Weekend of Disruption: The Nest I/O All Set for 021Disrupt!


The Nest I/O is all set to bring the local entrepreneurial ecosystem’s finest (and disruptive!) weekend to Karachi with its first large scale conference; 021 Disrupt.

The hype on social media started a couple of weeks ago, with several updates on the speakers and partners who are joining in to support the ecosystem. The Nest I/O brings the event to you in partnership with the U.S. Consulate General, Pakistan. Partners for the conference include The Bakery as Platinum Sponsor and Habib Bank Ltd. as Exclusive Banking Partner. Silver+ Sponsor is GoTo and Gaditek as Silver, as well as Game Storm Studios and Brainchild Communications. Jehan Ara – Big Bird at The Nest I/O is opening the event, with a welcome Note by Grace Shelton – US Consul General Karachi.

Read: National Incubation Center Peshawar To Take Off in December 2017

The main highlight of the conference is the mix of people coming in from across the ecosystem including local and international influencers. Joining in from across the globe are speakers including Fares Ghandour – Wamda Capital, Frederic Sicre – Abraaj Group, Charles Ludwig – Oman Technology Fund, Sam Mallikarjunan – Executive Strategist – HubSpot, Alden Richards – Consultant Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Brown University, Saad Raja – Bakery, Riyad Abou Jaoudeh – Executive Director ME – Venture Partners, Oman Technology Fund, Felipe Milan – Community Development Manager SendGrid.

IDG reached out to a select few speakers and here’s what they had to say about this oh-so-promising weekend!

Sam Mallikarjunan, Executive Strategist at HubSpot, while speaking to IDG Pakistan reflects on HubSpot’s journey and said:

“In my time watching HubSpot grow into the company it is today, I’ve seen strokes of genius and devastating mistakes. The greatest mistakes I’ve seen have been based on inaction or a refusal to ask for help. This is why growing a robust, local ecosystem is so important. We need people to talk to, to ask for help, and to help in return.

We need to see our friends growing to help spur ourselves on to action to Get Stuff Done. The startup ecosystem helps keep the local, regional, and national economy healthy by providing a laboratory of innovation to drive thinking forward.”

Read: Invest2Innovate Announces Batch Six

Enis Hulli – Venture Partner, 500 Startups Istanbul, sharing his thoughts on the entrepreneurial ecosystem, said:

“I firmly believe that there are brilliant minds and high potential entrepreneurs all around the world. It is a pity that due to geo-political struggles and lack of access to capital, we are missing out on many of the world changing ideas and people. At 500 Startups, we aim to democratize access to capital and distribute Silicon Valley know-how to unleash the real potential in every region.

Pakistan is a largely underserved market, full of local opportunities. But that is not what excites me the most. I’ve met with top-notch entrepreneurs and engineers from Pakistan, who are directly impacting their local ecosystem while exporting their technology globally. I hope to find many more!”

On behalf of Telenor Microfinance Bank CEO, Shahid Mustafa, the bank shared:

“This is very heartening to see 021Disrupt kick off in Karachi with prominent industry people highlighting and discussing challenges that we all currently face. In today’s world, innovation is the only effective key to facilitating people and easing lives, just as we at Telenor Microfinance Bank created Pakistan’s first branchless banking platform Easypaisa to bridge the huge financial inclusion divide.

It’s with such events that we can learn where the digital ecosystem growth in different parts of the world currently stands and what must be done to make more people benefit from continuous innovation in global technology.”

One of the partners for the event, GoTo, spoke to IDG and said:

“Superb initiative by Nest I/O to bring together the tech startup ecosystem under the banner of 021Disrupt. goto.com.pk extends its full support the event as we can see that it will pave the way for a lot of entrepreneurs, meaningful business interactions and fruitful alliances.” – Asad Khan, CEO Goto. 

Shayaan Tahir, Founder and CEO at Homeshopping.pk, shares:

It brings me immense pleasure to be a part of 021Disrupt 2017, providing me with the opportunity to share stage with distinguished speakers at the event.

Lauding the incubator’s efforts on stirring the ecosystem, he adds:

The Nest I/O has always played a vital role in promoting the startup ecosystem in Pakistan. Events such as these where startups get to meet with some of the greatest minds of the industry and a chance to meet international investors all under the same roof is something no startup should miss out on. 

Read: Disrupt and Mix: The Nest I/O and PITB Present Tech Festivals

Muneeb Maayr, Co-founder Daraz.pk, which was the first big hit for Pakistan’s ecommerce industry, is now heading Bykea. Early 2017, Maayr started Bykea as a platform for motorcycle based ride hailing and express delivery application. On 021 Disrupt, Maayr says:

When planning a startup, the first question to ask yourself is: how big is the addressable market? I’m hoping to instill amidst the startup community the need to work to solve real problems for the mass Urdu speaking Pakistani through technology.

From the local ecosystem, 021Disrupt is bringing on board Dr. Umar Saif – Punjab IT Board, Abrar Mir – HBL, Khurram Jamali – Google, Shahid Mustafa – Telenor Microfinance Bank, Ali Mukhtar – Fatima Ventures, Faizan Siddiqi – IMM Jang Media Group, Bjarkke Mikkelsen – Daraz.pk, Monis Rahman – Naseeb Networks, Atif Azim – VentureDive, Yasser Bashir – Arbisoft, Rabeel Warraich – Sarmayacar, Shehryar Hydri – Secretary General P@SHA and many more!

Read more on the sessions, moderators and the workshops on the 021Disrupt website. See you this weekend!