Despite ongoing sociopolitical challenges that have led to high unemployment and economic stagnation, Gaza tech startups continue to develop innovative, world-class digital offerings in the face of unprecedented hardships. Local entrepreneurs have managed to launch digital ventures on par with the best and brightest from Silicon Valley—even with a scant 4 hours of electricity a day.
From mobile freelancing platforms for photographers to cloud-based animation solutions, here are 11 tech startups in Gaza you need to know about in 2017.
Keeflabs is an online portal for users to post articles on a variety of topics, from medicine and health to beauty and fashion. The company aims to be the premier destination for people to share their ideas and techniques with the rest of the Arab world.
Price Offerz is a leading ecommerce destination for new computers and electronic devices. Users can search for a variety of products—mobile phones, tablets, computers, cameras, and more—and easily compare prices between vendors and shops.
Piclancers is a mobile app that allows users to find and hire photographers for private events and engagements. The startup was selected for incubation at Gaza Sky Geeks and won the Best 3 Minute Pitch at Gaza Challenge 3.
Munasabat—or occasions in Arabic—is an online store that offers unique gifts for special occasions: the arrival of a new baby, graduations, engagements/weddings, and more. The company aims to connect loved ones and friends/family throughout the diaspora with its gift-giving service.
Izaari’s ecommerce platform was launched for Arab designers showcase and sell their custom-designed goods—clothing, accessories, furniture, and more. The offering is the first of its kind in the Arab world.
Sponding’s social media management platform specializes in analyzing Arab sentiment and classifying user interactions. The solution streamlines the process of managing multiple social accounts and features unified stream interactions, intelligent classification, smart notifications, and more.
Kookies is an interactive platform for cooking lovers—users can search for recipes and interact with like-minded food lovers. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
VidMass is a cloud-based animation maker and video editing platform that allows users to create attractive, compelling animated videos with minimal effort. Users simply pick their favorite video template from the included library, customize it with additional photos/videos via drag-and-drop interactions, and download/share with the world—on any website or device.
Substantial Opportunities—or SUBOPP for short—is a community-driven digital platform for freelancers. The offering is the first of its kind in the Middle East to connect local professional talent with hiring managers and companies.
As its name implies, Momy Helper is an app that assists new mothers with a myriad of issues (e.g., anxiety, depression). The solution offers unique content, articles, and videos related to motherhood; it even offers connectivity to qualified professionals for psychological support and counseling.
Tashbeak is an online platform that connects innovative companies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to independent consultants for guidance and advice. The solution is the first Arabic-language platform designed to help businesses find qualified, professional consultants.
In short, digital innovation is alive and well in Gaza, and these 11 tech startups are proof that digital entrepreneurship and creativity can flourish in even the most challenging of scenarios. Be sure to keep these tech startups on your radar in 2017 and beyond.