ATX+Pak is a global success for the entrepreneurs of Pakistan. It is a 4 week long, fully funded entrepreneurial exchange program to Austin, USA designed for Pakistani entrepreneurs. Phase 1 of the program saw 22 startups heading out to Austin, Texas to showcase their talents while developing connections with mentors and investors.
Four cohorts consisting of 5-7 startups traveled to Austin at a 6 month interval aligning with Austin Startup Week and the South by Southwest conference. At the end of the ATX+Pak program, 70% of the start-ups were successful in raising investments. The program aimed to enable startups to think about their businesses with a global perspective in mind. On the other side, entrepreneurs and accelerators in Austin were introduced to opportunities in Pakistan for collaboration and joint expansion.
I, Faizan Mahmood, Head of Strategy at Innovation District 92, am proud to announce the introduction of the second phase of this program – ATX+Pak Advance. This version of the program includes two tracks:
1) Global Market Access:
This features a business development program for growth stage startups. During the one month Austin visit, 10 startups will be offered use of the network of industry contacts and mentors. Interaction with entrepreneurs and accelerators in Austin have chances of leading to partnerships and investment opportunities. Partnership and expansion plans have been scheduled to be completed within a year of the program.
2) Fashion Forward Initiative:
This feature is designed to generate commercial opportunities for fashion designers and startups in the fashion industry of Pakistan. This will help facilitate the import and export industry of Pakistan by promoting collaboration and investment in the Pakistani fashion industry.
Securing this grant is a triumph for the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Pakistan. This achievement accomplished by ID92 is a step forward for the Pakistani entrepreneurial environment. Such initiatives and global exposure opportunities provided by ID92 will help refine the abilities of businesses and startups all around the nation. Moreover, these activities will enable them to develop worldwide contacts with investors and mentors.
Nabeel Qadeer, co-Founder of Innovation District 92 and I, experienced the exposure provided by the ATX+Pak program, first hand. During the first phase, we witnessed the growth experienced by every single startup from the knowledge that they gained in Austin. Interaction with global investors and mentors led to open minded discussions among the startups. Furthermore, consultations led to them looking at the entrepreneurial environment in Pakistan with a global perspective in mind.
Additionally, Dr. Sumaira Rehman, Rector of Superior University and co-Founder of Innovation District 92, wishes to make an impact by developing future generations of entrepreneurs. The ATX+Pak program aligns with her vision of producing a self-sustaining economic environment. With the introduction of the second phase we expect even more success in improving the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pakistan with the help of the environment in Austin.
While we at Innovation District 92 are proud to be the official partners of the ATX-Pak Program, applications are open for every Pakistani entrepreneur ready to take on the world. During the period of call for applications, two delegations will arrive in Pakistan to generate interest and capitalize on talent.
Applications open in November 2018. Two cohorts consisting of 5 companies (in total 10 companies) each are due to travel to Austin in 2019 and 2020 respectively. Keep an eye out on the ID92 website and the official GMAP website for further program details and Good luck!
Read more about the program and you can be a part of it here!
–Faizan Mahmood is the Head of Strategy at Innovation District 92 and General Manager Innovation at The Superior Group