Oct 5th, 2021 – Ramallah, the co-working space and entrepreneurship support organization, uMake, hosted a high-level delegation headed by World Bank Group President, David Malpass, in addition to Ibtikar Fund, and a group of pioneering Palestinian entrepreneurs who had the chance to present their startups to the World Bank delegation and discuss with them the challenges facing the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Palestine. The entrepreneurs also explored the possibilities of cooperation and investments as well as expansion into regional and global markets.
The gathering started with Mr. Daoud Ghannam, Founder and CEO of uMake, who introduced some of the programs that uMake is leading and managing in support of Palestinian entrepreneurs and startups such as the Pre-Seed Accelerator Program “Founder Institute” and the Investment Readiness Program “Ignite’’ – which is being implemented for the World Bank-funded Innovative Private Sector Development project (IPSD).
Daoud Ghannam: “The Tech Entrepreneurship Event represents a unique opportunity for us to show the amazing work happening on the tech scene in Palestine, and a way to ensure that continued international attention and focus is directed to this part of the world.”
The event also featured 6 inspiring Palestinian startups – Tawazon, Amal, LogesTechs, Hakini, Gamiphy, and SMSM – where each founder has 3 minutes to present his/her business to the delegation before opening the floor for an interactive discussion that covered various subjects pertinent to the tech entrepreneurship sector in Palestine, such as the need to close the gap between large corporates and startups, challenges in fundraising as well as opportunities for regional and international expansion. The interactive sessions also featured a discussion on angel investing between Samah Abo Oun (Founder of Hessa, Peer to Peer for Technology and Education) and angel investor Mustafa Salameh in addition to an exciting fireside chat between Aws Nabulsi (Founder of Gamiphy) and venture capitalist Habib Hazzan (General Partner at Ibtikar Fund).
The event was also a very special occasion for Ibtikar Fund – the only active institutional venture capital (VC) fund in Palestine – that announced its vision for launching Ibtikar Fund 2 which will reach a total fund value of $30 million. It’s worth noting that the initial fund value (Ibtikar 1) was $10 million invested across 25 Palestinian startups. There’s no doubt that with Ibtikar 2, greater opportunities will be unlocked for the startups that will join Ibitkar’s diverse and outstanding portfolio.
The event was completed with concluding remarks from the World Bank Group President David Malpass who recognized the role of Ibtikar Fund in driving innovation and supporting job opportunities for youth and women in Palestine.