Invest2Innovate

invest2innovate is committed to supporting startup communities in growth markets.

invest2innovate supports startup communities in growth markets and has been working in Pakistan since 2011. We provide support to entrepreneurs via our various verticals. i2i Accelerator has graduated 47 startups that have gone on to raise over $7.5M and create over 2000 jobs since 2012. i2i also designs and launches programs for entrepreneurs via partnerships with players like Facebook, Karandaaz and the World Bank, and has so far provided capacity-building support to 92 incubators & and accelerators in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, and more. i2i also releases comprehensive data and briefings on Pakistan's startup ecosystem via Insights, our research arm, and i2i's sister entity, i2i Ventures, is our venture capital fund for Pakistan, investing in high-growth early-stage startups in the country.

$16.51 Million

Funding Raised

193

Mentors Engaged through
Various Programs

996

High-Impact Entrepreneurs
Trained

658

Women Entrepreneurs Trained

190

Incubators, ESOs, and
Accelerators Trained

386

Jobs Created

i2i Accelerator

The i2i Accelerator is our flagship program, offering startup acceleration services. Selected entrepreneurs gain access to intensive business support aimed at fostering the growth of their ventures. This program has now been revamped and is known as i2iScale.

i2i Insights

Data and information are key to understanding growth markets. Our Insights Lab provides cutting-edge research, data & analysis to mitigate risk and help stakeholders better navigate these countries, beginning with Pakistan.

Support

We believe in fostering strong communities of entrepreneurs and providing them with the support they need to grow their businesses. Through our Support arm, we collaborate with organizations such as the World Bank Group and Meta to curate programs tailored for startups.

Our Team

Kalsoom Lakhani

Founder invest2innovate, Co-founder and GP, i2i Ventures

Kalsoom, founder of Invest2Innovate, brings years of experience working with startups in Pakistan and the region. As Co-Founder/General Partner of i2i Ventures, Pakistan's first female-led fund, she is a trailblazer in the industry. Kalsoom has trained young entrepreneurs and changemakers in various countries and has spoken at prestigious venues such as the World Economic Forum and the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. She is currently a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and a member of the American Pakistan Foundation’s Leadership Council.
 

Sarah Munir

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

I am a seasoned storyteller and business leader with over 15 years of experience in crafting multi-format narratives that drive impact and fuel growth. I have shuttled between New York and Karachi for the majority of my career, which has allowed me the opportunity to work in diverse newsrooms including Dawn, The Express Tribune, and Silicon Valley giants like Meta and X (formerly Twitter). My work has also been featured in leading publications including The Guardian, Al Jazeera, BuzzFeed and Forbes among others. My work is driven by a deep sense of curiosity, which drew me to the startup space and helped me discover talented founders that are solving critical problems with a lens on innovation.
 

Merai Syed

Director, Strategy & Growth

With her passion for strengthening the entrepreneurship ecosystem and extensive experience in both local and global startup communities, Merai has helped build and deliver over 500 technology high-growth products and services from ideation to series A stage across various markets worldwide. Her expertise will be invaluable in supporting our Programs teams and driving our mission forward.
 

Amna Masood

Head of Insights

I'm passionate about bringing ideas to life and have always been driven by the thrill of putting strategy into execution. As an entrepreneur specializing in data analytics, communication strategy, and design thinking, my journey has been diverse. As the Head of Insights, I find myself at an interesting intersection of research, innovation and impactful storytelling.
 

Saba Kalsoom

Programs and Ecosystem Lead

Saba is the Programs Ecosystem Lead at invest2innovate (i2i). Saba's entrepreneurial journey is marked by her pivotal role in 'aiyin,' a pioneering VR-driven edtech startup. Her team's accomplishments, including winning the Mohammad Bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity and securing a USD 100,000 grant, highlight her expertise.With an Electrical Engineering degree specializing in AI from NUST, Saba's career spans impactful roles at Fasset and COLABS. Her recent venture, 'MyStudyMate,' an AI-powered edtech app, showcases her innovation.

 

Sarwat Rattani

Lead Special Projects

Sarwat's unwavering passion for impact-driven businesses has been fueled by her extensive experience in the non-profit sector, where she witnessed first-hand the power of sustainable business models in addressing social and environmental challenges. With a deep understanding of the triple bottom line, Sarwat pursued an MBA in Social Change and Sustainability through the prestigious Fulbright platform, equipping herself with a well-rounded skill set to guide and support businesses and startups in this sector. As she looks towards Pakistan's burgeoning business landscape, Sarwat is eager to help push the envelope and drive success for companies committed to making a difference in the world.
 

Duaa Asif

Marketing and Partnerships Lead

I am a seasoned Marketing professional with extensive experience in Influencer Marketing and Partnerships. I am currently leading marketing and partnerships at invest2innovate (i2i). My robust portfolio showcases expertise in various digital marketing activities, including social media strategies, content creation, public relations, and influencer marketing. Passionate about using my skills for positive social change, She founded Through Stories, a consultancy specializing in influencer marketing. She has collaborated with clients on social impact projects, promoting causes such as women's empowerment, education, and health.

Armeen Khan

Operational Excellence & Communications Lead

Armeen graduated from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) with a degree in Accounting and Finance, and during her undergraduate years, she conducted a research project on the success rate of Incubation Centers in Pakistan. This experience ignited her passion for pursuing a career in this field. At i2i, Armeen has not only thrived professionally but also grown personally. Her work on diverse projects has enabled her to gain a deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
 

Laiba Ahmad

Program Design and Innovation Lead

As the Program Design and Innovation Lead at i2i, I oversee the day-to-day execution of our accelerator programs. What excites me the most about my role is the opportunity to collaborate with bold founders who are introducing ingenious solutions to everyday challenges. Together, we work towards creating a more vibrant and inclusive startup ecosystem in Pakistan. Beyond my work, I am a small business owner and spend most of my free time building my functional fashion brand: dheet.shop.

Zara Laeeque

Operations Excellence and Communications Lead

Coming from a diverse background of corporate and startup ecosystem, I always find it exciting to work
where I can make an impact and empower myself and others. Working with startups and growing
organizations, there is always an opportunity to create and innovate which is one of the most exciting
elements. 

Rashid Shahzad

Finance Lead

Rashid holds the degree of Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) with a specialization in Accounting and Finance, backed by over 8 years of diversified experience across various segments of the finance department. Rashid is one of the founding team members of the National Incubation Center, Pakistan's largest incubation center under the public-private partnership. He has contributed significantly to the growth of the incubation center, having worked with over 250 startups representing diverse industry verticals. Rashid also holds the position of an Executive Committee member at ICMA's Incubation Center. His professional journey includes collaborations with startups and young entrepreneurs.
 

Umar Farooq

Operations Coordinator

Umar excels in a wide range of fields, including accounting, finance, operations, event management, and media. With an impressive portfolio of clients such as USIP, British Council, UNDP, and UN Women, Umar has proven himself as a versatile and accomplished professional. He is an integral member of the organizing team for TEDxIslamabad, showcasing his commitment to fostering innovation and inspiring change. Beyond his professional pursuits, Umar enjoys exploring the breathtaking northern regions of Pakistan and is an avid sportsman, regularly playing cricket and badminton.

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