Who We Are

Invest2Innovate supports startup communities in growth markets, and has been operating in Pakistan since 2011. We believe that startup communities are forming all over the world, but more fragile or nascent markets can disable and hinder that entrepreneurial growth. At i2i, we believe the next great innovators can and should come out of countries like Pakistan, Iran, and Nigeria, but need the resources and proper ecosystem to get there. That’s where we come in.

Invest2Innovate finds, selects & vets impact entrepreneurs for the i2i Accelerator, an annual four-month program that provides business support and access to mentors and investment. Since 2012, i2i has accelerated 35 startups in Pakistan, which have gone on to raise over $3.7M in capital, scaled their businesses, created over 1000 jobs, and deepened their social and economic impact in the country. Aside from entrepreneur support, i2i also operates two more verticals – Invest, which works to strengthen access to capital in growth markets, and Insight, which provides research, data and analysis to provide a deeper understanding of these markets.

Kalsoom Lakhani

Kalsoom Lakhani

Founder / C.E.O.

Kalsoom is the Founder/CEO of Invest2Innovate, or i2i, which has been operating in Pakistan since 2011. Kalsoom has also trained young entrepreneurs, changemakers, and civil society leaders in Cambodia, Ireland, Bangladesh, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, and has spoken at numerous venues, including the World Economic Forum, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. State Department, and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. She was previously a Washington, D.C. co-ambassador for Sandbox, a global network of innovators under 30, (recently renamed the Thousand Network) and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers. She was featured in Diplomatic Courier’s Top 99 Foreign Policy Leaders under 33 in 2012, and was named an Ashoka Changemakers/ American Express Emerging Innovator for 2013. Kalsoom also founded the popular blog, CHUP, or Changing Up Pakistan in January 2008, and has written for the Washington Post, The Next Web, the Huffington Post, Foreign Policy, NextBillion and Pakistan’s Dawn Newspaper. She has a B.A. from the University of Virginia in Foreign Affairs and Middle East Studies, and an M.A. from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in International Affairs/Conflict Resolution.
Ahsan Mukhtar

Ahsan Mukhtar

Head of Business & Operations

Ahsan carries a diverse experience of working with both corporates and startups. Before joining i2i, he has worked for Huawei and China Mobile Pakistan, where he was managing network operations and optimization for northern Pakistan. He has also managed business development for Olaround, a startup funded by Google. He is also heading one of Google’s community outreach programs for local businesses in Pakistan which is aiming to strengthen the digital presence and visibility of local businesses. Ahsan has a Knack of ICT4D and has worked on various occasions with World Bank across Pakistan. He has represented Pakistan on various International forums in North America, Europe and South East Asia through State Department, Google and World Economic Forum.
Meenah Tariq

Meenah Tariq

Head Accelerator & Strategy

Meenah Tariq is the Head of Strategy and Accelerator at Invest2Innovate Pakistan. In her role at i2i, Meenah has supported hundreds of entrepreneurs since 2015, across a wide variety of industries and geographies. She is a passionate supporter of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Pakistan and has been designing and implementing programs to practically support women entrepreneurs, encourage entrepreneurial mindsets in young people, and equip entrepreneurs across the country with the business acumen required to scale high-impact businesses. Beyond running the i2i Accelerator program, she conducts trainings on business creation and scale, mentors a number of startups, and teaches entrepreneurship at local business schools at the undergrad level. Meenah is also constantly experimenting with business ideas of her own. Prior to I2I, Meenah was a Fulbright scholar, completing her MBA from Babson College, with a focus on strategy and entrepreneurship. Fun fact: Meenah loves acting, and she won the Pakistan Television Award as a Child star when she was 12!

