American Consul General Michael Ratney Launches Ramallah Start-Up Weekend

Announces $290,000 Grant to Spur Growth of Palestinian Technology Sector

 Jerusalem – American Consul General Michael Ratney joined future Palestinian entrepreneurs in hailing the opening of Ramallah Startup Weekend. In cooperation with Leaders Organization and held at their eZone center, the event convened dozens of young, tech-savvy Palestinian technology professionals and entrepreneurs for the beginning of an intensive 48-hour brainstorming and planning sessions that will attempt to create new “startup” ventures with viable business plans.

Consul General Ratney also announced a new $290,000 grant to Leaders to support the second year of the “Palestinian House in Silicon Valley.” Part of the grant will go to sending exceptional Palestinian technology business people for up to a month to the San Francisco Area, where they will learn first-hand the tradecraft of launching and managing successful business ventures. The grant will also bring accomplished technology entrepreneurs from the U.S. to the West Bank for training and consultations with Palestinian startup companies.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Ratney commented that, “Our project with Leaders is part of our efforts to help unlock the potential of the Palestinian economy… When businesses start and grow here in Ramallah and find opportunities to buy and sell from Americans, from Europeans, from their fellow MENA residents – that supports the global economy. Everyone benefits.”

About Leaders Organization

Established in Ramallah in 2002, Leaders is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of the Palestinian private sector. Through programs like Leadership Academy, FastForward, eZone (technology incubator), and Palestinian House in Silicon Valley, Leaders is laying the foundation for an economically robust and socially just future Palestinian state.