PITB mulls weighty VC Fund establishment to abet technopreneurs

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STAFF REPORT LHR: Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) recently held a roundtable conference aimed at IT industry uplifting through concrete collaborative efforts between industry, academia and the other stakeholders. The meeting entailed participants mainly from IT sector. Dr Umar Saif, Chairman PITB presided the conference.

The conference was helpful in initiating a dialogue between stakeholders of IT domain, reviewing changes in taxation policies in IT sector. Dr Umar Saif revealed during the conference that VC fund ranging to half a billion PKR is expected to launch in next 4-6 months in order to foster the funding for Plan9 (largest tech incubator of Pakistan) project through local investors which will open doors for good angel or series-A funding for local startups. “The tech incubator Plan9 and tech accelerator PlanX are doing very well with around 85 companies spinning out, some of which have made it big to the Valley,” said Dr Umar Saif.

The participants were apprised about different projects of PITB such as TechHub Connect which is a co-working space in PITB where freelancers are welcomed to come and work with all the logistical support free of cost. In doing that, they can interact with others; make teams and bid for bigger projects on outsourcing portals. It was also announced that a high tech-review magazine on pattern of MIT`s (http://www.technologyreview.com/) will also be soon launched by PITB for tech information dissemination and awareness purpose. Dr Umar Saif said while focusing on technological awareness, “A TV program on a mainstream channel to highlight IT innovation and entrepreneurship is being planned to showcase the landmarks to masses which will be a toned down version of Shark Tank”.

Chairman PITB said while speaking to the participants, “Industry-academia linkages are primarily focused by PITB as a portal is being launched at government level where industry will add the projects which they wish to get done by academia. These projects will then be done by students and initiate industry-academia partnerships”.

The conference provided opportunity to stakeholders of IT industry to identify missing links in the sector and work in coordination for alleviation of challenges. The participants from various ventures hailed the efforts of PITB and its efforts in technology advancement especially through its projects like VC Fund, TechHub Connect and Plan9.


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