GenU Virtual Hackathon

Oct 21-24, 2021

Gaza Sky Geeks, a program of Mercy Corps, is organizing the biggest virtual hackathon in Palestine in partnership with UNICEF. This 4-day hackathon will bring together around 1500 Palestinians from all over the country with the purpose of creating innovative solutions for urgent problems related to education.

Hackathon Numbers


Registered in the hackathon


Participated in day 1 of the hackathon


Teams formed in the hackathon

What is the GenU Hackathon?

Generation Unlimited (GenU) is a global multi-sector partnership developed to address the urgent need for expanded education, training, and employment opportunities for young people, aged 10 to 24, on an unprecedented scale. At Gaza Sky Geeks, we believe in the abilities of young people and in the necessity of them taking part in the change-making happening around the globe. 

Because we believe that youth participation is essential to the creation of an agenda of solutions, Gaza Sky Geeks and UNICEF are partnering to implement the GenU hackathon. Around 1500 young people will join our 4-day hackathon to learn, while competing to secure a place among the winning teams. The winners will receive eight weeks of incubation at Gaza Sky Geeks accelerator. They will also be supported financially enabling them to launch their project into the market as a solution to the Education challenges. 

Participants in the hackathon will acquire the skills and information needed to develop comprehensive thinking skills about entrepreneurship, how to build a team, and shaping a startup idea ready for launch and implementation.

Hackathon Winners

التغيير للأفضل

“Wanting to impact the field of education, the group recognises the dire needs of not only focusing on academia, but also the mental health of children. They designed an app-based psycho analysis of children’s drawings.”

From zero to hero

“the team are providing innovative education options via its web app for cerebral palsy and down-syndrome patients that helps them better integrate into society.”


“CodeLand is to create the ultimate go-to, online and interactive platform that enables tech graduates with specialized programming and development skills through a clear reward-based road map which will see them enter the job market as competent and professional freelance developers.”

I Can Read

“I Can Read” is a phonics curriculum which helps kids aged 5 to 10 overcome English reading difficulties, delivered through audio material and other learning materials. The team saw that the Palestinian curriculum focuses mainly on memorizing the ‘shape’ of words rather than teaching children how to build these.

English Club

“The English Club application provides students with interactive and differentiated exercises based on the English for Palestine Curriculum. This aims to address the low achievement in English language learning due to crowded classes and limited session times, targeting Primary School students in Grades 5 and 6 UNRWA schools for a low one-time annual subscription.”

Learn & code

“Learn and Code is a Mobile app targeted to Middle school students which provides both a free curriculum and advanced paid courses. The courses are designed to be fun and interesting for students whilst developing an understanding of coding instead of of simple rote learning. The team will also aim to provide online training and workshops to its subscribers.”

My Stuff

“My stuff” is a mobile application that serves as a link between students who are looking for books and study supplies and those who have them and don’t need them anymore; those are usually graduates. The app provides a safe, confidential, and reliable communication environment, as well as online ordering, packaging, and door-to-door delivery as it is designed to facilitate communication between university studentS.

How Can You Prepare Yourself?

Research the most imminent challenges in the field of education.
Check out this booklet about the education ecosystem in Palestine where we summarized the challenges imposed on the educational ecosystem in Palestine

Hackathon Theme

Education and Quality Learning in Palestine

The hackathon will empower the youth of Palestine to build digital and non-digital solutions which contribute towards improving access, availability and quality of education and learning offerings across Palestine.

Hackathon Prizes



Provided by UNICEF divided between the top winning teams toward their incubation at GSG Accelerator and Incubator.

Judging Criteria


Does the solution solve a meaningful problem? Is the solution scalable and viable? Does this idea have a future?

Increment /

How creative has the group been in solving the challenge? Did they come up with a radical approach, or did they follow existing patterns and solutions?


Is the team capable? Can they build this? Is the solution even doable? Or do they seem going to be burning time and resources? Do they have onboard the right people?

