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Ja-Pal’s DigiBiz Solution Competition 2018

An initiative launched by the Palestinian Information Technology Association of Companies (PITA) and Palestine Information & Communication Technology Incubator (PICTI) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme/Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP) and funded by the Government of Japan. This competition aims to identify creative change makers from East Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza Strip.  Those talented entrepreneurs who have innovative business ideas that make a difference in people’s lives across any type of socio-economic issues are invited to submit their digital & smart tech ideas. 

The 5 winning business ideas will be awarded presented and awarded $1000 during Expotech 2018. Of the 5 successful applicants, up to 3 will be selected by a jury at Expotech to travel to Japan and further develop their business ideas into prototypes.

For the very first year, PITA and PICTI participate in launching this initiative in partnership with the UNDP/PAPP and the Government of Japan. Approximately 118 applications were received from different areas including the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. 

During the 1st round, the received applications have been carefully reviewed and assessed by a peer committee of University professors, PITA members, UNDP, Private sector representatives and others. Out of the 118 applications, 25 short-listed applicants (11 males and 14 females) were chosen and provided with the needed mentoring and coaching to further develop their ICT business ideas. 

On the 4th of September 2018, the 25 short-listed applicants were invited to present their ICT business ideas for the 2nd round in front of a jury panel that is comprised of members on behalf of Palestinian Information Technology Association of Companies (PITA), Al-Quds University, Birzeit University, Representative of Japan, Jericho Agro-Industrial Park (JAIP), Palestinian Industrial Estates & Free Zones Authority (PIEFZA) and ANIWO (Start-up Company).

The ICT competition was opened with a speech by His Excellency Takeshi Okubo; Ambassador for the Palestinian Affairs, representative of Japan to Palestine, Dr. Ali A. Shaath; CEO of the Palestinian Industrial Estates and Free Zones Authority (PIEFZA), Dr. Safa Nassereldin; Vice President at Al-Quds University and Chairperson of the Committee of Exploration, Stimulation, Incubation and Experimental Development, Higher Counsel of Innovation of Excellence, Mr. Sufian Mushasha; Senior Policy Advisor and Head of Development and Policy Team, UNDP/PAPP and last but not least Dr. Yahya Al-Salqan; Chairman of Palestinian Information Technology Association of Companies (PITA). 

Following the ICT competition, a group of B2B meetings were conducted between the Palestinian ICT companies and the Japanese Companies in the field of technology. 

The event ended with the announcement of the top 5 winning ICT business ideas: -

  • Wafaa Hmouda, developing serious games for individuals with autism.
  • Ayham Bader, electronic waste recycling.
  • Rabei Daraghmeh, automated tool diagnosis sinusitis.
  • Jumana Saad, sky gate game.
  • Suzan Atallah, new technology in agriculture.