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In a landmark development for Pakistan’s burgeoning technology and startup ecosystem, Ignite National Technology Fund, a company incorporated under the Ministry of IT & Telecom, has forged a pivotal partnership with Pakistan Services Limited (PSL) - Hashoo Group. This consortium, which includes Fauji Foundation, Telenor Pakistan, Change Mechanics, CyberVision International, and Founder Institute, will spearhead the management of the National Incubation Center Islamabad for the next 5 years. This strategic alliance underscores a concerted commitment through public-private collaboration to further fortify Pakistan's startup ecosystem, with a special emphasis on nurturing technology startups poised to elevate the country's economic GDP and provide employment opportunities for its youth.

In his welcoming address, Adeel Aijaz Shaikh, CEO of Ignite, highlighted the transformative impact of Ignite's nationwide network of National Incubation Centers, which has incubated over 1480 startups, generating more than 188,000 direct and indirect jobs. Mr. Shaikh emphasized the exceptional success of NIC Islamabad, which has incubated 295 startups, including 136 female founders, resulting in the creation of 23,597 direct and indirect jobs and generating revenue of 7.05 billion rupees, with a committed investment of 7.88 billion rupees.

NIC 2.0, with the support of Founder Institute, is poised to build upon the success of its predecessor by offering an enhanced suite of services designed to empower startups. These services include state-of-the-art workspaces, access to venture capital, mentorship from industry leaders, UI/UX design labs, makers spaces, and a focus on pivotal technological sectors such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Robotics, Health, and Augmented/Virtual Reality. Founder Institute, along with leading incubators, accelerators, and venture capitalists such as Mass Challenge, International Accelerator, and others, are committed to creating investment opportunities for startups.

NIC Islamabad will also have a strong focus on building health-tech startups, with Aga Khan University and Hospital and Rehman Medical Institute Peshawar serving as core Health Track Partners, along with 10+ other renowned health institutions as supporting partners. Red Buffer will mentor and provide support to Deep-tech startups as a specialized vertical. Additionally, leading academic institutions such as GIKI University, Institute of Space Technologies, Foundation University, NUST Business School, and Bahria Innovation Center will ensure quality mentorship and access to university labs and specialist faculty to advise startups on technical issues.

With the new management, NIC Islamabad represents a significant advancement in enhancing Pakistan's digital landscape. Through the creation of a supportive ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship, the joint efforts of Founder Institute, PSL-Hashoo Group, Ignite, MoITT, and additional key stakeholders are set to unlock numerous opportunities for Pakistani startups, driving economic development and technological progress in the country.

About Hashoo Group:

Hashoo Group is Pakistan's premium conglomerate with a diversified business portfolio spanning national and international markets. The Group owns and operates the Pearl-Continental Hotels & Resorts, PC Legacy, Hotel One & Pearl Residences brands in Pakistan and has business interests in information technology, education, investment, travel & tourism, and real estate sectors. The Hashoo Foundation, its sustainability arm, reflects the Group's steadfast commitment to social responsibility and sustainable development.

About Ignite:

Ignite National Technology Fund is a government-backed initiative designed to stimulate innovation and technological progress in Pakistan through funding, mentorship, and comprehensive support for startups, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

About MOITT:

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom (MOITT) is tasked with developing policies and initiatives to foster information technology and telecommunications infrastructure across Pakistan, driving the nation's digital transformation.

About Founder Institute:

Founder Institute is the world's largest pre-seed startup accelerator, with chapters across more than 200 cities and programs in over 100 countries. It provides aspiring entrepreneurs with a step-by-step program to launch a startup, including mentorship, curriculum, and a global network of entrepreneurs.

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The Founder Institute is the world’s most proven network to turn ideas into fundable startups, and startups into global businesses. Since 2009, our highly-structured accelerator programs have helped entrepreneurs raised over $1.75BN in funding across over 200 cities worldwide.

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