Money Usage and
future plans

Does the team have clear future plans? Do they know best practices for money usage?


Does the presentation include all needed slides? Does the pitching convey the idea of the product? 


Does the prototype convey the idea of the product? Is the form applicable? Is the model creative?

Judging Panel

Ibtisam Abu-Shammala
The UNICEF Education Officer in Gaza

Hussain Mahdi
Startup Academy Program

Majd Khalifeh
Co-founder and CEO at Flow Accelerator

Daoud Ghannam
The founder and CEO of uMake

Hackathon Mentors

Get an opportunity to get feedback from the best and brightest Mentors

Hackathon Team

Feel free to reach out to the hackathon organizers via Discord

The Hackathon 4-Day Agenda

We will be updating this schedule with workshops. Stay tuned for future announcements.

Day 1

Ideation Day

Idea validation workshop
Team formation workshop

Day 2

Team Formation Day

How to win a hackathon workshop
Prototyping for a hackathon workshop

Day 3

Hacking Day

Pitching ideas workshop
Teams submit their ideas

Day 4

Judging Day

Judging panels
Announcement of winners

Register Now

Join the GenU Hackathon and become part of changing the education system in Palestine – spots are limited so we recommend you register soon!


Do You Have Any Question?

We have put together the answers for some of the most frequently asked questions, but feel free to reach out to us if you still have unanswered questions.



Below you'll find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

What is a hackathon?

A hackathon is an innovation marathon where teams are working to come up with new solutions to existing problems.

What is Generation Unlimited (GenU)?

GenU is a UNICEF Global multi-sector Partnership that enables the largest generation of 1.8 billion young people (10- 24) to become productive and engaged members of society. You can learn more about it here.

What is the GenU Hackathon?

Gaza Sky Geeks is partnering with UNICEF to deliver a 4-day virtual hackathon targeting youth aged 16 to 24 years old from Gaza and West Bank.

I want to join along with my team, can I?

You need to register for the hackathon as an individual. Teams will be formed during the first day of the event – meaning you cannot register an already existing group.

What is the role of a mentor?

Mentors will do three things:

  1. 1.They will provide office hours for participants and teams to seek advice. These will be pre-booked times based on their availability. 
  2. 2.They will participate in the pitch rehearsals sessions. 
  3. 3.They will take part in the panel of judges during the semi-final pitching competition.

How can I communicate with my team during the hackathon?

Official communication between organizers and participants will take place on Slack and Zoom so make sure you keep an eye out for any announcements. However, you can communicate with your team in whichever way you believe is best and most efficient!

What are the prizes?

The ultimate prize is to help your community tackle the educational challenges – especially those imposed during the pandemic. Additionally, $20K+ will be awarded during the incubation period supporting up to 10 teams developing their solutions.

Who can participate?

This hackathon is open to anyone who has an idea and/or a skill, wanting to build a product or service to elevate the quality of learning and education in Palestine.

When will the hackathon take place?

The hackathon will take place online for four days from the 21st until the 24th of October.

What is the final deliverable?

A pitch deck for your startup idea and a 1-minute video of your product’s prototype (if applicable). We will share more information about this on slack.

I am Palestinian living in Diaspora, can I participate?

Unfortunately, only Palestinians who are living in Palestine can participate. We plan in the future to include Palestinians in the diaspora.


How do I communicate with only one person on Slack?

You can send direct messages through slack to a single person or multiple people.

How do I make a team group on Slack?

You should create a public channel and name it appropriately with your team name and invite people by mentioning them. We will send detailed information on how you can do this via slack.

Does my team have a leader?

There is no set leader but you can of course appoint one person to submit files and take care of communications as you see fit.

Can I communicate with my team by other means than Slack?

Official communication between organizers and participants will take place on Slack and Zoom so make sure you keep an eye on any announcements. That being said, you can communicate with your team however you believe is best and most efficient!


A big thank you to each of our sponsors and partners for this event.

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