03 May 2023

The power of partnership: Investing in the future together!

The startup ecosystem of Pakistan has been on a roll lately, but even the most promising journeys have their fair share of speed bumps. The year 2022 wasn’t kind to the industry, as it faced a gruelling combination of global recession and mounting inflation. Consequently, the investment volume for startups fell significantly from $380 million in 2021 to clocking in at $355 million in 2022. Unfortunately, 2023 doesn’t seem to have brought any respite to the Pakistani startup landscape, as the industry still grapples with a lack of funding opportunities, leading to a sharp decline in startup investments.

In light of this, NIC Faisalabad took the initiative to bring together top venture capitalists and investors from across the country to explore the boundless possibilities of partnership and educate the business leaders of Faisalabad about the significance of investing in high-growth tech startups.

The event was a massive success, featuring some of the most influential players in the investment industry. Faisal Aftab, Founder of Zayn Capital, Misbah Naqvi, Co-founder at i2i Ventures, Shehryar Hydri, Managing Partner at Deosai Ventures, Khurram Zafar, Director at 47 Ventures Ltd, Taha Anis, Partner at The Boring Syndicate, and Abraiz Bin Abdullah, Investment and Monitoring Analyst at Fatima Gobi Ventures, were all present to share their expert insights.

But that’s not all – the event also drew the attention of Faisalabad’s top-notch business community. Sitara Group, Kay & Emms, Sadaqat Ltd, Masood Textile Mills, The Pearl Group, Natural Farms, Crescent Textiles, Elo, Panasian Group, and Chenab Engineering Works were all present, eager to explore the endless investment opportunities that the startup ecosystem offers.

NICF’s initiative was groundbreaking for Faisalabad, as the city had not seen such an event before. It provided a unique platform for investors and venture capitalists to share their valuable insights on the untapped potential of Pakistan’s startup industry. The engaging fireside chat between business leaders and speakers was the highlight of the evening, where they discussed investment strategies and opportunities. The knowledge shared by the speakers excited the business community, encouraging them to explore investing in startups and reap the benefits of this lucrative industry.

Dr. Khurram Tariq, President of FCC&I and CEO of Kay & Emms, played a vital role in bringing the industrialists on board and promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in Faisalabad. His unwavering support made the event a grand success.

During the event, Muhammad Adrees, the CEO of Sitara Chemical Industries Ltd, committed to initiating a VC fund from Faisalabad, creating a long-lasting impact and influencing many industrialists to join the bandwagon of investing in startups.

Asim Shahryar Husain, CEO of Ignite, on the occasion, stated, “Pakistan has a significant untapped pool of local investment potential, serving as a gateway for corporations to attain transformative growth amidst a dynamic, globally competitive, and rapidly changing economic terrain, by forging strategic partnerships and making strategic investments in promising startups.”

Murtaza Zaidi, Managing Partner of NIC Faisalabad, said, “NIC Faisalabad is committed to bringing top industrialists on board and developing an investor education program that encourages business leaders to co-invest with mature investors and venture capitalists in the startup ecosystem.”

The event demonstrated that Pakistan’s startup ecosystem is thriving and bursting with potential, waiting to be unlocked. With the business community’s and startups’ collective effort, NIC Faisalabad can drive change, accelerate growth, and lead the way in transforming Pakistan’s startup industry.

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