The TIE Islamabad Launch event the past Saturday had Marriott packed with literally the whos-who of the IT industry in one place. From investors, veterans, senior industry professionals, young emerging leaders, academics and dozens of startups no one had heard of before filled the hall to mingle. Anyone that you couldve thought of was there, although the particular setting and program made it pretty hard to network.
Considering it just started with a simple letter to TIE Global and request to open a local chapter, the TIE guys seem to have gained a lot of weight in attracting the industry together. Also impressive was the management and security which was a top-notch effort by Channel7.
Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani was the chief guest of honor, while Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman (HEC) was the guest of honor. The Prime Minister had some interesting things to say to show that he is aware of the state of entrepreneurship in the country (he mention the TIE Lahore Band of Angels group and their work in attacting angel investment in the country).
One speech among all the ones made that really stood out was by a veteran entrepreneur belonging to the engineering sector. While he admitted he was from the old generations of business, he was surprisingly very well versed with new internet-based businesses – mentioning wikinomics, social communities and more in his speech.
While its too early to tell whether or not TIE Islamabad will have a lasting impact on entrepreneurship support, but they certainly do have the pull leverage to get the top brass to take notice and show up. Lets see how the rest of their events unfold.