LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship

Events and Initiatives

Sprint Pakistan in Partnership with the BOP

As part of LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship (LCE)’s National Incubation Centre Lahore (NICL) Project, a nationwide competition ‘Sprint Pakistan – Powered by digiBOP’ was launched in collaboration with the Bank of Punjab (BOP). The primary objective behind this initiative was to seek out and support promising fintech start-ups capable of showcasing Pakistan's potential on a global stage, namely at the Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) 2023. Following a series of hackathons held across eight major cities of Pakistan, culminating in a Grand Hackathon hosted at LCE, the ten standout start-ups—DigiKhata, Dukan, Investor’s Lounge, Fortify, Zuhly Technologies, Salam Kids TV, Y-Pay, InvoiceMate, AGivf, and Second Chance—were selected to represent the country at the prestigious SFF event.

International Conference to Mark the Successful Completion of TAKE-UP Project

The EU-funded TAKE-UP project was conducted through a partnership between LUMS, Saarland University, Athens University of Economics and Business, University of Gujarat, Government College University and COMSATS University Islamabad, Lahore Campus. The project was concluded by a capstone event, the TAKE-UP conference hosted by LCE on November 15, 2023. The Conference showcased the transformative power of entrepreneurial education in uplifting Pakistan's youth and emerging entrepreneurs through panel discussions; a keynote talk, delivered by Aqeela Bano, a passionate entrepreneur from Gilgit Baltistan, and Founder of Ciqam; and an art exhibition curated by students from Beaconhouse National University’s School of Visual Arts and Design. Distinguished local and international guests at the event included Dr. Sebastien Lorion, Team Leader Governance and Education, EU Delegation to Pakistan; Kiran Ali, International Project Manager, Saarland University; Dr. Faiza Ali, Project Lead, LUMS; Panourgias Papaioannou, from Athens University of Economics & Business; and Prof. Cornelius Konig, Saarland University.

Tabeer Project with Support of US State Department

Through this collaborative effort, LCE is spearheading the Tabeer Project, an 18-month initiative focused on enhancing the capabilities of Business Incubation Centres (BICs) across universities in Punjab. LCE is implementing a comprehensive capacity-building strategy, featuring phased training sessions and on-site workshops conducted in partnership with relevant BICs. Tailored for university faculty, BIC management, and students, these interventions cover a diverse array of topics ranging from incubator governance and management to entrepreneurial coaching and institutional reform. Following the workshops, an exchange programme will be initiated, wherein approximately 15 BIC representatives will travel to the United States (US). This immersive experience will provide them with invaluable insights into the dynamics of the US entrepreneurial ecosystem, fostering cross-cultural learning and enriching their professional expertise.

Successful Completion and Closure of the NICL project with LUMS

Funded by the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication through IGNITE - National Technology Fund, the National Incubation Centre Lahore (NICL) at LUMS was established to develop and incubate start-ups, aiming to create economic impact by supporting emerging technology businesses. As a purpose-built incubator, NICL offered entrepreneurial training, co-working spaces, and a makers lab to transform innovative ideas into successful ventures. Its core initiative was the six-month Foundry Programme, which provided start-ups with tools, mentorship, and networking opportunities to succeed in a competitive market. This programme culminated in an Investor Summit where start-ups pitched to investors and industry leaders. After six years of operation, NICL concluded on December 19, 2023, having made significant contributions to Pakistan’s entrepreneurial landscape by fostering innovation and inclusivity.

Ferozsons Training

The Centre hosted a two-and-a-half-day Design Thinking workshop for brand managers at Ferozsons Laboratories, aimed at enhancing their strategic and creative problem-solving abilities. The workshop was designed to encourage innovative thinking, which is particularly useful during the launch of new health products or campaigns. Led by Dr. Suleman Shahid, Associate Professor, Computer Sciences at LUMS and director of LUMSx, and Rizwan Zaidi, founder of Design Think Co and Senior Manager of Training-Transformation at 7Vals, the workshop featured various activities including presentations, lectures, and group exercises. A key component was the persona-building exercise, customised for specific industries, which helped brand managers develop a distinctive identity for the company.

Partnership with Flat6Labs

The Centre teamed up with Flat6Labs to host 'Pitch Perfect: Flat6LabsxNICL: Road to Abu Dhabi,' an exciting opportunity for Pakistani start-up founders. This collaboration offered participants the chance to vie for a sponsored journey to Abu Dhabi, where they could partake in Flat6Lab UAE’s prestigious bootcamp training. Recognised as the leading seed and early-stage venture capital firm in the MENA region, Flat6Labs oversees some of the most renowned start-up programmes in the area. Fifteen start-ups from various corners of the country took part in the Pitchathon, presenting their innovative ideas before a seasoned panel of judges. The competition culminated in victory for Aabshar, a start-up incubated that was part of NICL’s Cohort 2. Their win earned them the opportunity to journey to Abu Dhabi, representing the nation at the bootcamp. There, they engaged in networking sessions with over 20 global start-ups and industry experts, participated in intensive business workshops, and honed their pitching skills through daily sessions.

Rebranding of LCE

LCE has evolved from an incubation centre into a dynamic hub that addresses the multifaceted needs of Pakistan's entrepreneurial ecosystem. LCE offers a range of services including incubation programmes, acceleration activities in collaboration with global partners, corporate entrepreneurial workshops, and training for other incubation centres. It also serves as a vital resource within the LUMS community, with many faculty members mentoring start-ups. The Centre provides programmes, support services, and a Makers Space to help entrepreneurs transform ideas into market-ready products. LCE's rebranding marks a new phase in its development, reflecting its broader vision and commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. This includes a new visual identity, an enhanced digital presence, and a soon-to-be-launched revamped website, all aimed at fostering greater collaboration and creativity.

OGDCL Funding

The Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) and LCE have formed a partnership aimed at fostering innovation in the energy sector. The collaboration was formalised with the signing of an MoU for the 'OGDCL Energy & CleanTech Incubation Zone' at LCE, during a ceremony at OGDCL Headquarters in Islamabad on April 3.

The MoU, signed by Dr. Ali Cheema, Vice Chancellor of LUMS, and Ahmed Hayat Lak, MD/CEO of OGDCL, seeks to develop sustainable energy and clean technology solutions. The partnership will leverage OGDCL's expertise to validate market ideas, provide mentorship, and promote knowledge sharing on environmental sustainability. Key attendees included executives from both organisations.