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Starting Up: List of all Incubators and Accelerators in Pakistan

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2 years ago

Incubators

The modern generation of Pakistan is not afraid to strike out on its own, often venturing into uncharted territories with their hopes and dreams leading them on. This is probably the reason for the sudden influx of startups that we see throughout the country. While trying to become an entrepreneur sounds glamorous, it can be a disaster unless one is equipped with the right tools and more importantly the correct mindset.

This is where incubators and accelerators come in. These are new terms for our nation as we are still at the very infancy of the new startup culture. In our ignorance we often use the two terms interchangeably. Incubators serve as mentors for startups; guiding them and helping them network with the right kind of people. Accelerators on the other hand are more structured and goal oriented. They often have a specific time period in mind and work on achieving important milestones.

Ambition often turned sour in the past as aspiring entrepreneurs struggled to find investors and the right market for their products. Today thanks to the modern technology it is possible to make a global impact in a very short time, provided you have a sound idea. Incubators and accelerators provide the added polish required for success and also help in garnering funds from major investors.

List of Incubators and Accelerators in Pakistan

Plan 9: This is the biggest Government owned incubator from Punjab Information Technology Board. The Lahore based incubator offers consultancy, mentoring and even office space to its startups. This incubator does not take any percentage from the equity of the startup, it does not provide any direct funding to startups either. The incubator provides the right contacts for acquiring funding instead. This largest public sector incubator has several success stories under its belt and Tech startups are its specialty. Magision, Capital Stake, Mavenzo and Club Internet are some of the incubatees of Plan 9.

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Invest2Innovate (i2i): This is an accelerator that is renowned for its mentoring capabilities. Invest2Innovate selects aspiring entrepreneurs with potential and tutors them on the art of starting a business for 4 months and also grooms them as future CEOs. The company also helps the startups in networking, connecting them with investors and fund providers. The accelerator conducts programs both in Karachi and Lahore. Some of its successful startups include Bliss, Dheere Bolo and Meri Taleem.

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The Foundation: This accelerator is actually a teaching program from the Lahore Institute of Management Sciences (LUMS) Center for Entrepreneurship. The program selects promising startups and trains them in a 4 month program. Based on its percentage stake in the startup’s equity, The Foundation also provides office space and a stipend for those under training. Interrata, biz clout, Cognitica and Savaree are some of the important startups associated with this accelerator.

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Plan X: This is an offshoot of Plan 9 and is free of cost as well. The accelerator offers a 6 month program to tech startups that have already been in the market for some time and need a gentle hand to guide them to the path of success. This is a recently launched accelerator from Lahore and has several impressive startups in its portfolio which include Travly, XGear and Baby Planet.

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The Nest.IO: This P@SHA’s tech incubator is the newest entrant into the incubator world. It is funded partly by the U.S. State Department and is based in Karachi. The incubator provides 4 months incubation programs that mentor startups, help them find investors and provide workspace as well.

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CED IBA: Institution of Business Administration, Karachi has joined hands with Aman Foundation to come up with Centre for Entrepreneurial Development, an incubator meant to train promising young business graduates. This incubator focuses on teaching its young entrepreneurs the art of selling their startups the right way. This incubator trains both males and females and includes Stallion Deliveries, LOL and Fakat in its impressive list of incubatees.

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Mini Ventures: This is an Angel seed fund that helps startups by providing them the initial capital required to become profitable establishments. The venture also helps startups by helping them connect with the influential people in the industry.

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Peracha Organisation: This accelerator supports tech related companies. It helps those firms that have developed products and are not in the prototype stage. The accelerator helps such firms get in touch with the right customers and prospective partners. It also provides grants and funds whenever required.

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MIT Enterprise of Pakistan: MITEP is an enterprise that aims to promote the IT companies of Pakistan and help them reach their full potential. It offers a Business Acceleration Program (BAP) that exposes such firms to the US markets and investors. MITEP also provides mentoring, helps in networking and also helps in creating a long term relationship with MIT.

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SEED Incubation Center: This incubator provides support to fresh graduates with big ideas. The incubator provides mentoring, helps in the research during the very infancy of the startup and also helps with business development. In the later stages the incubator helps with funding, office space, networking and legal guidance.

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Venexel: This incubator provides initial training and guidance. It also helps with the funding of the startup once the essential ideas are in place. The company also connects its startups with technical co-founders for further assistance.

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Jumpstart Pakistan: This Company mentors startups and provides them the initial seed funding. Jumpstart Pakistan helps young entrepreneurs connect with the who’s who in their field and also learn from the experiences of other successful entrepreneurs.

