NSTP opens tenancy form for boomy startups , SMEs

These businesses will be bringing in US$8.5 million in foreign investment to produce their respective goods and solutions.

NSTP opens tenancy form for boomy startups , SMEs

The National Science and Technology Park (NSTP) SEZ committee approved the entry applications of three new enterprises with significant FDI in its third meeting during the current dire economic situation, demonstrating the confidence of foreign investors in Pakistani tech startups.

Following the establishment of the NSTP and Islamabad as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), the colonisation of the area started with the entry of domestic and international R&D-based businesses, with 25+ firms already receiving Zone Enterprise Status in the committee’s first two meetings in the year 2022.

The applicants include PriceOye, an e-commerce company developing marketplaces for consumer electronics; OrbitEd (Cygnus Creative Software Pvt Ltd), an ED Tech company developing an eLearning platform for virtual reality (VR) for training apps for enterprise businesses; and AlfaBolt, a fintech company with the product Nomad, an easy payment platform, and AlfaBolt Analytics, which aids businesses in identifying actions that drive user value.

Recently, PriceOye received seed funding from a large number of investors, including Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal. BeeNext, DG Daiwa, Mantis VC, HOF Capital, Palm Drive Capital, and Atlas Ventures, in addition to prior investors Fatima Gobi Ventures, SOSV, and Artistic Ventures, supported the startup’s $ 7.9 million seed round.

A female-led ed-tech startup called Orbit-Ed received a $ 500,000 investment from Boost VC in Silicon Valley, bringing their total pre-seed funding to $ 800,000.

All told, these businesses will be bringing in US$8.5 million in foreign investment by investors to produce their respective goods and solutions. These businesses have produced over 100 high-quality direct and indirect jobs.

The Federal Board of Investment created the SEZ’s One Window Operation to process applications for zone enterprise entry and the allocation of land and offices in order to facilitate investments in the nation and guarantee ease of doing business.

These businesses are now qualified for SEZ benefits, such as customs duties and tax exemptions under the SEZ Act of 2012, in addition to the allocation of land and offices.

By granting these businesses this status, the government will be able to exempt them from import taxes and income taxes, enabling them to grow into national and regional successes.

This will help the country’s standing on the Global Innovation Index, gains the trust of foreign investors and improve the socioeconomic conditions for the majority of its citizens.

A project started by the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) was given the SEZ designation at the Board of Approvals’ sixth meeting, which was held on October 7, 2020, with the prime minister serving as chair. The project can be found inside the NUST campus in Islamabad, H-12.

The SEZ aims to stimulate economic activity in the nation and create a knowledge-based multi-industry cluster that includes sectors of the engineering, biotech/pharma, banking/financial services, power, defence technologies, and automotive industries.

The synergies will result in technology advancement, the creation of effective systems, and the resolution of industry problems through research, development, and the production of goods and services that are competitive internationally and advantageous to the domestic economy.

While acknowledging the distinctiveness of the NSTP, the members of the SEZ committee came to the unanimous conclusion that the promotion of the hi-tech industry through R&D is urgently required to put Pakistan’s industrial base on par with other nations in the region.

AVM Dr. Rizwan Riaz (retired), Pro-Rector (RIC) NUST, and VP NSTP presided over the third committee meeting, which was attended by representatives of the federal and district administrations. Lt Col Shakeel Ahmad Shah, Manager SEZ, attended the meeting on the Board of Investment’s behalf.