By Rafiq Vayani
Tech start-up business pitch decks presented by four students and an alumnus of the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), Karachi have completed the first cohort of the SSK Incubation Program. Mr. Bashir Janmohammed, Chancellor IoBM, was the Chief Guest at the occasion that was also the formal inauguration of the SSK Incubation Center. The Incubation Center, named in memory of Late Mr. Shahjehan S. Karim, IoBM’s Founder President, aims to provide strategic and financial direction to start-ups emerging from IoBM. The event was held at IoBM on Thursday, November 19, 2020.
The Office of Research Innovation & Commercialisation (ORIC) and the Entrepreneurship & Management Excellence Center (EMEC) at IoBM have been adding value to the Incubation Center. The Incubation Faculty Committee and Incubation Alumni Council also support this initiative. Present on this occasion were IoBM’s Mr. Talib Karim, President; Ms. Sabina Mohsin, Executive Director; Dr. Syed Irfan Hyder, Rector; Dr. Shujaat Mubarik, Associate Dean CBM; Dr. Samra Javed; HoD, ORIC, and EMEC along with HoDs and management. The Master of Ceremony was Mr. Kamran Bilgrami, HoD Corporate Training and Manager Incubation Center for EMEC-IoBM. The projects incubated for six months include four tech-based applications, a 3D printer, and a vocational training program based on virtual reality/artificial intelligence. An IoBM MBA student has secured a seed fund of PKR 2.5 Million for a mobile application. These start-up entrepreneurs began their online pre-incubation stage in May 2020.
On this occasion, Mr. Talib Karim said that IoBM Incubation Center strives to nurture innovative ideas to bring profound social change. He said that the Incubation Center is open for students from all four constituent colleges of IoBM who can build sustainable ventures to become job creators and not job seekers. Mr. Bashir Janmohammad said that substantial efforts are needed to develop the agricultural sector to increase yield. He advised start-ups emerging from IoBM to focus on tech-based ventures.
Dr. Syed Irfan Hyder said that aspiring entrepreneurs need to think about innovative initiatives. He advised that a start-up entrepreneur should begin three ventures so the probability of failure is minimized. Dr. Shujaat Mubarik advised students being incubated to keep an eye on disruptive technologies and strengthen their technical and interpersonal knowledge.