Hello Tomorrow is a French initiative with global reach to support Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Pakistan in partnership with Higher Education Commission
A conference in Islamabad focused on connecting young talented individuals and economic actors to foster innovation, create new opportunities and facilitate a tech-startup ecosystem in Pakistan
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) in collaboration with the Embassy of France and Hello Tomorrow organized a summit on “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” at HEC Secretariat, with an aim to enhance connectivity of local ICT talent to global opportunities.
Martine Dorance, Ambassador of France to Pakistan, was the chief guest on the occasion. HEC Chairman Mukhtar Ahmed, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman Ismail Shah, HEC Executive Director Arshad Ali, and University of Gujrat Vice Chancellor Ziaul Qayyum were also present on the occasion. The event was attended by a number of students, entrepreneurs and academicians.
Speaking at the occasion, H.E. Martine Dorance, Ambassador of France to Pakistan, underlined the remarkability of the event held in Islamabad, focused on the Future of Connectivity.
Explaining the concept of Hello Tomorrow throughout the world, she insisted on the importance, for the Embassy of France in Islamabad, to connect people – especially young people – and to build networks in order to create new opportunities and to facilitate initiatives throughout Pakistan, with France and with the world.
Appreciating the efforts of the government of Pakistan to promote innovation and links between startups and universities, economic actors and financial institutions, she said: “That is also the goal of Hello Tomorrow which aims to promote young entrepreneurs from all over the world, with projects that are based on the development of innovative technology.”
The conference partners include French Embassy Islamabad, HEC, UOG, Pakistan Innovation Foundation, UNIDO, Nayatel, Careem, Business France, French Tech, Enercon, Plumgird and Telenor.
Creativity and Entrepreneurship – A Top Priority in Pakistan in the Perspective of 2025
Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC briefed the audience about different initiatives of Higher Education Commission for promoting innovation and entrepreneurship activities in universities. He said HEC has established Business Incubation Centers to facilitate students and start-ups to have a platform from where they could start their journey.
“In Business Incubation and Technology Incubation Centers established at different universities, over 225 companies have been incubated that have generated around Rs. 480 Million in annual revenue and have generated 940 direct employment opportunities,” the Executive Director said.
He said that only NUST has incubated 53 companies that have generated annual revenue of Rs. 300 Million generating employment of over 150 people. Similarly COMSATS Institute has incubated 43 companies with annual revenue of Rs. 60 Million and creating 160 jobs. University of Agriculture Faisalabad has incubated 21 companies with annual revenue of Rs. 40 Million and generating an employment for 215 people.
IBA Sukkur has incubated 15 companies with annual revenue of Rs. 15 Million and job openings for 54 people. Other Incubators at UET Peshawar, Veterinary University Lahore, Quaid-e- Azam University, BUITEMS, NED Karachi, Institute of Space Technology, University of Gujrat and AJK University have also performed well during the last couple of years.
Dr. Arshad said HEC is committed to promote research culture in the country with its focus on aligning needs of Pakistani society, adding that HEC has set up Offices of Research, Innovation and Commercialization (ORICs) in different universities. “We have been making all possible efforts to promote entrepreneurship and incubation by encouraging youth to execute their ideas,” the Executive Director said.
He also informed the gathering about formation of Innovation Steering Committee by HEC to further strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship activities in Pakistani universities that will ultimately help in creation of job opportunities as well as country’s economic empowerment. He appreciated Hello Tomorrow for their initiatives to encourage science entrepreneurs and hoped to work together for encouraging young entrepreneurs.
Connecting Local Talent to Global Opportunities
Sanwal Muneer, who is the head of Hello Tomorrow Pakistan, believes the young generation of Pakistan is very talented and harnesses great ideas, however they need proper mentoring and guidance to make their ideas a reality. He believes that by joining Hello Tomorrow he can showcase the innovation of Pakistan at a global level and help the youth connect with global opportunities.
The aim of the event is to highlight local disruptive technologies that will shape the Future of Connectivity and solve societal and industrial problems. Attendees will be guided through the journey required to transform technologies into impactful products and services. By encouraging collaboration between local entrepreneurs, researchers, investors and industrials, the ambition is to create a momentum for change in Pakistan’s innovation ecosystem and to find solutions to some of the most pressing local challenges.
Hello Tomorrow Pakistan will be an important boost to the creation of a tech-startup ecosystem in Pakistan, home to a burgeoning entrepreneurial base. It will identify high-end technologies that can shape the high-cost, often inefficient, yet fast growing Pakistani Telecom sector.
What is Hello Tomorrow?
Hello Tomorrow is an international, non-profit initiative run by science entrepreneurs for science entrepreneurs. Its goal is to empower early-stage science startups by propelling inventions out of the lab and into world-changing solutions.
The initiative aims at swiftly establishing links between young talented individuals and economic actors (venture capitalists, investment fund) to foster innovation within companies of all sizes in strategic areas: energy and environment, health, transportation and mobility, food and agriculture, waste and water management, Big Data, supply chain and space.
Hello Tomorrow is a French initiative created in 2011 by Xavier Duportet, a French young scientist, who was later named French entrepreneur of the year, in 2014, by MIT and by Arnaud de la Tour, who is with us today. It is a great honour to have him with us this morning. His presence emphasizes the will in France to cooperate more and build together with Pakistan a brighter future.
Hello Tomorrow is a community of more than 15,000 highly skilled people, researchers, engineers, experts, entrepreneurs, investors, journalists, public actors from 45 countries. This community is led locally by Hello Tomorrow ambassadors supported by the French diplomatic network since 2015.
In 2016 and 2017, 12 cities will host a Hello Tomorrow conference: among them San Francisco, Bangalore, Sao Paulo, Istanbul, Shanghai, Los Angeles and Islamabad.
Bringing together between 200 and 300 participants, each of these events will be dedicated to a theme echoing local and global issues such as transportation in Bangalore, smart city in Sao Paulo, air quality in Shenzhen, e-Health in San Francisco and Connectivity in Islamabad.