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Startup Grind in collaboration with Pakistan Tech Summit is hosting the veterans of Pakistan's tech ecosystem.
Join us for an insightful discussion with Jehan Ara (President - P@SHA), Yusuf Hussain (Senior Partner - JumpCurve / Former CEO Ignite), Nabeel Qadeer (Business Coach - reflectwithnabeel.com) Faisal Sherjan (Angel Investor) to have an enlightening session on the evolution of Pakistan's startup ecosystem during COVID, hosted by Roshanay Asif Sheikh, Director - Startup Grind Sialkot.
These ecosystem players have played a major role in establishing the startup culture in Pakistan.
We see a lot of new ideas being put into intangible services, a lot of great minds being directed to become CEOs of their companies, a lot of leaders leading teams - all this has been done by huge support, direction, guidance and solutions provided by these incubation centers.
In our panel discussion with these renowned guests, we are going to talk about why there is a need of the incubation centers, how they've helped the startups so far, what's going to be their strategy in the post corona world and how they think the startup industry is going to change in the coming times.
Take all the knowledge you can! Try to understand the startup world in this one hour's insightful session with us!
LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship
ID92 / UNCTAD
Co-Founder / Project Chair
Jehan Ara is the President of the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA). She has been spearheading efforts at P@SHA for the past 16 years during which time she was responsible for developing the P@SHA brand and for creating linkages between P@SHA and local and international partners.
Jehan has vast experience in Marketing, Communications and interactive New media in Hong Kong, the Far East, the UAE and Pakistan. She is a motivator, an entrepreneur, a social activist and a strong propagator of extending the power and use of Information and Communication Technologies beyond pure traditional business, to empower and enable communities..
Jehan sits on the Advisory Boards of the Central Depository Company, the Punjab IT Board, the Sindh Advisory Board, and several universities including Habib University, IBA, IBA Sukkur, NED University, Bahria University etc. She is also the President of Bolo Bhi, a Research Based Civil Society organization that focuses on Open Access. Jehan is also on the World Bank Advisory Group on Gender Diversity. She is also a Board Member of the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS) which is a nonprofit research organisation established to promote, assist, support, simulates, undertake and manage policy research and advocacy. Jehan is also a Member of the PM’s Taskforce for IT & Telecom.
Advocacy through the use of cutting edge technology is one of Jehan Ara’s passions. Cyber Crime, Privacy and Data Protection legislation and Internet Freedom are some of the things she is advocating for.
Using technology Jehan has brought together young people in IT and Business on a common platform. She has worked with collaborators to bring together IT practitioners, bloggers, activists, innovators and citizen journalists who now work on common causes and projects whenever the need arises strengthening each others’ abilities to deliver. Using Social media Jehan has highlighted the need for harnessing technology to combat social problems, for empowerment of women and to advocate for legislative reform.
Since 2004 Jehan has been working with startups across Pakistan advising, facilitating, mentoring and connecting them with the right partners.
She set up The Nest IO – a technology incubator in Karachi in January 2015, with the support of Google for Entrepreneurs to help provide a platform for aspiring technology businesses in the buzzing city of Karachi. Since then The Nest IO has incubated 189+ startup businesses and created a strong community of young people.
The Nest I/O’s flagship entrepreneurship conference 021Disrupt has become to go-to premier event that brings together startups, innovators professionals, investors and students on a platform to engage, learn and collaborate.
Faisal Sherjan (FSJ) brings over 30 years of experience in advertising, television, 3G telephony and new media to his role as a mentor of ten startup exsosytem.
Starting out in advertising in 1985, FSJ, together with two partners, transformed Interflow within five years from a fledgling agency, into an advertising and marketing powerhouse.
In 1990, there was only one television channel in the country, PTV, and the broadcast industry was a sleepy, state-owned, monopoly, ripe for disruption. Seeing the opportunity, FSJ and his partners sought permission to set up a rival network. This would make advertising rates more competitive and programming more compelling leading to a growth in Pakistan’s media markets and viewership.
Not yet comfortable with privately-owned channels, the government agreed to a hybrid model. State-owned Shalimar Recording Company was granted a license to set up transmitters for a second free-to-air, network, Shalimar Television Network (STN). STN’s airtime, however, would be bought by Network Television Marketing (NTM) set up by FSJ and his partners. NTM would then acquire and also develop programming to broadcast on STN transmitters, selling advertising spots to finance the airtime and programming.
NTM/STN was an instant success, and, as a pioneering initiative in South Asia, Middle East and North Africa, it served as a catalyst for transformation of the broadcast industry in these regions. Buoyed by NTM’s commercial and artistic success, FSJ decided to target, South Asian diaspora audiences in the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US).
