PSEB invites young entrepreneurs to pitch for a place in their Plug & Play Incubators

April 27, 2011 at 10:18 am 13 comments

Lots is happening in the entrepreneurial space these days. The NUST Invent campaign is on, the Microsoft Catalyst program (in partnership with P@SHA and TiE) has gone past the training stage, TiECon 2011 is scheduled for April 30 in Islamabad, the P@SHA-CIPE Entrepreneurs Stakeholder sessions are gathering momentum (the first one went off beautifully earlier this week – more about this in another post).

And now Zia Imran, MD of PSEB, has informed us that PSEB will be officially launching its Incubator program at TieCon2011 Islamabad to be held on the 30th of April. Companies will be able to apply for this program at TieCon . PSEB is encouraging young entrepreneurs and companies to visit PSEB incubators program web page to find out more details of the program..

To be considered for the program, each applicant must go through a 2 stage evaluation process in front of a panel of judges. The first step is the “Gong Session” where each candidate will make a 5 minute presentation to a panel of judges highlighting the core idea.  The focus should be on describing the core elements of the idea and any people, businesses or entities who would want to use the product or service (i.e. the target market). PSEB suggests that you  practice your pitch and measure your presentation time. Presenter will not be allowed to continue after his/her 5 minute time is up. Only one presenter from each team will make the entire 5 minute presentation.

If a candidate qualifies after the “Gong Session” stage, he/she will be invited to make a more “detailed presentation”, 30 minutes in length to a panel of judges. PSEB will publish guidelines for the preparation of this 30 minute detailed presentation at a later stage.

The first “pitch session” in Islamabad is scheduled for April 30th at TieCon Islamabad to be held at the Convention Center.

The first “pitch session” in Karachi is scheduled for May 3rd; venue to be announced later.

The first “pitch session” in Lahore is scheduled for May 7th; venue to be announced later.

To apply for any of the pitch sessions, please send an e-mail to with the following details:

Your Name (s):  include names of all members of your team
Name of your company (or product idea):
Contact Phone No:

A PSEB representative will respond back by giving you an approximate time for your pitch. The cut off time to apply is 6 pm the day before the pitch session in each of the three cities.

Please make sure that you have visited the Incubators program web page, to see if the program fits your needs.

Details of the program are given below:

PSEB’s Smart Plug and Play Incubator

Do you have a great idea and need support to execute it and build it into a viable product or a service? We can support you!

We are looking for?

Teams of 1-5 people, “want to be” Entrepreneurs of the following type,

  1. Professionals who have already been in the industry 0-10 or more years
  2. Students in their 3rd year or 4th year who have a promising final year project or otherwise would like to work on a new idea
  3. Anyone who has a decent idea that can change the world or at least make a difference in the life of at least a few thousand other people
  4. Student teams lead by a professor
  5. Any weird combination of the above

What do you need to have?

  1. A lot of passion
  2. A half decent technology driven business idea that can at least change the life of a few thousand to a few million people, the more the better
  3. An idea that can get to a product or at least a working prototype (not smoke and mirrors) in 6 months or less

What will we provide?

  1. Space to hang out, that is, office space with Internet connection, sever, desk, chair and a computer
  2. Some seed capital to buy a computer or other equipment
  3. Monthly stipend to cover food and transportation, rest is your sweat equity
  4. Adult Supervision, that is, two mentors assigned to each company, one technical, one business.

What are the criteria for selection?

  1. As stated before, a promising idea that can get to a product or a working prototype in 6 months or less
  2. A software or software utility that is commercially viable
  3. A software or software utility that is aimed at ICT4D
  4. A software, microcontroller system or utility that can serve a commercial purpose or a national need
  5. A gadget, circuit or electro-mechanical device/contraption that is relevant to a few thousand to few million people (preferably driven by a microcontroller but not necessary).

Why we think it will work?

  1. Dedicated team of Advisors will work with you with at least one monthly face to face meeting and one fortnightly phone call meeting.
  2. The Advisors will be accomplished individuals who are either good technologists or successful business persons. They will help you shape your idea, help with tricky technical problems and make your product/service viable.
  3. We believe mentorship is the most important ingredient of a successful Incubator, facilities coupled with smart advice.

