Innovation and entrepreneurship is the backbone of the IT software industry. Microsoft believes that harnessing the power of ICT to support innovation helps people think differently and solve problems in ways that were never imagined before. Following the same lines Microsoft Pakistan in partnership with Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA) & The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) has started MIC Catalyst program in Pakistan to foster innovation by helping students & young entrepreneurs.
MIC Catalyst is a new and unique program designed to promote innovation in Pakistan ICT industry. The main idea behind this program is to facilitate transformation of high-potential students into successful businesses.
The identified high-potential student teams will receive technical and business trainings, mentoring, market visibility, software access & support.
The key objectives of this initiative are:
- Create an empowerment program for high-potential students by providing them with:
- Customized business and technical trainings
- Business mentoring support through 1 on 1 sessions with renowned ICT industry entrepreneurs
- Access to latest design, development and production tools
- A platform for increased market visibility mainly through BizSpark
- Promote entrepreneurship amongst young Pakistani talented minds through success stories coming out of this program
- Accelerate the growth of startup software companies in order to enhance the local software economy
A Steering Committee, comprising of officials from Microsoft, P@SHA and TIE is responsible for the overall management of the Student to Startup transformation Program. The Steering Committee will also be responsible to review timelines, deliverables and milestones of the program and present the high level overview of the program progress to the higher-ups of the stakeholder organizations.
A panel of judges, comprising of Business and Technical experts will also be formulated for the evaluation of collected proposals. This evaluation will be performed from technical as well as business perspectives.
Similarly, for the mentoring phases of the program, students will be facilitated with ongoing guidance on their business plans and product developments for which they will need engagement of dedicated mentors. Just like the panel of judges, there will be two panels of mentors formulated to provide business mentoring as well as technical consultancy to these students.
The end result of the program is expected that each team should be transformed into a company with a complete business plan and a product.