Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited and LMKT formally announce the inauguration of National Incubation Center (NIC), Peshawar funded by the Ministry of IT&T and Ignite Fund (formerly known as National ICT R&D Fund). The launch ceremony was graced by the Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Prime Minister of Pakistan as Chief Guest, along with Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Anusha Rahman, Minister of IT&T and other well-known dignitaries from the public and private sectors.A large 12,000 sq. ft. facility in the heart of Peshawar at PTCL Training Center has been allotted for purpose to incubate more than 25 cherry-picked startups each year. NIC Peshawar equipped with the latest ICT infrastructure offering high-speed connectivity, seamless audio and video conferencing facilities, fully-managed IT and telecom services, among many others.

Developers will have great access to comprehensive mentoring services which allow them to seek guidance and support on design thinking, business planning, financial and operational aspects related to their startups such as marketing and communication, legal services and many more. Launch NIC Peshawar has been received very positively by academia, public and private sectors with significant partnerships and MoUs lined up with leading organizations and universities. Some of these collaborations include design thinking workshops by IBM, FinTech Lab, BioTech & CNC Lab by CECOS University and linkages with Google Business Groups.While addressing, Khaqan Abbasi said, “I am pleased with the growing cooperation between the public and private sectors to promote youth-led entrepreneurship in the country and realize the dream of a Digital Pakistan.”

He further added, “NIC Peshawar is proof of the government’s commitment of extending all kinds of support to relevant stakeholders in developing Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s technology landscape and startup ecosystem.”Industry-renowned start-up incubation curriculum developed by Founder’s Institute will be executed for the various cohorts that are inducted as part of NIC Peshawar. In addition, in collaboration with Microsoft, IBM and other global technology leaders will design specialized workshops which will be conducted during each session. Anusha Rahman, while expressing her satisfaction with the launch proceedings, stated, “National Incubation Center, Peshawar will guide a luminous new era of entrepreneurship and innovation in KP, enabling many aspiring tech entrepreneurs and startups in creating game-changing solutions.”

She further added, “Ministry of IT&T is continually striving towards transforming Pakistan into a knowledge-based economy through various sustainable ICT initiatives.”Yousuf Hussain, CEO, Ignite and the brain behind the NICs said, “A singular opportunity for startups that seek to solve meaningful problems with the help of academia and for corporates that seek to transform and thrive in this age of global competition and universal change by partnering with and investing in startups.”Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Daniel Ritz President & CEO PTCL stated, “The Incubation Center Peshawar is an important milestone in the escalating innovation climate of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

This center is an evidence to PTCL’s promise to empower the people of Pakistan through its ICT and Digital services.”“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has giant untapped talent and potential that can become a major driver in boosting Pakistan’s economy. I’m really excited about the prospect of working with innovative local entrepreneurs and startups in our pursuit for creating success stories bigger than ours”, said by Atif Khan, CEO LMKT while addressing the audience.

The introduction of initial cohort of 25 startups is already in progress and the first session is expected to commence by March 2018. In the subsequent months, the NIC Peshawar team and all its partners will work closely with local bodies and universities to identify and train top talent from KP province.