Board members emphasized the role of university incubators in the knowledge economy
Recently, the University of Lahore rebranded its Innovation and Incubation Center into “The Innovation Hub-iHub” aimed at helping the students of the UOL and across Pakistan to build their startups and new ventures through access to the resources they need under one roof. In addition to a co-working space, the i-Hub provides access to expert advisors, mentors, administrative support, office equipment, training, and potential investors.
The Innovation Hub selected renowned entrepreneurs to constitute an Advisory Board (AB) headed by Mr. Awais Raoof (Chairman, BoG). With members cherishing industrial experience of more than two centuries, the board aims to guide and support the UOL to become the hub of innovation in the industry of Pakistan.
The board members include Mr. Humayun Mazhar (Founder & CEO – CresVentures, President – TiE Lahore), Ms. Jehan Ara (President, P@SHA, Founder, Nest I/O), Brig. Shoaib A. Khan (Co-Founder, Center for Advanced Research in Engineering), Mr. Salman Amin (Director Business Development and Partnerships, PITB), Mr. Yusuf Hussain (Head of Venture Capital, HBL, Former CEO Ignite NTF), and Mr. Zeeshan Afzal (CEO, Million Smiles, Former CEO Shahid Afridi Foundation).
Mr. Amjad Pervez (Chairman, JumpStart Pakistan), Mr. Mansoor Malik (Chairman Kamyab Pakistan, Founding Vice President, TiE Islamabad), Mr. Ayub Ghauri (Executive Director, NETSOL and HoD NSPIRE), Mr. Kamran Z. Rizvi (Executive Coach, Carnelian and Mentor at School of Leadership), Mr. Malik Ahmad Jalal (CEO, Cordoba Ventures) and Mr. Jahanzeb Burana (Co-Founder, Hoopoe, Former CEO, PBIT) are also members of the AB.
Chairman BoG urges faculty to boost revenue via startups
On March 10, 2010, an inauguration ceremony was held to launch the new brand i.e. iHub. The event was attended among others by Mr. Raoof, Miss Ammara Awais (Director, OSA), members of the Advisory Board, Deans and HoDs and Startup teams from the students. A panel discussion on the “Role of university incubators in knowledge economy” was the center of attention.
While addressing the excited audience, Mr. Raoof pledged to create an environment where both the students and faculty members will be in position to build startups and get their desired revenues beyond salaries. “The attitude of the faculty must change towards business and entrepreneurship. Once the faculty pick up the business mind, then they will pass it over to the students”, he said.
He applauded the IMBB for developing COVID-19 testing kit that was commercialized early this year. “We urge all other departments and colleges to emulate IMBB in this gesture of commercializing research”, he added.
Mr. Malik, Mr. Rizvi, Mr. Afzal, Brig. Khan, Mr. Ghauri and Mr. Amin as panel members (also AB members) emphasized the contribution of universities in the promotion of innovation and entrepreneurship, faculty led startups and role of startups the provision of employment to the youth of Pakistan.
Two successful entrepreneurs, Mr. Ahmed Rehan and Mr. Saqib Azhar were also part of this occasion to inspire the young incubators with their success stories. Mr. Rehan developed a Radio Control Robot in his school life and now owns Technocrafts company, an Electric Vehicle, CNC machine for Pakistan Air Force, a shooting target system, and a motion platform of a truck simulator.
Mr. Azhar started his career as a waiter in Burger King in UK and now owns an e-commerce company in Pakistan named as ‘Enablers’ working under Amazon business. He brought the idea of online business in Pakistan through which students can generate income with their skills and services. Within the span of two years, Mr. Azhar is now leading 26 offices in Pakistan.