MiTE event calls for encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation

By Our Correspondent
May 25, 2024
A representational image of the logo of theMillennium Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship (MiTE). — MITE webstie/File

The Millennium Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship (MiTE) held a grand networking event on Friday to build a launch pad of entrepreneurship, innovation and design, and build strong linkages to connect, collaborate and engage with Karachi’s stakeholders.


The president of MiTE, Faisal Mushtaq, said it was very normal for him as a founding trustee to fund and support such a university. “We have been associated with education for the last 36 years across Pakistan,” he said, adding that his mother founded a small school with a humble beginning of 50 students.

He explained that their alumni were now present in all sectors of society such as government, policymaking, civil services, legal fraternity, politics and judiciary. It was very natural for him, he said, to have a vision for a university.

Recalling the foundations of MiTE, he said they faced with the question of where to start — Islamabad, Lahore or Karachi. He added that his father belonged to a village in Sindh near Umerkot. “So [because of] my Sindhi roots, my lineage and linkages, my family prompted me to start from Karachi.”

He explained that schools built a knowledge society, and universities built a knowledge economy. He shared how he believed that universities could bring about social change by dealing with economic, environmental and other communal challenges.

“Universities incubate the knowledge, the human capital, the critical thinking, the innovation, the research, which help us create a sustainable future for the world,” he said. He added that as a university, their ethos was based on technology, entrepreneurship, incubation and design.

He said that it was because Dr Huma Baqai’s personal and professional commitment to the institute and her dynamic leadership that the institute had been progressing. Chief Executive Officer of JS Bank Basir Shamsie quoting Abdul Sattar Edhi said that no religion was higher than humanity and no wealth better than education.

He spoke on ‘Bridging Gap: Embracing Inclusive Industry-Academic Pathway’. He said their responsibility on the education front was extremely important. From an entrepreneurial perspective, he said, two-and-a-half years back their team members decided to become more engaged than their usual scholarships and events, which they did with the university. “We wanted to encourage entrepreneurs,” he said.

Last year, he remarked, they received 4,000 applications from startups, “They were actually startups and many of them had limited amount of revenue.” To evaluate the applications, panels were set up in different cities, after which three applicants won.

He encouraged industry leaders to give the young people, a few years after school, time to connect back to university. He said that youngsters could relate better with university students than someone who had been to university 30 years ago. Subsequently, he said, the UNDP came around to run a programme for specifically environmental sustainable development goals.

He said that they faced challenges in hiring people for Governance Regulation Compliance (GRC). “This is an area that is in high demand. The demand overseas and in the region is phenomenal,” he stated, adding that traditional MBAs in finance and marketing were fine, but there were fields such as GRC that were in demand.

Pakistani entrepreneur and philanthropist Amin Hashwani spoke on the need for collaborative efforts. He said if we wanted to create an institution of excellence, it had to be a collaborative effort. He stressed that collaboration had to be between industries, the public sector, civil society and other educational institutions.