Together Microsoft Innovation Center - Lahore and Punjab Information Technology Board is taking concrete steps towards enabling startups and help realizing great ideas by incubating those who possess this.
Microsoft Innovation Center Startups Incubation is a unique program designed to promote innovation. The main idea behind the program is to facilitate transformation of high-potential software startups into successful businesses.
Under this program Microsoft Innovation Center – Lahore is inviting applications from those who wish to be incubated. At the end of the process thirteen (13) startup companies will be shortlisted. Out of these thirteen, three (3) will be incubated at Microsoft Innovation Center - Lahore for the period of 6 months to one year and the remaining ten would be imparted business and technical trainings besides other mentioned facilities.
Startup companies and innovative ideas are encouraged regardless of their prior experience. Below is the information which will provide details of this great initiative:
- All the members of the company / startup should be citizens of Pakistan.
- The team must have at least 2 members. [MIC-Lahore will incubate up to 3 members per startup (if selected)]
- Only Microsoft technology and platform can be used for the implementation.
- Idea / proposal cannot be for a research project, for lobbying activities or for charity based and /or foundation based.
- We do not select ventures that are planning to rely on donations and grants as their main source of revenue.
Theme - “Apps for Change”
Under this theme the startups & incubates will implement their ideas which will result in an application/solution. The startup can pick any vertical / domain to develop the solution as long as that idea is selected and approved by the steering committee.
Startups will submit their project entries to the Steering Committee by submitting a 3-5 pages executive summary covering the following elements:
- Team Details (names, profiles and contacts)
- The problem, clearly and concisely
- Proposed solution and how it solves the problem
- Innovation in the solution (what’s new or different?)
- Impact of the solution (gain in efficiency, productivity etc.)
- Target Market / Audience
- Customer references (if any)
- Sustainability Model / Financial Plans
MIC Lahore will finalize the list of entries to be forwarded for ‘Evaluation’ based on the pre-qualification criteria approved by the Steering Committee.
Entry level shortlisting will involve evaluation by two panels:
- Scoring performed by judges by reviewing the Executive Summaries
- Feedback by mentors by interviewing teams
The judges’ scores and the mentors’ feedback will be aggregated to shortlist:
- Top 3 startups for Incubation, Mentoring and Business Plans & Products Reviews
- Top 10 startups to go through the trainings phase only
Note: Project entries with solutions built on top of obsolete technologies will be filtered out.
The scoring methodology and evaluation sheets will be finalized and shared by MIC with Steering Committee, the panels of judges and mentors for review and feedback.
Top 3 teams will be incubated in Microsoft Innovation Center Facility at Arfa Software Technology Park Lahore. Shortlisted startups will also have access to following facilities.
All 13 shortlisted startups will receive invitations to enroll into the Microsoft BizSpark Program provided they meet the eligibility criteria. With Microsoft BizSpark Program, the startups will receive access to:
- Latest Design & Development Tools
- Production Licenses to host a “Software as a Service” Solution
- Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN)
- MSDN Library
- 2 Technical Support Incidents
- Customer Support
- Global BizSpark Community
- Online Startup Directory
Besides BizSpark, visibility will also be provided to startups through the following:
- Select Events by Microsoft and PITB
- Network of Local Startup Organizations and Experts in the Community
Technical and Business Trainings
All 13 Companies will be provided with Technical and Business Trainings.
Only Top 3 companies will get Office Space along with basic hardware, internet and network.
Product Testing Lab
All 13 shortlisted companies will have access to Product Testing Lab at MIC facility, which includes Windows Phone Devices, Multi-touch Devices, and Xbox 360 for the purpose of testing their apps/solutions.
Note: Top 3 teams will be informed of the complete offering of the program including Incubation, Mentoring Support, Trainings and Reviews of Business Plans and Products. The other 10 out of 13 teams will be informed of their enrollment in the program by sending out complete program details to them including information about training topics, calendars, venues and other program details.