• MENTOR OUR STARTUPS IN GAZA OR REMOTELY

  • CURRENT OPPORTUNITIES

    Apply now to mentor in Gaza or remotely!

    Incubation 

    Fall 2016

    Mission: Work with our teams as they grow into full-fledged startups and seek their first investment

    Gaza City, Gaza

     

    Join us for 3-10 days to mentor our incubated startups! This will be a hands-on experience working deeply with teams as they build their first ever MVP and develop their first ever business plan.  Mentors will be needed in all areas: product development, user acquisition, pitching, etc. You can make a difference at a crucial time in their development, setting them up to successfully close investment a few months later.

     

     

    Please read our FAQ below if you have any questions. 

    Acceleration Winter/Spring 2017
    Buddy Mentors and Experts

    Be a buddy mentor or subject matter expert for our startups! 

    APPLICATION DEADLINE: Rolling

    LOCATION: Anywhere

     

    We are searching for two types of mentors:

     

    • Mentors who can commit their time regularly (up to 1 hour per week)
    • Mentors who have deep expertise in specific areas and can offer 30-60 minutes of mentorship ad hoc. 

    Buddy Mentoring

    We are pairing mentors that want to regularly support our startups with the teams that best match their skills and expertise. We interview you, we then hold a pilot session, and if there's a good match, we ask that you commit to a minimum of 1 hour each week helping the startup for 2 or more months.

     

    Specialized Skill Sets

    Mentors with deep expertise in a specific area (see Subject Matter Expertise below) are called on for 30-60 minutes of mentorship as needed. We'll reach out to you whenever a startup needs your expertise. Each time, we'll ask "Are you available this/next week for 30-60 minutes?"

     

     Subject Matter Expertise

    1. Hardware/wearables
    2. SaaS startups
    3. Content-focused startups
    4. Community-oriented startups
    5. Gaming startups

     

    If you have expertise to share, apply using the link below, and send us an email at info@gazaskygeeks.com. We would love to hear from you! If you have other technical or non-technical skills, e.g. customer validation, deep knowledge of a particular language, etc., please apply. We will reach out to you when we find a need for your skill set!

     

    Please read our FAQ below if you have any questions. 

     

    TO APPLY CLICK HERE
     

     

    Note: Mentors must cover their own travel costs.


     

     

  • JOIN US

    Apply for an upcoming event.

    Or simply let us know you're out there so we can add you to our database

    for future events or remote mentorship.

  • WHO IS GAZA SKY GEEKS

    Gaza Sky Geeks, which is run by Mercy Corps, is Gaza's only startup accelerator and co-working hub.  Our mission is to transform Gaza’s most talented youth into the Middle East’s business leaders and realize Gaza’s potential as a startup hub. Find out more about Gaza Sky Geeks at our main site.

     

    One of our most important roles is sparking awareness of startups in Gaza. We conduct active outreach, build a vibrant community that nurtures innovation, and connect top teams to global resources.  

     

    That's where you fit in. Most Gazans have never been more than 20 miles away from home. Because Gaza's borders are essentially closed, there is almost no contact with the outside world. We can bring you in as a mentor to bridge that gap.

  • MENTOR EXPERIENCES

    Taylor Valore

    Former Principal at Sadara Ventures, now working at a startup in Thailand

    “Mentoring startups in Gaza is an eye-opening once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I walked away with a new personal understanding of a misunderstood place.

     

    It was abundantly clear how we mentors added value, as evidenced by Gazans' enthusiasm to spend time with us, incorporate our feedback, and maintain contact even after we left. Their passion is inspiring and will take them to great places, with the right support.”

    Magnus Petersen-Paaske

    Denmark-based developer and founder of Startup Bus Africa

    “I first heard about the Gaza Sky Geeks when I researched the entrepreneurial community in Israel and Palestine, and was immediately intrigued to learn more about the entrepreneurs there. I arrived to Gaza with little idea about what to expect. What I saw were some of the most amazing and incredible entrepreneurs anywhere, people who were fully committed to overcome adversity and create the next generation of top companies in the Middle East and worldwide. Seeing the energy and talent in Gaza, I'm convinced that the next generation of game changing startup might as well come from Gaza as from anywhere else and that we might all have a thing or two to learn from the people in Gaza.”

  • MENTORING AT GAZA'S ACCELERATOR

    We bring venture capitalists, recent graduates, developers, startup geeks, designers, and more to Gaza. Mentors work at Google, Acumen Fund, Startup Bus, Startup Weekend, and many other organizations, including their own companies. They hail from the United States, Poland, Denmark, Beirut, Dubai, and many other locations.

     

    What distinguishes our mentors is their love of the tech sector, their curiosity about emerging markets, and their passion to combine these to create new possibilities in places like Gaza. 

     

    Our mentors cover their own costs of travel. For us, this is a sign that we're bringing people for whom this is a true passion. It's also a budget reality: we're on an extreme bootstrap budget.

     

    We'll give you an incredible chance to participate meaningfully in the startup sector of one of the most amazing, inaccessible places in the world.

     

    All mentors who came in 2014 said it was the one of the most amazing experiences of their lives - and that they would come back in a heartbeat.

     

  • FAQ

    How should I apply?

