate our idea from multiple perspectives. The team enabled us to think and rethink over our business model. The international exposure provided to us by the NIC is something we could never have achieved on our own. Becoming part of the NIC is really a lifetime opportunity.”– Adeel, founder Fowrry
Following the panel discussion, the NIC team educated attendants on how to apply for the program. The Open House concluded with a Q and A session with the audience.
The National Incubation Center invites all entrepreneurs, innovators and changemakers to apply for the 9th Cohort. The enriching experience at the NIC will allow them to leapfrog towards growth and build traction for their startup like never before. Visit https://nicpakistan.pk/cohort-9/ to apply for the program. The last date to apply is the 21st of October 2020.