About Gaza Sky Geeks
Gaza Sky Geeks (GSG) is the first and only startup accelerator in Gaza. We were founded in 2011 as one of Google for Entrepreneurs' first partners. Like startup accelerators around the world, we find talented teams with smart ideas and help them turn them into successful startups. Gaza Sky Geeks is run by Mercy Corps, an international humanitarian organization that saves and improve lives in the world's toughest places. See below for more information.
Since 2011, Gaza Sky Geeks run activities to grow awareness of startups in Gaza. In 2013, we realized our leading startups were ready for investment. We partnered with Oasis500 and PALinnO to make the first ever seed level investments in Gaza startups in late 2013. We also ran the first ever international pitch event for our startups in Jordan, receiving an overwhelmingly positive response. Two of our startups have made it to the final pitch for Blackbox Connect, a program for global founders in Silicon Valley. One of our startups is currently being considered for follow-on investment.
We've also continued working on outreach to grow our pipeline. In June 2014, we ran our biggest Startup Weekend ever. Over 600 Gazans applied. We accepted 150, 50% of whom were women. On the first day, 70 participants pitched ideas. Eight international mentors came to Gaza for the event. They said the quality of the ideas equaled those at Startup Weekends in the U.S. Poland, Dublin, the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere, but that they had never seen so much energy anywhere.