National Incubation Center (NIC) Lahore, the country’s most cohesive experiential development platform for entrepreneurs held an exclusive investor event, The Foundation Investor Summit, to mark the graduation of its first cohort of start-ups. These start-ups went through an intense, 4-month-long, start-up development boot-camp at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUSM) and have been mentored by some of the best individuals in the industry. The start-ups were selected by an elite, independent panel of business leaders, 4 months ago after a nationwide search.
The Foundation Investor Summit was held at the NIC Lahore Auditorium at LUMS. The event included a mix of both local and foreign investors who came to show support to these businesses including Faisal Dawood of DESCON, Sohail Sadiq of Din Industries, Tabish Gohar of Dubai International Festival City, Adnan Jawad Siddiqui and Asad Jafri of Acumen Fund among others.
The Summit opened with a welcome address by Faisal Jalil Sherjan, Director NIC Lahore. Addressing the audience, Mr. Sherjan said, “The Investor Summit at the end of The Foundation Incubation Programme is the climactic moment for incubated companies in each cohort. Having spent 4 rigorous months at The Foundation, this is the moment all start-up founders have been working towards; going up in front of a room full of investors with a 5-minute pitch. It’s the best opportunity to test their business case and many conversations start on this day which lead to investment in the companies pitching and they land on the runway to growth. We have many quality companies pitching at this investment summit also and are confident there will be many winners”.
A total of 21 start-ups pitched their businesses to the investor panel including Story Kit, a business creating books and games for children to increase language proficiency through reading; EdxLink, an online platform for preparation of matric and intermediate exams and test checking solutions for teachers; Ayeco, an IT company developing sophisticatedly designed android and voice controlled wheelchairs for the disabled and Qanoon Online, Pakistan’s first online lawyers market place, bringing automation in legal industry. Other start-ups included, Lahore Amateur Theatre Zealot (LATZ), an entertainment company reviving and reclaiming theatre; Fine Traders, a platform providing easy instalment and delivery of electronic goods; EdTech Worx, an experiential learning platform that offers online digital products for business education targeting university students and corporate executives, amongst others.
NIC Lahore is a one of its kind innovation space for passionate entrepreneurs and disrupters with facilities such as Smart Lab, Design Thinking Lab, Usability Lab, various libraries and an in-house auditorium. The centre will soon be launching the first ever Makers Lab in Pakistan, a modern facility equipped with the latest technologies and smart equipment to bring ideas to life.
The National Incubation Center will welcome its second cohort of start-ups in May.