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THE LEADING TECH FESTIVAL FOR EMERGING MARKETS

WHAT YOU GET

ALL-ACCESS TICKETS

Approved startups get the Startup Package which includes 2 Master Pass tickets with access to everything at the conference including programming, and special invitations to satellite events.

FREE BRANDED BOOTH

Showcasing startups are offered a branded booth for 1 day to showcase their latest product or service at the conference to investors, potential clients, partners, and event attendees.

PRIORITY ACCESS

Showcasing Startups get priority booking for the Pitch Competition, Mentor’s Corner, Investor Meetings, Workshops, Meet-Ups, and Satellite Events.

 

STARTUP BASECAMP

300 global startups participated at Step 2022’s Startup Basecamp across 4 conferences to showcase their products and services. Showcasing startups had a chance to meet with regional investors and VCs, gather leads, and network with potential clients and partners

PITCH COMPETITION

Showcasing startups get the chance to participate at Step’s flagship Pitch Competition to present their products and services to leading investors and industry experts.

Mentor’s Corner

Mentorship sessions are hosted for startups and entrepreneurs to participate in 1-on-1 sessions and group sessions focused on specific topics.

Investor Meetings

Participating startups and entrepreneurs get to book 1-on-1 sessions with leading investors from the region from pre-seed to early and growth stage investors.

2023 Investors

Varis Sayed

Fincasa Ventures

Varis Sayed

Fincasa Ventures

Varis Sayed is an entrepreneur, investor, and founder who focuses on startups, FDI, investment migration, and cross-border investments.

Catalin Cighi

Cain Group

Catalin Cighi

Cain Group

I invest in companies that extend the years people live healthily. I focus on the pre-seed stage and write checks of $250k. I also collaborate with angel groups and VC funds specializing in life sciences. I add value by curating funding chains in HealthSpan and partnering with health tech venture builders around the globe. My last exit achieved 30x in 18 months and I am using that capital to bring more technology and talent to the Middle East. If a startup does not match my investment thesis, I will do my best to pass it on to the right investor.

Aman Merchant

ReimaginED Collective

Aman Merchant

ReimaginED Collective

A mission-driven serial parallel entrepreneur, futurist, investor & advisor with 25+ years experience across 12 ventures in education, social impact & disruptive innovation, Aman is the Founder & General Partner @ ReimaginED Collective, the MENAP region’s first Edtech ecosystem builder. He’s also the Chief Provocateur at Radicle, a futures innovations lab focused on system change across education, climate, health & food. A member of both YPO & EO, he holds a 1st Class Masters (Hons) Degree from Oxford University & is also a Stanford Business School & London School of Economics alum. He’s an Adjunct Faculty at NYU’s global campus in Abu Dhabi as well as a Maven online educator, teaching high performance for leaders & teams. An Entrepreneur Mentor in Residence at London Business School since 2014, he is the MENA region’s 1st Impact Investing Fellow at AVPN and also serves on the Global Council on SDG4.

Hisham Naseem

Roland Berger

Hisham Naseem

Roland Berger

Hisham is a Project Manager at Roland Berger and an Investor/Board Member at EZ Wage, an emerging markets-focused financial wellness platform. He has over 10 years of diversified experience in the financial services industry (top-tier strategy consulting, private equity, and banking) across the Middle East, Asia, and North America. His key competencies include digital transformation, strategic planning, and financial analysis. Hisham holds an MBA (and is certified in Blue Ocean Strategy) from INSEAD in France.

Hans Christensen

Dubai Integrated Economic Zones

Hans Christensen

Dubai Integrated Economic Zones

For 11 years Hans’ been building the Dubai entrepreneurial ecosystem in Dubai, creating the largest tech hub in MENA, with 2000+ start-ups from 75 nations. He is a specialist in incubation, acceleration, venture capital investment and corporate innovation. He is a serial entrepreneur and he actively mentors, advice and sit on the board of several start-ups.

Omar Sharkawy

Raed Ventures

Omar Sharkawy

Raed Ventures

Omar Sharkawy is an Investment Analyst at Raed. Before joining Raed, he was an Investment Banker advising on several landmark M&A and IPO transactions in Egypt. He received his bachelor’s degree in Quantitative and Financial Economics from the American University in Cairo. He loves to travel, network with founders and research into latest technology trends.

Rushdi Sammakieh

Genero Capital

Rushdi Sammakieh

Genero Capital

Mr. Sammakieh has 13 years of experience in Corporate Finance, Private Equity, and Corporate Governance. Prior to joining Genero in 2012, he spent 5 years with Injazat Capital, where he covered several industries in the SME space, conducting financial and business analysis, valuations, post acquisition work, and fund raising. Mr. Sammakieh has been involved in assessing venture capital companies and managing private equity firms throughout his career and has led the private placement of the majority of the mandates he was assigned on. Mr. Sammakieh holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from Lebanese American University and an MSc in Finance and Economics from the University of Southampton in England. He is also a certified Professional Director, a qualified SCA & CISI Financial Analyst, and is a CFA Level 2 Candidate.

Ariane Gemayel

Saudi Angel Investors

Ariane Gemayel

Saudi Angel Investors

Consultant working in digital/tech, advising clients on digital strategies in the VC space – Investment manager of SAI, micro-VC focused on early-stage tech startups in the GCC region

Ahmad Kalha

AB Accelerator

Ahmad Kalha

AB Accelerator

Ahmad Kalha is responsible for overseeing & managing a global pipeline of FinTech startups, Ahmad represents the first point of contact when sourcing, screening & managing new investment & strategic collaboration opportunities that further enrich Arab Bank’s ecosystem. Ahmad constantly presents innovative & lucrative expansion opportunities to AB’s Investment Committee, playing a key role in closing key funding & partnership deals, which accelerated the integration between startups & the wider Arab Bank Group.