How can you apply?

  1. Send a one page proposal outlining your idea, what problem it solves and why it is (or can be) relevant to at least a few thousand people. Don’t worry about commercial success at this stage to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with a title Application for Incubation. Please include your name and a phone number to contact you and your university if you are currently a student.
  2. Look for us at industry events where we will hold quick elevator pitch sessions (you will have 5 minutes to impress us with your idea)

Entry filed under: Posts.

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13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Muhammad Jabran  |  April 27, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Islamabad has been very unfortunate when it comes to entrepreneurial activities but from last few weeks lot is happening in Islamabad as well which is great!

  • 2. Jehan  |  April 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Islamabad is very fortunate now:
    1. The Invent activity
    2. TiECon 2011 – April 30
    3. P@SHA-CIPE Entrepreneurs Session on May 10
    And there is more to come but you will have to wait for the announcement.

  • 3. Umair Jabbar  |  April 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    the link doesnt work

  • 4. Umair Jabbar  |  April 27, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    This is the correct URL

  • 5. Umair Jabbar  |  April 27, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Ohk I see the URL have been updated/

  • […] PSEB invites young entrepreneurs to pitch for a place in their Plug & Play Incubators […]

  • 7. Maleeha Khan  |  April 27, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    its a gr8 opprtunity!!

  • 8. send free sms in Pakistan  |  April 29, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    This is a great opportunity for every new online business like ( to grow …

  • 9. Ali  |  May 5, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I think it CAN be a great thing. I was part of Seedcamp ( in Berlin and saw upfront how the leading incubator program in Europe really works (in some cases even better than Y-Combinator, which works pretty well too!).

    However, the success of incubator is a direct function of what kind of “mentoring” + logistics support these startups get. Office space and stipend are, IMHO, just 5% of the game. Rest 95% come from defining business model, getting these young entrepreneurs exposure to market and helping them go from seed to series A or to customers and sustainable revenues.

    Since it’s PSEB and I guess they should have good budget for this I think they can do the following:

    Prototyping: helping companies do the first prototypes, go to market and get early users/customers.

    Marketing/PR: helping companies receive international or local buzz (I would say people like Faizan Buzdar of iScrybe could help companies reach out to the tech blogs etc as I am sure he or people he knows have very strong network there).

    Funding: I believe there are several people in Pakistan or of Pakistani origin who would not mind investing in high potential startups. I also think that to start with, PSEB should raise funding for this program from different investors. It could be as low as $400k, from as low as just 10 angel investors (selected as people who have interest in the industry, access to capital for follow up rounds etc.). In fact, I think government dependence should be as minimum as platform – its contribution should only be the platform and help with logistics (getting startups visas etc.)

    Exposure: As I mentioned above, PSEB as govt platform can for sure help companies receive business visas and arrange trips to US to meet with high profile entrepreneurs e.g. with foursquare, twitter – all the way from east coast to west coast. I am sure there are several icons in our market who have great networks in the US and can help several entrepreneurs (i, for one, can help a lot in the European market!). The entrepreneurs would get a lot of exposure if they go talk to successful entrepreneurs in valley and elsewhere and see what the market is about (what’s hot etc.). Also this would help the entrepreneurs meet investor groups directly which would help in raising investments (series A) plus help improve Pakistani image in general too.

    A lot of people say that there is no “local” market in Pakistan so it’s hard to do products. I think we can adapt the Israeli model of entrepreneurship and create products for the global market – from day one (in any case, come to think of it, our services companies are creating products for global markets anyway). I believe, outside US the most VC investment is done in Israeli startups and there is no reason why we can’t replicate that model.

    My two cents!

    Best of luck from Berlin.

  • […] See more here: PSEB invites young entrepreneurs to pitch for a place in their … […]

  • 12. Talal  |  August 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I applied for incubator program on 18 Aug 2011, any idea when will I get follow up and chance?.. Im from Lahore

  • […] young Entrepreneurs – Microsoft Catalyst as well as the NUST Business Plan Competition and the PSEB Incubation opportunity […]


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