Partnership between Mercy Corps and Oasis500 gives budding technology firms initial financing and business-development mentoring
PORTLAND, Ore. – After a highly competitive selection process, two technology startups in Gaza have been accepted into Gaza Sky Geeks, Gaza’s first technology business accelerator. The budding firms – Datrios and DWBI Solutions– have designed new applications: a social networking app for sports fans and an app for institutional data management. They aim to reach the global marketplace through the business mentoring partnership designed and implemented by global humanitarian agency Mercy Corps and Oasis500, an early stage investment company in the Middle East and North Africa region.
“With little online content and few applications in Arabic, our Gaza Sky Geeks startups are tapping into a vastly under-served market,” says John Ross, digital economy program director of Mercy Corps. “Oasis500 brings the international network, funding and business-growth expertise that allow our partnership to give the best startups in Gaza a shot at launching their companies on a global stage.”
The winning startup teams were among 164 startups competing in the two-month selection process.
- Datrios developed a social network application for sports fans that offers an Arabic-language interface and crowdsourcing capabilities.
- DWBI Solutions targets big data management and aims to improve data-driven decision making at government agencies and other large institutions.
Each startup team will be offered $14,000 of working capital from Oasis500 and the opportunity to participate in a three-month acceleration process that includes advanced technical and business training and access to a global network of mentors to help refine their business plans and investor presentations.
“Throughout this process, we have been very impressed with the caliber of startups coming out of Gaza,” said Dr. Usama Fayyad, former CEO of Oasis500. “With Mercy Corps’ organizational support, we believe we can give these entrepreneurs the skills and support they need to build and run fast-growth technology companies.”
Gaza Sky Geeks was initially funded as part of Mercy Corps’ regional Arab Developer Network Initiative through a generous donation from Google in 2011.
About Mercy Corps: Mercy Corps is a leading global humanitarian agency saving and improving lives in the world’s toughest places. With a network of experienced professionals in more than 40 countries, we partner with local communities to put bold ideas into action to help people recover, overcome hardship and build better lives.
- Download the press release
- Read more about Mercy Corps programming in West Bank and Gaza
- Learn more about the Arab Development Network Initiative (ADNI)