Islamabad 02 February, 2021. Graduation Day Ceremony for the first cohort of National Science and Technology Park’s (NSTP) Hatch 8 Program took place at NSTP Auditorium Tech Sanctum, National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, wherein 9 startups graduated from its first cohort.
The Park was launched under an overarching theme of “Innovate Pakistan”: which is a platform designed to synergise researchers, creators, investors, implementers and end users of technologies to transform innovative ideas into successful products and services while promulgating a culture of entrepreneurship in Pakistan. Hatch 8 particularly, is a pre-incubation program which is designed to take in entrepreneurs in idea-stage of their product development, and transform them into viable businesses by graduation.
After six months of challenging sessions at the Park, coupled with sustained 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 were also granted space in NSTP’s next stage incubator Cube 8, whereas one even transitioned straight away into an NSTP Hi-tech SME.
The tech startups graduating from the Park spanned a wide array of themes ranging from Ed-Tech, Fin-Tech, Agri-Tech and Smart-Tech, among others.
Out of the 9 startups graduating, 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 Rs. 100,000, while the runner-up received Rs. 50,000.
The occasion was graced by the VP NSTP, Dr Nassar Ikram as the Chief Guest, along with leading startup and entrepreneurship industry luminaries. The event was opened by 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, VP NSTP Dr Nassar Ikram highlighted the raison d’etre and accomplishments of the Park. He dilated on how under Innovate Pakistan, NSTP offers the complete spectrum of enabling services and environment that connects stakeholders, provides digital and physical access to information and knowledge through a centralized 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 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.
Whilst expounding the challenges faced by the NSTP due to Coivd-19 pandemic, he lauded the efforts of the team-lead, Adnan Ejaz, and the Innovation team headed by Mr. Emmad Ahsan, for helping the startups survive the pandemic. 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.
The event was also graced by Hatch 8 patrons, namely Mr. Furqan Qureshi, Mr. Sayyed Ahmed Masud, Dr. Seemab Latif, Mr. Majid Maqbool, Mr. Noman Said, and Dr. Adeel Tariq.