Uber has Introduced UberPitch to Boost the Entrepreneurial Scene in Pakistan

Globally renowned ridesharing app, Uber has recently announced the launch UberPITCH 2018, a nationwide competition that is to be held in Pakistan to find and enable an innovative, persuasive startup to boost the entrepreneurial scene in Pakistan.

UberPITCH 2018 was announced at an event that played host to not only Uber’s management but also entrepreneurs and thought leader from several different industries. The competition will be in collaboration with the National Incubation Centres (NIC) and powered by Ignite. After the application process, shortlisted startups will be given guidance by expert trainers as investors and mentors judge their ideas over the course of the competition.

Speaking at the launch event, Safee Shah, GM Uber Pakistan said, “Pakistan has a bright future ahead if the startup ecosystem continues to thrive and Uber wants to play a leading role in that domain with programs like UberPITCH”

According to the Digital Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Pakistan, if things continue at their current pace, the digital entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pakistan could very well become self-sufficient by 2025. Several elements can influence this such as the global shift towards digitalisation, need for digital technologies especially those which can better services such as healthcare, the availability of low-cost technology especially smartphones, and proper support and encouragement of entrepreneurship in major cities.

In theory, it takes almost 5 to 10 years for a country to develop a self-sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem and, having already initiated this process in 2012, Pakistan could very well all this by 2020 if it continues development at its current pace.

“UberPITCH is our way of supporting young startups in the countries we operate in,” said Anthony le Roux, Regional General Manager of Middle East and Africa at Uber. He further added that “A thriving startup environment is representation of youth ready to take the reins of tomorrow. Uber, a startup itself, wants to share its global expertise and resources with young entrepreneurs around the world so they too can make a positive difference.”

This year’s registrations for UberPITCH opened from August 17th 2018 during which applicants would need to fill out an online application form before August 8th 2018. After that Uber will announce the 20 shortlisted startups from Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, and Quetta. The shortlisted startups will then be entered into the first phase of the competition called PITCH Camp during which mentors from both Uber and NIC will guide the startups through their respective business pitches.

Upon completion of this phase, participants will then have to showcase their startup ideas to a panel of judges during a qualifier round.

The participants who succeed will then be given the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to some of the biggest names among investor in the digital industry all during an Uber trip.

The startup able to clear each of these phases will stand a chance to win a chance to showcase their business idea at ArabNet Digital Summit in Dubai, free workspace at an NIC for 2 months, mentorship hours from Uber team, and free Uber credits.


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