KARACHI, December: An entrepreneurial ecosystem is vital for the success of startups and entrepreneurs anywhere in the world but the culture of such an ecosystem has yet to gain roots in Pakistan.
“We’re trying to bring about a change in the culture. Our agenda is to navigate structures for the startups and speak for them to local and global companies,” said Momentum Pakistan-2018 founder Amir Jafri.

“In the process we have convinced several companies and startups to create a greater level of connectivity through opening their Application Programming Interface (API) to other startups.”

Momentum Pakistan 2018 is a one stop shop that operates through a mega event by bringing opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs of Pakistan. The event will bring together several local and global stakeholders and will be held in Karachi on February 19 and 20 in Karachi next year.

The event will feature representatives from Facebook, Amazon Web Services, IBM and Microsoft who will provide technical support, tools, mentoring and funds to the startups and entrepreneurs.

In addition, the list continues to grow as more and more influential and learned people join the mentoring club.
The latest to the list is Tcat Houser, the American author of 50+ books, and serial entrepreneurs, Sajid Tarar, the billionaire Pakistani-American entrepreneur, and the co-founder of Zapya, one of the world’s biggest peer-to-peer file sharing app, Steve Gu.

The purpose of the event is to convince Pakistani companies, such as banks, telecom operators and Fintechs, to share their APIs with local startups.

“The culture is changing and companies like Telenor and Mobilink have started sharing their APIs with local vendors. That was not the case earlier. We can see the culture evolving as the companies continue to explore new ways of data sharing. Through momentum we are helping this new wave gain momentum, said Amir Jafri.

Amir Jafri says world-class companies like Facebook Google and Amazon have opened their APIs access to other vendors the world over and hé shares his favorite example of Google.

“Take the example of Google maps. Other vendors need not go to Google seeking access to its map APP. Instead, they read Google map API and connect it with their programme.”

Pakistan has a lot to gain from such initiatives. Just because of this connectivity regime, ride sharing applications like Uber and Cream have revolutionized the ride-sharing the world over.

“Successful startups do not happen in isolation. All startups need APIs. Like, if one startup is about payment and billing services, they will need one API of the billing system, and in this way, both the parent company holding the API and the new startup are the beneficiaries,” he said.

The Momentum Pakistan-2018 will unveil such API sharing opportunities for the startups and enterprises.
Services for startups at the event

The event will also provide startups one-on-one meeting opportunities with investors in its segments ‘Office Hours’. There will be scores of incubators, accelerators, investors, startups, featured startups, global cloud companies, top tech companies, top Fintech (payment enabler) companies, Higher Education Commission funded project showcase, speakers, pitches and signing of memorandum of understanding between investors and startups under the one roof.

How to signup if you are a startup

Startups and entrepreneurs can sign up for admission to this free without any fee.
The two-day event will have warm-up sessions for the participants so that they can get the maximum from the representatives.

“Before coming to the event, participants will be mentored on how to pitch their idea, how to build a team, why international companies are important for their business and why and how they should take care of startups,” says Mr Jafri.

Muhammad Siddique, the founder of Global Social Entrepreneurship Foundation, says the Momentum Pakistan-2018 provides zero excuses to the startups to be successful