Nine innovative tech startups graduate from NSTP-NUST
Graduation Day Ceremony for the first cohort of National Science and Technology Park’s (NSTP) Hatch 8 Programme took place at the main campus of the National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) here on Wednesday. A total of 9 startups graduated as part of the first cohort.
Launched at NUST in 2019 under the overarching theme of “Innovate Pakistan,”
After six months of challenging sessions at the Park, coupled with continuous mentorship, guidance and business plans revamping, the founders of these startups were ready to showcase their prototypes and businesses with an ambition to make a difference in the tech realm. Some of these graduates have also been granted space in NSTP’s next stage incubator Cube 8, whereas one has even transitioned straight away into an NSTP Hi-tech SME.
The tech startups graduating from the Park, inter alia, span a wide array of themes ranging from Ed-Tech, Fin-Tech, Agri-Tech and Smart-Tech. Out of the 9 startups, 3 were given awards for high achievement on the basis of revenue generation, customer base and socio-economic impact. The winner was awarded a cheque of PKR 100,000, while the runner-up received an amount of PKR 50,000.
The occasion was graced by the VP NSTP, Dr Nassar Ikram as chief guest, along with leading startup and entrepreneurship industry luminaries. The event was opened by a keynote presentation of Director NSTP, Adnan Ejaz, followed by pitches by startups, prize distribution, and a speech by the chief guest.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr Nassar Ikram highlighted the accomplishments of the park since its inception in December 2019. He dilated upon how NSTP offers a complete spectrum of enabling services and environment that connects stakeholders, provides digital and physical access to information and knowledge through a centralised repository, and brings to bear NUST’s exclusive knowledge base and proven expertise of the domain to help nurture startups and propel them from idea stage into the growth stage.
He emphasised that in such a short span of time, and despite a raging pandemic, the Park had already created 840+ jobs, 32+ internships and generated 85 IPs, 40+ trainings, workshops and webinars. Besides, investments surpassing $830,000 had also been raised by NSTP based startups during this time. He also thanked innovative Hi-tech SME tenants of the Park, namely Rapidev, APIMatic and Data BI who offered support to other startups during these challenging times.
NSTP is a platform designed to bring together researchers, creators, investors, implementers and end users of technologies to transform innovative ideas into successful products and services, while promoting a culture of entrepreneurship in Pakistan. Hatch 8 particularly, is a pre-incubation programme that has been designed to take in entrepreneurs in the idea-stage of their product development, and transform them into viable businesses by graduation.