Anthony Khoury

COTU Ventures

Anthony Khoury

COTU Ventures

Anthony is a Venture Partner at COTU Ventures. He started his career as an operator with Rocket Internet working on different ventures in the Middle East. He then moved to Uber as the first hire in MENA, leading their expansion into new markets. He spent 6 years at Uber and ultimately led Uber MENA as the Regional General Manager. After that Anthony took a leadership role at Sonder where he led their expansion and operations in the Middle East. Before joining COTU Ventures, Anthony served as the VP of global operations for KingMakers.

Ghada Abdelkader

CE Ventures

Ghada Abdelkader

CE Ventures

Ghada Abdelkader is responsible for monitoring the existing Crescent Enterprises’ portfolio companies within the ports and logistics, business aviation, technology, and private equity sectors as well as the evaluation, structuring, execution, and post-acquisition management of new investments. Ghada has 14 years of experience in investment banking, corporate finance, and financial services consulting across the MENA region. She has executed deals of over billions of dollars, including private and public placements, mergers and acquisitions, and greenfield projects. Prior to joining Crescent Enterprises, Ghada worked in the Investment Banking Division of Al Mal Capital in the UAE, where she participated in various private and public transactions including the $325 million initial public offering of Drake & Scull International. Earlier, she worked with ASEC Cement Holding in Egypt, a subsidiary of Qalaa Holdings, where she was involved in building the company’s portfolio through numerous acquisitions and greenfield and brownfield projects of cement plants throughout the MENA region. Ghada started her career with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Egypt, where she participated in business valuations and financial due diligence transactions across the manufacturing, services, and industrial sectors. Ghada holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Cairo University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). She is a member of the CFA Institute and the CFA Society Emirates.

rakan alrashed

Access Bridge Ventures

rakan alrashed

Access Bridge Ventures

Gaelle Yammine

MEVP

Gaelle Yammine

MEVP

Prior to joining MEVP, Gaelle held various positions in the investment field. Gaelle started her professional career in wealth management at Crescendo Group, seeing firsthand the impact of Covid-19 on portfolios and contributing to the development of strategies optimizing asset allocation and security selection. Prior to that, Gaelle got exposed to public and private equities at The Olayan Group (OEL) in London covering European and North American markets. Gaelle holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the American University of Beirut where she was part of the Investment Management Program managing the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business’s $1M fund for two years

Sach Regmi

Spartech Ventures

Sach Regmi

Spartech Ventures

GP at Spartech Ventures, an early stage MENA VC fund and Founder of YAS Investments

Sion Hau

Plug and Play

Sion Hau

Plug and Play

Sion Hau has many years of experience investing in and working with health and life sciences startups, corporations and government entities. In her current role as a ventures analyst at Plug and Play Middle East, she supports the growth of startups in the regional ecosystem and engages organisations such as the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, Cigna, Chedid Capital, etc. in their innovation strategies.

Zain Daya

Hambro Perks Oryx Fund

Zain Daya

Hambro Perks Oryx Fund

Zain Daya leads on Investor Relations and Operations at Hambro Perks Oryx Fund based in UAE. Prior to the Oryx Fund, Zain was working at Endeavor Lebanon as an account manager on the Entrepreneur Selection & Growth team where she was evaluating scale ups in the local economy, onboarding them to the wider network, and managing their portfolio. Zain was involved with several key initiatives that have helped shape the growing tech ecosystem in the region, including the launch of “Summer of Innovation”, a government- led programme designed to strengthen and promote entrepreneurial efforts in Lebanon. Zain holds a BSc degree from Northeastern University in Boston and a MSc from Imperial College London.

Alicia Somson

Village Capital

Alicia Somson

Village Capital

As the Regional Lead for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Alicia develops strategy and programs that find, train and support entrepreneurs solving problems in the region. Prior to joining Village Capital, Alicia worked with Ashoka in Istanbul, Turkey, where she resided for many years, as well as other non-profit organizations in Washington DC. She is especially passionate about the ability for businesses to foster positive social change, mitigate violence and protect the environment. Alicia holds a MA in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Sabanci University and a BA in International Studies from Susquehanna University.

Qusai AlSaif

Sadu Capital

Qusai AlSaif

Sadu Capital

Qusai A. Alsaif CEO of Sadu Capital CEO of Saudi VCPEA Qusai has over 13 years of experience in investment, advisory, and fund management. Today he is CEO & Managing Director of Sadu Capital a Venture Capital firm and serves as a Board member on many fast growing companies’ Boards. He commenced his career at the Saudi Industrial Development Fund SIDF where he recommended several multi-million dollar projects and managed a portfolio of projects with a value exceeding $100 million in different industries. Additionally, he worked as an advisor to the Ministry of Finance on refining project financing in the Saudi Credit & Savings Bank. He managed VC and PE funds at Riyad Capital with a value that exceeds 1 billion SAR including Riyad TAQNIA Fund (RTF) and Riyad FinTech Fund. Qusai received his MBA from Queen’s University, Kingston. Also his Bachelor in Financial Management from King Saud University. Qusai Co-Founded Riyadh Angle Investment Group, a leading Angle network in Saudi. Additionally, he is the CEO of the Saudi Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (VCPEA).

Alain Dib

Knuru Capital

Alain Dib

Knuru Capital

25 years experience in PE, VC and Investment banking, having previously held senior positions at Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas or Waha Capital. Currently co-founder and CEO of Knuru Capital

Najd Alabood

Rua Growth Fund

Najd Alabood

Rua Growth Fund

Najd is an Investment Analyst at Rua. Prior to Rua Najd worked with Aljazira Capital at the Asset Management Department. Najd graduated from King Saud University with a bachelor’s degree in Finance.

