Gaza Startup Weekend 5.0

    Thursday, October 8 - 10, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Coaches and Mentors
  4. Sponsors
  5. Organizing Team
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Gaza Startup Weekend 5.0

Thursday, October 8 - 10, 2015

Thursday, October 8 - 10, 2015
Event starts at 1:00 pm

Roots Sea Shore

Gaza, Gaza City 00970

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OCT 8 2015, Be ready for the great!

Startup Weekend Gaza 5.0 the fifth event will be held on Gaza. Last Startup Weekend in Gaza was launched by Mercy Corps, GDG, BTI and many other partners. This year also we are bringing together investors from abroad, dedicated coaches, fantastic corporate partners, and a whole load of community involvement. We're also adding some twists. Last year we received over 870 applications from people in Gaza who wanted to participate in this event and we are looking for more reach this year. On Oct 8-10, the top 150 will compete to launch startups in front of investors and mentors from around the world. Get ready for the best startup event Gaza has ever seen. It’s time to show the world Gaza’s top startup talent! Last year, more investments were made in Gaza startups. Investors are back looking for opportunities. What are you going to reveal? Are you a real entrepreneur? This year’s event comes with some twists. We used to think the most important factor to launch a startup was… a brilliant idea. Now we realize it takes much more. Are you able to bring together the right team to get your product developed? Can you validate the market need and iterate quickly? Are you touching a trend? We’ll be watching to see who succeeds. Join us on Oct 8-10!

  • If you were accepted, you should make your payment at Gaza Sky Geeks (Abu Ghalion Building 3rd floor, Gaza City, open on business days from 9am-4pm) or (BTI at Islamic University of Gaza Saturday-Wednesday 8am – 2pm )as soon as possible to reserve your spot. The cost of Startup Weekend is only40NIS if you pay by Sep 30. If you wait until October 6 to pay, the price will increase to 50NIS. If you do not pay by October 6, your spot will be given to someone on the wait list.
  • If you are on the wait list, you will receive a message from us on October 6 if a spot opens up. Come immediately to Gaza Sky Geeks (on October 6, 7) to make your payment of 40NIS.
  • If any spots are available the day of the event, they will cost 70NIS.

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Thursday October 8th

1:00 pm
Registration Starts

2:30 pm

2:45 pm
Pitches 1st Round

3:45 pm
Voting for top ideas

4:15 pm
Pitches 2nd Round

5:15 pm
Voting for top ideas

6:00 pm
Snacks time

6:15 pm
Teams Formation

6:15 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home

Friday October 9th

8:00 am
Arrive, breakfast & coffee

8:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

10:30 am

12:30 pm
Friday Prayer

1:30 pm

2:15 pm

2:30 pm

8:00 pm
Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help

Saturday October 10th

8:00 am

9:00 am
Call for help
Call for help (this is self-motivated, so don’t be shy)

10:30 am

1:30 pm

2:30 pm
Gut Check
Gut check. Start prepping for presentations

3:00 pm

5:00 pm

7:00 pm
Judging & Awards

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Coaches and Mentors

Adnan Kolbasi
Manager of EMEA business/AMETEK Programmable power Division.

Adnan Kolbasi is born in Istanbul and moved to Switzerland as a six year young boy where he started his education and finished his degree in Electrical Engineering.  His professional career started as an Application Engineer at National Instruments (one of the leaders in the electrical Test&Measurement Industry) and moved soon after into Sales where he found his real passion – the customer.  As a Key Account Manager at Agilent/Keysight  (the #1 in the T&M industry) he managed large accounts including one global account. His passion and success within Agilent/Keysight EMEA was second to none and the Company agreed to give him a role in Singapore as the Channel Partner Manager to expand his global view and experience.  AMETEK found and offered Adnan the Asia Pacific Sales Manager position.  He fourfold within five years and built an entire customer focused team in the region. He achieved this during the economical crisis after 2008. Today he is back in Europe and Manage the EMEA business for AMETEK Programmable power Division.
Adnan is a global citizen, travelled over 70 countries for business and pleasure and continue to explore the world.

Hugo Fournier
Strategic Planner at Tonic International

Mr. Fournier began his career in advertising and marketing when he won the first prize for a contest organized by Cossette, Canada’s largest ad agency. He later had the opportunity to move to Dubai where he became strategic planner at Tonic International, the first agency that brought a Gold Lion (from Cannes Creativity Festival) in the Middle East.e ensures brands play a meaningful role in the life of consumers while solving business problems for the brand owner. Among others, he has worked with regional brands like Audi Middle East, Asus, Toyota, Etisalat, Valvoline and more local clients like Yas Waterworld and Health Plus. Hugo will be coming to Gaza on October 7-10 to be a mentor at our Startup Weekend. He will also work closely with our accelerated teams to support them with their branding and marketing strategies.

