Plan9 – Frontline of Techpreneurship

Tech incubation is the most important part of forming a vibrant and sustainable IT sector in any country, but especially so in Pakistan where opportunities in this area are not as plentiful as they might be elsewhere due to various factors.

Over the past few years, different programs have been introduced specifically for assisting and nurturing Pakistani startups and the results are already visible in the form of startups that have been launched through these programs. The first one of these incubators and the most popular by far is Plan9, founded by the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB).

Plan-9-Logo

By now, all the aspiring and established Pakistani techies know what Plan9 is and have been avidly following startups emerging from its incubation program. Plan9 offers a comprehensive program that involves everything from mentoring to working space to potential funding, making it the holy grail of opportunities currently available to aspiring young techies and entrepreneurs in Pakistan today.

The Plan9 Team:

Dr. Umar Saif (@umarsaif) is the force behind Plan9 incubation and is the Chairman of PITB as well as Vice-Chancellor of Information Technology University. An alumni of Cambridge University and MIT in the United States, Dr. Umar Saif is an experienced and dedicated technology enthusiast who sees potential in Pakistan and its youth to compete with global tech innovators.

Umar-Saif

Dr. Umar Saif is the founder, Sajid Latif the Director General E-governance at PITB, Nabeel Qadeer (@nabeelaq) the Joint Director EED, Uzair Shahid (@UzairShahid) the Assistant Program Manager, Hafsa Shorish (@HafsaShorish) the Marketing and PR Manager, Mariam Shakir (@MariamShakir) as a Research Analyst, Sarah Gilani (@SarahTGilani) the Content and Design Strategist, Ebad Firdous Ali Shah as Animation Specialist, Chaudhary Ahmad Islam as Project Officer, Abdul Samad Khan (@abdulsamadskhan) as Graphic Designer, and Ahmad Farooq Malik as Intellectual Property Right Specialist.

How Plan9 Works:

Plan9 holds Launchpad events in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad in order to select teams for incubation. Teams are invited to participate at these Launchpad events after completing an online application process, which is done through their website. They look for ideas that have some sort of tech component, though the exact focus of the idea can be anything. The viability of an idea is an important consideration when selecting teams, in order to make sure that the final product is something that will be able to survive outside of incubation and that will be both applicable and functional on a large scale. Currently, the 7th Cycle is in progress.

Plan9 provides free basic facilities like uninterrupted electricity and fast speed internet along with space and mentor-ship from really experienced tech gurus as mentioned above. There are two six-month incubation cycles each year, and after completing one of these, teams formulate business and investment plans for their product. They are assisted in this by mentors during the incubation period, and then introduced to Plan9 Angel Investors Club, from whom they might be able to receive funding, though this is not guaranteed.

Plan9 Startups:

Plan9 has helped lots of different startups to grow and excel and make their own name in the Tech world. Here is a complete list of Plan9 Startups:

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Plan9

We wish you all the best of luck!

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