The National ICT and R&D Fund (NICTRDF) has awarded the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) a project worth PKR 600 million to set-up the National Incubation Centre (NIC) in Lahore. The Lahore NIC will be one of the largest in the country and part of the 5 regional NICs that the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom is funding through NICTRDF for promotion of entrepreneurship in the country.
The team at LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship (LCE) will be leading the design and execution of the incubator. The grant from NICTRDF will fund the capital expenditure and operational costs of the NIC for 5 years during which time the NIC is expected to support 200 new businesses.
The experiential development programme pioneered by LCE, its vast network of industry mentors and investors, access to world-class research, high energy campus environment, coupled with the LUMS brand and its academic ecosystem are the prominent features of the planned NIC in Lahore.
Several partners will be supporting LUMS in this endeavour including Fatima Ventures which contributed PKR 50M for the creation of a Maker Lab inside NIC and will be a premier corporate ally of LUMS. Other support partners include Entrepreneurial Development Advisory Services, 47 Ventures, Oxford Global Ventures, Bank Alfalah, Startup Weekend, CA Toast Masters and Pirana Group.
While commenting on the award, Prof. Dr. S. Sohail H. Naqvi, Vice Chancellor of LUMS, stated, “LUMS was founded by Pakistan’s leading entrepreneurs with a vision to become an internationally acclaimed research university that serves society. This grant by NICTRDF validates the work LUMS has already done to promote entrepreneurship and provides us the resources to scale our endeavours to new heights. We are grateful to NICTRDF and the Ministry of IT and Telecom for the trust they have placed in LUMS.”
The NIC facility, to be located inside LUMS, will house the incubation programme, a Plug N Play centre, Pakistan’s first complete Maker Lab, a design thinking lounge, a usability lab and other resources and amenities necessary to scout and groom the next generation of business leaders and job creators of Pakistan.