The National Incubation Center (NIC) hosted its Open House on Friday, June 21, 2019, to kick start 6th cohort inductions and introduce people to incubation and accelerator programs at NIC. The event witnessed a huge turnout as people from all walks of life flocked to NIC on Friday afternoon to learn about opportunities available for startups to grow and accelerate. The attendees were given an overview of NIC and the induction process. It also featured talks on Jazz xlr8 program, power of mentorship, the importance of verticals and an informal discussion with the founders of startups being currently incubated at NIC.
Fasieh Mehta, program manager, talked about how NIC enables startups to grow by providing a conducive environment and crucial resources needed to excel. He shared details about the 6th cohort’s induction process, laying emphasis on the criteria which lead to acceptance at NIC.
Aamer Ejaz, Chief Digital Officer at Jazz, spoke about Jazz’s partnership with NIC and its premier acceleration program, aptly named xlr8. He enlightened the audience how xlr8 program takes market-ready startups for scaling up by giving access to expert mentorship, international exposure (4YFN Barcelona), Jazz’s payment gateway and user insights, among others.
It was followed by an interactive session with Yousuf Hussain, CEO Ignite – National Technology Fund. Yousuf discussed the importance of critical thinking in distinguishing startups from normal businesses. He advised aspiring founders to look for abstractions, and extract them to their advantage. “Keep a sharp eye on trends in the world and look for the common denominators. Always, always focus. Put all your energies on one product rather than opening several fronts,” he said.
The Open House also featured three-panel discussions. The first one focused on the power of mentorship and coaching with the experienced panel of Shahid Mir, Furqan Qureshi, and Nida Ather. They emphasized the need for mentorship for entrepreneurial success. The panel shared their insights about what it takes to succeed in challenging startup culture and how having mentors can help broaden your horizon.
“Enter and immerse. You have to find a product that doesn’t let you sleep at night, and wakes you up before the break of dawn. That’s the passion I’m talking about,” said Shahid Mir, commenting on the level of commitment required to succeed.
This was followed by an interesting talk by Abbas Saleem Khan, who wowed the audience with his amazing work designing games at Facebook to making animations for Burqa Avengers. He drew parallels between gaming and economics, both working on the principle of using scarce resource for maximum output. He advised the budding entrepreneurs that people should feel happy with your product, hence calling game designers “happiness engineers.”
The last session was an informal open-ended discussion with the founders of startups being currently incubated at NIC. They spoke about their journey at NIC and the challenges they faced. The audience asked them about their startups and future plans.
The inductions for the 6th cohort are open till 6th July 2019. Apply to be part of the National Incubation Center. Startups from across the country are encouraged to apply to the first of its kind innovation space buzzing with innovators, mentors, change-makers and passionate leaders. It’s a living example of a successful public-private partnership between the Ministry of IT & Telecom, Ignite – National Technology Fund, Jazz and Teamup.