ISLAMABAD – Velocity, Telenor Pakistan’s startup accelerator program, held a dynamic networking event titled ‘The Startup Struggle’ where entrepreneurs and young founders deliberated on why startups fail and what must be done to help them succeed in the Pakistani market.
In addition to 80 Pakistani startups of different sizes and success levels, the attendees included four mentors namely Usama Shahid – ex CEO and Founder of Meri Taleem, Junaid Malik – Founder of NutriNysa and Raise d’Bar, Shehryar Hydri – Director of Marketing and Operations at Convo, and Jeremy Higgs – Co Founder of EcoEnergy.
The 5-hour interactive group activity underscored the problems in Pakistan entrepreneurial system and their possible solutions. Speakers shared their stories of success, failure, struggle, and recoupment, followed by group discussions on the presented cases moderated by the aforementioned mentors.
Startups have been a hyped-up local and international phenomenon of the past decade. While we see many new startups hitting it big globally, countless others fail, sometimes mysteriously and often unnoticed. In Pakistan, unfortunately, the latter appears to be the prevalent case with more startups struggling than succeeding and the reason is manifold.
During the discussion, it was highlighted that some of the key reasons our startups don’t hit it big include inadequate funding, bad launch timing, compromised quality of product, a weak business model or absence of it, and above all, lack of passion. Running a successful company requires a lot more than just an idea; one needs perseverance and a go-getter attitude along with the passion to make a positive impact in the local community, country or the world.
The past few years have seen the startup culture gaining traction in Pakistan with a number of incubators and startups accelerators springing up across major cities. While Telenor Velocity produced some successful startups, only limited names could appear on the success horizon from other such programs, a situation that calls for more events and initiatives like this.
‘Telenor Velocity’ is Telenor Pakistan’s flagship startup accelerator program focused on helping startups go to market over a period of 6 months by accessing Telenor Pakistan’s scale and assets including data analytics, retail and digital distribution network, API platform and online payments solution. Velocity is one of the numerous initiatives Telenor Pakistan has taken to promote digital technology in the country.