Startup Weekend Ramallah

    Thursday, November 20 - 22, 2014

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
Buy Tickets

Event Alerts and Updates

Get the latest on Techstars Startup Weekend, Ramallah, and other local events through Techstars Startup Digest.

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Startup Weekend Ramallah

Thursday, November 20 - 22, 2014

Thursday, November 20 - 22, 2014
Event starts at 4:00 pm


Ramallah, Palestine

Buy Tickets

a 54-hour events

Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch

See what it's all about

Learn More


Thursday November 20th

4:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:00 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

6:05 pm
Consul General Michael Ratney
Consulate General of the United States, Jerusalem

6:10 pm
Mr. Mustafa Hasan
GM, Hulul Business Solutions

6:15 pm
Dr. Mohammad AlMbaid
Country Director, IYF

7:00 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Friday November 21st

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:00 pm

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

6:30 pm

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday November 22nd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

4:00 pm

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Kamal Ratrout

As of January 2011, Kamal Ratrout was appointed as the Chief Technical Officer at Paltel Group. As CTO, he is responsible for overseeing all networks and technology development throughout the Paltel Group companies.

Prior to this, Kamal Ratrout was appointed in 2005 as the Director of Engineering at Jawwal, the leading cellular operations arm of the Group. During this period, he led the team to expand the cellular network by reaching more than two million subscribers, despite the fact that Jawwal was granted the minimal frequencies under which any mobile operator can function. In addition, Kamal was able to achieve a high quality network with a wide range of products and services in spite of the challenges presented by the socio-political economic environment. Kamal Ratrout began his career as a Senior Networking Engineer in Paltel in 1997. He then joined the Jawwal team in 1998 as a Senior Switching Engineer where he supervised the installation, operation and commercial launch of Jawwal’s network in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. During his years at Paltel Group, he has been part of the executive management team where he has been responsible for leading most of the technical strategic projects that have contributed to the Group’s success.

Kamal Ratrout holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology in 1996.

Salem Awadallah
Service Delivery Director, ASAL Technologies

Salem Awadallah is the Service Delivery Director and Head Technical Engineer at ASAL Technologies where he’s worked over the last 9 years on developing and building software engineering teams to
service international clients and elevate the quality of Software Services offered in Palestine. Mr.
Awadallah received his Masters of Telecommunication Managements from DeVry University along
with his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering form Arizona State University. Awadallah
started his 20+ year career in the United States where he established a great track record in the
software industry while holding different key positions in Software Development, Project and
Product Management in global companies such as Motorola, Eclipsys and MediServe.
Post establishing a long and successful career in the Healthcare Information sector in the United
States, Mr. Awadallah moved back to Palestine. Today, he is a very active and inspirational member
of the Palestinian ICT entrepreneurial community; volunteering his time as mentor, instructor and
judge for various events with the purpose to make a greater impact on the Palestinian ICT sector.
Awadallah currently serves on the advisory boards of several Palestinian startups as well as the
advisory committees for the computer science and engineering academic programs in each of Al-
Najah, Al-Quds, Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities.

Taylor Valore

Taylor is a Principal at Sadara Ventures, Palestine’s first venture capital fund. A passionate technologist specialized in the region, Taylor was Head of Product Development at RavenPack International, a VC-backed startup, where he oversaw the commercialization of the company’s big data analytics portfolio and managed strategic partnerships with Dow Jones and others.Recently, Taylor worked in business intelligence product planning at Microsoft, where he led and authored that company’s market opportunity analysis for big data analytics. In the Middle East, Taylor oversaw numerous large-scale technology implementation projects at the American University in Cairo.He studied Computer Science at Carleton College and holds both an MBA from the Wharton School and an MA in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the recipient of multiple graduate scholarships and studied Arabic.

