NSPIRE, a business incubator launched under NETSOL Technologies Pvt Limited welcomed its participants in the second round earlier in December. After well thought out considerations, evaluations, and profiling the following four teams made it to the second cohort:
1)Shopdesk – A cloud-based ERP solution, designed for tier 2 and 3 retail outlets
2)Qanoon.com.pk – An online portal for Pakistan’s Law division
3)Apna Table – A mobile and web based application for reserving seats at a restaurant
4)E-bookshop – Also a mobile and web based application for finding course books and stationery
Business incubators are organizations geared toward speeding up the growth and success of startup and early stage companies. They’re often a good path to capital from angel investors, state governments, economic-development coalitions and other investors. (Entrepreneur.com)
The launch of the second Cycle
The ceremony was attended by the top management of NETSOL Technologies along with steering committee at NSPIRE’s new and dynamic working space where the contract signing took place. The attendees included; Mr. Salim Ghauri ,CEO NETSOL Technologies and Mr. Ayub Ghauri, Head of NSPIRE. He emphasized on the commitment of this collaboration and said,
“We, at NSPIRE are extremely proud to support entrepreneurship in Pakistan. I encourage you to stay committed and passionate about your dreams, and success will follow you.”
Below is a prologue of questions which lead to the inception of NSPIRE and may help you understand more about it.
1.Why did NETSOL launch ‘NSPIRE’?
NSPIRE Team:NSPIRE was launched with the intent of providing help to the young entrepreneurs; this is NETSOL’s way of offering something back to the community. Another reason behind it is that Pakistan’s youth has immense talent, but often they are unable to find the resources which are essential for them to excel. NSPIRE will help them understand the market and provide them all the expertise required to build the right models.
2.Whats the story of the first cohort?
NSPIRE Team: The first cohort has graduated and it taught NSPIRE a great deal. In process of helping the startups we learnt how essential it is to address their needs. We now look at every startup individually as all of them require different kind of expertise. We learnt that we’ll have to tailor our services according to the startup and that has been quite an experience.
3.Will NSPIRE focus on a specific vertical?
NSPIRE Team:Our focus is on FinTech, since NETSOL is working in the same domain. Being an IT company, we are accepting applications from various other tech domains as well, but to balance out that effect, we offer an 80:20 ratio between tech and non-tech startups. If we see potential in a non-tech startup we do give them a chance to be part of NSPIRE.
4.Your message for those who wish to join in future
NSPIRE Team: Earlier in September this year, NSPIRE opened up its applications for the second cohort and compiled a five month incubation program with distinct pre-requisites.
For those who wish to join us in our 3rd cycle starting in June 2017, we will start taking applications post March 2017. Startups and aspiring entrepreneurs may also check the following links for more information:
The tech space is growing in Pakistan and startups need more opportunities to experiment so they could contribute to the economic turnaround. We appreciate that there’s a consideration for nontech startups also.
The challenge for early stage startups is to develop the right business model and manage resources. However, we are confident that the success of NETSOL would help entrepreneurs build lasting success stories and manage the issues startups face.
The growing challenge for incubators however is the set of services they provide. In Pakistan we are now ready to look at a buffet of choices which may include both access to capital and intangible services available to startups. Given the success story speaks for itself, we hope that NSPIRE’s strategy would just be the right mix!
About the Contributor:
Anas Ejaz is a Research Associate and enjoys exploring elements of a story. He also works with startups in various capacities.