The Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) has launched Regional Plan9 — a network of incubators for technology startups across the province, it emerged on Monday.
Under the plan, PITB will be launching nine incubation centres in Lahore, Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Faisalabad, Multan, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Sahiwal and Sargodha in partnership with public sector universities, the board said in a statement.
Of these centres, the ones in Lahore, Bahawalpur and Sargodha will start functioning in April, it added.
Elaborating on the board's plan, the statement said "Regional Plan9 aims to inculcate a technology driven entrepreneurial mindset across the province that will be the key to expanding and strenghthening the startup ecosystem."
The selected startups will be provided several services, including free office space, monthly stipends, networking opportunities, mentoring and trainings.
"Each service is tailored and targeted to enable, support and sustain the startups to transform their idea into a functional product/service," the statement said, adding that programme was based on a zero-equity model.
"By harnessing the collective power of technology and entrepreneurship, the project is geared towards empowering through provision of equitable access to entrepreneurial opportunities across Punjab," it further said.
For the selection process, Regional Plan9 will hold "The Launchpad" to "induct startups using an eligibility criteria and a judicious process that involves input by domain experts".
Professionals from the industry, mentors and academicians will also be present at the event, the date for which has not yet been announced. The centers situated in Lahore, Sargodha, Bahawalpur and Lahore will commence operations in the month of April, according to a PITB statement.
Interested startups can access the application form here.