Since the last few years you may have seen a popularity of entrepreneurial spirit, and more startup activity than ever before in Pakistan. Job work mentality is decreasing, with more people looking to get satisfaction by making the world a better place, rather than just tolerating boring work to fund enjoyment elsewhere.
Just a couple years back, development of entrepreneurs in Pakistan was difficult. To access mentors, business trainers and investors was not so easy for startups.
Now, however, the whole scenario has changed and startup founders have a choice to get incubation. There many Incubators and accelerators in the country making an impact on Tech industry of Pakistan.
Punjab government Initiative, based in Lahore, Pakistan initially started in August 2012. Plan9 offer 3 month program to all startups in which it provides free office space, consultancy and mentoring. Another good thing, they don’t take any equity. Plan 9 has incubated more than 102 startups till now, and the numbers are increasing.
The Nest i/o
Based in Karachi, Associated with Pakistan Software House Association (PASHA), The Next i/o is a technology incubator launched in early 2015. The Incubator provides free office space and mentorship, while they are not taking any equity.
LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship
The LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship (LCE) is a tech incubator associated with the LUMS (Lahore University of Management Sciences), Pakistan’s topnotch university based in Lahore. The Incubator has four month program where it provides, free office space, counseling, mentoring and many other benefits.
It does take a small equity percentage for each startup accepted into the program.
Started in 2011, Based in capital city Islamabad, i2i (invest2innovate) is an accelerator for early and mid-stage startups looking to make a social impact. The program is spread over four months but it does not require startups to be present in-house. It has option of working remotely. Invest2Innovate features a total six in-person sessions spread across many cities in Pakistan. They take equity in the range of 1.5 to 3 percent from each startup accepted into the program.
PlanX is the largest tech incubator in the country, also sister incubator of Plan9 (Initiative of PITB (Punjab Information Technology Board) Pakistan. Located in Lahore, program is six month longer but provides continuing support, free space and consultancy to mid-stage startups without taking equity.
Microsoft Innovation Center
The Microsoft Innovation Center primary concern to utilize technical skills by using Microsoft tools, It has programs in both Lahore and Karachi. Microsoft Innovation Center offers accepted startups a wide range of free Microsoft enterprise software products. And also provides coaches and mentoring to each startup.
Technology Incubation Center
The Technology Incubation Center is an initiative of the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), located in Islamabad. As its associated with technology university, most of the startups housed in the incubator have a focus on hardware, engineering, and big data.
It also offers startups free office space and mentorship, taking a small equity percentage in return.
DotZero ventures started in August 2013. They are budding entrepreneurs and startups. It provides 24×6 space, mentoring and networking. It has raises funding for tech startups.
Its founding members recently launched an angel investment fund to encourage the growth of the investment landscape in Pakistan.
Basecamp operates an invite-only co-working facility based in Peshawar. There are a number of events, including Startup Weekend Peshawar and TEDx Peshawar, and it hopes to promote entrepreneurship through community-led efforts. KPK is lucky by having such kind of incubators.
The Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur training and startup launch program, operating a local chapter in Karachi and Islamabad.
Founder Institute program structured over three and a half months, with startups meeting once a week. Each startup must contribute 3.5 percent equity to an “options pool” and pay a one-time fee of US$250 to be accepted.
Founded in May 2015, A private tech incubator started by NetSol , A leading software company in Pakistan. Recently many startups incubated in Nspire and going to be launch soon this year.
Located in Lahore, they claimed to be first privately-managed incubator in Pakistan. It functions on a rolling basis, accepting startups all year round.
The tech incubator takes a big amount of equity, though. Startups have to part with 10 percent just to use its co-working space and a lot more if they wish to get mentoring, consulting, and potential investment.
WeCreate Pakistan is an entrepreneurial community center exclusively for women looking to start or expand an existing business. The program based over 15 weeks and is backed by the US Department of State.
Velocity is Telenor Pakistan’s initiative. The digital incubator selects startups from their network partners, who are usually other incubators, and help the selected startups get access to market, distribution, payment gateways etc.
Jazz’s ‘National Incubation Center
Mobilink and TeamUp to Setup National Incubation Center in Islamabad, under the National ICT R&D Fund and will be aligned with the government’s vision of a Digital Pakistan. The service provider Teamup will run this incubation under the direct guidance of Zouhair Khaliq and Parvez Abbasi leveraging mobilink’s connection and resources. Mobilink has collaborated with LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship (LCE) to provide support and mentorship.