Silatech organises business workshop for startups in Palestine
January 20 2014 11:00 PM

Young Palestinian entrepreneurs representing more than 60 startup or early stage businesses, took part in the “Build a Business Weekend” as part of the Palestine StartUp Cup, a six- month competition designed to help create sustainable businesses and strengthen the Palestinian entrepreneurial ecosystem.

StartUp Cup is a global network of business model competitions active in more than 45 countries around the world. Palestine StartUp Cup was organised by ConnectME, a social enterprise established to support the development of a sustainable, prosperous economy in Palestine and the Mena region with a focus on creating job opportunities for youth and women. Silatech was a gold sponsor of the event. The workshop took place in Ramallah.

During the event, participants gained intensive training in business model design, value creation and targeted marketing, and go-to-market strategies that avoid the need for traditional fundraising.

The entrepreneurs spent considerable time with specially selected business mentors, with the overall goal of becoming familiar with the universal steps required to start and build a viable business. StartUp Cup co-founder Sean Griffin and Tanya Hiple, senior adviser for Women’s Entrepreneurship at the US State Department led the workshop, along with Randa Masri, founder and CEO of ConnectME.

This is the first year of Palestine StartUp Cup, which began in September 2013 with the submission of over 300 business models. From this group, the 60 most promising submissions were selected to take part in “Build a Business Weekend,” and from these 60 startup or early stage enterprises, 25 have been chosen to compete in the second phase of the StartUp Cup Competition. This programme includes direct, hands-on mentoring from experienced business people, coaching, business training, and linkages to organisations active within the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Palestine.

Da’ad Al-Haj Saleh, one of the 25 winners and a fashion designer, said: “Mentors’ coaching has opened our minds and helped our future aspirations to grow our businesses by sharing their valuable experiences with us.”

According to Fairuz Taqi-eddin, Silatech director of country operations, StartUp Cup provides a unique model that blends business model competitions, connection with local entrepreneurship support organisations, business incubation, and an emphasis on mentoring. We at Silatech are proud to be supporting Palestine StartUp Cup, and look forward to intensifying our operations in Palestine.”

On February 7, Palestine StartUp Cup judges and mentors will review progress of the entrepreneurs, provide additional mentoring, and select the top 12 sem-ifinalist businesses. At the end of March, the top seven finalists will be selected to receive additional training, as well as incubation of their new businesses. In total, StartUp Cup lasts for around six months, providing an extended period of coaching and mentorship for businesses deemed to have the highest chances of success.

After the competition ends, the organisers continue to follow up with winning entrepreneurs, connecting them with needed resources and monitoring their success over time.

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