National Incubation Center Lahore, housed at LUMS, recently held its Investor Summit on August 28 and 29, where it brought together seasoned investors and its cohort of entrepreneurs.
The summit capped off the Foundation Programme, which is a months-long endeavor where LUMS faculty work to impart the knowledge, skills and tools needed for aspiring entrepreneurs to flourish. The summit was presided over by 23 judges who included prominent investors and venture capitalists, as well as renowned startup founders. The enterprises that partook in the event were increasingly aimed at providing social solutions for relevant socio-cultural issues.
Saleem Ahmad, the Chairman of NICL and NIC Quetta, said, “we are striving at the grassroots level to feed the pipeline in Pakistan’s rapidly emerging start-up ecosystem.” “Our goal is to also incubate talented youth from diverse socio-economic and demographic backgrounds, ensuring access to those who may otherwise be excluded from such opportunities.”
He also went on to appreciate the focus of entrepreneurs on social solutions, saying, “I’m personally moved by the mix of start-ups including many conviction-driven social ventures catering to physical disabilities and psychological wellness issues including abuse.”
Aatif Awan, founder and Managing Partner at Indus Valley Capital and member of NICL’s Foundation Council, commented on the social impact of entrepreneurship as well, stating, “there’s a false dichotomy where people think that either you’re a social impact startup, which means you cannot raise VC money or scale fast enough, or a company just for profit. I don’t believe that dichotomy needs to exist. I feel you have maximum impact when you can figure out self-sustainable motives. The ‘why’ founders are doing something determines how much impact it will have.”