In Islamabad on 22nd March, 2023, since its founding, the National Incubation Center (NIC) Islamabad, a partnership between Pakistan’s top internet operator Jazz and Ignite, has supported 295 companies across 12 cohorts, allowing them to raise over Rs 7 billion in investment and over Rs 5.6 billion in sales revenue. By generating nearly 20,000 new jobs, these firms have also helped Pakistan’s economy expand.

Today’s interactive session featured Aamer Ejaz, Jazz’s Chief Digital Officer, Asim Shahryar, Ignite’s CEO, and Parvez Abbasi, the NIC’s Program Director. They talked about the NIC’s role in fostering innovation, fostering entrepreneurship, and supporting the nation’s startup ecosystem. Hundreds of mentors, angel investors, and venture capital firms can be reached through the NIC, giving entrepreneurs a platform to create valuable solutions to address the most challenging socioeconomic hurdles.

Speaking on this occasion, Aamer Ejaz said, “As Pakistan’s leading digital operator, Jazz is committed to accelerating the local startup ecosystem and driving innovation in the country. It is heartening to witness the growth these startups are bringing, and we look forward to nurturing more startups and contributing to economic growth and development.” He added, “I am confident that our partnership with Ignite will continue to inspire, enable, engage and facilitate startups ecosystem and promote entrepreneurship in the country.”

Asim Shahryar, CEO of Ignite, shared his thoughts on the government’s ambition to make Pakistan a digital and innovation hub in order to hasten the nation’s socioeconomic growth. He believed that the government was committed to enhancing the exposure and entrepreneurial abilities of the youth and assisting them in reaching their full potential. Ignite opened 7 additional NICs across Pakistan in Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, and Rawalpindi after starting with NIC Islamabad in 2016–17. Over the past four to five years, these NICs have supported more than 1,200 businesses, which have so far raised more than Rs. 21 billion in funding. He said, “Currently, we are working on opening a first-of-its-kind accelerator program and establishing Centers of Excellence for Gaming and Animation in Karachi and Lahore.”

It is crucial to note that NIC Islamabad also houses Jazz xlr8, Pakistan’s finest accelerator program, helping entrepreneurs enrolled in the program to scale and grow. 31 firms have received incubation through Jazz Xlr8, and 11 startups have had the chance to exhibit their concepts and goods at the 4YFN Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Around 24% of the startup founders at NIC Islamabad are women, and a flagship program called Founder has been introduced to help them further. A daycare facility has also been built for female entrepreneurs and employees so that they can leave their kids there while they work. The institution has garnered awards for its wheelchair-friendliness making it an ideal, stress-free place to work in. One of just two such commercial facilities in Pakistan, the Jazz Xperience Hub contains a cutting-edge eye-tracking usability lab as well. This dedication to giving regional companies a focused platform to innovate has also attracted overseas investment.

Stay tuned to Brandsynario for more news and updates.