How to Start Up in Kabul (NEW LOCATION)

Date: 2014-07-24, 05:00 PM
Location: Ibtikar ICT Institute , Yaka Tut, Jalalabad Road, Kabul
Kabul is one of the world's fastest growing startup ecosystems, and entrepreneurs here are lucky to have so many resources available to help them in their journey. However, many people don't know about all of the resources available, the differences between them, or what resources are right for them. At "How to Start Up in Kabul", we will gather representatives from different entrepreneurial organizations to give a quick overview of who their audience is, and then host a panel moderated by a top local journalist to discuss the startup ecosystem and the opportunities available. Contact us for directions: +93 789 380 092.


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Who Should Attend?

  • Anyone who is launching or thinking about l\aunching a local startup
  • Anyone who wants to meet local investors, accelerators, co-working spaces, and founders
  • Anyone who wants to learn about the resources available for local entrepreneurs 


What is the Agenda?

  • 9:00- Arrival, Registration & Networking
  • 9:30- Welcome & Introduction: 
    • Omar Mansoor Ansari, Director Founder Institute - Kabul
  • 9:45- Introductory Talk by Ecosystem Organizations:
    • H.E. Aimal Marjan, Deputy Minister (IT), Ministry of Communications and IT, Speaking on The Proposed MCIT Incubator and how Afghan tech-entrepreneurs can benefit from today’s climate and support from MCIT resources.
  • 10:15- Panel Discussion with Representatives from Top Local Organizations
    • Seema Ghani, Chair at Hand in Hand
    •  Najla Habibyar, CEO at Afghanistan Export Promotion Agency
    • Baseer Ahmad Baheer, Vice President at TechNation
    • Kamila Sidiqi, Founder at Kaweyan Business Development Services
    • Roshan Kumar Seebaluck, Incubator Expert at Ibtikaar/MCIT
    • Jamshid Hashimi, CEO Codezone
  • 11:00- Question and Answer Session
  • 11:30- Press Conference and Networking


Speaker Bios

  • H.E. Mohmmad Aimal Marjan, Deputy Minister (IT), Ministry of Communication & IT

Aimal Marjan completed his high school, college and university studies in Pakistan. He received Bachelor and Masters degrees in Computer Science from International Islamic University Islamabad, Pakistan in year 1999 and 2001.

Aimal Marjan is the Deputy Minister IT for MCIT Afghanistan where he is leading the E-Gov Directorate, Information Security Directorate and Technology and Innovation Directorate, prior to this he worked as Director General of the ICT Directorate of the MCIT for 1 year, where he was responsible for the ICT projects of the ministry and giving ICT strategic and policy support to all the government agencies. Prior to that he was Director ICT where he served MCIT for 6 years and developed a number of key policies, strategies, regulations, projects for the development of the sector. 

  • Seema Ghani, Chair at Hand in Hand

Seema Ghani was born and brought up in Afghanistan. After completion of her Baccalaureate and studying medicine for three years she had to leave the country due to the insecurity during the communist regime. While in the UK she completed her first degree in Computing and Management and started working with PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a consultant. She then obtained a Master of Science degree in International Business and studied another Master of Science course in Development studies before returning to Kabul in 2002.

 During the last 10 years Seema Ghani has worked with various sectors such as the government as the Director General of Budget of Ministry of Finance, and as Deputy Minister of Labour Affairs with Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Seema Ghani has worked with Private Sector as a business woman and lead the reform of the Chamber of Commerce and became a member of the Board of Chamber of Commerce for a period of time. Her experience with Civil Society is since 1999, setting up a charity organisations while still abroad working in Afghanistan and Pakistan with the refugees, and is still an active member of civil society assisting and advising with various areas in the country. Seema Ghani’s last post was working as the Executive Director of MEC Secretariat, the Joint Independent Anti-corruption Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC). She has also been the Chair of Hand in Hand NGO in Afghanistan encouraging entrepreneurship in the country through community mobilisation.

  • Najlla Habibyar, CEO at Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan

Najlla Habibyar, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan. As CEO, she oversees the export promotion activities in Afghanistan. In order to improve access to the markets, provide alternative means for ensuring greater added value for Afghan Products, promote the development and expansion of Afghanistan’s export trade, and support promoting the development of export related businesses in Afghanistan.

Ms. Habibyar is also responsible for creation and implementation of appropriate export incentives; and actively articulates and promotes the implementation of export policies and programs of Government of the Afghanistan. Moreover, she is the Chairperson of Paymaan Foundation. Ms. Najlla Habibyar has worked with Harakat - Afghanistan Investment Climate Facility, where she led the implementation of the key economical reform projects as Development of Afghanistan Building Codes, Afghanistan Institute of Banking and Finance, Development of National Trade Policy and more. Before that, she was at the USAID since 2007, where she worked extensively on Privatization of State Owned Enterprises in Afghanistan.

Ms. Habibyar is also a Steering Committee Member of Tawanmandi Project one of the largest DFID funded Project in Afghanistan; starting from 2002, she had worked with USAID, UNDP, DFID/UKAID and different governmental organizations. She is an Afghan National, holds a BA in Educational Psychology from Kabul University and currently doing her MBA in American University of Afghanistan.

  • Kamila Sidiqi, Founder at Kaweyan Business Development Services

Kamila Sidiqi is one of Afghanistan’s leading female entrepreneurs. Her story tells us how far courage and faith in ones abilities can take us. At a time of almost insurmountable poverty and economic difficulties in 1990’s, Kamila’s vision, tenacity and unfailing will to succeed led to the establishment of a thriving enterprise employing over a 100 women.

