July 14th, 2012 marked the culmination of Invent 2012, a Revolutionary Business Plan Competition that spanned over 6 months from January to July 2012. The event attracted 137 Universities from all over Pakistan and more than 2500 students who went through six months of grueling business plan exercises. These exercises provided an enormous opportunity of learning for the students, through training/workshops and especially through the mentoring provided by the industry mentors. The Invent grand finale was held in Karachi on July 14th, 2012 and it had an auditorium packed to the capacity. The program started at 9:00 AM with Tilawat e Quran followed by a welcome address by Zafar Ahmed Siddiqui, Director of IBA Centre for Entrepreneurial Development. The Key Note Address was by Ambassador Shahid Kamal, Advisor Science, Technology & Innovation Organization, COMSTECH on “Emerging Trends and Practices in the Framework of Entrepreneurship” and the second Key Note Address was by Mr. Jamal Khan, Founder, Advanced Research Projects and Technologies on ‘Entrepreneurial mindset for an Entrepreneurial World’. In addition two panel sessions were also arranged on “What is the state of entrepreneurship in Pakistan and what is the role played by universities in promoting entrepreneurship?” and “How can the Industry assist R&D teams in the Universities & Business Plan Competition teams in Commercialization?”
The IBA – Centre for Entrepreneurial Development has been set up with the purpose to promote entrepreneurship in Pakistan. Invent – The Entrepreneurial Challenge is one big step in this direction. The Invent experience has been extremely encouraging for us, after working over the past 4 months, with close to 30 sponsors and supporting Industrial concerns/associations, over hundred mentors/graders and the support provided by the participating universities, we feel more confident for the future of our country and the youth of Pakistan.
IBA-CED plans to continue to host similar activities, which will continue to imbibe the youth of our country with latest in Entrepreneurial and Innovation knowledge and global best practices and will continue to help bridge the gap between industry and academia. It is looking forward to the continued support of the Industry, Academia and the government partners, who have played a vital role in making Invent a huge success and also look forward to have others join in for Invent 2013 and in other Entrepreneurial Development endeavors; so as to encourage the youth of Pakistan to explore entrepreneurial path.