Elizabeth Shassere
Founder and CEO @ Textocracy

Elizabeth Shassere has over 20 years of leadership and management experience. From large government agencies to startups, she has led teams through transformation and improvement. She is currently founder and CEO of Textocracy Ltd.
Elizabeth wrote her first book, Becoming a Fearless Leader: A simple guide to taking control and building happy, productive, highly-performing teams, because she believes anyone can feel confident to lead when given simple, clear guidance on basic team leadership principles.
She coaches at startup weekends and volunteers with Gaza Sky Geeks because she believes in the power of future leaders in entrepreneurship to change the world for the better.

Oh and she started Textocracy at a Startup Weekend Sheffield, that she won! So knows what makes a great pitch!

Nabeel Syed
Technical Consultant at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

Mr. Syed is currently a Technical Consultant and Patent Agent Trainee at Blakes, Cassels, & Graydon; one of Canada's premier law firms. He works closely with Patent Agents and Patent Attorneys on drafting and prosecution of patent applications as well as advising on patentability of technologies. He graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2014 with a BASc in Mechanical Engineering and has a deep rooted passion in empowering communities through technology.
Nabeel is actively engaged in humanitarian and philanthropic causes both in Canada and abroad.

Ali Glenesk

Ms. Glenesk is from California and has been working on the policy team at YouTube (at Google) for 5 years. Prior to YouTube she worked as da media monitor and translator at a small startup company in Egypt. She is passionate about startups, women, and mentoring. She is currently studying back end web development and data analysis. In the past, she has mentored at startup competitions, including one in Nepal with the Google Disaster Corps. She has a degree in Near Eastern Languages and Literature from UC Berkeley and is proficient in Arabic, a huge plus for our startup teams!

Ahmed Mansour

Mr. Mansour is an outgoing software engineer with a knack for all things electrical. Supporting new initiatives and seeing them grow is something very dear to him.  He has during his years of school co-founded a few organizations and seeing them succeed is wonderful. He received his Bachelors of Mechatronics engineering from McMaster University. His education was part engineering part entrepreneurship program.  Now, he develop Linux device drivers for custom router hardware at Freescale semiconductors.

Emad Kehail

Throughout his professional life, Emad has gained a remarkable experience in software development and business analysis. Emad was engaged in many software development projects and has led many teams in either governmental, educational, and private sector to develop enterprise level software systems. Now, Emad is the project manager of the TAQAT project, one of the Qatar Charity programs, that is dedicated to help individuals in Gaza and reduce the unemployment rates through distance work and freelancing. Emad is also working as an individual IT Expert in Business Analysis and one of the regular mentors in Gaza Startup, IUG BTI and PICTI in which he has mentored and helped many of the entrepreneurs to achieve their goals.

Ahmed Saqer
Consultant & Trainer

Business Innovation and Design Thinking consultant, with more than 16 years experience in entrepreneurship. Also a PeaceStartup ambassador for Palestine.

Mazen Elsayed

Mazen is a Software Development and Project Manager. He was part of too many great projects.

Ethan Yake

With All Hands Volunteers, he lived in Nepal cultivating partnerships to support rebuild operations and managing Google Disaster Corps – a philanthropic human capital investment of 18 employees deployed to 5 critical, post-disaster projects for relief organizations. 
With Rise of the Rest, Ethan designs and produces a nationwide bus tour led by AOL co-founder Steve Case (in partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs and Salesforce for Startups) to showcase and invest in entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems.
For most of the last decade, Ethan managed event logistics for President Barack Obama – from the campaign in Iowa through the inauguration and finally to the White House.  Most recently, he was the Deputy Director of the Visitors Office at the White House.  In that role he worked with National Park Service, US Secret Service, and government components to maximize civic engagement and transparency for all public tours and the largest events hosted by the White House each year. Ethan has worked as a public school teacher, tennis instructor in the inner city, and theatre manager for the Sundance Institute.  He holds degrees from Kenyon College and Brown University and lives in New York City.

