The Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan under Higher Education Development in Pakistan (HEDP) project organized a week-long training for Business Incubation Center Managers in Islamabad.

The training was held in collaboration with Invest2Innovate (i2i), a leading organization that supports startup communities. It was attended by Directors/Managers of 17 Business Incubation Centers (BICs) from higher education institutions of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and AJK.

HEC in the past has organized multiple capacity building programs for the BICs staff. However, this training was focused on providing complete hand holding to startups from induction and incubation to formal graduation. The training plan has been designed in accordance with the BICs Needs Assessment held in one-on-one sessions with respective BICs recently. The training covered A to Z of program design for executing a successful incubation program including research and rapid product prototyping, road mapping startup’s journey, business development, revenue generation, building a financial narrative and investment readiness.

In her opening remarks, Director (R&D) HEC Ms Noshaba Awais offered her full support to the BIC teams. During the training, the participants were briefed about their significant roles in the Innovator Seed Fund (ISF) grant. ISF is a unique national level seed-funding program where HEC, along with its partner BICs, is implementing this activity to provide a combination of capacity plus seed-funding support to innovative startups in a blended format. The grant winners will receive up to $35,000 in seed funding along with technical support from BICs.

“Aligned with HEC’s mission, these Innovator Seed Fund Grants are the key components of the HEDP Project launched for the very first time. HEDP will be holistically supporting development of entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystems, hence will play a key role in transforming Pakistan into a knowledge economy,” said Executive Director HEC, Dr Shaista Sohail in the context of ISF Capacity Building Program and upcoming Awards ceremony.  She stressed the dire national need to use the power of innovation to solve economic, social, environmental challenges and even global challenges.

The participants appreciated the efforts of the HEC team and assured their firm support to resolve any challenges faced by successful ISF grantees and future incubates in their upcoming entrepreneurship journey. Mr. Hazrat Bilal, Director General (Research & Innovation) HEC, in his closing remarks appreciated the efforts of trainers, BIC Directors and HEC organizing team. He also gathered feedback from participants on how to improve upcoming training and capacity building programs for BICs.

Related: HEC Chairman Inaugurates Allama I I Kazi Library at SMIU

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Arsalan Haider is a reporter at Academia Mag and has worked with leading national dailies and news channels. He tweets @arsalanhaider14

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