Ignite’s National Incubation Centers Startups Win International Recognition

Three startups from Ignite’s National Incubation Centers (NICs) have received accolades from around the world in the last week.


Three Ignite’s NICs Startups Win International Recognition

Three startups from Ignite’s National Incubation Centers (NICs) have received accolades from around the world in the last week.

In the categories of “Finance & Venture Capital” and “Social Impact,” respectively, “KalPay” of NIC Lahore and “Bioniks” of NIC Karachi made it onto the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list, and NIC Lahore’s Aero Engine Craft has successfully registered a patent on supersonic jet engines that can meet current aircraft noise standards and can also achieve high performance of the engine during flight.

The sharia-compliant buy-now-pay-later startup KalPay, which aims to market to the vast population of Pakistan, was founded by Hassan and Islam.

In order to provide financial access in a nation where credit card penetration is low and 90% of transactions are made in cash, KalPay was introduced in June 2021 at NIC Lahore. Sabr Capital, based in Singapore, is one supporter and invests in Sharia-compliant businesses.

A social enterprise that creates affordable bionic arms, Bioniks was founded by Anas Niaz and Ovais Hussain Qureshi. The 3D-printed prosthetics are made to order and come with sensors and software that enable the wearer to use robotic fingers to grasp objects. Through a cloud system, the devices can be updated and tracked.

The 2016-founded company Bioniks can create arms for patients as young as three years old. The newest bionic arms from Bioniks are one tenth the price for $2000, while they typically cost $20,000 or more abroad. For local patients, that translates to a nearly 90% savings. The business also links those in need of prosthetics with donors.

In honour of World Intellectual Property Day, Dr. Sarah Qureshi, founder of Aero Engine Craft, shared her recently granted patent in the US and UK for a commercial supersonic engine design that she co-invented with her late father, Masood Latif Qureshi. “My father passed away last year, but his legacy lives on in his work. I found no female jet engine inventors anywhere in the world during my search for related prior art, so receiving a patent for my invention has been an overwhelming experience for me.”

“It is a great moment for Ignite and the IT Ministry for Pakistani startups to win international recognition in Forbes,” said Mr. Asim Shahryar Husain, CEO of Ignite.

“This shows that the startups incubated and coached by Ignite’s NICs have demonstrated excellence, innovation, and market potential at a global level. Pakistan’s female engineers are talented, as evidenced by the awarding of an international patent to Dr. Sarah for a jet engine design.”

The Ministry of IT & Telecom and Ignite’s flagship programme is called National Incubation Centers (NICs). With additional locations planned, the network of Ignite’s incubators has now reached eight Pakistani cities, including Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, and Rawalpindi.

Over the past five years, these NICs have supported more than 1300 startups, produced 126K direct and indirect jobs, generated a total of Rs. 13.8 billion in revenue, and secured more than $74 million (Rs. Bykea, PakVitae, MyTM, Integry, Digikhata, Encorepay, Kalpay, Bioniks, Farmdaar, Ezbike, and numerous other startups have found success. NICs are technology incubators with the goal of promoting entrepreneurship, innovation, and the expansion of Pakistan’s startup ecosystem.

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