New economy has taken over the world. Pakistan has come a long way but still has much further to go as far as infrastructure and ecosystem of startups is concerned. As part of this ecosystem, accelerators and startups both have an important role to play but there are still vast ecosystem changes needed before the global phenomenon fully takes over our economy.
In this transitional phase, it is imperative that our young entrepreneurs and business owners buckle down for the long haul, because it’s very clear to me that there’s a huge amount of talent, a huge amount of ideas, over here, and now more than ever, these idea and this potential needs to be nourished into something bigger and better for the people and our country. And that’s where accelerators and incubators come into play.
Accelerators and incubators, which are fast becoming very similar institutions, take burgeoning ideas and businesses and help them become reality, help them find their feet. The growing number of startups and new businesses in Pakistan, however, necessitates that these processes in the new ecosystem now be supplemented by seed funding. 10xC, backed up its parent company, Planet N Group, is one such entity, and along with a few other people is working tirelessly to bring about the necessary changes in laws and regulations to support the injection of seed funding into our entrepreneurial ventures. These changes are critical because they facilitate local investors to be a part of this ecosystem – foreign investments can only take our businesses so far.
Pakistan needs about $1 billion in seed funding to be able to support the diverse and unique ideas kicking around. However, as it stands today, our businesses only have about $10 million available – a vast discrepancy. Funding clearly hasn’t grown proportionally to the number of startups and the number of accelerators to nurture said startups, and that is why, in a nutshell, this change is essential. Only then can our businesses hope to truly prosper.
If you look at the top 10 companies in the world, they’re all new economy. Google. Microsoft. Apple. Pakistan will, too, soon have its Facebook and its Amazon to disrupt the order of things, if our current trends are anything to go on. Until then, the various players in our ecosystem, the entrepreneurs, the support structures (incubators, accelerators, funds) need to buckle down and grit their teeth, and prepare themselves for pain. Only through that pain will come the reward, and a mighty fine one at that!