Plan9 offers help to Pakistani tech startups

The usual perception is that a public entity is inefficient and unproductive. But Plan9 defies that perception as a government funded technology incubator located at the heart of Lahore. A startup company once accepted by the incubator gets access to space, internet and communication facilities for six month. The incubator also offers mentoring and advice provided by experienced entrepreneurs in Pakistan and abroad.

The first batch of companies hosted by Plan9 included eyedeus labs, homwtown, hybrid signals, rocxial and trechnology. These companies are aspiring to serve various technology needs of consumers and enterprises.

The enterprise is managed by a board of directors chaired by Dr. Umar Saif and included Badar Khushnood of Google, Zafar Khan CEO of Sofizar, Sajjad Karimi CEO of Infogistic, Salim Rehman Director Operations of EMCO Industries, Khurram Zafar CIO of Lahore Stock Exchange, Babar Ahmed CEO of Mindstorm Studios and Jehan Ara from PASHA. The incubator does not take an equity stakes in the sponsored companies which is a good incentive for entrepreneurs. It is not yet clear what are the next steps in helping these start-ups to grow into mature and growing companies. It is also not clear what kind of exit strategies will be offered to early investors. These are important factors for startup investors in USA and Europe when they evaluate proposals for investment.

Pakistan has substantial pool of talented IT personnel that can become a potent sector to earn foreign exchange for the country. Pakistan has emerged as one of the top providers of freelance services on outsourcing web sites odesk, elance, guru and freelancer.com

Startups interested in joining Plan9 can find more information at this link.

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