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Karachi is becoming one of the best places to build a startup, but most of the early-stage entrepreneurs we speak to aren't aware of the local tech resources that are available to help them.

With applications for the Karachi Founder Institute now open, we're excited to release the Karachi Startup Resource Guide, which is currently in Draft v4 below! It was developed by the Karachi Founder Institute and local leaders: Eram Abbasi (Director, Center For Entrepreneurship & Innovation Development, DHA Suffa University), Omar Abedin (Mr, Careem ), Sayyed Ahmad Masud (CEO, Change Mechanics Pvt Ltd), Syed Hussain, Syed Abdul Basit (Project Manager, VentureDive)

This is just a draft, and while we spent many hours on this research, more input is needed. Please leave your comments on this collaborative Google document to help us complete the list. There are definitely omissions on this current version. 

Are you looking to build a startup in Karachi? Then apply to the Karachi Founder Institute today!

Text version included below, for ease of searching:

Startup Stages

There is no one right way to build a technology company, but for the sake of simplicity we have outlined a basic, common, sequential framework.

1. Idea Stage

This is where new entrepreneurs get inspired, learn best practices, develop skills, validate ideas, and begin to build their team and product.

A. Inspire

  • Karachi Startup Media: Centralized local information, listings, and news. (i.e. startup blogs/ publications/ lists/ FB groups/ newsletters)
    1. Entrepreneur Middle East
    2. Ignite Pakistan
    3. Pakistan Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Report
    4. Pakistan Startups- FB Group
    5. Pakistan Startup Weekly
    8. Tech in Asia
    9. TechJuice
    10. TheGoodNews
  • Inspirational Karachi Startup Events: Open, inclusive startup events that often focus on ideation. (i.e. Startup Weekend, idea fairs, and inspirational meetups)
    1. Global Entrepreneurship Week
    2. LUMS Entrepreneurship Challenge
    3. Startup Cup
    4. Startup Weekend Lahore
    5. Startup Weekend Karachi
    6. TiE

B. Educate

  • Best Practices: Beginner knowledge-sharing tech events. (i.e. beginner events that serve to educate more than inspire).
    1. Lean Startup Circle 
    2. Startup Founder 101
    3. Startup Grind Karachi
    4. OPEN Annual Conference
    5. Pasha ICT Awards and Conference
  • Training & Feedback: Skill & Idea development events and startup bootcamps for entrepeneurs. (Includes comprehensive training programs, like Founder Institute, General Assembly, Lean Startup Machine, code camps, etc)
    1. Founder Institute
    2. IBA CED
    4. MIC Pre Accelerator
    5. The Lean

C. Validate

  • Team Formation: Events for Finding Co-founders in Karachi.  (i.e. tech networking events or other resources that facilitate early-stage recruitment and cofounder matching)
      1. LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship
      2. Open Karachi
      • Build First Product: Hackathons & product events in Karachi.
        1. Code for Pakistan
        2. HackerNest Karachi Tech Socials
        3. Java User Group Karachi
        4. Karachi Salesforce Developer Group
        5. Meteor Karachi
        6. Microsoft Technology Practices User Group
        7. Startup Weekend Lahore

      2. Launch Stage

      In this stage, entrepreneurs establish and formalize the company, develop the product, get feedback from customers, and prepare for the next step.

      A. Start

      • Establish: Karachi law firms & banks for startups
        1. Kabraji & Talibuddin
        2. Muslim Commercial Bank
        3. Mumtaz & Associates
        4. TAGLegal
        5. Vellani & Vellani
      • Karachi Workspaces: Co-working and flexible workspaces for startups in Karachi.
        1. The Dot Zero
        2. The HQ

      B. Develop

      • Formalize: Karachi accounting, development and HR tools for early-stage startups.  
        1. Naseeb Networks
        2. Sourcecode-tech
      • Karachi Incubators: Groups that prepare companies for seed investment and provide advanced mentorship. (i.e. advanced knowledge sharing, later stage events and resources)
          1. ICCBS Technology Park and Technology Incubation Center
          2. Invest 2 innovate
          3. Microsoft Innovation Center
          4. NIC Karachi
          5. Plan 9
          6. Seed Incubation
          7. Seed Ventures

                C. Launch

                • Karachi Seed Accelerators: Seed funding mentor programs (Techstars-style programs that provide funding)
                  1. JumpStart Pakistan
                • Pitch & Demo Events: Tech events that showcase Karachi startups for investment.
                  1. MIT Enterprise forum
                  2. OPEN

                3. Growth Stage

                Here, a startup proves their utility, receives recognition, and scales up. This usually requires funding, angels, VCs, and ways to connect them to startups.

