The Palestine Cleantech Acceleration Program is an ambitious startup journey aimed at combining technical implementation and market validation of innovative business ideas conceived as feasible solutions to address the energy challenges of the industrial sector, in Palestine and beyond.
The 2nd Edition of the Palestine CleanTech Acceleration Program has maintained the approach and structure of the 2021’s 1st edition. However, following the lean project management approach that distinguishes the conception of the Palestine CleanTech Innovation Program, a continual improvement process has been applied to the training, with new topics being introduced and/or reinforced. Market sizing, finance and Profit and Loss (P&L), together with product design and Minimum Viable Product (MVP) have been presented earlier in the Program to allow startups to better absorb these notions and reflect them into solid business models and prototyping. Pitching techniques have also been introduced from the inception of the training process: a continuous practice has allowed the candidates to gain practical experience and to fine-tune their presentation according to the available funding opportunities and interlocutors.
During the first ten weeks, the Acceleration Program has explored different yet complementary topics, staring from an overview on cleantech, its current global trends, the effects of cleantech on global climate change and recent success cases of cleantech startups. Market segmentation, beachhead market, and end-user profiling has been approached in the lessons dedicated to customer discovery and development. Go-to market strategies have also been tackled, together with the revenue model and its pricing, P&L, pilots and partners.
Mock judging sessions have been conducted on October 29th: startups have pitched their business models to their mentors, coaches, and program leaders, who in return have provided valuable feedback on the status of their business implementation, offering an enriched perspective of their development pathway.
The following experts and entrepreneurs joined our Program as guest speakers: we thank them for all the valuable insights and knowledge that they shared with our candidates:
- Shatha Ajaj, Founder and CEO at MODESTA - Elevator pitch
- Ameen Taha, Co-Founder and CEO at TollabCo - Customer Discovery and Development
- Dr. Sadeq Abed El-Aall, Professor in industrial engineering - Product Design and Development
- Hijazi Natsheh, Co-Founder at Jeelcode.com – Business development
- Hatem Abbas, Tasdeer - Tax and customs
- Mr. Maysara Abdullah, Co-founder of Snipe company - Startup journey
- Mohannad Hijawi, CEO at Spark - Partnerships for prototypes and trials
- Amber Al-emlah, Managing Partner at Ibtikar fund - Due diligence, investment mindset & opportunities
- Bashir Assi, Lawyer - Legal issues, company registration, intellectual property, licenses and certificates
Technical support has been provided from the beginning of the acceleration journey, with startups working continuously with the technical experts to fine-tune their prototypes. The proposed technologies have been scrutinized by UNIDO’s technical experts and topic specialists from the first week of the Program to ensure the product performance, its viability, and a full compliance with the technical requirements. A midterm validation has provided the candidates with additional feedback about their technical implementation status, the production costs and the availability of technical components on the local and regional markets.
The Pre-Demo Days were hold toward the end of November 2022 in West Bank and Gaza Strip. Startups pitched their business ideas before the jury members, who will select the best startups as finalists to be participating in the Champions Day. The selection process is following strict evaluation criteria to ensure a candid selection process. The Champions Day, which will be held in January 2023, will see the jury members select up to 3 best startups who will get up to 25,000 € each as seed funding for further developing their projects.
“After the launching of the Palestine CleanTech Innovation Program, the first ever launched in Palestine in the field of clean technologies, the local cleantech ecosystem is consolidating and expanding”, states Ahmed ElFarra, UNIDO Senior Programme Officer. “The network of players and cleantech expertise is growing”, he continues “and success stories are being shaped thanks to the candidates’ hard work and the continuous training process managed by the UNIDO technical team with the determinant support of the Host Organizations and Network on the ground. We are eager to learn what lies ahead”.