BaseCamp: Start-up Hub in Peshawar

While a lot of the famous start-ups that turned into billion-dollar companies started in garages and basements, there are better options available to today’s startups in terms of finding working space. One option is working in a co-working space, organized in a way so multiple startups can share resources like office space, networking opportunities and knowledge base. These co-working spaces can simply be an office space sharing situation, or be more like an incubator which provides services such as connecting startups with mentors, investors and experts, providing training on critical issues and assist startups with business advice.

Basecamp in Peshawar is one such co-working space that provides multiple services that startups can find useful, especially when they are shared across a group of them. The name, according to the founder, sits well with the concept of a base camp at the beginning of a mountaineering trip to the summit. Basecamp’s story might usually be told with a focus on its unique location in one of the most volatile parts of the country, but that is definitely not something that is limiting or defining them.

Perks and Features

This is standard stuff- Basecamp is doing all it can to make themselves a great space for startups. This includes having a criteria to make sure the best talent gets to work together, strong logistical features like high speed internet, backup power and comfortable furniture (the chairs don’t look that comfortable, but the overall space looks nice) and then all the sources that incubators provide like connections with other entrepreneurs, experts and investors.

I am sure they are doing and planning for increasing their capabilities and also adjusting with time according to the kind of feedback that they receive from their initial guests. Their location does give them an edge in terms of being perhaps the only/leading service in this space, and therefore, a lot of room to maneuver and experiment till they have everything in the right place.

Current Participants

Six startups are currently using Basecamp’s services as they grow and develop. These include two biotech companies: The Bioeconomy Unit and Averos; two events: TedX Peshawar and Startup Weekend (powered by Kauffman Foundation); and Social Enterprises: The Digital League and Peshawar 2.0.

This is an interesting set of ideas/companies, and kind of reflects the landscape that Peshawar can be generalized to be in terms of the startup scene. Being host to good hospitals and medical school, biotechnology can be the city’s strength – and the remaining startups focus on bringing people together to develop the startup culture in the city.

One to Follow

There is definitely immense potential for basecamp to turn into a full-time incubator, and host and collaborate with startups of all kind. The thing with these things is that they attract people who are already in the business, but more importantly, they provide encouragement to people who are on the edge and can be brought over by the availability of such a facility where you can group up with likeminded people and work on similar projects.

It would be important for Basecamp’s progress for them to get the word out and about as much as they can. This would help them create a network of local experts, investors and entreprenuers who might be able to help their cause in different ways.

It might also be worth collaborating with incubators and universities with incubator-like departments in other cities to maintain a knowledge-sharing platform or an opportunity for startups in Peshawar to participate in bigger events or have access to even more resources.

Money, Membership and Registration

The website had details and a form where you can sign up for membership. There are various packages available starting from a day pass to a year-long pass. The packages are named on the basecamp theme: Wanderer (day pass), Wayfarer (week pass), Basecamper (month pass), Mountaineer (6-month pass) and Voyager (year pass). All passes other than the day pass require registration as a member of Basecamp, which is a separate once-a-year requirement to use the facilities.

There is a lot of flexibility there and the pricing looks pretty reasonable too. If you are a start-up in Peshawar looking to join a club of other startups, Basecamp looks like the right place to go to.

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