Nearly 700 donors from 60 countries have helped make our #GazaStarts campaign successful. We are so grateful to each and every one of them!

A select group of donors have stepped up in a way that’s been absolutely amazing, giving large donations and partnering with us in strategic ways. We’ll be sharing more information with you about each of them over the coming weeks, starting with PalTel Group Foundation, which provided a generous gift of $10,000 to the campaign!

“Paltel Group joined the Gaza Starts crowdfunding campaign because we believe in the talented youth of Gaza, who are smart, technically savvy, and dedicated. These young people have literally created a startup movement in Gaza, where the potential and possibilities of shaping their future is endless,” says Ammar Aker, CEO of PalTel.

Palestinian Telecom Group (PalTel), the corporate backer of the foundation, is a huge driver and innovation engine of the Palestinian economy. They provide state-of-the-art service for cell phones, landlines, internet, and next-generation services. PalTel’s Jawwal cell phone service is everywhere in Gaza, where people are on their cell phones constantly. PalTel was also the platinum-level sponsor of our Startup Weekend last June.

The PalTel Group Foundation – the first self-financed and corporate-supported foundation in Palestine – is dedicated to fostering the next generation of tech leaders. The Foundation encourages entrepreneurship, education, and social innovation, and identifies role models for young Palestinians. Its work includes the “I Am Jawwal” and “Go Professional” training programs to help university students throughout Palestine develop skills and increase their job opportunities.

In short, PalTel is a perfect fit for Gaza Sky Geeks, as are all the strategic partners to our campaign!

Last June when we ran Startup Weekend Gaza 4, it was the first time we reached out to the Palestinian business community to forge strategic partnerships for our work and seek sponsorships to make it possible. PalTel stepped up to be the platinum sponsor. Over 600 people applied to that Startup Weekend, and of the 150 chosen participants, 50% were women. The youngest participant was 13 year old! Youth gathered for 54 hours to pitch ideas, build startups, and be judged by a panel that included Ahmed AbuMarzouq, PalTel’s chief officer in Gaza.

“PalTel would not have missed this fantastic opportunity to support the vibrant and growing community of tech entrepreneurs in Gaza,” explains Aker. “As the largest telecommunications company in Palestine, it is vital to support an event where international investors, coaches, mentors are gathered to guide Gazan youth. Competition was stiff, and we know that the winners are determined to succeed – in the face of seemingly insurmountable odd – and make a difference in their community.”

We look forward to continuing to work with PalTel to turn Gaza into a vibrant startup powerhouse. Their gift, combined with the experience and expertise they share with us, has the ability to unlock Gazan youths’ talent. Thank you!