Jehan Ara is the Founder & CEO of Katalyst Labs which is a Startup Accelerator Innovation Hub and Women Leadership Fellows program. She is the former President of the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES ([email protected]) where she spearheaded efforts for over 20 years and was responsible for developing the [email protected] brand and creating linkages between [email protected] with local and international partners.
Jehan has extensive experience in marketing, communications and new interactive media in Hong Kong, the Far East, the UAE and Pakistan. She is a motivator, an entrepreneur, a social activist and a strong propagator of extending the power and use of Information and Communication Technologies beyond pure traditional business, to empower and enable communities.
Currently, Jehan serves as a Member of the PM’s Advisory Council on IT & Digital Economy, a Member of the APAC Content Advisory Board for TikTok and is on the Advisory Boards of the Punjab IT Board, the Sindh IT Advisory Board and on the Industry Advisory Board of various local universities. Jehan is also on the World Bank Advisory Group on Gender Diversity. She is a Board Member of Coeus Solutions (a software solutions company based in Germany and Lahore), the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS) which is a nonprofit research organization established to promote, assist, support, stimulate, undertake and manage policy research and advocacy.
In January 2015, Jehan set up The Nest IO – a technology incubator, accelerator and innovation community hub in Karachi with the support of Google for Entrepreneurs to help provide a platform for aspiring technology businesses in the buzzing city of Karachi. The Nest IO incubated more than 217 start-up businesses and created a strong community of young people.
Under her leadership, Nest I/O also organized the flagship innovation and entrepreneurship conference 021Disrupt which, over a four year period, became the go-to premier event that brought together startups, innovator professionals, investors and students on a platform to engage, learn and collaborate.