In the recent years, Pakistan has witnessed a surge in popularity for the start ups — and surely we have been seeing a lot more activity in this area as compared to yester years.
The only problem faced by the new talent is the lack of guidance, opportunities and funding, which usually a major reason for the failure of launching new start ups.
There are various incubators working in Pakistan offering their mentor-ship and access to investors, in those incubators the Lahore University of Management Science LUMS Entrepreneurial Center LCE is notable and is regarded as an epitome of excellence. The LUMS Entrepreneurial Center states its vision to
Become the largest breeding ground of sustainable, high-growth commercial and high-impact social ventures in Pakistan.
Given its location and plinth, it is expected to become the new start up-focused development support and center in the country. To raise the bar high they have commenced a business incubator project called “The Foundation”.
Teams from all over Pakistan were invited to grab a spot at The Foundation. There are to be cycles every year in which people will participate with each cycle lasting for about four months providing a chance to as many people as possible to benefit.
These talented contestants were filtered through to the final contest and once they are finalized for incubation, The Foundation will provide sufficient exposure and financial help to stabilize the success of the selected start ups.
There are no set of rules to follow for their judgement for finalizing the presented ideas.
Their main focus will be on the best project that can possibly target a massive number of people and the chosen ones will acquire all the facilities and basic infrastructure to minimize the hurdles which keeps them from paying heed to the dedicated project.
A total of ten teams went through the procedure of selection and eight teams out of them were lucky enough to prop their spot at LCE’s Foundation program.
These 8 teams will now get the benefit of grooming and getting mentor-ship from the professionals. These teams will be motivated and monitored to help them grow their businesses.
The foundation is currently running on three different programs that are based on equity ratio and availability. The programs are lined up below:
The 2.5% Equity Program
Two teams are selected under this program who will get access to mentors at LUMS, access to their non-resident acceleration program, will enjoy PR Support plus a chance to pitch their idea at the Startup Summit . These are:
- Appography: Previously a part of Plan9, Appography have launched their app Vivid, which transforms audio-only Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to an amazing visual and touch experience.
- Maro: The company aims to launch a complete new concept of a network of Tandoors that will provide Roti to the consumers which will not only be healthy but will also be available at affordable price.
The 5% Equity Program
Teams under this program will not only enjoy the benefits of the 2.5% equity program but will get additional benefits like access to the co-sharing office space where teams can enjoy all the services and facilities that are available in LUMS. However, cash stipend is offered for this incubation program.
- OneClout: A company with a vision of creating their own web stores is gearing up to provide cutting edge software products and solution that will facilitate different Small and Medium Enterprise throughout the country.
- Savaree: The company named after their famous app “Savaree” has introduced a new concept of carpooling in Pakistan. They managed to grab the 3rd position in LUMS Entrepreneurship Challenge and on this basis have been chosen to enroll in LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship Program.
The 7.5% Equity Program
Teams in this category will enjoy the benefits in the above mentioned programs along with sustenance stipend for entrepreneurs.
- Bugdev Studios: They a bunch of creative games on their achievements list. They basically are mobile game developers triggering more and more people with their creativity and passion.
- Beed: This team is made up of LUMS and NUST graduates and is working on making all broadcast content interactive by the help of smartphones.
- PublicEye: A team from Islamabad working actively on building a reliable social, location-based, awareness platform for the inmates to make administrative departments and corporations ponder on the development priorities.
- Cognitica: An augmented reality based game maker for children developing mobile and marketing solutions. It was coined by three students from FAST Islamabad.
Indeed a great initiative coined by LCE which will benefit the participants on equal grounds by providing them with a temporary office space to give them a professional feel and a head start on developing an organised setup and on top of that is the promise made by The Foundation to give them satiating exposure and coverage through media.
Now the chance has been given to the struggling start ups with a positive approach and waving ideas to grow in new dimensions for the common good of the country.