George Khadder
Founder & CEO @ Circle Out

George is a seasoned entrepreneur & executive with 19+ years' experience (13+ in Silicon Valley).  He is a strategic big-picture thinker & a results-focused Program & Product Management, Strategy, Marketing, & Investment professional. He has a proven track record developing effective strategy, successfully managing product lines (strategic product management, requirements definition, positioning, branding, launching new products, ...), leading: cross-functional teams, due diligence & business development efforts.  His experience covers startups to multinationals mostly in Silicon Valley & includes enterprise software (B2B, B2C, EAI), e-commerce, semiconductor, private equity, healthcare, & clean tech (renewable energy & Smart Grid) verticals. 
For the past 6 years he has worked in Palestine with the private sector, organizations & startups / entrepreneurs. Prior to his current position, George was involved with several ventures, including: 
- Managing Director / Chief of Party (COP) @ Smart-X | Bridging Entrepreneurial Ecosystems | Accelerating Technology Startups. A competitive startup accelerator. Smart-X is implemented by The Kaizen Company & funded by USAID. 
- CMO @ Yafa Energy  - renewable energy technology & project development, solution provider, & system integrator Co-- Founder & Board Director @ Peeks (Empowering Technology Entrepreneurship)   
- Founder@ SUN BIRD GROUP - Management Consulting - Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Product Mgmt., Strategy, Investment Mgmt., Technology Development 
- Sr. Investment Manager / ICT principal @ Siraj Fund Management Company 
-Sr. Product Line Manager @ Trilliant- responsible for the management & creation of the world’s 1st Demand Side Management (DSM) product suite 
- Director, Product Management & Marketing @ SureCircle-responsible for the management & creation of the world’s 1st fully automated self-funded dental benefit system 
-Co-Founder & CEO @ Resource Adapter, Inc., the world’s 1st standard based Enterprise Application Integration product suite. 

George holds a BS & MS in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University and course work in Marketing & E-commerce from the University of California at Berkeley.

Coaches and Mentors

Ramzy Taweel

Born in Beirut in 1978, working as head of political studies department at presidency office. and as a press officer for the last 5 years at the same place too. Am well known for my work as political cartoonists which I started since college, but  I was involved in designing for web since 2001, working in many stone ages designs for old portals like alboraq portal in 2002, Branding, logo design and PR campaigns, my passion for designing and branding was even greater.
Working with lots of friend with ideas, branding, layout designing and user experience through  entrepreneurship, I found the joy in creating new experience for people. Participating in many projects gave me a good knowledge which I wish to share it with young talented people.
Today am involved in many projects as creator, coordinator or visionary, Kartoonji, a social network for cartoonists and artists, Alraqamia, E-bookshop and E-library for all, BibliBooks, a library management system for all, and lastly Bringoo; a social network search engine.

Jafar Hajeer

A computer engineer from Palestine, with a main job as a software engineer who works for international customers, like Cisco Systems, in Exalt technologies, a software outsourcing company in Palestine.

Jafar is passionate for community work, mainly related to education, he mostly cares to help students and graduates to increase their skills targeting for more employ-ability. And because of this, he has participated in organizing and lecturing in voluntary events via Peeks (a local grassroots community), and co-founded Nablus Tech Meetups.
Same passion for education, Jafar has founded, a discontinued startup dedicated to provide Arabic content related to higher education opportunities, which has also helped him to develop a great skill in translation, which ended by winning the first place in "Translate for Entrepreneurship"​ competition, and translating/publishing a business book into Arabic.
Jafar has a great enthusiasm towards blogging, both in his personal blog or via some Arabic tech-blogging platforms.
He's also addicted to social media networks, and has helped to develop social media marketing strategies for local companies and initiatives, and to provide some social media trainings for public libraries staffs in Nablus, and to Media students in Najah National University.
Jafar hopes to be able to help to increase the deployment of technology in the daily life of Palestinians, one of his projects in this context was co-founding, a discontinued web based platform to publish calls for blood donations in Palestine.

Ayman Qarout

Digital & Social Media Strategist and tech-savvy, Ayman is currently working as Online Community Managet at WebTeb. He loves to explore digital galaxies, and believes motivation, creativity and innovation are the most important skills to success.Ayman helps businesses layout their social media marketing strategies, use social media to reach their target segments, adjust to the new social media world and get the most of it.

Ayman Arandi
Founder of IRIS

Ayman is an Engineer with 6 years of experience in technology and entrepreneurship. He established Iris Solutions in 2010 which is specialized in interactive touch technology and sensory rooms. He is Ramallah Curator for the Global Shapers community - WEF affiliate, founding member of NEWPal org, and board member of PS4L org. Ayman holds BSc in Computer Engineering from An-Najah University, MSc in Management, Information Systems and Innovation from London School of Economics, and Diplomat in Business Negation from Harvard Business School.

