Budding Entrepreneurs Take the Stage to Impress Local and International Investors

The 7th graduating batch includes 18 startups, 50% of which are run by female entrepreneurs.

The latest cohort of startups that graduated from The Nest I/O on April 30 is working to disrupt a diverse set of fields including education, the wedding industry, health & lifestyle, e-commerce retail, discounts through blockchain, and many more.

A total of 25 startups, which included the graduating batch and some alumni, pitched to a panel of investors and corporates at the Demo Day event. Some of the key investors present at the event included representatives from Fatima Ventures, Elahi Group of Companies, and Bakery. With this being the seventh batch passing out of The Nest I/O in just over 3 years, the total number of graduating startups has hit 139.

“The Nest I/O has and continues to play a vital role in the development of the startup ecosystem in Pakistan by continuously bringing together fantastic entrepreneurs, seasoned mentors, and strategic investors to catalyze growth of startups.  We at Google, and I personally, am very proud to be associated with what is largely one of the beachheads of technology entrepreneurship in Pakistan”, commented Raza Matin, Business and Marketing Consultant for Google in Pakistan.

The graduating startups have made significant progress during their 4 month incubation at The Nest I/O in terms of product development, product launch, marketing, traction, and business model. Although still in the initial phase of their startup journey, some of the batch 7 startups have already shown progress in terms of traction and revenue, such as WeMakers, an EdTech startup focusing on the area of STEM education, 3D-printing and Robotics, that has been featured on BBC; and Paiman, a health and beauty startup that has generated revenue of PKR 45,000 within one week of its product launch.

Apart from incubating tech startups, The Nest I/O has been involved in other activities to promote the startup culture of Pakistan and facilitate the growth of entrepreneurship in the country. Some of these initiatives include Corporate Innovation Sprints, Hackathons, the 021Disrupt Conference, Sindh TechEd Program, Innovation Breakfasts, Young Innovators Camps and many more.

Over the years, The Nest I/O has made great efforts to support the mainstreaming of gender equality through inclusion initiatives such as Women Scaling Heights and bringing Startup Weekend Women to Pakistan. The results of these inclusion efforts can clearly be seen in the graduating batch with more than 50% startups being led by female entrepreneurs.

Pakistan currently ranks 143 out of 144 in the Global Gender Gap Report. Inclusion and equal representation of women in business is no longer a social issue but an economic one. We have worked very hard to ensure that there is equal representation of female entrepreneurs at least in the startup ecosystem. It is not the talent or skills that Pakistani women lack, it’s the lack of opportunity and support that keeps them from reaching their full potential”, commented Jehan Ara, President P@SHA and Founder of The Nest I/O.

A project of P@SHA, The Nest I/O was set up in partnership with global partners Google for Entrepreneurs and Samsung, and with a supporting grant from the US State Department. The Nest I/O has also partnered with Ilm Ideas 2 and UK Aid to support incubation of startups working in the education-technology space.

For a complete list of The Nest I/O startups and what they do, click here.


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