Khalid Zaidan

Watheeq Proptech Venture

Khalid Zaidan

Watheeq Proptech Venture

Khaled has over 14 years of experience and deep knowledge in Venture capital, investment funds, investment strategy, investment deal and capital structuring. Khaled was an Investment Fund Manager with KASB Capital in Riyadh, he used to manage a real estate investment funds with AUM of SAR 220 million from the early stage of studying, developing the strategy, and daily fund operations. Then he moves to work with KPMG in the deal advisory function where he participated in couple of M&A deals as long as in preparing different business plan and strategy for a couple of companies in multiple sectors. Before joining Watheeq as a Head of Venture Capital, Khaled was the Managing Partner for one of the VC firms in the MENA region named by Wakan Capital where he used to manage and assist different startups portfolio companies regionally and globally. Khaled now is the managing partner of Watheeq Proptech Venture; Mena 1st Proptech Venture with AUM of SAR 100 mn and he is a board member in couple of startup such as Spaceti, Spiders Micro mobility, and Darent

Kareem Ayyad

Plug and Play

Kareem Ayyad

Plug and Play

Entrepreneur and builder with an L.L.B degree in Law. Self taught in Deep Learning(AI), Signal Processing and Neuroscience. Spent the last few years in VC, prior to that was building software products through DSGN ST. and pursuing my passion for building a Brain Operating System; a transformative technology that expands the way humans interact with computers, each other, and the world. Cerebian’s BrainOS enables users to silently communicate using brain signals. Winner of NASA Space Apps Challenge ’16 in Waterloo, World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, and recipient of The Brain Institute ONtrepreneurs Award.

Rywa Karaki

Saudi Angel Investors

Rywa Karaki

Saudi Angel Investors

Always on the lookout for stellar founders that are looking to scale their startups in the MENA region!

Vijay Tirathrai

Techstars

Vijay Tirathrai

Techstars

Vijay is a serial entrepreneur, a seasoned CEO, and a technology investor. He is the Managing Director at Techstars, the world leading pre-seed technology investor; with a portfolio of 3,300 companies with a combined market capitalization at USD $80Bn. Prior to Techstars, he was the former Global CEO and Chairman of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). As a seasoned CEO and a serial entrepreneur, he has 40 years of hands-on experience in founding and growing several companies spread across 7 different industries in Southeast Asia: including Fashion Retail, Clothing Manufacturing, Safety Helmets, Association Management, Events Production, Property Development and Corporate Venture Capital. Vijay holds a degree in Marketing from Richmond University (UK) and furthered his executive education at Stanford University. He was the recipient of the Global Entrepreneur Person of the Year by GOPIO and EO.

Ghassan Aloshban

Emkan Capital

Ghassan Aloshban

Emkan Capital

Ghassan Aloshban started his career in corporate strategy at Aramco; working closely with senior executive management, the Ministry, and OPEC. Ghassan also spent time in consulting with Booz Allen Hamilton where he focused on renewable energy. He then joined his family office where he overlooked corporatizing a number of their portfolio companies and was responsible for establishing their Venture Investing arm. Ghassan then moved on to co-found Emkan Capital where he currently serves as GP. He graduated from Amherst college with degrees in Economics and Computer Science and continued his education with an MBA from Harvard Business School where he focused on international entrepreneurship and business valuation.

Ahmed Dakroury

Falak Startups

Ahmed Dakroury

Falak Startups

Ahmed is an avid investment professional and a startup enthusiast with a diversified business experience. Currently leading one of Egypt’s leading early stage VCs; Falak Startups where he leads investment decisions and also open channels for founders to scale their business through partnerships and growth hacks. Most importantly gets to pretend to be a founder at the portfolio companies. Prior to leading Falak Startups, Ahmed headed the Investment team in the company and helped companies optimize their business models and managed their fund raising processes. Before joining Falak Startups, Ahmed worked for a number of multinational companies in the energy, building materials and real estate sectors developing strategic plans and financial models helping them with strategic planing, financial modeling and business development. Ahmed has also advised startups and SMEs on strategic and financial fronts.

Heather Henyon

Mindshift Capital

Heather Henyon

Mindshift Capital

Founding partner of Mindshift Capital focused on early stage women-led technology start-ups based in MENAPT and the US especially in the fintech, foodtech, edtech and health/wellnesstech sectors.

Pier Armando Vender

Iliad Partners

Pier Armando Vender

Iliad Partners

Pier is an Associate at Iliad Partners where he is constantly looking to meet and interact with the best entrepreneurs in the MENA region and beyond. He has a background in banking, venture capital and startup acceleration and comes from a small business family where he experienced first-hand the impact that entrepreneurship has on our everyday lives.

Mohammed alzubi

Nama Ventures

Mohammed alzubi

Nama Ventures

Mohammed is an engineer turned engineering manager, turned entrepreneur turned tech investor. Made numerous investments in both startups and VC funds along the years, 85 investments and counting. Currently the Founder & Managing Partner of Nama Ventures, a Venture Capital fund focused on fueling technology innovation in MENA. A member of many Angel Networks including Sand Hill Angels in Silicon Valley, Founding board member of Riyadh Angel Investors in Riyadh, and an advisor with Woman Spark in KSA. Mohammed was one of the co-founders of Tech Wadi in Silicon Valley and he’s an advisor to numerous MENA tech incubators, accelerators and startups, and currently sits on numerous startup boards Mohammed holds an MBA from London Business School and a BS in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Brigham Young University. You can reach him on twitter at @mzu3bi

Mohammed Alrajhi

BIM ventures

Mohammed Alrajhi

BIM ventures

An investor that is deeply knowledgeable about the sector and the ecosystem

Elodie Claire Guillerm

HUB71

Elodie Claire Guillerm

HUB71

Elodie is an ecosystem enabler and angel investor, passionate about deeptech. She supported the creation of the first aerospace industrial cluster in the UAE in the early 2000s. After 15 years enabling industrial partnerships for aerospace leaders (Airbus and Thales) in Middle East and Africa, she joined the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, a joint initiative by the United Arab Emirates Government and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, to promote the future of industry in alignment with the SDGs. She contributed to the new space start up ecosystem in the region and backs several entrepreneurs from the vertical through Alidade Ventures. She heads growth and strategy at Hub 71, Abu Dhabi global tech ecosystem, supporting the Emirate’s economic transformation, cultivating market and investment access for entrepreneurs through partnerships between government, corporates and investors. She is volunteering for French Tech, as President of the UAE community.