Kamila set up her own company, Kaweyan Business Development Services in 2004 which was the first Business Development Training providing company of Afghanistan. Today, Kamila runs a group of companies including KBDS, a consultancy firm, Baawar Consulting Group which does research and evaluation work in Afghanistan and Naweyan Naween Import Export Co, which deals in exporting Afghanistan’s famous dry fruits. The welfare of her fellow countrymen in Afghanistan has always been an issue close to Kamila’s heart. Her desire to do all she can to help in the reconstruction of Afghanistan and improve the life of its people led her to establish an NGO early in her career by the name of Parneyan Training Center and Rehabilitation Organization. Parneyan has done commendable humanitarian work in Afghanistan. Most recently, Kamila launched Afghanistan's first women owned cab service which has received national acclaim.

Kamila received international recognition for her work at the 10th Anniversary US Global Leadership Campaign in 2005. The Dressmaker of Khair Khaina is a book that Gayle Tzemach Lemmon has written on the life of Kamila charting her growth from a dressmaker to a thriving entrepreneur. Her story is one that inspires other women in Afghanistan to struggle and persevere against all odds and is a source of courage and determination for all who know her. This book has been on the 2011 New York Times Bestseller list and is currently ranked in’s Top 100 Bestseller list. This book is selected in the 2012 Annual Program as a “Common Reading Program for the class of 2016” in the University of Florida, USA.
  • Baseer Ahmad Baheer, Vice President at TechNation

Mr. Baheer is Afghanistan's renowned web engineer with years of experience in teaching, developing technologies and creating tools and applications for desktop, web and mobile. Baseer received his BSc. in Computer Science from the University of Kabul, Afghanistan in 2005, and earned an MSc. in Software Engineering from the Technische Universitat Berlin, Berlin, Germany in 2010. He is a Tallinn University PhD candidate in e-governance where he is researching on a Reference Model for Deployment of e-Governance in Developing Countries.

Mr. Baheer is Vice President of TechNation where he designs apps for business and society.

  • Roshan Kumar Seebaluck, Incubator Expert at Ibtikaar/MCIT

Mr Roshan Kumar Seebaluck works as Incubator Expert at Ibtikaar, a World Bank funded incubator by Ministry of Communications and IT (MCIT). He is citizen of Mauritius and reckons more than 17 years of experience in the promotion of Business Incubation, Small and Medium Enterprises, Private Sector Development and ICT.  He has worked in Mauritius, Dominica, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia (Eastern Caribbean Region), Qatar and now in Afghanistan. His credentials include a Bachelor and a Master Degree in Economics from Delhi School, of Economics, Delhi University, India.


Roshan has worked as Team Leader and Business Incubation Expert in the Caribbean regions on an EU Funded project (April 2007-June 2010) for IBM Global Business Services (Belgium) on business incubation in 4 windward Islands namely Dominica, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines and St Lucia. Roshan has also undertaken an Incubator Feasibility Study for the Qatar Foundation in 2012. He has worked on projects financed by international donor agencies namely the European Commission, World Bank - Infodev, UNDP Mauritius, Pro-Invest and the Commonwealth Secretariat and successfully mobilised funding to promote business incubation for capacity building and networking in Mauritius and the Eastern Caribbean Regions.


Prior to this assignment, he was responsible for the management of the National Computer Board - ICT Incubator Centre from December 2002 to March 2007. From December 1996 to December 2002, He was employed at SMIDO (now SMEDA) as Assistant Manager at the Promotion and Information Services Department.
  • Jamshid Hashimi, Founder/CEO at CodeZone

Jamshid Hashimi is Founder & CEO of CodeZone. He has his degree from Dokuz Eylul University of Turkey in Computer Engineering and has work experience of more than 5 years in system and software development where he worked both in Turkey and Afghanistan. He was awarded by Microsoft as MSP (Microsoft Student Partner) for two consecutive years firstly in Turkey and then in Afghanistan, founded CodeZone where his vision is to teach every single person in the country how to code, co-founded, first crowd funding platform in Afghanistan,, first technology podcast platform in Afghanistan and a bunch more creative initiatives. He is active in volunteer activities, social media and love to learn and share.

  • Omar Mansoor Ansari, Director at Founder Institute Kabul

Omar is Afghanistan’s senior entrepreneur and researcher in ICT. He has more than a decade experience in building institutions, coalition and start-ups. Omar worked with Microsoft and IDRC on software localization and received Microsoft Localization Champion Award. He worked as the Co-founder/ Executive director of Afghan Computer Science Association (ACSA), 1999-2008, and Founder/ Editor-in-Chief of the Computer Science bimonthly.

His most recent work includes founding Open Source Alliance of Central Asia (OSACA), Open Source Afghanistan, TechWomen Afghanistan, TechDeira, and TechAfghanistan, all platforms for technology promotion and development, and education and networking. Omar chairs the National ICT Alliance of Afghanistan (NICTAA), the country’s largest consortium of ICT players, and sits on World IT and Services Alliance (WITSA's) board. He is full-time
President of TechNation, a Kabul based tech and consulting firm, is co-director of The Founder Institute Kabul, an idea phase accelerator.

This event is free to attend. Join us for a fun evening! For more free startup events, visit

[Network photo from Shutterstock]

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