In 1992, with just USD 20,000, FSJ set up TV Asia, first in the UK and then in the US, to distribute, via satellite, original and acquired South Asian programming to audiences there. There was no South Asian programming in either country and audiences had to rely on video cassettes from home. Today, these audiences are served by dozens of television channels re-transmitted from South Asia and distributed into Western Europe and North America via satellite and cable systems.
Too far ahead of its time, TV Asia also floundered on a combination of slow adoption, expensive distribution, and expensive home receiving equipment. In 1994, FSJ returned to NTM for another five years before turning his attention to the new frontier of mobile telephony.
In 2000, he became team leader at Hutchison 3G in the UK to apply his content creation and delivery expertise to mobile telephony in order to create a market for South Asian mobile content. Before this could be replicated in Pakistan, FSJ was lured away in 2003 to the Jang Group of companies based in Karachi.
Hired as chief operating officer of International Geo Networks, FSJ established the networks’ international footprint and helped design and launch several entertainment, youth and sports targeted channels for the company.
Nabeel Qadeer is a Business Coach, Consultant, Entrepreneur and Content Producer.
He is the lead, host and content producer for 'Idea Croron Ka'; Pakistan's premier business reality show, through which he has made entrepreneurship a household name. So far, the show has completed 4 successful seasons and committed Rs. 540 million on live television.
Currently, he is setting up his consulting and training company and has recently been certified as a Senior Certified Professional Coach on the standards of ICF. He believes coaching is the need of the hour and the right approach for us to take in these trying times. The ethos of his life is simple; effectiveness and responsibility. [www.reflectwithnabeel.com]
During his time in the Government, he set up the first technology incubator of the country; Plan9. Following shortly under the umbrella of entrepreneurship and enterprise wing of the Government, projects like PlanX (Accelerator), TechHub Connect (Co-working space), e-Rozgaar (Freelancing centres), Herself (Women entrepreneurship program) and WhizKids (Children entrepreneurship program) paved the way for entrepreneurship in all dimensions.
Over the years, he has worked on digitally transforming the Superior Group (consisting of a media house, a university, a network of 250+ schools and colleges, a hospital, research centres and more). He also co-founded Innovation District 92 in his time there, which is now a part of their entrepreneurship and development centre.
He also assumed the role of Chairman and CEO of Commonwealth Youth Innovation Hub and Project Chair, UNCTAD – Commonwealth Entrepreneurship Project for Pakistan.
On most afternoons he will be found teaching leadership, management and entrepreneurship in universities across Pakistan.
These days he is in the process of publishing his book. When asked what this book is about, he says it's about YOU.
Yusuf, a Senior Partner at Jump Curve, is a technologist, entrepreneur and investor with international experience. At the helm of CresSoft, Inc. in the USA, he led the company to a $286 million valuation and a slew of GLOBAL 2000 and FORTUNE 500 customers. As CEO Ignite, he led the design and execution of an online AI-powered freelance training portal that attained over 1 million enrollments in a little over a year, with third party estimate of earnings by trainees at over $110 million a year.
The Ignite national network of 5 incubators was operationalized with over 300 incubated startups, that raised almost Rs 7 from the private and development sectors for every rupee invested by the Government into the program. The Ignite Seed Fund invested in startups in agriculture, education, energy, retail, fintech, health and telecom that were powered by Fourth Industrial Revolution tech like AI, IoT, Robotics, and Augmented Reality, with several raising subsequent rounds of funding and multiplying revenue. UNIDO showcased Ignite in its 2020 report entitled “Absorbing Advanced Digital Production Technologies to Foster Industrialization – Evidence from Case Studies in Developing Countries.”
As Managing Director at PSEB and LMKR, and as consultant at the World Bank, NDMA, and GHQ, he oversaw several digital transformation initiatives. During his tenure at PSEB, the IT industry experienced one of its highest-ever annual growth rates, at 55%, partly as a result of several new and innovative initiatives at PSEB. He is a founding director of TiE Islamabad and Founder Institute (FI) Islamabad, and has also served on the Boards of PSEB, Ignite, and WENR, a public NASDAQ company. He has been awarded a National Leadership Award by the Republican National Congressional Committee, membership of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), and also been appointed Good Will Ambassador of the City of Houston. He has a Masters in Computer Engineering with a minor in business from University of Texas, Austin, and a Bachelors in Computer Science from Rice University. He writes and speaks frequently on issues relates to technology and innovation.
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