HEC invites innovative start-ups to apply for Innovator Seed Fund Grant

HEC-British Council seek proposals from Pak-UK universities under int'l mobility partnership

ISLAMABAD, Dec 4 (APP): The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has invited innovative start-ups owned by students, alumni, faculty members, or researchers from public or private sector universities to apply for the Innovator Seed Fund (ISF) Grant.

According to the HEC, the ISF, envisioned for the development of innovation and start-up ecosystem in Pakistan, is a flagship initiative of the commission under the Higher Education Development in Pakistan Project (HEDP).

The ISF is anticipated to support the development of fledgling start-ups having innovative ideas through the provision of seed funding grants, to transform them into successful and sustainable enterprises.

The grant package includes up to USD 35,000 in seed funding, stretched over start-ups proposed budgetary requirements for activities, including but not limited to entrepreneurial training, legal or financial, or marketing training and support, among other services.

About the applicant eligibility, the HEC conveyed that the lead applicant must either be a student, alumni or faculty member, or researcher of the higher education institutions (public or private) and must have endorsement from one of the HEC-established 35 Business Incubation Centers across the country.

The lead applicant must have an SECP-registered business concern, ensuring the legal status and promising potential of the start-up.

The priority sectors for ISF support include but are not limited to Agriculture, Food Resources and Agri Tech, Banking; Microfinance and FinTech; Creative, Digital Media, Arts and Culture; Education and EdTech; E-commerce and Smart Retail; Emerging Technologies; Health Care and Health Tech; Housing, Construction and Manufacturing; Sustainable Development, Climate, and Energy; Transportation and Logistics.

The innovative ideas or concept notes on the prescribed application template must be submitted through HEC online portal http://www.rfi.hec.gov.pk. The deadline for submission of the application submission is January 06, 2023.