15 start-ups win HEC grants of $35000 each

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Fifteen start-ups have won grants of up to $35,000 each in the Pitching Competition organised by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) under the Innovator Seed Fund (ISF). As many as 26 entrepreneurial teams, shortlisted out of 186 applicants, participated in the competition.

The grant winning start-ups include ezGeyser, mimAR Studios, Funkshan Tech (Pvt) Ltd and truID Technologies (Pvt) Ltd from National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST); Savvy Engineers (Pvt) Ltd and Arm Rehab Technologies from International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI); Averos Life Sciences from Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar; Wonder Women from University of the Punjab; Orko (Pvt) Ltd, Boltay Huroof and Porter Pakistan from NED University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Karachi; VisionRD and Oxbridge Innovative Solutions (Pvt) Ltd from Bahria University Islamabad; 110 Innovate from IBA Sukkur; and Shahruh Technologies (Pvt) Ltd from UET Lahore. Chairman HEC Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed graced the award distribution ceremony as chief guest alongside Country Director WB (Pakistan) Gailius J. Draugelis, Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail, Vice Chancellors, members of corporate bodies, jury members, and other notables. In his remarks, Chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said Pakistan’s start-ups saw a record-breaking year of fund-raising in 2021 with over $350 million in funding.

He noted that with collective and persistent efforts, this fledgling ecosystem could flourish further and safeguard Pakistani entrepreneurs through regulatory, networking, and funding opportunities.

He stated that HEC, in collaboration with partners like WB, would continue creating a good working environment for youth, as Pakistani youth had no dearth of potential.

He emphasised the need for introducing and materialising impactful research and entrepreneurial ideas to come up with out-of-the-box solutions to national problems. “The important thing for institutions to do is to ensure availability of best-possible facilities for youth and create a quality research ecosystem,” he underlined.

The chairman highlighted that the youth have multiple opportunities under various initiatives like Prime Minister Youth Programme, while the BICs are playing a very imperative role in exploiting the capabilities of young scholars, researchers and entrepreneurs. “Amidst the ample facilities and opportunities for talented Pakistani youth, he said, there is need for doing more as there is still a long way to go”.

“Let’s open the chains and break the walls to challenge the status quo and bring change to the society,” the chairman stressed, congratulating the winning start-ups.

He stressed the significance of holding pitching competitions and said the award of ISF grant was a dream come true. He also shed light on the background and importance of HEC-WB partnership.

Gailius J. Draugelis expressed satisfaction with HEC-WB partnership and hoped that the HEDP initiatives would support quality tertiary education in Pakistan while generating revenue streams and triggering socio-economic growth.

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