We know moving back is difficult
Pakathon is a 501c3 non-profit seed fund that mentors and invests in Pakistani expats moving back to launch for-profit social ventures. We get referrals for the best candidates through our volunteer chapters around the world that engage with the Pakistani diaspora through social entrepreneurship workshops. Our flagship workshop is a global hackathon held simultaneously across our chapters that connects participants to domain experts and investors.
Launched in 2013, Pakathon is a global organization with 85+ volunteers organized around eight volunteer chapters in the US, Canada, Middle East and Australia. By hosting events in cities abroad we connect the Pakistani diaspora to issues in Pakistan and scout for potential “Returners” – individuals who want to move back to Pakistan and do impactful work.
Learn more about how we're making this happen
Expanding Clinical Trials to Pakistan
Maham Siraj & Irtaza Haider, CReSP
CResP solves the high costs of the US pharmaceutical industry by creating and auditing a network of quality clinical research sites in Pakistan that can offer clinical trials at lower cost. CRESP’s founders are Maham Siraj, a Master's student at Harvard University and Irtaza Haider a graduate of UC Berkley. They have 12 years of combined experience working in the US Biotech industry.
Saim Siddiqui, Founder of ProCheck
After pitching his idea for a mobile phone based platform for the serialization of authentic medicines at our hackathon, Saim Siddiqui founded Karachi-based ProCheck. Saim left Toronto to work on building the company in Pakistan. Partnered with one of the country's leading manufacturer of medicines, ProCheck allows more than 50,000 patients access to genuine medicines.
Empowering Professional Women
Hira Rizvi, Founder of She'Kab
Hira founded She'Kab, a subscription carpooling service for professional women in Islamabad. By working with the city's existing taxi infrastructure, the company allows 800 women to commute safely. After graduating from Georgia Tech, Hira worked with mentors and Pakathon to scale her business.
Helping Pregnant Women
Kamil Shafiq and Israa Nasir, Founders of Ammi Service
Kamil and Israa from Team Ammi won first place at Pakathon's 2015 Global Finals in Toronto. Their product helps provide critical information regarding maternal care to pregnant women. Pakathon helped them apply into the Invest2Innovate accelerator program in Islamabad. The team has been accepted into the fall program and have moved to Pakistan.
Ahmed Tariq Khan
Ahmed participated in Pakathon’s hackathon event in Boston in 2014 while he was still working for Fidelity Investments. In 2015, Ahmed moved back to Pakistan and is currently working to launch a teacher training company to improve educational standards in Pakistan and is rolling out a pilot with Lecole, a private educational institute in Pakistan.
Sustainable Energy Solutions
Fatima Fasih, EcoEnergy
"Thanks to Pakathon, I was introduced to my current boss, Jeremy Higgs from EcoEnergy. I had always been passionate about energy issues in Pakistan and so decided to apply and eventually work for this company that provides affordable, accessible and sustainable energy solutions to those that live in off-grid Pakistan. My role allows me to visit interior, rural Pakistan and understand the needs and wants of Pakistanis that live in complete darkness because of lack of electricity. After living as an overseas Pakistani all my life, it was this invisible nudge by Pakathon that pushed me into moving to Pakistan and work for greater impact."
Pakathon's Returner's Program is designed to empower Pakistani expats who want to launch projects in Pakistan by connecting them to funding, resources and a community of like-minded change-makers. Our goal is to reverse the brain drain in Pakistan by helping skilled Pakistani expats move to Pakistan and launch businesses. We will help you in the first phase of your journey and connect you to accelerator programs operating in Pakistan.
We work hard to cultivate an open entrepreneurial ecosystem
Washington DC Co-Lead
Bay Area Co-Lead
New York City Co-Lead
New York City Co-Lead
Director of Operations
Global PR Lead
Global Software Lead
Global Partnership Lead
Global Design Lead
President, Freshdesk, President OPEN Global, Member of President Obama's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans
MIT Faculty member; started and sold two companies. Former Head of Innovation at NTT Data, Founding Member OPEN
Founder and President of cloud security company Elastica; sold to BlueCoat for $280 million. Previously founder of WiChorus
Senior Advisor, United Nations Foundation. Advocacy and funds mobilization with governments, private sector and civil society
VP Soros Economic Development Fund with expertise structuring and implementing investment strategies
Pakistan Country Director and CEO Acumen Fund, former CEO Wateen Telecom
Dean, School of Science and Engineering at Habib University; Co-Creator of 23 US patents
Help make a difference in a Returner's journey
All contributions will go a long way in supporting our efforts to help Pakistani expats launch businesses in Pakistan.
Our community's insights on social innovation and entrepreneurship