MoIT, Jazz & National ICT R&D Fund launch National Incubation Center
Islamabad - Pakistan’s first largest National Incubation Center was launched under the public-private partnership of Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom, National ICT R&D Fund and Teamup. The NIC will provide startups with a free of cost workspace, incubation, acceleration – Jazz xlr8 program – seed funds, and access to 50 million plus mobile customers.
Commenting on the launch, Anusha Rehman, Minister of State for IT & Telecom – Pakistan, said, “The launch of the National Incubation Center is an important milestone in the Government of Pakistan’s digital agenda. I would like to appreciate the efforts of all our partners who have made this possible. I wish all the startups joining the National Innovation Center the very best in achieving their dreams, they are our future.”
Augie K. Fabela II, Co-Founder VimpelCom and Chairman Emeritus added, “VimpelCom and Jazz will lead the Digital revolution in Pakistan, this launch provides young Pakistani entrepreneurs an opportunity to further their business ambitions. Pakistanis are ready to make their mark on the world economy and Jazz will make it a reality”
Earlier speaking on the occasion Mr. Yusuf Hussain, CEO National ICT R&D Fund said "This National Incubation Center is the vision and accomplishment of Ms. Anusha Rehman - Minister of State for IT & Telecom, Dr.Syed Ismail Shah - Chairman PTA and National ICT R&D Fund board. So I would like to congratulate them for this accomplishment. I would also like to thank Executive Director NITB for making the space available. Going forward we are expanding this program by setting up similar NICs in four provincial capitals; Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and its really heartwarming to see the response of prospective bidders.
At National ICT R&D Fund we have refocused and chosen our thematic areas like Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Robotics and Augmented/Virtual Reality. These thematic areas are considered to be the building blocks of the knowledge economy for next 10 years. National ICT R&D Fund is moving forward to become a Venture Capital Fund and will Fund exciting startups. However National ICT R&D Fund will provide grants and will not take equity."
The NIC will house 40 startups with access to a state-of-the-art global facility. Services include free broadband internet, silent rooms, gaming zone, curriculum for startup education, best business leaders as mentors, and an innovation lab designed on international standards.