As we start 2022, we are reminiscing about the journey Katalyst Labs has been on in 2021. Jehan Ara, Founder & CEO at Katalyst Labs has been committed to growing the startup ecosystem and her extensive career speaks for itself. Katalyst Labs is a culmination of her dream that bore fruit in May, 2021.
In May, some members from the former team of The Nest IO got together to launch Katalyst Labs with the support of our strategic partner, HBL. The vision for Katalyst Labs was to set up an Acceleration Program for startups looking to scale their businesses, a Women Leadership Fellows Program (WLFP) to help women become leaders in their respective fields & knowledge sessions for entrepreneurial enthusiasts.
Shortly after, in June we opened the applications for WLFP which raked in over 150 applications from fem-preneurs & professionals from all over Pakistan. In July the applications for the Acceleration Cohort went live and this saw over 100 startups applying from all over Pakistan. During this time we also launched Katalyzing Conversations – a segment devoted to having important discourse about Pakistan’s startup ecosystem.
In August, the Katalyst Labs team started deliberations for shortlisting the pool of applications. We wanted to ensure that we selected those candidates that had the potential to grow through our Programs. Our first cohort of the Acceleration Program had 13 startups – these startups stood out because of the strength of their founders & we saw the potential to help them level up. We inducted 20 women fellows into the WLFP – who all had over three years of experience in their relevant fields. By September, both our Programs were running seamlessly with the help of our team. To ensure that our beneficiaries were deriving maximum benefit from the Programs we had constant feedback sessions to tweak our Programs to match their needs. Furthermore, we also ensured that our startups & fellows interacted with one another because community building is an essential part of our Programs.
Since May we have had 11 Katalyzing Conversations, 27 sessions to accelerate startups & boost careers & we have connected startups and women fellows to 40 industry experts and mentors!
Our story has just started and we have barely just scratched the surface. Katalyst Labs has way more ahead of us & a lot of exciting things planned. So come along with us on our journey and Here’s to 2022: Let’s make it bigger, better, brighter and 10x more exciting!
Oh, and Applications for our Programs are opening soon so watch this space!