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Expotech 2012 Features 6 Leading Palestinian Tech Startups
On Tuesday in Ramallah, Expotech 2012 opened its doors marking the ninth year for the annual event, a weeklong celebration of Palestinian innovation and technical advancement. The theme for this year was “The pledge for innovation” emphasizing the vision of the organizers, Palestinian IT Association (PITA), for a nation that would contribute to world knowledge.
This year, the exhibition was divided into dedicated exhibition zones, including zones for hardware solution providers, software companies, universities and governments displaying their latest technical advancements, and for the first time, a zone named iStart, dedicated to tech startups. The startup zone impressed many visitors by showcasing the early and quick success of the country’s latest startups.
Among those visitors was Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who could be heard multiple times saying, “This is remarkable,” as he walked between the booths listening to the stories of the entrepreneurs.
iStart featured six startups:
- Art Technologies, a software company focusing on building mobile apps, gaming and GIS mapping. Art Technologies is the creator of X-Bugs, a popular mobile game, which was recently featured on the Google Play store.
- Yamsafer, a portal bringing fast and easy hotel and events booking to the Middle East at low rates. Last month, Yamsafer was the first startup to secure a VC investment of $1 million led by Sadara Ventures.
- TTawor: a end-to-end website management service provider that builds custom websites for clients and offers online advertising and social media marketing services. Ttawor is also the creator of Kermalek, an online community dedicated to providing information and discussion forums to an Arab female audience.
- IRIS Interactive Technologies: an innovative Palestinian startup that build interactive touch screen displays, interfaces and applications. Last month, the company signed with the Governorate to build the first multimedia tourism center in Jenin to support the tourism industry in Jenin.
- IMS: A company that provides dynamic CRM solutions to a wide range of customers. ounder Wesam Faris recently returned to Palestine after spending 17 years in Chicago, IL, and he’s hoping to bring solutions to Palestinian and regional markets while attracting customers from the U.S.
- IDEVATOR: a social gaming company building mobile apps targeting the Arab world. They’ve recently launched their first game, a multiplayer game called “Ithadani berasmak – Challenge me with your drawing” and have already received tens of thousands of downloads within the apps first week of release.
The first day of the exhibition was a success- the exhibiting startups were extremely happy with the number of guests and variety of visitors attending the fairs. Some of the startups noted that they had received excellent feedback on their products and had already seen a significant increase in the number of downloads for their apps and traffic to their sites. It was also great simply for connecting entrepreneurs to support; Ayman Awartani from Idevator also indicated that he met some very interesting visitors including some experienced game developers whom he considered as role models.
Feras Nasr is a Palestinian-Canadian residing in Ramallah, Palestine. Currently the President of iConnect Tech, a software development outsourcing company, Feras is very passionate about helping build the Palestinian entrepreneurial community by supporting aspiring entrepreneurs and working with others, mainly in the grassroots organization Peeks to develop an ecosystem that will encourage the creation of startups. His professional experience includes working in Canada, US and Palestine. You can find him on his blog.
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