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Emerging market: Pitching Pakistan’s startup potential

LAHORE: In recent years, Pakistan has managed to carve a more permanent space on investors’ radar as they scout for potential startups that seek funding.
The development comes on the back of unique and financially viable ideas that are pitched to global investors via different incubators and accelerators, operating either in the public or private spheres.
Punjab Information Technology Board’s (PITB) PlanX is also looking to make its contribution to the local startup ecosystem.
It has organised an event, ‘Startup Lahore’, which highlights what the Pakistani entrepreneurial ecosystem has achieved in the past few years while also providing an opportunity to learn from industry experts that are part of the talks and panel discussions.
PITB Chairman Dr Umar Saif said the objective of the event is to bring together entrepreneurs, mentors, investors, technology companies and media on a single platform.
He, however, said startups should work hard to push their ideas. “The challenge for startups is that they have to be passionate and motivated enough to continue and take the idea to the next level,” Saif told The Express Tribune.
“We have got the ball rolling and its impact will be felt in the coming years. In addition to being their own boss, entrepreneurs have a chance to contribute to the national economy as well.”
Startup Lahore is a two-day event, which comprises of a demo day, a startup exhibit, competition and panel discussions.
“I see a lot of great things happening in the next 10 years,” said PlanX Program Manager Mughees Tahir. “The focus of entrepreneurship is already shifting to hardcore technology, with new startups jumping in the domains of e-commerce, artificial intelligence and machine learning – the market growth will be huge.