Over the past few years a vibrant but fledgling tech startup ecosystem—led by a passionate group of young, imaginative innovators—has begun to flourish in Gaza. Local incubators and tech startup events continue to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.Despite local hardships and unprecedented challenges, resilient tech entrepreneurs continue to bring a myriad of remarkable products and services to market. The following are 13 tech startups from Gaza you need to know about in 2016.
Get your Pokémon Go fix and charge your phone while you’re at it! Walk and Charge harnesses the power kinetic motion by enabling users to charge their phones while walking.
Baskalet (“bicycle” in Arabic) produces mobile games targeting players in the MENA and Arab regions. Founded in 2015, the studio recently won theMercy Corps-funded Gaza Challenge for Startups.
Founded in June 2015, 5QHQH enables users to generate their own comics using the website or app. The offering is currently available for download on Google Play.
MockApp is a easy-to-use solution for creating functional web and mobile app mockups—think InVision for the Arabic world. The company plans on integrating the offering with task management systems such as Asana and communications tools such as Slack to promote collaboration among design teams and clients.
I’M is a mobile app that offers an innovative way to cope with psychological challenges: an interactive avatar who is always present as your best friend, empathizing with your situation and providing the pep talk and advice needed.
La7en is the winning startup of 2016’s Gaza Startup Weekend. The app offers music lessons for a low cost—primarily through its website, but soon to arrive on mobile screens.
Dubbed an “Airbnb for workspaces,” Maktabi is a platform for finding workspaces and offices rentals. Using the app, freelancers and small teams locate cost-effective spaces for building out their ventures; in turn, owners with surplus space—conference/meeting rooms, co-working spaces, private offices, and more—can generate extra income.
TebCare connects patients in the Middle East to its expansive network of doctors. The popular offering completed 400 consultations in its first month of operations.
Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence Solutions (DWBI Solutions) has developed an advanced data warehouse and business intelligence platform for data collection, transformation, and user-friendly statistical reporting.
Dietii’s solution—focused on women in the Arab world—improves health and fitness by providing a variety of tools and resources: nutrition and goals trackers, fitness and diet advice/support, and more.
BOLD Gadgets’ Knot is a power bank charging unit and cable on a keychain. The smartphone accessory is capable of providing 3 hours of extra battery charge and 2x faster charging than standard USB cables. The offering is available for both iOS and Android devices.
Wasselni is a carpool and taxi ordering web/mobile app for sharing transportation resources. Drivers and passengers post their trips and destinations, allowing other users to join them if headed in the same direction.
Menaship helps students in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region find educational scholarships, fill out applications, and select programs best suited to their individuals needs.
Despite major obstacles such as lack of funding, limited support, and minimal outside exposure, these 13 Gazan tech startups have nonetheless managed to bootstrap and bring their projects to market. Several have even gained prominence outside the region’s landlocked borders—an inspiration to entrepreneurs everywhere persevering in the face of overwhelming challenges.