The United States has always been a country driven by production and investment. The number of companies operating in the North American nation is a testament to the country’s entrepreneurial spirit. It is also why hundreds of US investors mentor startups from across the globe each year in an effort to support the startup potential in other countries, at least according to Alicia Dean. Dean was behind the establishment of the program that has seen 22 Pakistani startups receive $20 million in funding from Austin-based venture capitalists under the ATX-PAK Exchange Program.
Pakistani Startups Impress Investors
Two years ago, Plan 9, an incubator for the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) and 1839 Ventures, an investment group based in Austin, TX, with assistance from state authorities in the US, launched the ATX-PAK Exchange Program. The initiative allowed promising Pakistani youth to fly to the US and receive investment advice and mentorship from experts in Austin.
After the program, these youth were allowed to pitch their ideas for startups to US-based investors during an international annual investment-seeking event.
“Almost seven out of ten of all Pakistani startups that went through the mentorship program secured investments,” observed Dean, noting that this figure was higher than that of all other nationalities represented at the event, “they simply impressed the investors.”
Interest in the Plan 9 initiatives was also due to the fact that investors are now drawn towards more technology-based startups. With more Pakistani youth embracing the use of original technology-driven ideas in startups, the potential for the country’s startup atmosphere is gaining international recognition.
Investors pledged $20 million in total to get the chosen startups off the ground.
Dean commented that the infusion of investment the startups received in 2017 may indicate that the Pakistani startup scene was ready to move to the next level.