Gaza's only startup accelerator has turned to crowdsourcing to stay alive, clearing its initial goal of $70,000 in its first week.
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Gaza Sky Geeks, an accelerator that has mentored several companies and helped them find investment, announced it was facing closure by the end of December unless it could find supporters to keep it afloat.
"With $70k, we can keep our coworking hub open at a bare minimum operational level, with one startup coach to help the teams that gather there every day," announced Gaza Sky Geeks on its Indiegogo fundraising page, which was launched on November 8 and will run through December 8. By Monday, the figure was just shy of $84,000.
According to Gaza Sky Geeks, it had to turn to crowdsourcing because the summer war with Israel put an end to its expected sources of funding.
"The funding we had identified was redirected to the humanitarian response," the accelerator announced. "Major donors will meet Gaza's humanitarian needs: electricity, water, shelter food. But more than anything, thousands of Gazan youth want opportunity. Two days after the bombs stopped last summer, our rooms filled up with your working on their startup ideas."
The group's declared next milestone is $125,000. The extra $55,000 will be dedicated to running "a tested program to foster the next group of women startup founders in Gaza."