It is often said that when you do something for a long period of time with smooth progress, churning out great results you tend to become too comfortable in your own skin. Then suddenly something shakes you up and you are forced to take a fresh look at what you are doing and how you are doing it. Is it scary? Yes, but sometimes it ends up working in your favour and for me it did. Here is the Katalyst Labs story.
My team and I had been working on startup incubation for 6+ years (I had actually been involved with the startup and tech ecosystem in one form or another for almost two decades). When I founded The Nest I/O it was because I felt a space like The Nest was needed for aspiring founders in Karachi. Interactions and discussions with many young people had resulted in several of us feeling that there was a gap that existed and we needed to fill it. Hence The Nest I/O was born.
During the period of six years, we graduated 217 startups and created a large community of over 1,000 founders. We also started an entrepreneurship innovation conference – 021Disrupt – which resulted in helping develop and enrich the startup ecosystem across Pakistan. Over a four year period we brought many foreign entrepreneurs, speakers and investors in contact with energetic and talented young founders and local investors.
On May 1, 2021 I decided to part ways with the Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) after a 20 year period to focus on providing strategic support to the growing number of startups that have emerged over the past few years.
Katalyst Labs is a Startup Accelerator and Innovation Hub and has dual focus – to assist founders in scaling up their startup businesses; and to help more women to become business leaders. We endeavor to help both male and female founders to scale and achieve their true potential. Our Women Leaders Program aims to increase women leaders in the economy by honing their current skill set.
At Katalyst Labs we will also put our prior experience to work in creating startup events and conferences and will continue to work with corporates to help them innovate and transform.
We have wonderful and supportive partners who have enabled us to embark on this amazing new journey. Both our programs have started and the energy and passion is absolutely phenomenal. If the first few months is anything to go by, we are well on our way.