According to the Pakistan Entrepreneurship Ecosystem report from 2016, “the environment that supports the growth of business” also known as the entrepreneurial ecosystem, is growing with an increase in the number of incubators, co-working spaces, competition and other helping factors.
In 2015, the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA) opened The Nest I/O technology incubator in Karachi in partnership with Google For Entrepreneurs and Samsung along with support from the US State Department to make it easier for new entrepreneurs to develop their ideas and businesses. Over the course of some two plus years, this space has provided dozens of entrepreneurs with access to mentors, training, products for testing and developing, community events and more, also allowing entrepreneurs to showcase their products to potential investors. The incubator, which was the first of its kind for Karachi, at least, is able to provide startups with the opportunity to connect with other start up hubs all over the world and take advantage of tech experts from Samsung and Google Network.
Just last week, Google announced the opening of its Launchpad Accelerator to a whole new lot of countries, including Pakistan. In this recent addition, countries that have been added include:
- Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Tanzania, Tunisia & Uganda
- Asia: Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan & Sri Lanka
- Europe: Estonia, Romania, Ukraine, Belarus & Russia
- Latin America: Costa Rica, Panama, Peru & Uruguay
For the fifth batch of the program, developers or growth stage startups can now apply for a spot in the equity-free program till October 2, 2017 at 9AM PST after which a selected few will be invited to San Francisco for an all-expense paid two-weeks training session at the Google HQ.
Once selected the teams will be able to avail advice and mentoring from 20+ Google teams, expert mentors from top technology companies and VCs in Silicon Valley along with free support, PR support, the opportunity to work closely with Google back in their own country for a period of 6 months and even get credits for Google products. They have a series of requirements available on their website.
Even though entrepreneurs from Pakistan have been all over the globe now, thanks to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and the partnership opportunities that it has brought in, this will definitely prove to be very helpful for entrepreneurs who struggle in Pakistan to develop their ideas in an unstable environment without expert guidance. It is an opportunity to bring Pakistan on par with its competition around the world. Don’t miss the deadline!