                A. Recognition

                • Karachi Investor Networking:  Events and groups that connect professional investors with founders.
                  1. Google Business Group
                  2. Pasha Launch Pad
                • Major Media: Mainstream local business press that often showcase local startups
                    1. Business Recorder
                    3. Dunya News
                    4. Karachi News pakistan
                    5. Pakistan Today 
                    6. Startup Magazine
                    7. The International News

                                  B. Funding

                                  • Karachi Angel Investors: Seed-stage investors and micro-vcs.
                                    1. Afaque Ahmed
                                    2. Atif Khan
                                    3. Humayun Mazhar
                                    4. Jamal Khan
                                    5. Nadeem Elahi
                                    6. Shabana Khan
                                    7. Yusuf Jan
                                  • Karachi Venture Capitalists: Series A and beyond
                                    1. Acumen
                                    2. DYL Ventures
                                    3. ImPakt Capital
                                    4. Kima Ventures
                                    5. Mini Ventures
                                    6. Rocket Internet

                                  C. Growth

                                  • Infrastructure: Office space, HR, local business insurance. (i.e. office space/ HR/ insurance providers for capital-rich companies to grow and scale)
                                    1. Regus
                                  • Expansion: Karachi Growth accelerators and consultants. (i.e. programs and business consultants for capital-rich companies to grow and scale)
                                    1. Dyl-ventures

                                  4. Karachi Startup Success Stories

                                  Successful homegrown companies that have raised significant institutional funding, employ a large workforce, or have achieved liquidity.

                                    2. Convo
                                    7. Ephlux Insights
                                    9. Groopic
                                    10. Hamariweb
                                    15. Messiah
                                    16. Olaround
                                    19. Popinjay
                                    20. Pring
                                    24. Shopistan
                                    26. Sponsify


                                  To facilitate the steps, every ecosystem needs strong supporters.

                                  1. Karachi Startup Leaders

                                  Successful local founders who lead the ecosystem & frequently mentor newbies.

                                      1. Aaqib Gadit
                                      2. Abid Beli
                                      3. Adnan Masood
                                      4. Afaque Riaz Ahmed 
                                      5. Ali Rehan
                                      6. Adam Dawood  
                                      7. Adnan Fasih
                                      8. Atif Azim
                                      9. Azra Maqsood
                                      10. Azhar Rizvi
                                      11. Badar Khushnood 
                                      12. Faisal Khan
                                      13. Farzal Dojki
                                      14. Hassan Qureshi
                                      15. Imran Moinuddin
                                      16. Jawwad Farid
                                      17. Jehan Ara 
                                      18. Kalsoom Lakhani 
                                      19. Khalid Awan
                                      20. Khurram Mujtaba
                                      21. Khurram Zafar
                                      22. Mahmood Mirza
                                      23. Mohammed Raza Saeed 
                                      24. Monis Rahman 
                                      25. Muhammad Jehanzaib
                                      26. Nabeel A. Qadeer
                                      27. Nauman Sikandar Mirza
                                      28. Noman Ali
                                      29. Owais Zaidi
                                      30. Rabia Garib
                                      31. Rai Umair
                                      32. Rehan Allahwala
                                      33. Reza Samad
                                      34. Saad Amanullah
                                      35. Salim Ghauri
                                      36. r. M. Shahid Qureshi - IBA CED
                                      37. Shahjahan Chaudhary
                                      38. Shehryar Hyderi
                                      39. Sumaan Azmi 
                                      40. Umar Alam
                                      41. Umair Aziz
                                      42. Umar Saif
                                      43. Uzair Gadit
                                      44. Zain Tariq

                                                                                                                          2. Karachi Government Startup Resources

                                                                                                                          Public organizations that facilitate local economic development

                                                                                                                            1. MITCEF Association of Pakistan
                                                                                                                            2. Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication - MoITT
                                                                                                                            3. National Incubation Center - Karachi 
                                                                                                                            4. National Incubation Center - Peshawar
                                                                                                                            5. National Incubation Center - Lahore
                                                                                                                            6. National Incubation Center - Quetta 
                                                                                                                            7. National Incubation Center - Islamabad 
                                                                                                                            8. National Information Technology Board - GoP 
                                                                                                                            9. Pakistan Software Export Board
                                                                                                                            10. Smeda

                                                                                                                          3. Talent

                                                                                                                          Major local business or tech universities and employers that attract and retain local talent.

                                                                                                                          • Local Karachi Tech Universities (universities with prominent technical or business programs)
                                                                                                                            1. Bahria University - Karachi Campus
                                                                                                                            2. CBM
                                                                                                                            3. DHA Suffa University
                                                                                                                            4. Institute of Business Administration Karachi
                                                                                                                            5. IQRA University
                                                                                                                            6. Karachi School of Business
                                                                                                                            7. KSBL
                                                                                                                            8. Mohammad Ali Jinnah University
                                                                                                                            9. National University of Computer & Emerging Sciences - NUCES-FAST
                                                                                                                            10. NED University
                                                                                                                            11. Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology
                                                                                                                            12. SZABIST
                                                                                                                            13. University of Karachi
                                                                                                                            14. Usman Institute of Technology
                                                                                                                          • Karachi Tech Employers
                                                                                                                              1. Microsoft
                                                                                                                              2. Samsung
                                                                                                                              3. Systems Limited
                                                                                                                            *  *  *

                                                                                                                            Learn more about the Startup Ecosystem Canvas here, and leave us your thoughts on the Karachi Canvas on this collaborative Google document (This is just a draft, and more input is needed!)

                                                                                                                            Are you looking to build a startup in Karachi? Then apply to the Karachi Founder Institute today

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