Palestine Techno Park celebrates its graduates’ success stories

The Palestine Techno Park celebrated the graduation of its Ideation and Business Model Canvas Training programs on December 18, 2017. The programs aim to turn students’ ideas and problems into viable business models that create economic value and generate profits as well as help solve some of society’s problems. 

The training programs were part of the Creative Cluster Campus (CCC) Startups Program launched by the Palestine Techno Park in cooperation with Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit – Birzeit University and funded by the Islamic Development Bank, and were managed by the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Deprived Families Economic Empowerment Programme (DEEP).

The UNDP\DEEP Representative Mr. Basim Dodeen gave a brief overview of the DEEP program and its connection to the CCC’s Startups Program, “The Economic Empowerment program was developed to allow Palestinians to create and manage their own businesses. To achieve this aim, various strategies were implemented, one of them being the start-up incubators, which instill the needed skills through training and provide the necessary funding.”

“This is an ever-changing world of employment which requires a different line of skills and thinking with more emphasis on entrepreneurship, hence, we’re looking forward to seeing your entrepreneurial success stories. With your training and exceptional skills, you will enter a different path and be pioneers in your respective fields,” concluded Mr. Dodeen.

The Vice President of Planning and Development at Birzeit University Dr. Mirvat Bulbul said, “Our focus is on the students and their entrepreneurial ideas and projects, part of our renewed commitment to the integration of marketplace skills and academic prowess.”

“Technology has made great strides throughout the years, and we’re always aiming to keep pace with the newest trends and technological integration in academic and work training programs. This fits neatly with our vision for the Leadership & Active Citizenship program – Masari – which is implemented and managed by the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit.”

“As part of this program,” added Dr. Bulbul, “we’re training 3000 students this year, 6000 in the next year, and 9000 in the year after that. The program comprises 128 training hours in advanced marketplace and social skills, as well as 128 hours of community work hours to fully integrate students into the society.”

The Director of the Palestine Techno Park Mr. Laith Kassis took pride in the great efforts that made the training programs a success, “We have a committee that judges whether an idea merits seed-funding post-training, and I am very proud to announce that six projects pitched before that committee.”

 “One hundred and seventy participants applied to the training, 57 of which fully saw it through, and nine projects qualified to enter the pitching stage. This is only the start of our training, startup, and technological integration programs; we’re still a relatively young organization, but our results speak for themselves, and there’s still much to come,” Kassis further said.

The graduation ceremony also included the signing of an incubation agreement with BedeTaxi, a ground-breaking app that connects users and taxi drivers through a user-friendly interface. The incubation agreement is one of 5 other future agreements that would facilitate seed-funding for the project.