Putting technology
to good use


IranCubator is a global contest for making Android apps that promote social good in Iran.

The project is United for Iran‘s most ambitious to improve civil liberties in Iran. Imagine, victims of domestic violence being able to ask for immediate help no matter where they are in the country. Imagine, voters having access to balance news and information about presidential and city council candidates. Imagine every Iranian woman having an always-present companion that offers them advice on sexual health, contraception and their legal rights.

IranCubator has built apps that turn these ideas and others into reality.

IranCubator connects skilled app developers outside Iran with Iranian civil society leaders and is creating a suite of apps designed to empower Iranians and enhance civic engagement. The winning apps were chosen by IranCubator’s Advisory Board through the IranCubator contest. They received financial and institutional support to create their apps.

All IranCubator apps will be developed by the end of 2017.


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Consider these facts: 40 million smartphones are in use in Iran. Another million are added each month.

But the number of socially or civically minded apps inside Iran? Virtually zero.

IranCubator was born to help create Iran’s civic-tech sector.

In 2009, citizen activists in Iran revolutionized the use of technology to connect, assemble, and collectively voice their demand for democracy. Since then, from the Arab World to Ferguson, Missouri, this decade’s watershed global political events owe a lot to the democratizing power of social media and mobile technology.

But the Islamic Republic of Iran has stifled the country’s app marketplace. Civilian groups are forbidden from developing or using apps that might be considered subversive.

Inspired by the creativity and bravery of Iran’s citizen-activists, we saw an opening for United for Iran to create technology that will support all Iranians’ desire for civic engagement.

To neutralize the government’s efforts against civil liberties, IranCubator offers vital logistical and financial support that a groundbreaking new app would need and uses its network of activists in Iran to get the apps to the people who need them.


Through 2016 and the first half of 2017 we are looking for individuals or teams of people with creative and effective ideas, personal ties to communities inside Iran, and software development skills who want to improve the lives of Iranians.

Are you an activist or an organizer who is familiar with Iranian social and political issues? Do you have an idea for an app that would solve a concrete social problem inside Iran–but you need technical and operational support to design and develop your app?

Are you a techie–a coder, app developer, UI/UX expert, designer or digital security expert–interested in making positive social change?

Are you a complete team of developers and activists who need operational and financial support to develop an app to empower the Iranian people?

Do you have a brilliant app idea to suggest in support of citizens in Iran? Share it with us and we may just bring it to life.



United for Iran is an independent nonprofit working to improve civil liberties in Iran. Since 2009, United for Iran has carried its mission by advocating for human rights, supporting civil society, and engaging citizens through technology. IranCubator is our newest endeavour, headed by Reza Ghazinouri, Director.

ASL19 is a major IranCubator partner. As a technology lab working on access to information solutions, ASL19 will develop multiple apps, and ensure their sustainability by providing hosting and maintenance beyond the project’s end.

IranCubator’s Advisory Board consists of individuals who are already building apps and other technologies for social good, Iran experts, mobile technology and internet security experts, social entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists with extensive experience in technology incubators. The Advisory Board members will select the winning proposals and teams. During the development phase, they will provide strategic, programmatic, and operational feedback to the IranCubator team.

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The positive change IranCubator seeks to achieve is possible only through a wide network of supporting partners. Below are our partners--organizations we work with to campaign, research, and build technology.

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