“Cloud9 Startups” is a Islamabad based venture fund and idea incubation centre, also functional in UK, led by Habib Ahmed. Their one-line pitch is:
Our goal is simple. Give the local talent access to resources, money and guidance and they can change the world.
Some times incubators are also startups when they came into being. The story of Cloud9 is quite inspirational and thought-provoking, and here it goes …
#What is the product or service you are offering?
We incubate and invest in new start-ups, In return for a small amount of equity. We also act as a Sales and Marketing House, promoting IT products from Pakistan to the UK and Europe. At the moment, we are particularly interested in health products.
#Who are your customers?
We are here to serve Pakistan, our main aim is make life easier for the ordinary person. We believe the Internet can help reduce corruption and allow people to be in control of their own destiny.
#How are your customers addressing this need today?
Pakistani people are resourceful, they will utilize whatever they have to achieve their goals.
#What is your proposed solution (product, service, or combination) for these customers?
We are investors, mentors and connectors. Through our network we have the ability to take products to Market quite quickly.
#What were the biggest challenges when you started up?
Finding the right teams and products. You don’t become successful overnight you need patience, determination, a hunger to succeed and the willingness to make a LOT of sacrifices.
#What was your inspiration behind this startup?
I have invested in many businesses in the UK, primarily in the Biotech, Property, and Electronics sectors. However, I have an IT services background and I was looking for IT startups in the UK at the time. I didn’t find any viable opportunity and I started looking at the Pakistani Market. I am quite patriotic and always wanted to do something for my country even though I have spent most of my like in the UK. Watching Imran Khan sacrifice his life for the good of Pakistan is an inspiration to us all. I digress, but he was always been a role model for me, I regularly watched him bowl as a youngster when he was in the UK playing cricket for Pakistan. Imran doesn’t need Pakistan, Pakistan needs Imran, the sooner we realize the better.
#Tell us about your core team and their expertise?
Our team is a combination of local and International mentors, you can visit our website to view the list.
#What is your advice for upcoming startups and entrepreneurs in Pakistan?
You have the talent, you can rule the world. Innovation is the recipe to success. Be realistic, seek guidance from others, but ultimately make you own decision. Oh yes, and stop watching Bolloywood movies – life is not like that 🙂
#Who are your competitors, and how do you compare to them?
Plan 9, Pasha, mini ventures and Invest2Innovate are in a similar field. They are all doing fantastic in their own right, we are all different in what we offer, the goal is the same – We want Pakistan to be successful.
#How will your business make money?
We make money through the equity we buy in selected companies or where we have no equity we make our money through commission on sales.
We thank Cloud9 for sharing valuable advice with us. At pakistanijunction.com it is our passion to give projection to Pakistani Start-Ups. This interview is meant to introduce Venture Capital firms and Incubators for Pakistani StartUps. We welcome you to get in touch with us and join us on twitter: @connectmohsin