FAQs

Q. Where do I apply for the ISF Program?

A. You can register on the ISF Portal http://ric.hec.gov.pk

Q. Who can apply for the ISF Program?

A. The ISF Program is looking to register three types of participants;

  1. Startups: You must be a Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), or equivalent registrar, registered Startup without having received previous commercial sources of funding.
  2. Mentors: You will be an experienced/seasoned entrepreneur or business executive.
  3. Business Development Service Provider (BDSP): You will be an experienced professional or a business firm operating in the fields of i) Marketing and Sales management ii) HR & General Management Support iii) Technical Support iv) Marketing Research v) Transaction & Capital Advisory vi) Company Registration, Tax & Audit vii) Others.

Q. Who will be the Lead /CEO for the Startups?

A. The Lead /CEO of startup must be either a student, recent alumni and/or faculty member/ researcher of the Higher Education Institutions (public and private).

Q. Should my startup be associated with a Higher Education Commission (HEC) established Business Incubation Centers (BICs)?

A. You will require an endorsement from one of the HEC established Business Incubation Centers (BICs) to be eligible for the ISF Program, as in case of award your startup will be their incubatee.

Q. Where can I find details about HEC Established BICs?

A. HEC Established Business Incubation Centers (BICs) details are available on HEC BIC Website, i.e. https://hec.gov.pk/english/services/universities/EBIC/Pages/Established-BICs.aspx

Q. How can I register my startup with Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP)?

A. You can ask your incubator manager for help or find details on SECP company registration here on this link: https://www.secp.gov.pk/company-formation/registration-of-company/

You can find details on how to create your SECP E-Login on the following link: https://www.secp.gov.pk/eservices/getting-started/

We advise hiring a professional to register your company on the SECP, the costs range typically from PKR 17,000-22,000/-.

Q. Will I be required to send any templates to apply for ISF?

A. Once you register on the ISF portal (http://ric.hec.gov.pk) as a Startup, you'll have to send us a Concept Note. The ISF Concept Note Template is available in the "Downloads" Section and needs to be uploaded with the online application.

Q. What is the deadline for submission of ISF Applications?

A. The deadline is January 25, 2022 11:59pm (PST)

Q. How much funding is anticipated through ISF Program?

A. ISF Funding for innovative ideas and early-stage startups is up to $35,000 equivalent to be paid in PKR.

Q. Do you accept the ideas/business plans already registered for a patent?

A. If patent is idea of a startup yes, but if it is only a patent then no.

Q. Do you accept the registered trademark for ISF?

A. Yes, if it is of a startup and no if it is just a trademark registration.

Q. Do you accept the business plan only for the registered startups or also for startups in the process of registration?

A. Registered only

Q. The ideas/Business plans/Startups in the BICs of private sector universities are also acceptable for you?

A. If they are endorsed and supported by the listed BICs (public).