Wednesday, July 24, 2024

#021Disrupt2020 brings online 7300+ International and Local Innovators together to shake the Pakistani Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

021 Disrupt, Pakistan’s premier conference on entrepreneurship and innovation organized by The Nest I/O, was successfully held between 30 November and 5 December. Now in its fourth year the conference has continued its mission of connecting local and foreign investors, innovators and technology leaders to Pakistan’s start-up and entrepreneurial community.

The conference, which took place digitally this year, ensured increased accessibility to all those across Pakistan and beyond who are interested in accelerating ecosystem development. 021Disrupt experienced a digital footprint of 7300+ entrepreneurs, investors, influencers, professionals and students attending the conference from across Pakistan, considering the engagement challenges of hosting an online conference.

The next major ideas that will alter the face of tech and entrepreneurship in Pakistan in the coming years were shared by over 65 international and local disruptors. In addition, over 550 startups have been active in 315+ office hours with 31 local and international investors and mentors!

Announcements on Disruption

Building on the momentum of previous years, at this year’s conference there were important announcements that would significantly change Pakistan’s investment and entrepreneurial landscape:

  • Indus Valley Capital is launching applications for a dedicated programme to return Pakistanis, the Indus Valley Wapistani Track;
  • Lakson Investments Venture Capital leads lodging and hospitality startup, $1,000,000 Pre-Series A round of funding,
  • Fatima Gobi Ventures announces the first close of The Nest I/O’s graduated cohorts of its $20 million debut fund, Techxila Fund I, investing in SafePay and Invest Center. Previous investments include 021Disrupt, Airlift, and Taajir, announced in 2018 by SastaTicket.PK.
  • I2i Ventures and Sarmayacar are launching the Pakistan Early Stage Investors Guide, a playbook on how to invest in local start-ups.
  • TwoDots, a design company located in Karachi, has been acquired by 10Pearls.

With this year’s theme focusing on forging brave new worlds, the conference also discussed the effect of the pandemic on Pakistan’s entrepreneurial landscape and how it has shown global resilience and development. 021Disrupt welcomed the confidence expressed in the ecosystem by local and foreign investors, with Pakistani start-ups raising $45 million in 2020 alone.

The Talks That Matter

This year’s talks centred on the key themes of creating a favourable climate for start-up investments, establishing regulatory and policy mechanisms to encourage innovation, and sharing innovative technology implementation methods in Pakistan. Here are some of the radical ideas shared at 021Disrupt by the speakers,

“Many entrepreneurs, I believe, fail because they want to wait for the perfect product, the perfect team, the perfect everything. Find complementary soul mates: you have to find individuals that can do what you cannot do!”—Guy Kawasaki, Canva’s Chief Evangelist.

“As soon as investors bring money into a start-up, that’s not the money of the lender, it’s the money of the start-up. But they have to keep taking the same amount of risks they have taken before.”-Michael Blakely, Cocoon Capital Capital Co-Founder & Managing Partner.

President HBL Muhammad Aurangzeb endorsed the conference by sharing, “The core theme of this conference has always been to learn from each other. The leaders of the future will discover that the pure technical component of a digital revolution will no longer be the hard part.”

Jehan Ara, President P@SHA and Founder the Nest I/O shared their views on going all virtual this year, “When we began on this journey, we didn’t realize whether the online format would work if people were to participate and enjoy a full schedule of talks and discussions. It was, luckily, a very good experiment. The kind of engagement that has occurred over the past six days is amazing. The speakers from around the world we were able to get on board, the useful content they shared, made it all truly worth the tremendous effort. It took a lot of people, way too many to mention, to bring it together but they know who they are!”

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