US Embassy Islamabad Supports Women-led Startups in Pakistan

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Nine Pakistani women entrepreneurs have left for the United States this week under a program funded by the American Embassy in Islamabad and launched by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Islamabad.

The Accelerator Program for Women Entrepreneurs is an innovative training program and competition which connects women-owned Pakistani startups with American business tools, coaching, and mentoring.

The program received an overwhelming response from 450 women-led businesses, after which 75 shortlisted start-ups underwent a rigorous process of mentoring workshops and pitching competitions. The top 12 startups were selected for a 15-week Founders Institute Acceleration Program and nine women entrepreneurs from these startups were selected for an in-person acceleration exchange.

During the visit, the women entrepreneurs will attend major conferences and visit offices of major companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and PayPal.  They will also visit local U.S.-based incubators such as 9 Mile Labs, Kiwi Tech, Angel Pad, and Alchemist. The participants will be provided with multiple networking opportunities throughout the eight-week period and will pitch to selected U.S.-based investors on the east and west coasts.

Addressing a ceremony organized by the TiE Islamabad chapter before the departure of the entrepreneurs to the U.S., the Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Syed Aminul Haque, said this program provides the entrepreneurs with access to international incubators and foreign investors.

“I am particularly excited about the role the Pakistani diaspora in the U.S. will play in supporting our women-led enterprises,” he added.

The American Embassy’s Minister Counselor for Public Affairs, Raymond Castillo, said, “We at the U.S. Embassy have been impressed by the commitment to excellence that all of the original 500 applicants showed throughout the virtual program. These efforts will lead to a brighter future for Pakistan and the world”.

“As the finalists here at this ceremony, you should be extremely proud. Your persistence has paid off, and you will now represent Pakistan in the United States. You are the future women entrepreneurs of Pakistan,” he remarked.

The Accelerator Program for Women Entrepreneurs funded by the U.S. State Department provides growth stage start-ups with the necessary tools, coaching, and mentoring, and women entrepreneurs with access to global investors and venture capitalists. The core eight-week program revolves around networking, mentoring, and investor engagements in leading U.S. ecosystems like San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Boston, Washington, and New York.

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Originally published at propakistani.pk

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