Five Palestinian startups were selected as finalists at Gaza Sky Geeks‘ demo day on September 18th. First and second place winners each received a $5,000-grant and all five startups are invited on an investor roadshow to Istanbul, Cairo, Manama, Amman, Dubai and Berlin, supported by Gaza Sky Geeks (GSG).
“Winning startups were selected based on market sustainability, ability to build market traction and investment readiness,” says GSG’s Communication and Mentorship Programme Coordinator Sara Al-Afifi. Powered by Mercy Corps, GSG is a leading co-working space, pre-seed accelerator, and technology education hub based in Gaza. We convene online freelancers, designers, developers, and startup founders to collaborate, with the purpose of and build brighter futures by selling products and services online. We are a proud partner of the global Google for Entrepreneurs network.
The first place went to Lavender, an online one-stop-shop for customised Arabic WordPress themes that saves time and money for regional businesses launching online. Meanwhile, the second place went to Actiovat, a UAE-focused tour and travel booking aggregator geared to local residents looking for more personalised trips.
Araboos came in third, however it’s the first streamlined platform in the MENA region for social media influencers to connect with corporate brands, and vice versa, to collaborate on marketing campaigns. Whereas the fourth runner up was Akel App is a mobile app that lets young busy professionals order homemade food from local cooks. Hera, an online platform that helps couples plan their weddings and compare the best deals from vendors in Palestine, came in fifth.
GeeXelerator’s five remaining startups took home prizes as well. Youth Impact Labs, also supported by Mercy Corps, invited Actiovat and Car Cleaner to work with its accelerator in Amman, Jordan for one year with supporting funds of $25,000 per startup. All five have been invited to attend Startup Istanbul and attend local pitching events in the West Bank.
Those five startups include: Car Cleaner, a mobile application that enables car owners to order a car wash from freelance car cleaners, no matter where they have parked; Grape, an online aggregator of the best discounts and offers from local retailers in Palestine that drives traffic to local stores by offering customers digital coupons; Global Dental Gateway, a SaaS platform for dental offices that enables patients to review, select, and book the best dentists; Khzanty, an online store for vintage and lightly used second-hand clothing and accessories; Meet Scholars, a web application that links successful recipients of international scholarships, scholarship advisors, and scholarship programmes with prospective scholarship applicants across the MENA region to help them succeed.
The GeeXelerator is an intensive 16-week pre-seed acceleration programme that aims to help teams build a usable product with only the most essential core features, validate the core product feature with users, launch the feature online for public use, and scale their product’s user base.
All images courtesy of Gaza Sky Geeks.