Patrick Thiriet

EQ2 Ventures

Patrick Thiriet

EQ2 Ventures

Patrick is the CEO of EQ2Ventures, a Dubai-based investment holding resulting from the spinoff of the corporate VC arm of Choueiri Group. Patrick is also a founding&investment committee member of Dubai Angel Investors.

Ali Abussaud

HALA Ventures

Ali Abussaud

HALA Ventures

After20 years in managing the family investments, and 10 years in the Corporate & Institutional banking sector Ali founded Financial Horizon Group in 2014 During the same period, Ali co-founded a Corporate Investment Fund which invested in various Asset-Classes including Venture Capital.

Asia Kabel

Arzan Venture Capital

Asia Kabel

Arzan Venture Capital

CFA and Senior Investment Associate

Anissa Kanoun

IFC

Anissa Kanoun

IFC

Anissa Kanoun is an Investment Officer and the Regional Lead for the Middle East & Pakistan for the VC team at IFC, the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group. Anissa completed her MBA at Wharton and attended Stanford University for undergrad, earning a BA in Science, Technology & Society. Her prior experience includes investment banking at Goldman Sachs, impact investing, and emerging market PE.

Ibrahim Seksek

Startupbootcamp

Ibrahim Seksek

Startupbootcamp

A serial Entrepreneur with multiple exits Ibrahim “Abe” Seksek is the current CEO and Head of Talent of MENA and Africa of Startupbootcamp, a Rainmaking company. Before joining Startupbootcamp he Co-Founded a couple of companies such as ZenHR Solutions, which addresses the entire HR cycle, and Crystel, Jordan’s first business process outsourcing (BPO) provider. Ibrahim also worked as Head of Global Operations Support for Naspers, the parent company of dubizzle and OLX, which oversaw the operations in 70 countries.

Ramez Elserafy

Flat6Labs

Ramez Elserafy

Flat6Labs

“Ramez El-Serafy accumulates more than 16 years of experience in technology, investments, entrepreneurship and management. Ramez currently heads Flat6Labs and its regional expansion in the MENA region. Flat6Labs MENA’s leading seed and early-stage VC firm, and the manager of the most renowned startup programs in the region. Since 2011, Flat6Labs has established presence in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Lebanon, Tunisia, Bahrain and Jordan with plans to expand into more locations in other emerging markets soon. Before leading Flat6Labs, Ramez was responsible for building and managing the mobile app business at Sarmady – a Vodafone Company. Prior to that, he initiated and led the product design team at eSpace. Ramez also served as board member at the Global Accelerator Network between 2014 & 2016. He holds a B.Sc degree in Computer Engineering. “

Issa Aghabi

Access Bridge Ventures

Issa Aghabi

Access Bridge Ventures

Issa’s career has focused on finance and investments for the past 20 years with a focus on Venture Capital. He started his career in investment banking and transitioned into the MENA Venture Capital space in 2006 as a founding member of Accelerator technologies, one of the first venture funds in the Arab world. He has since occupied numerous roles that include M&A consultant at Yahoo!, Head of Investment at N2V – a regional Venture Builder, and Head of Investments and Venture Capital at twofour54. Prior to establishing Access Bridge Ventures, Issa headed IFC’s Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Europe’s venture investments both from a Direct and Indirect (accelerators and fund of fund) perspective. His track record includes, having invested in 65+ direct and indirect investment deals (from $100K to $25M per transaction), managed over $150m in MENA Venture funds, launched the UAE’s first Accelerator, fully exited 6+ MENA based deals, supported with 2 IPOs and much more. Issa now the founder and managing partner of Access Bridge Ventures, an early stage MEPAP focused Venture Fund with over 14 investments to date and growing

Syrine Ben Mansour

Hambro Perks Oryx Fund

Syrine Ben Mansour

Hambro Perks Oryx Fund

Syrine is a Principal at Hambro Perks Oryx Fund and focuses on screening, selecting, and assessing emerging technology start-ups based in the MENA region. She also manages the portfolio. She previously worked at EQ2 Ventures as an Investment Associate and as a Private Equity Analyst at Rothschild. Syrine holds a bachelor’s in economics & management and a master’s in finance from Université Paris Dauphine. Syrine is fluent in three languages: English, Arabic, and French.

Tina Daher

Shorooq Partners

Tina Daher

Shorooq Partners

As a Senior Investment Professional with Shorooq Partners, Tina harnesses her passion for creating an impact by working with A+ founders with disruptive tech solutions, shaping tomorrow’s emerging market. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the American University of Beirut, after which she completed her Master’s degree in International Political Economy, Finance Focus, at The London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to VC, Tina worked in Private Equity and Investment Banking.

Ryaan Sharif

Flat6Labs

Ryaan Sharif

Flat6Labs

General Manager of Flat6Labs UAE, currently running a 32m Fund in partnership with ADQ to invest in 60 startups over the next 3 years.

Leen Nabulsi

BECO Capital

Leen Nabulsi

BECO Capital

Leen leads Deal Sourcing where she focuses on managing deal flow and further enhancing BECO’s capabilities. Prior to joining BECO, Leen worked in Corporate Venture Building at Rainmaking, and was also the Managing Director for their Accelerator Program “Startupbootcamp” focused on Smart Cities in Dubai. Furthermore, she worked at Endeavor, an organization that supports high impact entrepreneurs, where she managed a portfolio of scale-ups and supported them with their capital needs, strategic alliances, and deployed services through local and global networks. Leen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Marketing from Bentley University.

