The Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan has added one more achievement to the list of facilities they curate for the Pakistani youth. Amongst making available Coursera programs at discounted rates and providing electric wheelchairs for the disabled, HEC has taken one step further. In empowering the students, the country’s future, they are introducing seed funding for startup ideas that have weight.
HEC Innovator Seed Fund
Taking it to Twitter, HEC announced that they are launching an Innovator Seed Fund process. Through this process, the organization will see which startup idea has the potential of becoming a full-fledged organization. Once seeing that, they will provide the student with the idea, the Innovator Seed Fund.
𝐈𝐧𝐧𝐨𝐯𝐚𝐭𝐨𝐫 𝐒𝐞𝐞𝐝 𝐅𝐮𝐧𝐝 (𝐈𝐒𝐅)
— HEC Pakistan (@hecpkofficial) December 17, 2021
HEC delved into the details of the ISF explaining that it is a part of Higher Education Development in Pakistan. This project belongs to the World Bank and HEC is implementing it on their behalf in Pakistan. Should you qualify for the funding, you can get it up to USD 35,000. But that will depend on the budget that you require as mentioned in your plans.
The priority fields
While all startup ideas are appreciated, keeping Pakistan’s situation in consideration, some fields will have priority. These fields include:
- Agriculture, Food Resources, and Agricultural Technology
- Housing, Construction, and Manufacturing
- Banking, Microfinance, and Financial Technology
- Health Care and Health Technology
- Transportation and Logistics
- Education and Educational Technology
- E-Commerce and Smart Retail
- Sustainable Development, Climate, and Energy
- Emerging Technologies
- Creative, Digital Media, Arts and Culture
- Metallurgy and related subjects
- Other sectors with potential for growth and impact
In order to be considered, the applicants will have to apply through the HEC portal. There is a specified deadline to apply so make sure you have your idea outlined to have a strong case. The deadline, for now, is January 15th, 2021. The applicant, however, must already be a startup owner and have endorsement from HEC specified Business Incubation Centres. They should also possess a Security & Exchange Commission (SECP) registration number as per Pakistan’s law.
And if you are not a student but would like to guide them towards success, there is also the opportunity to be their mentor. Of course, it is a facility only for people within the mentor pool. But if you are in the pool, then submit a 500 words motivation letter among other documents to the HEC and wait to be selected.
Hopefully, many unicorns will emerge from this initiative.
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