    Fill out the application form to indicate interest as soon as possible. We review applications on a rolling basis and may fill up spots before the application deadline. We may reach out to you by email or conduct a short interview.

     

    Do I have to pay my own expenses?

    You or your company will be required to cover your travel costs.  Turn this into an adventure vacation, professional development opportunity, or a chance to network with clients, or tie it into another trip to the region.

     

     

    Why come?

    This is your chance to see a part of the world that is almost entirely inaccessible, experience an emerging market, and help startups working in some of the most fascinating (and sometimes challenging) circumstances.  Wonder what it's like to live in a country that doesn't have consistent electricity?  No 3G?  Surprised to hear that startups in Gaza have received outside investment?  Come see it yourself - and support the startups in this emerging market.

     

    Are there really startups in Gaza?

    Yes, there are!  The startup scene in Gaza is very new (early-stage) and vibrant (people are eager). You can learn more at www.gazaskygeeks.com.

     

    What is the safety / security situation?

    Gaza feels safe on a daily basis. You have seen it on the news during times of conflict. On a daily basis, business and life here goes on as usual. Statistically speaking, Gaza is actually MUCH safer to its small number of visitors than are many other parts of the world people travel to frequently (e.g., Mexico, Brazil, etc).  Iliana, the director of Gaza Sky Geeks, always says she is much more likely to die in a car accident than to have anything happen to her in Gaza. That’s true.  Internationals were not injured during the most recent full-out conflict between Israel and Gaza (last summer). We will get evacuated if anything is going to happen. 

     

    Mercy Corps has tight security regulations and will not allow anyone into Gaza if we are concerned about safety.  There is a possibility that the event would have to be canceled last-minute and you would not be allowed in. When you are in Gaza, you will be accompanied at all times and required to follow Mercy Corps security regulations.  

     

     

    That said, you have to be comfortable with adventure and risk if you are coming to Gaza.  You are responsible for your safety and agree not to sue us if anything happens.  It is very unlikely, but you might hear a rocket exploding in the distance or find out later that there was an air strike 5 miles away.  For those of us who live and work here, we are accustomed to occasional background noise, but since it will be your first time exposed to such an environment, you might feel a bit rattled.  It is also possible that the trip will be canceled last-minute if the security situation suddenly disintegrates.

     

     

    How do we get in and out of Gaza?

    Mercy Corps operates Gaza Sky Geeks.  Mercy Corps is an international humanitarian organization that has operated in Gaza for decades and receives permits to enter Gaza through Israel.

     

    It is easiest for us to bring people who do not need a visa to enter Israel.  If you need a visa to enter Israel, you should apply for that yourself immediately.  It can take months to receive and you are responsible for it.

     

    If you are from a country that makes it difficult to travel to Israel (e.g., Egypt), or if Israel does not make it easy for people from your country to visit here (e.g., Lebanon or Pakistan), it is unlikely that you will be able to join us.

     

    We currently cannot bring people to Gaza if you have a West Bank ID or Israeli passport.  We can bring people who have an East Jerusalem ID.

     

     

     

    What makes a good mentor?

    Mentors should be able to offer general knowledge about how to launch a startup or specific skills: technical, UX, user research, marketing, finance, management, etc.

     

    More importantly, mentors should be really committed to helping startups in Gaza.  An ideal mentor is someone who will want to continue helping over Skype and return to Gaza someday. Our mentors are like our family so bring your whole self - we love smiles and humor.

     

    What qualifications are you looking for?

    For us, an ideal mentor offers a mix of practical & meaningful considerations:

    • Ability to get into Israel: People who have passports that make it hard to travel through Israel are unfortunately unlikely to be able to make it to Gaza.  Since we have a limited number of mentor slots, we’re unlikely to give that to someone who won’t be able to come.
    • Long-term commitment: We seek folks who want to be involved with Gaza Sky Geeks and Gaza startups even after this event.  You don't have to give many hours, but it would be great if you continue to stay in touch. Are you passionate about emerging markets?  Excited to come back and help again, mentor over Skype a few times a year, or blog about this amazing place?  Great! 
    • Flexibility and availability: Gaza is a bit unpredictable.  You’ll be most likely to come if you are available during the dates we need and if you are somewhat flexible.
    • Personality: We generally have the best time with people who are approachable, motivating, inspiring... mentors whom Gazans will appreciate and remember.  We only get to bring about 20 people per year.  We want you to connect well with the people you’re helping.
    • Skill set: We like to bring a mix of people who are top experts in their fields and simply very solid in their fields.  Sometimes the mentorship we need is quite basic, so expertise is not always a must.  We need a mix of general startup expertise, investors, designers, engineers, product managers, user researchers… you name it.
    • Women: We'd really love to bring more women.  At our last event, 50% of Gazan attendees were women, but only 1/8 of the international mentors we brought were women.  Women in Gaza are especially inspired by women role models.

    When do you review applications?

    Applications are reviewed (and re-reviewed) on a rolling basis for upcoming events. 

     

    Do I need to reapply for future events?

    Nope. If you indicated that you would like to be considered for future events, we'll send you an email!

     

     

    For further inquiries please contact our mentor recruitment team at mentor.recruitment@gazaskygeeks.com

     

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  • CONTACT US

    If you have other questions about mentoring, drop us a line here or email us directly at info [at] gazaskygeeks.com