Lola Fernandez

VentureSouq

Lola Fernandez

VentureSouq

Lola Fernandez Flores is a Senior Investment Associate at VentureSouq, where she works under the Conscious Investing thesis focusing on early-stage ClimateTech startups globally. Prior to VentureSouq, Lola has worked at Plug and Play ADGM,  ING Bank and  KPMG. Lola holds a B.A. from NYUAD and is an Terra.do Fellow.

Karim Konsowa

Dubai Future District Fund

Karim Konsowa

Dubai Future District Fund

Karim is a venture capitalist with extensive experience in fundraising for venture capital firms and startups and supporting entrepreneurs throughout the Middle East and North Africa’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. Currently, he is an Investment Associate at the Dubai Future District Fund, an AED 1B fund of funds and venture capital fund under the Dubai Future Foundation. He is also the Co-founder of VC MENA, a platform aimed at fostering connections and collaboration between VC funds and startups in MENA to catalyze and empower the VC and startup ecosystem.

Ali Almajthoob

MEVP

Ali Almajthoob

MEVP

Executive Director at MEVP with 9 years’ experience in the entrepreneurial ecosystem having worked in Venture Capital, Startups, and Accelerators. Passionate about investing in entrepreneurs in fintech, SaaS, ecommerce and other verticals.

Kenzie Falcoz

Outliers Venture Capital

Kenzie Falcoz

Outliers Venture Capital

Head of platform at Outliers Venture Capital

Arnav Danthi

Nuwa Capital

Arnav Danthi

Nuwa Capital

Senior Associate at Nuwa Capital

Tariq El-Titi

Janus Ventures

Tariq El-Titi

Janus Ventures

Tariq is a start-up venture specialist, having worked in numerous start-up companies across the UK, Europe & Middle East. He brings a wealth of experience and track record of turning visions into reality. Tariq’s experiences spread across Pre-Seed, Seed & Series-A VC-backed start-ups, as well as prominent Semi-Government mandates in the Middle East. These include iaxis Ltd, Dubai Healthcare City, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and tech start-ups Proximie & PalmHR. His career has covered diverse responsibilities including strategic planning, fundraising & investment management, customer operations, business development and new business incubation. Tariq holds an MBA from London Business School and is a UK qualified Chartered Accountant (CIMA).

Christos Mastoras

ILIAD PARTNERS

Christos Mastoras

ILIAD PARTNERS

Christos is the Founder and Managing Partner of Iliad Partners, a Venture Capital fund based in the UAE investing in early-stage tech startups in the MENA region. Christos has actively been making VC investments in MENA over the last seven years, including in regional success stories such as Trukker. He is a VC investor and former tech entrepreneur (4x startups, 4x exits), digital executive, and management consultant with 23+ years of experience in the US, Europe, and MENA. Based in Dubai for the last 15 years, he was previously the Head of Business Development of Yahoo! Maktoob and an engagement manager with Booz & Company. Christos previously held operating roles at four startups he helped build and exit: GlamBox (UAE), Upstream (Greece), govWorks (US) and SloanGear (US). He serves on the Boards of several startups, the Board of the Middle East Venture Capital Association (MEVCA), and was a founding Advisory Board member of MAGNiTT. Christos holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a B.S. in International Relations from Georgetown University.

Aboudi Al-Qattan

DASH Ventures

Aboudi Al-Qattan

DASH Ventures

Aboudi is the Principal at DASH Ventures, having worked there cumulatively for 3.5 years. Aboudi has addtional experience founding his own social enterprise, playing professional basketball for two years, and running his own family office that also specialises in Venture Capital investments. He is passionate about building the MENA VC ecosystem.

Khaldoon Tabaza

iMENA Group/Rua Growth Fund

Khaldoon Tabaza

iMENA Group/Rua Growth Fund

Dr. Khaldoon is the Founder & Managing Director of iMENA Group. In the last 25 years, he has pioneered the development of the regional technology venture capital ecosystem in the MENA region as a founder, investor, and advisor. Khaldoon was a founder at Arabia.com (first venture backed online business in MENA), Arab Advisors Group, NetAdvantage, OneCard, Riyada Ventures, and Impact MENA. Key funds that he managed include IDEAVELOPERS (first regulated regional VC fund), Riyada, and iMENA, while companies that he invested in include OpenSooq, SellAnyCar, Jeeny, ReserveOut, Telr, JRD, Hellofood, Akhtaboot, IdealRatings, and Rufoof. As an ecosystem builder, he has participated in the development of iPark, ABAN, Oasis500, PICTI, and Wamda. Khaldoon was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. He is also a Kauffman Venture Capital Fellow and a member of the Young Presidents Organization. He holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from The University of Jordan and has completed the Young Global Leaders Leadership and Policy education program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, and the YPO programs at Harvard Business School, Stanford, and London Business School.

Hussain AlMarhoon

HALA Ventures

Hussain AlMarhoon

HALA Ventures

After several years as a corporate banker at National Commercial Bank “NCB”, where he used to manage a diversified portfolio of more than USD 150 million, Hussain AlMarhoon joined his family business as a Deputy General Manager, where he managed the Finance & Investment Division. Later on, he joined Financial Horizon Group to co-manage the SME Consultation department. In 2018, Hussain co-founded Hala Ventures, one of the well valued active venture capital firms in Saudi and MENA region. Hussain holds a B.S. degree in Management Information System from KFUPM.

Daniel dos Reis

Wamda Capital

Daniel dos Reis

Wamda Capital

Daniel dos Reis is the Investment Director of Wamda Capital. Before joining Wamda, Daniel was managing Dtec Ventures, the venture capital unit of Dubai technology entrepreneur campus (Dtec) which is part of Dubai Silicon Oasis. From 2012 to 2015, he was the Director of Mobily Ventures in Riyadh, the corporate venture capital arm of Saudi telecoms company Etihad Etisalat. Daniel started his career as a Management Consultant advising clients in the Telecommunication Media & Technology industry in Europe and the Middle East. He has earned a Diplom degree in Business Administration from the University Hamburg.

