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Middle East / North Africa

Gaza Sky Geeks The first startup accelerator in Gaza, launched in 2013. We aim to turn one of the world's most difficult places into a vibrant tech hub.



Gaza is 5 miles by 25 miles, the size of the San Francisco Peninsula. Because the borders are closed, most people have never been able to see any other part of the world. Unemployment is 50%.

Internet, tech companies, and startups represent an area of opportunity and hope for young people in Gaza. We work with youth who are well-educated and technically skilled to build awareness of startups and help them launch. Our goal is to create a true tech hub in one of the most fascinating and difficult places in the world, enabling smart & optimistic young people take their future into their own hands.

While our initiative is not directly a peace-building one because that would jeopardize our constituents' safety and our ability to operate in Gaza (Hamas may not allow it), we do believe that our work is one of the few ways to grow peace in that context. Not only by creating hope & jobs, but also by exposing youth to a common language of entrepreneurship. We have the IDF's permission to take our startups out of Gaza and are thus also able to create connections between Gazans and the rest of the world - a connection that helps them launch their businesses successfully and be less isolated personally.

Gaza Sky Geeks is run by Mercy Corps and was launched in partnership with Google. We ran our first Startup Weekend in 2011 and continued working on pipeline activities until 2013, when we became a startup accelerator and brought the first ever private investment to Gaza startups.



  • Communications / Media / ICT
  • Education
  • Employment, Livelihood, Income Generation
  • Energy
  • Mobile
  • Peace and Security
  • Tech
  • Water
  • Web, SaaS, Online Tech
  • Women, Girls

supporting ventures in these regions

  • Middle East / North Africa


  • For Profit

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Iliana worked at Google, Monitor Group (now Deloitte), and a microfinance organization before bringing all of her skills together to grow the tech sector in ...

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