In the last decade or so, Pakistan has seen a rise in entrepreneurship – especially amidst the youth. A large number of fresh graduates are creating their own startups with one objective in mind – to create solutions for problems that a common person faces.
The term ‘Be your own boss,’ has seen a rapid increase in popularity and millennials and Gen Zs prefer to work for themselves rather than working for someone else. Startups from Pakistan have won a number of international awards and prizes, inviting international investors whilst promoting a positive image abroad.
Startups around the world face a number of challenges at the beginning of their journeys. These range from raising funds, dealing with legal ambiguities, and learning how to manage their finances. In Pakistan, over the last few years, there has been a rapid increase in the number of private and government-funded incubators and accelerators. These institutions help develop a startup from its idea initiation through its official service/product launch. The following are the five most popular incubators and accelerators in Pakistan.
Jazz xlr8, founded by Jazz – the largest telecommunication network in Pakistan – is a premium acceleration program run at the National Incubation Center. Being the leading tech company, Jazz uses its technical and marketing muscle to help startups scale their businesses. They ultimately help lay the foundation for a sustainable technology ecosystem by providing the resources and expertise to help young entrepreneurs fulfill their potential.
Every year, Jazz xlr8 startups get a chance to exhibit at the prestigious 4 years from 4YFN in Barcelona. In the past two years, 8 startups have been selected to showcase their talent and network with venture capitalists and startups from across the world.
Ignite funds startups that utilize tech to solve local problems and target global opportunities in health, education, energy, agriculture, telecom, finance, and other verticals. The company’s national network of incubators across Pakistan funds startups and helps them meet their demands by engaging them with investors and corporations. Ignite, along with Jazz xlr8 has founded the National Incubation Center, which is the largest incubation platform in Pakistan.
Plan9 is a government-funded incubator, which is based in Lahore. This Punjab Information Technology Board – PITB’s tech incubator was established with the vision of creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pakistan. Back in August 2012, Plan9 was founded and it is now among the pioneers of incubation in Pakistan, which is striving every day to ensure sustainable growth of tech-product based startups.
Microsoft Innovation Center Startups Incubation is a unique program designed to promote innovation. Working with the Punjab Information Technology Board, the main idea behind this incubation program is to facilitate the transformation of high-potential software startups into successful businesses.
Based in Islamabad, Technology Incubation Center became the first technology incubator of Pakistan in 2005. The program is the pioneer of incubation and acceleration of the startups, which was founded by the National University of Sciences and Technology. TIC aims to provide entrepreneurs and teams the required office facilities for maximizing their abilities and sustainability.
TIC has many success stories and has helped many excellent startups reach their full potential by providing them a safe space to work and guiding them through their mentors.