Ayat Al-Sabbagh

HALA Ventures

Ayat Al-Sabbagh

HALA Ventures

Investing in early-stage Tech companies across MENA.

Abdulaziz Aljehani

Tech Invest Com

Abdulaziz Aljehani

Tech Invest Com

Investment Analyst at Tech Invest Com. TIC is a Riyadh-based Venture Capital firm investing in MENA-based tech startups from Seed to Growth stages (Series-A+)

Hussein Attar

Tech Invest com

Hussein Attar

Tech Invest com

Hussein Attar is the CEO of Tech Invest Com. He was an ex-founder of a tech startup, and ex- CEO of software development company. He is also an investment committee member of Oqal angel investor group and Falak Angels, and a board member of several of the leading tech startups in the region. He is an Industry Advisory Board (IAB) Member of MBS college.

2023 Mentors

Nick Gemenetzdis

VESTIGOS

Nick Gemenetzdis

VESTIGOS

A strategic advisor and mentor to 100+ start-ups and SMEs globally – from idea stage to Series B, C, etc.

Omar Aloyoun

Newchip Accelerator

Omar Aloyoun

Newchip Accelerator

Previously – Chief Revenue Officer at Foodics (KSA). Omar Aloyoun currently is an executive advisor at Newchip Accelerator (Austin, Texas). He is specialized in unlocking startups value, revenue and growth through a lean approach, with a focus on business modelling, design & Innovation. He is an award winning entrepreneur with 22 years of diverse experiences in MENA companies such as Mubadala, du, Emaar, Qatar Foundation, Qatar Development Bank, Qatar Computing Research Institute and others. Omar is running and building investment profiles for many startups, conducting go-to- market strategies, network effects, and matchmaking with investors for a global pool of startups. He is a member of many entrepreneurial supporting organizations and accelerators globally such as Techstars, Mercy Corps, WOMENA, Silicon Valley Syndicates Club, The Syndicate angel investing club led by Jason Calacanis and Google for Entrepreneurs. In 2012, Omar won Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Young Business Leaders Award at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Alexa Hall

AH Consulting

Alexa Hall

AH Consulting

Alexa Hall has spent the last decade creating financial opportunities for some of the world’s most innovative companies. Primarily living and working in Silicon Valley, she spent 4 years at Google for Startups where she supported over 100 startups with developer bootcamps, technical resources and direct funding programs. Previously she was an impact investor at the Hewlett Foundation and the Director of Kauffman Fellows program. Throughout her career she has managed over $200M in assets.

Bianca Gracias

Crimson Legal

Bianca Gracias

Crimson Legal

Bianca is a corporate/commercial lawyer with over 18 years experience practising in the UAE. She specialises in providing real and clear legal advice to entrepreneurs and founders. Her past experience includes working with Emaar Properties, renowned local law firm Hadef & Partners and local conglomerate Al Ghurair Investment.

Lamis Abualkheir

Noon

Lamis Abualkheir

Noon

A Tech Product manager, Brand Strategist, & Entrepreneur. Specialized in strategic digital transformation including UX/UI in SaaS platform and customer facing products. She founded 2 startups in her early 20s in art & tech, and recently launched “Qissatk”; which aims to grow local businesses through the art of storytelling. As a Brand strategist, she worked with businesses across Dubai, New York, & Bahrain to scale local startups focusing on Customer-centric strategies. She holds MSc in Systems in Leadership & Strategy from New York University, New York. Distinguished as a former scholar from Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Scholars Program (SMSP), batch 2018

Aman Merchant

ReimaginED Collective

Aman Merchant

ReimaginED Collective

A mission-driven serial parallel entrepreneur, futurist, investor & advisor with 25+ years experience across 12 ventures in education, social impact & disruptive innovation, Aman is the Founder & General Partner @ ReimaginED Collective, the MENAP region’s first Edtech ecosystem builder. He’s also the Chief Provocateur at Radicle, a futures innovations lab focused on system change across education, climate, health & food. A member of both YPO & EO, he holds a 1st Class Masters (Hons) Degree from Oxford University & is also a Stanford Business School & London School of Economics alum. He’s an Adjunct Faculty at NYU’s global campus in Abu Dhabi as well as a Maven online educator, teaching high performance for leaders & teams. An Entrepreneur Mentor in Residence at London Business School since 2014, he is the MENA region’s 1st Impact Investing Fellow at AVPN and also serves on the Global Council on SDG4.

Ryan Adams

Raha Beach Ventures

Ryan Adams

Raha Beach Ventures

Ryan Adams is a founder, investor, and senior technology executive who excels at defining the technology vision, strategy, and execution roadmap to develop and bring innovative offerings to market and position companies for accelerated commercial success. Ryan has a track record of building and scaling new businesses, directing multimillion-dollar projects, and forging trusted client relationships. He is a hands-on technical leader with an extensive background encompassing software engineering, cyber security, and big data analytics. He is also a passionate innovator directly responsible for creating valuable intellectual property and commercial software products achieving hundreds of millions (AED) in sales.

Neha Malhotra

MeritX Ventures

Neha Malhotra

MeritX Ventures

Neha Malhotra is Managing Partner at MeritX Ventures™, a cross-border tech-focused venture studio supporting startups with investor readiness and fundraising. She is also an active angel investor, mentor to women investor networks and on the advisory board of early-stage tech startups. She is a seasoned investment professional with over a decade of experience across startup advisory, investment banking and management consulting with leading international organisations. Neha is a gold medallist with a Master’s degree in Economics from the London School of Economics. She is a public speaker and visiting professor at various business schools, including her alma mater, the LSE’s India centre. Neha is passionate about promoting women’s entrepreneurship, especially in Tech.

