BackgroundOPEN was formed on March 22, 1998 in Boston by a group of Pakistani American entrepreneurs and corporate executives. The purpose of the organization is to create a platform to help promote entrepreneurship and assist professionals in their careers and to mentor them to achieve their aspirations. Imran Qidwai and Imran Khan came up with the idea, Tahir Chaudhry coined the organization's name. Feisal A Ahmad, Iftikhar's son designed the logo. The founding team consisted of Imran H Khan as President, Tahir H Chaudhry as Secretary, Iftikhar A Ahmad as Treasurer, Board Members were Hassan Ahmed, Salman Akhtar, M. Salahuddin Khan and Imran Qidwai. OPEN was registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on May 5, 2000 (more on http://open-boston.org/history/). Additional cities/areas joined; New York, Silicon Valley and Washington DC. The founding team in consultation with its legal counsel came up with the plan to create a governing body that would ensure a streamlined growth of OPEN and its mission. This organization was initially called "OPEN National" and was US centric. Soon after it was decided not to limit it to US but expand the reach globally thus Open National was renamed as "OPEN Global" and its charter was defined. The first OPEN location was converted to the first chapter Boston, Massachusetts, MA with New York, Silicon Valley and Washington DC as other chapters. Houston was the next chapter that was formed. Globally, OPEN now has 17 chapters and over 350 charter members, 2,000 general members and over 50,000 on its mailing list. The chapters and members continue to grow. The organization consists of corporate professionals, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, banking professionals, social leaders and academics. ''Throughout its entire existence OPEN has been and is a team effort! No single person can and should take full credit or claim to be a founder of any entity of OPEN. If anyone does, it’s a false claim!''
Goals*The purpose of the organization is to create a platform to help promote entrepreneurship and to assist professionals in their careers and mentor them to achieve their aspirations. *To promote and provide growth opportunities for Pakistani's, Americans and Pakistani's/other nationals at other geographies within the diaspora through regular mentoring and networking. *To provide financing assistance and mentorship to enterprising individuals through programs such as the business plan competition and monthly business plan critiques. *To develop ongoing events through which local professionals can meet and network amongst themselves and with other influential individuals. *To recognize accomplishments of Pakistani American and other entrepreneurs and professionals. * Promoting contacts and creating bridges between entrepreneurs in the US; entrepreneurs and professionals in Pakistan and other geographies
ChaptersGlobally, at the end of 2020 OPEN has 14 chapters Atlanta, Boston/New England, Chicago, Houston, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, London, New York, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Southern California, Toronto and Washington DC. OPEN Karachi is the first OPEN chapter outside US which was launched in the later half of 2011. OPEN launched its chapter in Lahore, Pakistan in 2013. An OPEN chapters has at its core a Charter membership comprising Pakistanis in the areas of finance, technology, telecommunications, biotech and Consultant, consulting in North America. OPEN regularly organizes events pertaining to current issues in business and entrepreneurship. In addition to OPEN's Charter Members, OPEN includes executive committees of seasoned entrepreneurs and professionals from a multitude of industries and professions that help plan, coordinate, and execute OPEN's mission. Each chapter's charter members and executive committee members are joined by General Members who are dues-paying members of OPEN that participate in and contribute to OPEN's events and services.
OPEN Annual Forum - keynote speakersSince its establishment in 1998 has had many distinguished speakers. Since 2004, OPEN Annual Forum, hosted by Silicon Valley has had distinguished speakers including former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, Political Figure & Cricket World Cup winner (and now the current Prime Minister) Imran Khan, venture capitalist from California, Mike Moritz and former Governor of Vermont, Howard Dean.
Major Events & Flood Relief WorkOPEN conducted a successful $50,000 Business Plan Competition event. OPEN raised and collected nearly $500,000 for flood victims in Pakistan.
External links*https://www.openglobalweb.org OPEN Global *http://open-boston.org OPEN Boston *http://open-newyork.org/