Lahore, September 30, 2021 — The six-year ATX+PAK Entrepreneurship Program (ATX+PAK), a business development and creative exchange initiative between Austin, Texas, and Lahore, Pakistan, funded by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, closed with a Creative Collaboration Celebration hosted by the Institute of Arts and Culture.
Founded in 2015 by the City of Austin, ATX+PAK was the catalyst for more than a dozen revenue- generating commercial and educational partnerships between Austin and Lahore. The closing event brought together past and present program participants, including entrepreneurs, investors, fashion icons, educators, and industry experts from the United States and Pakistan.
“…this project has sharpened your business acumen, and the skills you developed will lead to the economic well-being of yourselves, your families, and your countrymen,” said U.S. Consul General William K. Makeneole at the event. See Mr. Makaneole’s full remarks here.
“What started as the seed of an idea planted during a visit to Zacky Farms in Lahore, has blossomed into a ground-breaking program that has directly impacted local economies in Texas and Lahore with new business, trade partnerships, and lasting creative and cultural exchange,” noted Alicia Dean, ATX+PAK Program Founder. “None of this could have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of our incredibly talented partners,” she added.
Primary partners who collaborated on the program include Capital Factory, the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce, Fashion by Texas, Fireshow Media, the Institute of Art and Culture, Information Technology University, Innovation District 92, Plan9/PlanX Incubator and Accelerator, and Superior University.
The final stages of the partnership were the Fashion Forward Initiative, focused on increasing fashion and textile trade between the United States and Pakistan, and the Global Market access program, focused on helping companies grow their market in the United States.
Over the past six years, the program achieved some major accomplishments, including reaching 2,500 people through activities and exchange visits, and raising $1.3 million dollars (21,9464,050 PKR) for early-stage Pakistani startup companies. The first runway exhibit of Pakistani fashion took place in Austin, as did the Mix Conference, Pakistan’s first interactive tech, art, culture, and music festival modeled after the famous South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Texas.
ATX+PAK is the first program of its kind to be implemented by a local government in the United States. The model has also been successfully scaled in Egypt (ATX+EGYPT) and Detroit (D2PAK).
For more information program activities and accomplishments visit please see the ATX+PAK web page.