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Business Incubation Center University of Agriculture: This business incubation facility is established in the University of Agriculture Faisalabad. The idea here is to provide technical assistance and guidance to startups and help them grow by providing them the required resources. The centre has advanced laboratories for researching new ideas. Startups often spring from just a single excellent idea.

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Cyan Capital: This is a private equity firm that funds large companies wanting to grow further locally or internationally. Generally, well established Pakistan firms, run by promising leaders are the recipients of the loans from Cyan Capital. It invests between PKR 700 million ($6.72 million) and PKR 4000 million ($38.44 million).

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Arpatech: This is a firm that specializes in providing solutions to any technological issues that companies might be facing. The company also helps startups in all the stages of their establishment. Starting from the conceptualization of the idea, to the networking required a little later, the company provides it all. Arpatech Ventures also provides seed capital to deserving startups.

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Breeze Angel Investments: This Company provides seed capital and mentoring to promising technology startups. They prefer a stake in the firm and provide aid in all aspects of its working, including the initial product strategies and networking.

DYL Ventures: The firm mentors startups, providing them support and guidance to grow their business. They help with the marketing of the startup and also with the initial funding that is undertaken by the global partners of DYL Ventures.

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Dotzero: This is a business consulting firm which provides co-working space for hire. The company provides funds ranging from $5,000 to $250,000.

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Business Incubation Center University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences: University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) has launched this incubation center in its Lahore campus. The center mentors young companies providing consulting services. It also helps startups through financial aid, marketing and networking assistance.

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SMEDA: The Government of Pakistan launched Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA) in 1998 in order to promote small and medium industries. The initiative provides business development to SMEs and also helps them in acquiring funding. It tutors them on the important aspects pertaining to the growth of business.

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NUST Technology Incubation Center: The Technology Incubation Center from National University of Sciences and Technology aims to develop technology based business ideas and promotes them into viable startup options. TIC provides office space and business support to startups.

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Cloud 9 Startups: This is an incubator for technology startups. The company mentors local talent and provides business support to the fledgling companies right from their idea stage. It also has a venture fund that provides a seed funding up to Rs 1 million.

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TiE Islamabad Chapter: A group of successful entrepreneurs and business analysts launched The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) in 1992. This initiative aims to mentor and train the aspiring young entrepreneurs who have what it takes to be a successful business leader. TiE helps with the funding of startups by connecting them to the right investors.

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ICT RnD Fund: This is a fund that brings academia and industries together allowing new research ideas to transform into lucrative business initiatives. The fund provides funds for research and development of ground breaking technological ideas.

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COMSATS Incubation centre: The Business Incubation Center at COMSATS Institute of Technology helps convert the research ideas of the institute into viable business opportunities. The centre aims to prepare the society for a business revolution through trainings and knowledge sessions. It provides business support to startups.

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Basecamp: This company provides co-working space to startups. This is a first of a kind initiative in Peshawar and has been welcomed with open arms by the local techies.

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KPK Incubation Center: This incubation center at Peshawar provides incubation space. It provides business support to startups helping them grow. The center also provides seed funding up to Rs 1 million.

The Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Incubation, IBA, Sukkur: This incubation center is another successful amalgamation of academia and industry. The incubator which is a part of the IBA University provides business support to startups. It also helps them with their funding by connecting them to the right set of investors.

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Microsoft Innovation Center

Microsoft in collaboration with Lahore and Punjab information technology board helps bring success to startup ideas that have the potential for growth. Its a unique program to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. MIC is also present in Karachi.

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These accelerators and incubators are playing a major role in the startup boom in Pakistan. With their guidance and tutelage our nation might still be able to become the new Silicon Valley of South Asia.

image credit: bigstockphoto.com

Hemendra writes about Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology. He's passionate about startups, Game of Thrones and long drives in the mountains. Connect with him on Twitter.

  • Syeda Sidra

    Links to their websites would have been much appreciated. Nevertheless Good post.

    • Syeda, we are glad you liked the post. We will add the links shortly. Thanks for reading!

  • Usman ur Rehman Ahmd

    Clearly the writer isn’t up to date and doesn’t contain adaquate information. Capital Stack along with many other startups (XGear, SmackFactory, etc.) is enjoying space, free software and technology assistance at Microsoft Innovation Center, Lahore. There’s another Microsoft Innovation Center in Karachi that produced startups like Print3D- Pakistan.
    Microsoft Innovation Centers are Technology accelerators that host startups and provide state of the art technical enablement.

    • Usman, Thank you for sharing the info, I have updated the article. As is the case with most list based articles, it’s never really complete :) We always appreciate our readers community contributing to make it more comprehensive!

  • Founder Institute Karachi & Islamabad Chapters are also not listed here.

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