There was a time when ideas were born and were left to die a slow death due to the lack of resources. It was easier to have a job than having a business. There was a scarcity of enough people doing business and the entire mindset had shifted heavily towards jobs. This was mainly because of the lack of funding and the absence of a set template for how to create and manage businesses. As the issue rose, more and more minds started thinking on what needs to be done in order to fix this surge towards the job culture.
The Silicon Valley Model
“The Silicon Valley Model” was presented as a solution for the persistent problem of not enough businesses and hence not enough jobs. Many new startups were funded in attempt of bringing back the entrepreneurship culture and promoting business.
While the Silicon Valley Model worked well for some parts of United States of America, it began to falter in developing countries. Due to lack of funding and connections to people with the said funding, housing multiple startups at a single instant in time became a drag and developing countries went back to ‘no startups, only jobs” mode.
The Margalla Hills Model & JumpStart Pakistan
As of now, Pakistan has had its fair share of attempts to replicate The Silicon Valley Model and is yet to see any success. This is where the need for a different approach, a different “Model” comes in. A model that is planned and designed specifically for Pakistan, kept in mind all the limitations and cultural parameters.
March 2014, 3 years ago, JumpStart Pakistan took it upon themselves to bring about change. A change that they envisioned, would one day result in Pakistan’s own Entrepreneurial Model. A model that would counter the need of replicating the Silicon Valley Model and would help changing the mindset of people who believe so.
They tweaked the Silicon Valley model according to the constraints and requirements of Pakistan’s business atmosphere and came up with a new and personalized model. They named it, “The Margalla Hills Model” and its flag bearer company was JumpStart Pakistan.
JumpStart Pakistan, Organically Growing Startups
JumpStart Pakistan is a movement, an idea, and an initiative to change Pakistan through Entrepreneurship. It’s a green house, which is nothing like your conventional incubator since they believe in hand holding and round the clock guidance when it comes to any budding startup. They have such greenhouses up and down Pakistan, in major cities as well as the remote ones where startups grow under the watchful eye of their Shepherds (CEOs of established companies).
They believe in the statistical analysis that solving 1500 of Pakistan’s problems will ultimately fix Pakistan and so have made it their mission to take in new born startup ideas and teach them how build up an idea from scratch, grow it, refine it and then aim for investments to make it thrive into a profiting business.
They have an extensive network of mentors and Shepherds as partners and advisors so that they can channel startups to the right people and the right path. They already have on board, a collection of 50 Shepherds which they aim to take up to 500 who can then take in 1500 startups.
The Change Made
They conduct an annual Startup Idea investment season called Shepherd’s Pie, along the lines of Shark tank and Dragon’s Den, based on innovation where the regional winners not only get investments, but are also given a chance to represent Pakistan in one of the mightiest startup competitions, seedstarsummit* held in Switzerland with the prize money ranging up to $1 Million.
Since JumpStart Pakistan’s beginning, 2 startup ideas by the names DoctHERS and TAME have had the privilege of qualifying for seedstarsummit* and have had a taste of what most people can only dream of. JumpStart Pakistan prides itself in their success and wishes them even better in future.
StartUp City: Making every city of Pakistan a Startup City
Apart from all this, in order to stay true to them being a “movement”, they have continued their initiative called “Startup City” where they plan on making every city of Pakistan a “StartUp City”. To do so, they have taken on board 10 cities this year including:
What the Future Holds
They are currently working on having 10 startup cities up and running in Pakistan alongside the third season of Shepherd’s Pie with the winner going to Switzerland by the end of 2017. If you wish to be a part of their mission and want to bring change, join them at their flagship event, “Change Pakistan Conference 2017” on 25th March in Nishtar Hall, Peshawar.
Here’s wishing them well in their mission of creating a stable entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pakistan. May others like them join their crusade and may we see a safe, stable and entrepreneurial Pakistan really soon Insha Allah!