Mustafa Tameem

Mustafa Al-Tamim is VP engineering & IT at gSoft Technology Solutions, software development company worked on many products and startup ideas. Before that, Mustafa worked as Web Application Senior Developer, then Project Manager and Director for many business applications and projects. He holds MSc in computer science

Salah Amleh
CEO of Bader

Salah is the Country Director of BEEADEE Project in Palestine which is Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State under the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and in partnership with Indiana University, and hosted at Bank of Palestine, Bethlehem Branch.  BEEADEE, which focus areas are incubator development with a supporting network and programs in Bethlehem, and additional work toward necessity-based entrepreneur development, outreach, education, and network building and Business Incubator creation. Prior to leading BEEADEE, Salah was the CEO of BADER ICT incubator and ICT HUB at Rawabi City. With over eight years of experience in managing information systems projects in Europe and the Middle East, and the upgrade and implementation of Oracle JD Edwards (ERP) solution. In 2013, Salah co-founded and headed Advanced Technologies for Business (ATB), a firm specialized in providing software solutions to a variety of clients in Palestine, in the Retail and Hospitality industries, including major international chains such as KFC and Pizza Hut. Prior to leading ATB, Salah has served as an advisor to the Palestinian Minister of National Economy, and a Business Developer at Atlantic Technologies, Italy. Frequent mentor and coach to other Palestinian entrepreneurs, through events like Global Entrepreneurship Week, Garage48, AngelHack and Startup Weekend Salah holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Polytechnic University of Milan, Italy.  

Asim Masri

Asem Masri is a founding partner at ART Technologies, where he also works as business development manager since 2011. His 10 years of experience covers marketing, project management and software development, in projects which serve the key players in the telecom, construction and banking industries, besides long experience in GIS solutions.
Asem Masri graduated as a computer engineer from AN-Najah National University, and is currently completing his MBA at Birzeit Universi

Omar Hamayel

Omar Hamayel recently joined Sharakat Company as a Senior Investment Associate. He is responsible for the portfolio deal structuring, financial analysis, and monitoring.   Omar Hamayel worked as an Investment Analyst at Siraj Fund Management Company.  He was responsible for 2 portfolios companies, leading the monitoring team, financial analysis and many other tasks.   Mr. Hamayel, also worked on the first Palestinian ICT Hub in Rawabi and on Bader ICT incubator.  His key role on the incubator panel was to perform initial screening, review business plans, deal structuring, and executing term sheets with founders of start-up companies who have applied to Bader.  
Mr. Hamayel holds a B.A. in Accounting and an MBA concentrated in Finance.

Mohammad Musleh
Information Technology and Startup Expert, The WebSites Group

Mohammed is a technology expert with expertise focused on startups, and Information Technology infrastructure and collaboration platforms.   Over the past 15 years, Mohammed has been a part of several technology startups across the Middle East.  Mohammed is currently an adviser for several Middle East based startups.   As a sophomore in college, Mohammed co-founded and since then has become the largest user generated portal in the Middle East. Few years later, Mohammed was part of a three man team that was the core for the Middle East's entertainment portal   Mohammed is a believer in public service and volunteerism. Mohammed is involved in many local and regional IT initiatives such as Peeks and the Arab Thought Foundation.   Mohammed is a graduate of BYU’s Marriott School and holds a BSc in Management Information Systems. Mohammed is a fellow of the BYU Management Society.

Ahmad Abu Omar
Founder & Team Lead @ Codytek Software Solutions

Cofounder and CTO @ BareedEE. Talented developer who has technical experience working in implementing web apps and cross platform mobile apps. Former senior developer at ASAL Technologies, and CTO at CodyTek Software Outsourcing. Ahmad has 8+ years of experience and holds a degree in Computer Engineering. Outside of coding, he spends all his time with his wife and adorable 1 year old son, Anees.

Samer Asbah
GM at Harri

Harri, with a talent pool of over 30,000 NYC hospitality job seekers, provides the network, tools and support employers need to take back control of their recruiting efforts and find Happiness in Hiring.
My main responsibilities are managing the team, software architecture, research, and planning. And also I am helping in building the road map and the development teamwork. And finally ultimately responsible for ensuring the team is consistentlydelivering working software to the standards the department expects whether this be withiniteration or through a continuous flow model so that we are consistently delivering value to the company.

Christian Zaknoun

 A graduate in Economics & International Business  Affairs from France, Chris  began working as  a consultant with Accenture Consulting and later for KPMG in Europe where he developed his on-the- ground experience in management consulting skills. From this background, he acquired the methodologies and know-how needed in understanding various international markets with the ability to  identify and promote new business opportunities.In January 2011,  Chris decided to return to Palestine and founded THINKING Consultancy Firm. Since, he has extensively advised and provided consulting services on project implementation to international (donors) organizations, private sector, public sector, public private partnerships, high growth business  start-ups, institutional stakeholders and local firms He has a multicultural background, speaks six languages with a strong cultural sensitivity. Given these characteristics, he has been successful in collaborating in projects situated in countries with enormous cultural diversity, i.e. from Brazil to  Ukraine.

