The first pitching competition of PakImpactInvest was held online on 22nd and 23rd May in which 29 startups from Ignite’s National Incubation Centers, Ignite-funded projects, and AP’s network pitched their business plans to national and international investors from North America, Europe, and Pakistan.
50 individual & institutional investors and 6 top business incubators and accelerators from 14 countries participated in the two-day event.
PakImpactInvest is an initiative of Ignite – National Technology Fund and Ministry of IT & Telecom in collaboration with Accelerate Prosperity. It is a national investment platform to connect local startups and national/international investors including commercial and impact investors, venture capitalists, donors, and philanthropists.
Earlier, through a rigorous selection process, top 30 startups and growth businesses representing various verticals were selected for this two-day online pitching event. These pitching sessions were evaluated by a judging panel comprising of Mr. Yusuf Hussain, Head Venture Capital HBL, Mr. Kamruddin Shams, Chairman The Shams Group, and Mr. Shanul Haq, CEO Accretif Capital Inc.
In his message, Federal Minister for IT & Telecom, Syed Amin Ul Haque congratulated the winning entrepreneurs who are making a contribution to the socio-economic landscape of Pakistan through new jobs, revenue, and investments.
In his inaugural speech, Secretary IT & Telecom, Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui said that it is heartening to see the young entrepreneurs contesting to raise investments for scaling up their businesses in these testing times of COVID-19.
He also reminded the audience of a recent feather in the cap of the Ministry of IT & Telecom and Ignite whereby Ignite’s flagship program of National Incubation Centers has been declared as one of the 5 Champions in the category of Enabling Environment at the recently announced World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Prizes 2021.
Earlier, in his welcome address, CEO Ignite, Mr. Asim Shahryar Husain, stated that Ignite and AP teams have worked feverishly since February this year to organize this impactful event to create linkages between NIC and AP startups and national and international investors.
The winner of the pitching event announced by CEO Ignite at the closing ceremony was Fowrry, an e-commerce platform for groceries, followed by 1st runner up, Prime Genetics which focuses on genetics for improving cattle’s productivity, and 2nd runner up, Healthyabi which provides medical equipment on rental & sales, critical care for infections, and nutrition services.
Congratulating the winners in his concluding remarks he said, “It’s just the beginning of a series of investor events this year to be organized by Ignite and NICs to create linkages between Pakistani startups and national and international investors.”
“He said that many investors have expressed investment interest in startups who pitched at the event with an investment commitment of Rs. 41 million so far which is expected to cross Rs. 100 million in the future after due diligence by investors,” he added.
There were two-panel discussions during the event on factors investors look at for investing in startups as well as investment opportunities in Pakistan. Panelists included Mr. Junaid Imam, Mr. Salim Ahmed, Mr. Yusuf Hussain, Mr. Kamruddin Shams, Mr. Zeeshan Shahid, Ms. Anita Haqqani.
Executive Director, Mr. Imran Shams, said in his concluding remarks, “This is not the end of the journey. AP will continue to assist MoITT and Ignite to expand the platform with an ambition to register more than 500 national and international investors which will lead to better investment opportunities for startups across Pakistan.”