ISLAMABAD: The national incubation centres (NICs) of the country have helped raise Rs21 billion investment for 1,200 startups or new companies in the country.
Seven such centres have been established in different cities of the country and these are under the regulatory control of Ignite National Technology Fund, commonly known only as Ignite.
Among all these centres, the Islamabad Incubation Centre has achieved the milestone of providing the most advanced technical support to new companies.
Asim Shahryar, the CEO of Ignite National Technology Fund, told journalists at NIC Islamabad on Wednesday that the basic idea of incubation centres was to encourage young professionals to become entrepreneurs instead of seeking government or private jobs.
The initiative aims at encouraging young professionals to become entrepreneurs
He said that innovative ideas were important, but executing them was more important. He said the NIC Islamabad had been established with the help of the private sector.
He said these incubation centres were meant to provide facilities to nurture and accelerate the growth of new businesses by providing office space, access to mentors, investors and shared services.
Mr Shahryar said that NIC Islamabad had been established in collaboration with Jazz and it had incubated 295 startups attracting over Rs7 billion investment and generating over Rs5.6 billion sales revenues.
The startups in NIC Islamabad, he said, had created more than 20,000 jobs and most of the funding in these fresh companies had come from abroad.
Aamer Ejaz, Jazz’s chief digital officer, told journalists on the occasion that “Jazz xlr8” was the country’s premier accelerator programme and it was helping startups to enroll in the programme to grow at a faster pace, with many technologies that were available only in the NIC, Islamabad.
“While 31 startups have been incubated in Islamabad, 11 of them got the opportunity to showcase their ideas and products at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona,” Mr Ejaz said.
He said that due to safe and facilitating environment not only 24 per cent of NIC Islamabad’s startup founders were female, but the centre had won awards for its wheelchair-friendliness.
Mr Ejaz said that among the state-of-the-art technologies in NIC Islamabad were “eye-tracking usability lab” suited for app developers and this was one of the only two such commercial facilities available in the country.
Published in Dawn, March 23rd, 2023
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