Nathalie spree

True Search

Nathalie spree

True Search

Nathalie is the lead Partner in the Middle East and launched True’s Dubai office in 2019. She has extensive experience of leadership recruiting in the tech scene in Dubai over the past 14 years, having previously headed the people functions at Property Finder and Dubizzle. This intimate local knowledge continues to play a key part in her ability to entice and re-locate talent to the region as well as guiding businesses on their people strategy and building high performing teams and cultures. Focusing on Fintech, E-Commerce, Consumer, Marketplace, Proptech and Healthtech in high growth businesses across the Mena region.

Sagar P. Chandiramani

WorkerAppz Payments

Sagar P. Chandiramani

WorkerAppz Payments

Sagar Chandiramani is the CEO of WorkerAppz Payments which is a Global Banking & Payments-as-a-Service Platform for seamless x-border payments, cards and banking services. Being one of the prominent faces in the FinTech space, Sagar believes that there still remains a large room for disruption in the conventional banking and payments space and therefore, has chosen simplifying and subsidizing Corporate (B2B) Payments and Individual (C2C) Remittances as the core of the business. Professionally, Sagar is a Chartered Accountant (globally equivalent to “CPA”) from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a relatively active user in LinkedIn if anyone wishes to know more about him….

Abdelazim El Toukhy

Amazon

Abdelazim El Toukhy

Amazon

I’m currently a programmatic consultant at Amazon. I’m enthusiastic about entrepreneurship, technology, and startups. I have worked at various sized companies internationally – ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies. My experience spans Analytics, project management, Advertising Technology, and FinTech. I had the privilege of co-founding a FinTech startup in the investment technology space. I also act as a board advisor at a Switzerland-based AdTech startup.

Sana Bagersh

Tamakkan

Sana Bagersh

Tamakkan

Bagersh has extensive international business experience, and has led comms projects across Africa, Europe, USA, Asia, designing, managing, and deploying multi-level integrated communication platforms and marketing campaigns in multiple languages. She has worked as an institutional consultant in the areas of partnership-building, innovation, entrepreneurship, community programming, multiculturalism, diversity, and women’s empowerment. She provides coaching to senior government and private sector executives and advises institutions on innovation and digital transformation. She is author of the book “What a Leader Should Be” which is available on Amazon.

Hisham Kassim

Levari, PLLC

Hisham Kassim

Levari, PLLC

Hisham is a seasoned corporate lawyer with almost fifteen years of experience in the Middle East. Hisham represents a wide range of international and MENA-based clients, including some of the leading venture capital and private equity firms in the Middle East. To date, he has successfully closed over 200 M&A and corporate transactions representing numerous funds and corporations throughout the MENA region, the U.S., the U.K., and Europe. He also assisted in forming over 30 venture capital and private equity funds over the course of his career. Finally, Hisham also heads Levari’s international tax practice and tax structuring that specializes in advising multinationals, investors, and high-net-worth individuals on their most challenging tax issues, developing bespoke solutions for effective long-term tax strategies. He was admitted to the District of Columbia in June 2008 and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in March 2013. He holds an LLM from the New York University School of Law, a JD from the University of Iowa College of Law, and a BA from the University of Virginia. He is fluent in Arabic and English.

Azra Ahmed

Tap Payments

Azra Ahmed

Tap Payments

Azra Ahmed is the Group Head of Compliance at Tap Payments leading the global implementation of a regulatory compliance function & AML framework. She also ensures Tap has a regulatory compliance framework in all jurisdictions where Tap Payments has a regulated presence. After graduating from Abertay University in Scotland, UK, she has gone on to hold senior compliance roles in the UK & Dubai for over 18 years in prominent regional and global companies such as Deutsche Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Lloyds Group, Network International, and Dubai Financial Services Authority.

Martin O’Leary

Tap Payments

Martin O’Leary

Tap Payments

An international marketer with over 15 years of experience driving marketing strategies for startups in digital banks, fintech, and online payments. He combines his marketing strategy, digital performance marketing, and data analytics knowledge to create effective solutions that increase leads, sales pipeline, and revenue. Martin currently holds the Group Head of Marketing position at Tap Payments, where he leads Marketing for the MENA region. He has previously held marketing leadership positions at Emaar, DAMAC, Global Payments, and Rabobank. Martin holds an MBA in International Business and a Master’s in Media Technology.

Ricardo Osorio

Reinvance

Ricardo Osorio

Reinvance

Ricardo, Managing Director at Reinvance. He focuses on supporting entrepreneurs, and technologists to materialize their projects. His areas of expertise are business technology valuation and fundraising. Ricardo’s previous experience includes consulting and capital advisory in the following sectors: gaming, adtech, SaaS, edtech, commercialization of space technology, tech-enabled businesses, etc. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international business, a master’s degree in the same field and a master’s in financial markets and asset management. He is passionate about futuristic ideas that will change the way people live and interact.

Tasnim Abdelgadir

FinFlx Workplace Solutions

Tasnim Abdelgadir

FinFlx Workplace Solutions

I kicked off my career in business development and account management in various industries in the tech space. From foodtech to insurtech and now fintech, my experience has been centered around employee benefits and well-being, connecting to my core beliefs on people empowerment and enablement.

