Episode 103 – State of the Startup Ecosystem

Uzair talks to Ambareen Baig about the state of Pakistan’s startup ecosystem based on the findings of Invest2Innovate’s recently released Pakistan Startup Ecosystem Report 2021.

Ambareen Baig is a research professional well acquainted with the startup ecosystem in Pakistan. After starting out her career as an educator, she moved on as a Fulbright scholar for a masters in Educational Psychology from the University of Arizona (UofA). Other than teaching research methodologies at the undergraduate level at her alma mater, she also served as a Global Ambassador for international students at the UofA. She has worked on youth development projects in Pakistan through the School of Leadership (SoL) where she brought two UNICEF projects to fruition while spearheading SoL’s community space, the Hangout Space. Currently, she is working at invest2innovate (i2i) as Head of Insights where she gets to do what she loves inherently – data and research. In addition to coauthoring i2i’s bimonthly data driven newsletter, she has authored/co-authored several publications at i2i including Pakistan Startup Ecosystem Report (2019), COVID & its Impact on Pakistani Startups (2020), KP Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Report (2021), and more. She loves to make an impact on the startup ecosystem in the country by bringing equity to the use and dissemination of data and information.

You can find the complete report here: https://www.insightsi2i.com/pser-21

Reading Recommendations:

Kartography by Kamila Shamsie

Being Pakistani by Raza Rumi

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado-Perez


0:00 Introduction

2:20 Key insights and data

16:04 Why the interest in e-commerce?

21:08 Focusing on core competencies vs. fintech

28:50 Why is local angel participation not growing?

35:50 Sustaining $1bn in annual funding

44:30 Need for a whole of government approach

49:00 Reading recommendations