Yannick Du Pont
Development Expert in Fragile States

Drs. Yannick du Pont is director of SPARK, an international not-for-profit organization working on Youth Entrepreneurship and SME development in fifteen developing countries emerging from conflict in Africa, South-Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Through job creation, entrepreneurship promotion and the advocacy for an enabling business environment, SPARK aims to diminish the potential for conflict. SPARK gives special attention to youth, women and marginalised communities in its programming. Most activities gravitate around training & coaching (potential) entrepreneurs, reforming educational curricula to become more entrepreneurial and access to finance for the missing middle. SPARK has 14 offices with over a hundred staff in Kosovo, Serbia, Liberia, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Yemen, Mali, Myanmar, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and Syria (from Turkey).  SPARK has founded an internationally accredited higher vocational business academy in Kosovo. Mr. Du Pont holds degrees in Political Science and Sociology and has been working with states in conflict and emerging from it since 1994. He is primarily responsible for programme development. He is also a board member of the Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS), member of the advisory board of the Centre for Theory of Change in New York and sit on the steering committee of the Knowledge platform Security & Rule of Law. All these latter positions he fills 'pro bono'".

Yahya Zaibak
IT Supervisor

Mr. Zaibak has a B.S. degree in Computer Engineering from Islamic University - Engineering College on 1999.

He worked as IT deputy at Palestinian Airlines (1999-2006), also worked as Gaza Branch Manager at Halley computers and ISP (2000-2003).  Today, Yahya works as Gaza IT Supervisor- (Patel 2006-til now).

He has also attended many training sessions including but not limited to IT networking and IT security "CCNA;CCNP; CISM; Management; Team Leadership" .

Yahya has over 16 years of practical experience in the IT field and well known in the IT sector.

Salem AbuShaeera

Salem is senior systems and data centers engineer, in Paltel Gaza. Hire's BSc. degree in Computer & Communications from Birzeit university in 1997, with minor in computer science. Post graduate studies in civil society organizations management from Islamic University in 2011. Within 15 years of professional track Salem deposits a strong background in IT infrastructure and networking in addition to many professional certificates in different systems & networking platforms as MCSE from Microsoft, LPI1, & LPI2 from Linux Professional Institute, and CCNA from Cisco. 

Fouad Abu Jasser
Operations Unit Head

Mr. Abu Jasser has a bachelor degree with Communication and Control Engineer - Islamic University of Gaza. 
He started his occupation life as a Medium and Low Voltage Network Engineer in Electrical Industries Company (April - September, 2006).  Then, has worked as RF Optimization Engineer at Jawwal (2006 - 2010).  Today, Fouad works as BSS Engineer in
Palestine Cellular Communication Company - JAWWAL. 

Abdallah Al-Shaikh Ali
Network Planning Engineer

Adeeb Mortaja
Supply Chain Section Head

Bassel Elminawi
Sr.Network Engineer

Samer Ateya
Technical Support Section Head

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Gaza Startup Weekend 5.0 team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.




Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Gaza City is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Iliana
  • Alaa
  • SW
  • Said
  • Mhammed


Mohammed Alafranji

Event Staff

Yousef Elhallaq
Business Development Officer - Mobaderoon

I have more than 6 years of experience in Management, Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Software Development. 
I am very interested in entrepreneurship activities. I operated my own company for more than one and half years. I participated in planning and managing “Mobaderoon/Entrepreneurs” project which is one of the main incubators in Gaza. I supervised and mentored more than 30 startups for more than 1 year and I am continuing provide an advices for more till now. I read and follow up the entrepreneurship subjects and news in local, regional and international markets. Also, I have a published articles in websites and magazines and I make sure to participate in all related events in Gaza strip.
I believe that the most important activity to build a good ecosystem for startups and SMEs in Palestine is to motivate, inspire and raise awareness about how to build a startup for youth in all specialists and levels of education.
I produced and presented more than 30 issues in the first specialized radio program about entrepreneurship in Gaza which is “Bedaya/Start” program.
I always work on developing my knowledge and skills in building startups and managing the incubators.

Abeer Alyazji
Al-Fakhoora Project Coordinator for Leadership, Advocacy and Economic Empowerment/UNDP.

Ms. Alyazji received her MBA/Entrepreneurship from the Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU), USA.  She has more than five years of experience in Palestinian and American institutions in entrepreneurship and startups field such as TechLaunch, UNITAR, SEO, UNDP, and the Islamic University of Gaza.  She worked extensively with youth, students, and new portfolio companies to tackle discrete tasks on the business end of their operations.   She received the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor in 2014, and was selected as one of the top ten teams who participated in the Aspen Institute’s 2013 Business & Society International Competition. 

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