Anusheh Naveed Ashraf

Anusheh Naveed Ashraf

Head of Insights

Anusheh has been involved with i2i’s work for the past several years and has previously worked as the Accelerator Lead and a Fellow for the Insights arm. She has a rich history working within the social innovation and entrepreneurship space and has a strong skill set within program and project management, research and consulting. A Fulbright scholar, she holds an MPA in Economic and Political Development, with a focus in data analysis, from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). While studying at SIPA, she also worked as a fellow at UNDP’s Innovation Facility in New York and as a consultant and project manager for Viva Rio in Brazil. She has also served as a trainer at the Kazan Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Youth Entrepreneurship Summit in Russia. A Global Shaper in the Islamabad Hub of the World Economic Forum, previously an Elected Vice President for AIESEC in Islamabad and having worked in challenging startup environments and the development sector since the beginning of her career, Anusheh is used to wearing many hats.
Syed Ali Abbas Shah

Syed Ali Abbas Shah

Finance & Operations Associate

Syed has strong skill-set in operational management, risk mitigation and management, finance & research. Syed has worked for an international defence contractor as a finance executive and also has experience in project management when he worked for a tech startup funded by the national R&D fund Ignite. Syed also consults pro-bono with social enterprises such as Edhi Homes and Early Learning Center for Differently abled Individuals.  Syed is a business graduate, specialized in international finance and investments from the NUST Business School

Board of Advisors


Cameron is an Investment Funds Associate at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, providing financing to private equity funds in emerging markets. Prior to joining OPIC, Cameron was an Investment Analyst at Leopard Capital, a Southeast Asian private equity firm. He began his relationship with invest2innovate as an i2i MBA Fellow where he led the team’s early efforts in creating the i2i Angel Network. Earlier in his career, Cameron served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the remote hills of northern Thailand. Cameron holds an MBA from the Middlebury Institute and a BA in Economics from Fordham University.


Elmira is the co-founder of Foreign Policy, Interrupted, an incubator/media enterprise aimed to increase the number of women commenting on foreign affairs on op-ed pages and television. She is also the founder of the World Policy Institute’s Global Entrepreneurial Ecosystems Project. Elmira will soon be releasing a book called, “Steve Jobs Lives in Pakistan: Extraordinary Entrepreneurs in the Developing World,” the story about how entrepreneurship has gone global. Occasionally, Elmira writes about global innovations and entrepreneurship in a weekly column entitled, Entreventures, on Forbes.com.


Faisal Khan is an independent Banking Payments Consultant, providing advisory services for banks and financial services companies. Most of his work is based on architecting payment networks, products, and solutions for clients or doing product/idea validation, and his core focus has been on cross-border transactions in the P2P, B2C and B2B space. Faisal also an advisor to Hippocorn (a VC company out of Denmark) as well as a talent scout for Series A & B financing for various fintech VCs/funds. He has over 5,000+ answers published on Quora Internet related to banking, fintech, payments & payment systems, and is also a Co-Host of a Fintech / Banking Payments Podcast


Fawzia Naqvi is a former Vice President of Soros Economic Development Fund of Open Society Foundations where she had prime shareholder responsibility for SEDF’s investment portfolio in India as well as fund investments in Mexico and a Micro-Insurance fund which invests in Africa and Asia. In addition Fawzia co-founded Open Society Foundations Economic Policy think tank in Pakistan called Institute for Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS), and serves as a member of its Board. Prior to leaving OSF in December 2016, Ms. Naqvi worked with a team to build Open Society Foundation’s new Economic Advancement Program


Misbah heads Global Market Development for Boloro Global Limited, a US-based start-up that has launched Boloro, a global mobile payments network currently live in Afghanistan and Kuwait. Misbah has over 16 years experience in finance and business development in Pakistan and the US. Previously, Misbah was at Acumen, a non-profit global venture fund, initially building and managing investments in Pakistan and subsequently focusing on fundraising and community building.


Shuja joined The Resource Group founding team at inception in 2002. Shuja is a Managing Director at The Resource Group based out of San Francisco. He currently serves on the Boards of several private companies. Shuja graduated with a SB degree from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with concentrations in Finance, Information Technology, and Operations Research and a Minor in Economics. Shuja is an avid traveler and is passionate about fine dining, art and design.


Valerian is an Investment Manager for Insitor Management, an impact investment firm based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Working between Phnom Penh and New Delhi, Valerian has structured deals in several sectors including clean water, renewable energy, and healthcare. Valerian started his career as a buy-side analyst in a small cap investment fund in Paris, and subsequently worked in New Delhi as a management and corporate finance consultant.