The qualified startups will pitch during SPARK’s Ignite conference on September 13th for a $10,000 cash prize for first place, and $5,000 cash prize for second place.
Startup Without Borders (SWB), a social enterprise that supports migrant and refugee entrepreneurs, and SPARK, an accelerator programme dedicated to women and refugees, have selected ten Middle East tech startups from Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq to travel to Amsterdam for the final pitch competition at the SPARK Ignite Conference.
These ten semi-finals were selected out of 130 startups enrolled in the Startups on the Move Incubation programme, which was built with support from Google, and launched by SWB and SPARK, to develop entrepreneurs’ skills and transform their ideas into thriving businesses. Started in April this year, the programme is the first of its kind in the region, devoted to refugee and local entrepreneurs who are building ventures against the odds with resilience and grit.
The semi-finals, held on August 1st to August 3rd online, included a high-profile panel of judges, such as Muneer Zuhdi, CTO of Nokia Enterprise China, India, and MEA; Nicholas Rouhana, Chairman and CEO of IM Fndng; Victoria Mehran, Venture Partner at Expert Dojo; Sofia Queiroz, VC at Mustard Seed Maze; Ahmed Eid, Portfolio Manager at 500 Global; and Diego Arias Garcia, Investment Associate at Plug and Play. The 10 semi-finals are now heading on an all-expense paid trip to Amsterdam, where they will pitch during SPARK’s Ignite conference on September 13th, with a $10,000 cash prize for first place, and $5,000 for second place.
The final pitching event will be streamed live on Startups Without Borders’ Facebook page and Instagram. Below is a list of the ten selected startups heading to the Netherlands who are innovating across diverse sectors such as cleantech, edtech, VR, and agritech.
DonaLeb is a Lebanese-based fitness and wellness gamification application that helps businesses engage their teams and non-profits to fundraise. Founded by Yasmine Darwich, the startup has recently also won a booth at Italy's Web Marketing Festival, as part of the Startups Without Borders Delegation.
Nabeeh is a Palestinian-based web and mobile app platform that enables users to conveniently purchase on-demand home and healthcare quality services. Founded by brothers Fawaz and Saber Samara, the startup raised their first investment round during the incubation program and recently began expanding to Saudi Arabia.
Green Gold is an agritech startup based in Iraq that creates organic compost and potting soil for farmers. Founded by Marwah Read Taha, the startup aims to support local agriculture suppliers to fulfill their compost needs while also reducing food waste.
Suncode, another Lebanese startup selected for the competition, is changing the way farmers traditionally dry fruits and vegetables. Founded by Haydar Mohamed, the startup developed a convective solar drying machine to create a safer, faster, and easier way to dry food instead of using conventional drying method of laying produce to dry. According to the startup, it has zero operational cost.
Palestinian startup Blue Filter is a chemical-free, environment-friendly system developed to purify underground water from nitrates and salts. It presents a simple and cheap solution for sanitizing water, decreasing the percent of nitrate from 100% to 2 % and chloride from 100% to 40% through environmentally friendly methods.
Another Lebanese-based startup, CONCAT is a web development agency led by refugees and female developers. Founded by Laura Jardine Paterson, the startup aims to create top quality websites for businesses and organizations while also providing long term, sustainable employment for skilled women from marginalized communities
Hala Trips is an Arabic language platform founded by Razan Abutawaheen from Gaza, Palestine. The platform facilitates online bookings for tours and hotels around the world. It currently has 1.7 million hotels on its platform.
Founded by Nada Ghanem in Lebanon, Dooda Solutions is a woman-led earthworm farm specialized in raising worms and producing premium grade vermicompost.
Eyiada is a Palestinian-based healthtech startup that connects patients with healthcare providers based on their healthcare needs. Founded by Momen AbuSaada, the startup enables users to engage in online medical consultations, making quality healthcare more accessible and convenient for the people of Palestine.
Palestinian startup Sook.ps is an e-commerce platform that enables users to shop online for all kinds of products, while also providing vendors with an opportunity to expand their market reach.