Pakistan’s National Incubation Center (NIC) in Islamabad has started to accept applications for its seventh cohort starting November 8th, 2019.
What is an Incubator?
The goal of an incubator is to help new startups develop so that they are “able to operate independently” and become financially stable. Incubators help startups “solve problems associated with launching a startup” by providing seed funding, office space, mentoring, and many other benefits.
What is National Incubation Center?
NIC was launched in February 2017 and is now home to 142 startups. 308 founders, from which 55 are female entrepreneurs, run these companies. Over the past 2.5 years, six cohorts have been incubated. The first three have already graduated with the fourth ready to graduate soon. The fifth and sixth cohorts are still undergoing incubation.
- Islamabad (February 2017)
- Lahore (December 2017)
- Peshawar (January 2018)
- Karachi (May 2018)
- Quetta (May 2018)
Since its launch, NIC has created a large economic impact on Pakistan’s economy. So far, the startups created 2,073 direct and 2,803 indirect jobs bringing the grand total to 4,876. In addition, they have raised PKR 551M+ in investments and generated revenue of 412M+. During this time, the startups have also represented Pakistan at various international conferences.
- NIC announces its applications twice a year. Then, candidates apply from across Pakistan.
- When the applications close, a panel interviews the shortlisted candidates.
- Shortly after the interview, NIC announces the results.
- In the meantime, startups get a one-year rent-free space to scale their ideas.
- Startups are assessed based on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The startups that meet the requirements are recommended to graduate.
- Finally, startups graduate after one year of incubation cycle and become part of the NIC alumni network.
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National Incubation Center Offers
Among other facilities the National Incubation Center provides:
- A rent-free office space.
- Mentorship and training.
- Design, Marketing, Finance, and legal support.
- Custom one-year curriculum.
- Industry connections.
- Access to investor and grant opportunities.
NIC Events and How to Apply?
National Incubation Center is holding three events in November:
First, the Startup Huddle is taking place on November 21st at NIC Islamabad. The event brings together entrepreneurs who share their success stories and the challenges they faced at the start of their journey.
Moreover, the Entrepreneurship Boot-Camp is being hosted by SmT at the National Incubation Center in Islamabad on November 21st and 22nd. It is a two-day event for differently-abled persons, with the goal of helping attendees start their own small business.
Lastly, NIC’s Open House is on November 29th. All aspiring entrepreneurs will get a chance to talk and connect with the team, mentors and other startups.
Register for the events here.
Interested candidates can apply by completing this application. With this in mind, women and minority groups are highly encouraged to apply. Also, startups from all genres including biotech, fintech, IoT, are urged to apply for the program. For further details please visit NIC’s website.
The last date to apply for the seventh cohort is December 7th, 2019.
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Javeria Qureshi is a Content Writer and Web Developer at Codematics Inc. In her free time, you can find her watching Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, reading books or drinking chai. Search for her articles under the hashtag #JQArticle on Twitter or LinkedIn.