Startups Pitch for a Resilient Digital Future to Key Stakeholders

On May 15th, Digital Innovations For Peace (DIP) held a highly anticipated demo day event, bringing together a diverse group of entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts, ICT and media experts, industry leaders, policymakers, investors, and media partners. This event marked the culmination of a 3-month acceleration program aimed at supporting social resilience and promoting peace in the digital sphere across the MENA region, specifically targeting Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Algeria, and Tunisia.

The primary goal of DIP is to combat the threat of disinformation in the MENA region. By nurturing innovative startups, DIP aims to develop digital media solutions that address disinformation, fake news, and hate speech while enhancing media literacy among the population. The initiative seeks to create a powerful network of media entrepreneurs who can pitch their ideas effectively, secure funding, and make a significant impact in their communities.

The Acceleration Program

The 3-month acceleration program provided participating startups with comprehensive training on building high-growth business models. The program covered essential topics, including:

  • Business Model Canvas (BMC) development
  • Product Development Iteration
  • Go-to-Market strategy
  • Financial Modelling
  • Venture Capital & Fundraising
  • Intellectual Property
  • Pitching & Storytelling
  • Demo Day Pitch Presentation to industry actors

This intensive preparation ensured that the startups were well-equipped to present their ideas and demonstrate their potential for real-world impact during the demo day.


Demo Day

The demo day event, held virtually, featured seven promising startups. Each startup had the opportunity to showcase its innovative solutions aimed at enhancing peace and combating disinformation. The event facilitated networking opportunities among the 56 attendees, which included potential investors, media partners, and policymakers, creating an environment of collaboration and support for the participating startups.


Participating Startups

  1. Field Production (D1+)

Region: Syria, Turkey, Yemen, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon  

Tailored for Arabic speakers, D1+ focuses on raising awareness about refugee issues through content creation, showcasing their achievements, and advocating for their seamless integration into European asylum countries.

  1. Fact Check (Kashif)

Region: Palestine  

An independent Palestinian initiative aimed at combating misleading information in the Palestinian media space. It promotes ethical publishing, verification culture, and critical content reading. It is currently working on improving its fact-checking bot extension.

  1. MENA Media Mesh 

Region: A diverse team: Lebanon, Algeria, Palestine, Jordan  

An innovative media analysis platform that uses AI to analyse and present media biases in the Middle East. The platform also reviews media outlets’ stances on political, social, and economic issues that it covers.

  1. Spotcast

Region: Lebanon  

Spotcast is an independent alternative media platform that aims to achieve societal advancement by focusing on marginalised regions through content creation, presenting their reality, and breaking stereotypes through collaboration with youth, women, and organisations.

  1. Rouh – روح 

Region: Palestine  

Rouh is a humanitarian news agency specialising in human-interest video stories about marginalised groups in society with the support of psychological experts.

  1. الاعلام الجديد – New Media

Region: Jordan  

The New Media startup works on reducing the information disorder circling online, it seeks to develop an AI-powered tool to assist media organisations in verification and fact-checking information quickly and cost-effectively. When fully developed, it should be able to review published content and provide comprehensive reports on potential issues within each post. They offer a two-part training program. It also offers in-person training courses, and self-directed learning through essays published on its website.

  1. Tadqeqi 

Region: Algeria  

Tadqeqi is a digital platform specialised in combating fake news in society, it offers free educational resources, including video lessons, online workshops, awareness articles, and analytical reports to help users and organisations to analyse information critically. It also seeks to include artificial intelligence and data analysis techniques to its services to provide effective protection against misleading news.

It’s fair to note that all of these startups are developing their technical platforms and services within the technical assistance period currently taking place as the next phase of the acceleration program in developing the ICT work of these companies, with most of these startups seeking to include AI technologies to their technical development.

The success of the demo day is a testament to the effectiveness of the DIP project. By bringing together a wide array of stakeholders, the event not only highlighted the innovative solutions developed by the startups but also underscored the importance of collective efforts in addressing digital disinformation and promoting peace.

As these startups continue to grow and implement their solutions, they will have a positive impact on social resilience and media literacy in their communities. The connections made and the support obtained during the demo day will undoubtedly play a crucial role in their ongoing journey toward creating a more informed and peaceful digital landscape.

Leaders International, alongside its partners Deutsche Welle Academy and Elbrio Media Foundation and with the funding of the EU, will continue to support and mentor startups, ensuring they have the resources and guidance needed to thrive. The commitment to reinforcing social resilience and combating disinformation remains strong, with plans for future programs and events already underway.

For more on the DIP Project: DIP: Digital Innovations for Peace – Leaders International