Alaa Rahib
UX/UI Designer

I’m a designer who enjoy improving the user experience, interface and interactions for a variety of startups, doing rapid prototypes and testing new interfaces. I enjoy problem solving and making creative approaches to tackle my daily challenges. I’ve worked with the best clients and brands around the world, including some of the most promising startups in the silicon valley, supporting them achieve great returns throughout their online presence.

Omar Omran

Omar Omran is currently the Assistant to the Dean of Birzeit University's College of Business and Economics, and a faculty member in the Department of Business Administration and Marketing, teaching courses such as Strategic Management, Strategic Marketing, Marketing Management, and Leadership among others. In addition to teaching and research, Omar is the senior manager for private sector and business development at Agility Management and Financial Consulting, focusing mainly on market research, business development, business and marketing plans, and feasibility studies among other topics.

In his time at Agility Management and Financial Consulting, Omar has been able to implement solutions on national, sector, and firm levels. Areas include manufacturing of electrical materials, glass, building materials, housing and real estate, labor market needs, strategic plans for research institutions, clothing and textile firms, and service based firms, including IT, among others.  Prior to his current position, Omar also provided consulting services in areas such as logistics and supply chain management to firms in the US, with special emphasis on confectionary and tobacco related products, as well as implementing systems solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics ERP, Retailx (formerly IDS) and other customized solutions based on client needs.

He has also been quite active in the entrepreneurial community mentoring and working with pre investment and early stage startups here in Palestine.  Omar’s activities in this genre also include his participation as a mentor and advisor in events such as StartUp Weekend, Palestine Startup Cup, Garage 48, a founder of StarMeUp, and facilitating a number of panel discussions regarding entrepreneurship and investment.Omar holds an MBA with concentrations in strategic management and finance from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Birzeit University. He has worked with businesses locally and in the US in a variety of capacities, helping them achieve sustainable and manageable growth, and has started several ventures, in the US.

Hana Karawi

A branding and marketing communications expert who has been working in the field for 11 years now. Hana holds a bachelor degree of Business Administration from Birzeit University and is currently the Operations Manager at Sky Advertising, the leading advertising agency in Palestine. Through her professional experience, Hana has excelled at managing teams, developing creative ideas, and supervising media advertising and branding campaigns.

Shaher Husein

Serial Entrepreneur who enjoys the excitement of building businesses from scratch and growing them.  Shaher has 15+ years of experience and holds a degree in Business, Management & Finance.  Having lived in various countries and met wonderful people, Shaher feels that home isn't a place, its about the people.  He's finally home.

Shadi Issa

Shadi is a certified software professional and Agile coach with rich experience in Project Management, Product Management, Quality Assurance and Entrepreneurship. He is currently helping product teams become much more lean in their approaches to building products through the focused use of agile practices and software craftsmanship.
Prior to his current role, Shadi worked with teams and companies around the globe in High-tech and Telecom industries. He has also been involved in several start-up organisations where delivering high value while keeping the customers happy is vital. When not spending time with his family and
friends, Shadi enjoys mentoring and coaching fellow entrepreneurs,
speaking at conferences and user groups, cooking and reading whatever he
can get his hands on.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Ramallah 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.

Funded By

Hosted By

Supported By

Organizing Team

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

  • Reham
  • Mohammad
  • Nedal
  • Ahmad


Akram Dweikat

Akram is a Computer Engineer/Entrepreneur from Nablus-Palestine. He embraces Social Change and community building. He studied MSc In Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management at Imperial College in London, and He graduated with a BSc in Computer Engineering at An-Najah National University. Akram is a co-founded and Co-leaded of PALinnO, a new seed investment Program in Palestine. That is helping entrepreneurs reach Global markets. He is the Administrator of Google Developer Groups (GDG) Nablus And Google Student Ambassador. He was one of the driving forces for many Entrepreneurial Events in Nablus Including Startup Weekend Nablus. Akram is interested in Systems Design and Web Development. In his free time, he enjoys programming, computer games, meeting new people, and following technology news and pretty much everything new.

Event Blog

See Full Blog

We haven't written any posts yet. Stay tuned!