Gaza's First Hackathon

Lara Ballout, Jul 15 2016

Techstars Foundation Grant

Recently, Gaza Sky Geeks received a grant from Techstars Foundation, which is an organization that aims to improve the landscape of diversity in tech entrepreneurship. Techstars, along with financial support, will leverage its global network of mentors, alumni and investors to help GSG reach their goals in increasing women’s inclusion in tech.

Women's Coding Club Pilot

The women’s inclusion is going strong for Gaza Sky Geeks with their mentorship and women’s inclusivity program by starting a women’s coding club at GSG. The first course, from Harvard University, is the CS.50 Introduction to Computer Science. This is their first pilot program during which online and in-person lessons are held. If you like what they are doing, help them by donating here.

AngelHack Gaza

GSG launched their first hackathon in May in Gaza. They saw 65 hackers who participated for 36 hours straight! The grand prize went to Homee, an online ordering platform and integrated delivery service app for people who want to buy homemade goods. They will be joining, in august, the AngelHack ‘Hackcelerator’ program, where they’ll receive intensive mentorship on product development, user acquisition, and if they meet their milestones, residency with Angel Hack in Silicon Valley. To learn more about the experience, read this new blog post and this Hacker news post.

Gaza Sky Geeks would love for mentors to join them in Gaza! They are currently recruiting mentors for their next Startup Bootcamp from 1-6 September 2016.

Gaza Sky Geeks emerged from the Palestinian city, Gaza. GSG is Gaza’s first and only startup accelerator, which was founded by the U.S charity Mercy Corps with Google’s donation in 2011. As explained by Iliana Montauk, GSG director on Tech President’s website, “Google supplied a grant called the ADNI (Arab Developers Network Initiative) that was initially used to run Start-up Weekends and give grants to start-ups, writes Iliana Montauk. “Google wanted a way to support the start-up ecosystem in Gaza […] In 2013, Mercy Corps saw a need for a real start-up accelerator in Gaza with the rigor of private investors. We also saw the opportunity in the region (that investors were looking for deal flow, and that we could bring them to Gaza). We proposed the strategic shift to use the funding to run a start-up accelerator. Google loved the idea.””

To generate interest in startups, GSG ran trainings, outreach events, and competitions. Their mission is to spark awareness of startups in Gaza.  They conduct active outreach, build a vibrant community that nurtures innovation, and connect top teams to global resources.  They aim to transform Gaza’s most talented youth into the Middle East’s business leaders and realize Gaza’s potential as a startup hub.

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