Highlights from the EDGE Project Pitch Event

The EDGE Project Pitch event took place on February 11th, 2024 as a culmination of months of dedication and collaboration. Implemented by Leaders International (LI), in partnership with the Ministry of National Economy and funded by GIZ, this event showcased the capability of Palestinian startups and celebrated the selection of four standout ventures. The startups selected were seen to be prepared to make an impact on the Palestinian entrepreneurship ecosystem, with aspirations to extend their influence on the global stage.

EDGE aims to transform the enrollment of Palestinian talents in the global digital economy by enhancing entrepreneurial capacities and fostering the development of freelancing agencies. This initiative seeks to unlock the sector’s full economic potential and increase employment opportunities, particularly among qualified youth and women. Through the creation of equitable jobs and the establishment of a sustainable model for the future of work, the project is paving the way for lasting economic empowerment.

The journey began with a mapping study, identifying four incubators to partner with the EDGE project. Each incubator was tasked with selecting their top 5 startups. 20 startups were identified to participate in an intensive tailored mentorship and coaching program. Despite challenges posed by the situation in Gaza, the project proceeded with 10 startups from the West Bank.

In addition to its broader objectives, the startups selected in the final stage will receive financial support, each being granted up to EUR 10,000 in matching sub-grants. The initiative will facilitate crucial business connections and provide assistance in overcoming market challenges. By leveraging these resources, socially-oriented startups will be empowered to seize growth opportunities and navigate the complexities of the investment landscape with confidence.

Scalable startups with social impact

On February 11th, the pitch event launched with an introductory session for the esteemed judging committee. The Palestinian judges, including industry leaders Mohammed Shurrab, Mona Nabil Demaidi, and Waheed Zahran, were briefed on the project’s objectives and insights into each startup’s vision, market potential, and growth plan.

We extend our deepest gratitude to our judges, whose expertise and dedication have been instrumental in making this event a success. Mohammed Shurrab brings a wealth of experience in nurturing next-gen entrepreneurs and driving strategic growth & innovation. Mona Nabil Demaidi, an innovator in the field of AI and entrepreneurship, has made significant contributions to the development of the Palestinian AI National Strategy & AI and Ethics Policy, while tirelessly advocating for women’s empowerment and advancing the startup ecosystem. Waheed Zahran’s expertise in project management, youth empowerment, and entrepreneurship has shown his commitment to economic empowerment and sustainable development. We are grateful for their participation and support in empowering Palestinian startups. 

Following each startup’s pitch, the judging committee engaged in discussions to evaluate their performance against the selection criteria. Factors such as innovation, market relevance, scalability, and social impact were meticulously considered in selecting four scalable startups.


The startups selected were:

  1. Crowdious: By offering a crowdfunding platform, dedicated to democratising investment opportunities in the MENA region, Crowdious’ mission is to empower retail investors by aggregating modest capital contributions from a vast community, effectively dismantling the high-cost barriers to entry. 


  1. CoachWhizz: Revolutionising leadership development, CoachWhizz leverages artificial intelligence and behavioural science to deliver personalised coaching experiences. By tailoring coaching sessions to individual needs, CoachWhizz empowers professionals to unlock their full potential and drive organisational growth.


  1. Sawaed19: Strengthening the volunteering ecosystem, Sawaed19 introduces a groundbreaking volunteering management platform. This innovative solution connects non-profit organisations with volunteers easily, optimising social impact through smart matching services and project management tools.


  1. Guruhub: Simplifying online learning, Guruhub offers curated learning roadmaps crafted by communities and experts. By providing learners with structured educational pathways, Guruhub enhances learning outcomes and saves valuable time, initially focusing on software and development education.


These four startups are united and driven by a common motive of innovation and purpose. Crowdious, CoachWhizz, Sawaed19, and Guruhub each embody a commitment to leveraging technology and creativity to address pressing societal challenges and unlock new opportunities. Through their pursuits, these startups share a dedication to empowering individuals and organisations, whether it’s by nurturing essential skills in children and enhancing learning outcomes, revolutionising leadership development, or optimising social impact through volunteering management. Despite their diverse focus areas, these startups are on their path of developing and supporting the Palestinian entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Serving as a demonstration of the effect of tailored mentorship within the EDGE project, one of the startups involved secured a significant investment deal. This achievement underscores the effectiveness of the program in nurturing and supporting Palestinian entrepreneurs to reach new heights of success and growth. 

What makes the EDGE project different?

The EDGE Project Pitch Event stands as a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation, and resilience within the Palestinian startup ecosystem. Together with  partners, expert judges, and visionary entrepreneurs, the event opens new opportunities for growth to Palestinian startups. As we celebrate their success, we look forward to witnessing their continued impact and contribution to economic empowerment and sustainable development in Palestine.

For more information about the EDGE Project: https://leadersinternational.org/projects/promoting-enrollment-in-the-digital-global-economy-edge/