This November, our Program Manager Alexis Taylor took another jet-setting adventure across the world to unlock some major entrepreneurial potential. This time, she went with 9 fellow Austinites to Lahore, Pakistan as part of a delegation to explore Pakistan’s dynamic startup ecosystem.

According to Taylor, being able to connect with the fellow entrepreneurs, incubators, and investors in Austin’s entrepreneurship community was one of the best parts of the delegation. We are so thankful that the City of Austin and the Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce selected us for the ATX + PAK Launch Entrepreneurship Program delegation.

“Sharing this experience with other entrepreneurs in Austin reminded me of how special it is to be a part of Austin’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our focus on community is a strategic advantage and it’s exciting to see champions around the city uniting together to position Austin as a center of innovation.

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But for Taylor, that was just the tip of the iceberg of her experience:

“Going to Lahore and experiencing first hand the strides they are taking as a community and as an entrepreneurship ecosystem was beyond what I could have imagined. Some of the work they are doing there, like the centralized nature and sort of top-down approach to fostering entrepreneurship, was executed in a way I hadn’t seen before. There is this a strong interest and stake in entrepreneurship that comes directly from the government.

Pakistan is, largely, a very young population. And the government of Pakistan, particularly in Lahore, is seeing some of the dangers that can come with having such a young population –– like unemployment –– and trying to present entrepreneurship as an opportunity to create their own jobs and grow their economy.”

While this initiative may come directly from the government, Taylor describes how instrumental and impressive the entrepreneurs in Lahore are.

“Lahore is a really innovative and up-and-coming city and there is such a wealth of talent. I noticed so much hunger from the people there to learn and to really build something great and support their communities.”

And Taylor got a lot of opportunities to experience that hunger and innovation first-hand during the week she was there.

As part of the delegation, Taylor sat on two panels, covering the advantages and opportunities of the Austin startup scene and equal opportunity entrepreneurship respectively, and led a workshop on the Lean Startup. That workshop allowed her to directly engage with 65 Pakistani students and professors from five different universities.

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But her favorite part of the trip?

“Meeting the people who organized Plan9 and the entrepreneurs there. It gave me a whole different perspective on what people believe and how people live, how entrepreneurship looks there. It was fascinating and powerful.”

In the next few months Alexis Taylor and the rest of our team at 3 Day Startup will work on our continuing partnership with Plan9. We are currently in talks to bring a 3 Day Startup program to Lahore and help activate entrepreneurial potential in their community.

“We are really excited to return. We see a lot of opportunities for us to work with Plan9 and connect them to our global network.”

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