Avneet Kohli

Encubay

Avneet Kohli

Encubay

Avneet Kohli is a Vision & Communication Coach, Startup Mentor, Founder of The iOpener Project and a Partner at Female Startup Network, Encubay. Avneet works with ambitious entrepreneurs and professionals to help them actualize their life and business Vision. Avneet is also a Partner at Startup Network – Encubay, which helps women entrepreneurs accelerate business growth by providing them with access to mentorship, premium networking opportunities, and fundraising assistance. Learn more at, www.avneetkohli.com

Layal Baaklini

Bacardi

Layal Baaklini

Bacardi

Layal Baaklini is a creative and strategic business leader with more than eighteen years delivering sustainable and profitable growth through marketing, strategy, innovation & incubation programs. She is currently working with Bacardi Limited, the world’s largest privately-held spirits company as Managing Director for Disruptive Innovation globally. Layal chooses to live her purpose, instilling creative confidence to achieve the extraordinary. She believes there’s a present, emerging or future creative talent in each one of us. She is driven to empower others discover and connect to their creative superpower, see business opportunities that were previously unimagined leading to successful innovations. She infuses creativity by distilling data and transforming it into actionable insights leading to potential value creation. In her current role, Layal is responsible to deliver adjacent growth to Bacardi by seeding new businesses and building entrepreneurial capability under Bacardi Greenhouse. Layal has also launched Bacardi’s first ever incubator program globally Next Gen Idea Lab, unleashing a transformative innovation culture for the organization that has led to two product launches while leveraging Design Thinking and Sprint methodology. In her Marketing tenure, she led Bacardi and Martini in Asia Middle East and Africa driving double digit sustainable and profitable growth while improving brand equity. She is a life learner and graduated from Harvard Business School Leadership program, completed Ideo Foundation on Design thinking and designing for change. She also has an MBA from Saint Joseph University Lebanon

Edil Islamov

SoftSmile

Edil Islamov

SoftSmile

I currently work as the Director of the Abu Dhabi office of US-based healthtech startup SoftSmile Inc. The company has created proprietary software that facilitates orthodontic treatment planning for patients with clear aligners. Prior to that, I have worked for the Zayed Fund for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Khalifa Fund’s subsidiary in Chechnya) as the director of the Capacity Building Department. I also helped organize and launch the region’s first Tech Accelerator – Zayed Innohub, in collaboration with the Russian Venture Company and local tech universities. I have also worked for the Rosneft Oil Company and for a boutique consultancy firm in Moscow. I hold an MBA degree from Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA), and an engineering degree from the Grozny State Petroleum Tech University. In addition to that, I have worked for not-for-profit organisations including the International Rescue Committee, helping to implement emergency relief and economic recovery projects in Chechnya.

Ludwig Lindermayer

Paustian & Partner

Ludwig Lindermayer

Paustian & Partner

Ludwig Lindermayer counsels and represents clients on trademarks and patents. He is focused on start-ups and SMEs, also regarding strategy and enforcement in Asia – esp. China. Ludwig is a mentor for several startup-incubators and a consultant to the IP-Office of Singapore. Ludwig started his career with an apprenticeship as a mechanic. A French/German Master’s program followed. For several years, he counselled government agencies in the UAE and also participated in a Sino/German exchange program for IP-attorneys. He is a guest lecturer on IP-topics and privately gets his hands oily restoring historical vehicles. He is a patent and trademark applicant himself.

Zainab Al Sharif

Plus VC

Zainab Al Sharif

Plus VC

Principal at Plus VC, a venture capital firm that invests in tech startups across the MENA region and diaspora.. She has extensive experience as an Investment Analyst in the private equity and venture capital field and is passionate about contributing to the growth of the global entrepreneurial ecosystem. Previously, she worked as a Senior Investment Analyst at Dividend Gate Capital (DGC), and as a Senior Investment Analyst at 500 Startups. Zainab specializes in generating new leads for investment opportunities by collecting and analyzing data based on new and current trends. Zainab has earned her MSc from King’s College London in Risk Analysis, and a BA in Business Management with Finance and Financial Services from the University of Westminster.

Nour Allam

Plus VC (+VC)

Nour Allam

Plus VC (+VC)

Prior to joining +VC, she was with Savills, as an Analyst in the Strategic Consultancy Department in Egypt. She was actively involved in conducting market research and analysis, aiding investment decisions carried out by prominent real estate developers in Egypt and the region. Before that, she took part in the Analyst Accelerator Program at Endeavor, Egypt where she was part of the Entrepreneurial Sales and Growth team. Nour earned her BSc from The American University in Cairo, where she studied Finance and minored in Economics.

Nihal Salem

Exceed IT

Nihal Salem

Exceed IT

With over 14 years of regional IT experience, I work with our B2B partners (some of which are startups) to support them in expanding their services or products to our customers in the Gulf through helping them by creating compelling value propositions and the materials they need to generate interest.

Nihal Shaikh

startAD, NYU Abu Dhabi

Nihal Shaikh

startAD, NYU Abu Dhabi

Nihal Shaikh is an award-winning communications leader and business strategist scaling exceptional brands and building thriving communities. She currently heads global communications and strategic projects at NYU Abu Dhabi’s startup accelerator, startAD, where she has been instrumental in developing the brand since inception; powering a global community of 400 + startups, 650 investors, 30+ corporations, and 16,000 collaborators furthering UAE’s transition into a knowledge-based economy. Nihal comes with 12 years of business experience, a knack for making meaningful connections with audiences, and an insatiable appetite for helping others maximize their potential. She holds a Master’s Degree in Communications from Madras University in India. She has earned certifications from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in ‘Strategies that Build Winning Brands’, ‘Strategy in the Age of Digital Disruption’ from INSEAD, ‘Digital Marketing’ from the Chartered Institute of Marketing in London, and ‘Project Management from the global Project Management Institute. Nihal is an advocate for social innovation, has been recognized on PR Moment’s 30 Under 30 list, and has been a mentor for women business owners through the United Nations Women, and the Cherie Blair Foundation. She is passionate about creating opportunities for social innovation and for the youth and women to participate in the economy and is a sought-after coach for emerging startups, and students of communications and marketing.

Anastasiya Golovatenko

Sherpa Communications

Anastasiya Golovatenko

Sherpa Communications

Anastasiya is an accomplished PR professional and business advisor who leads a Dubai-based communications consultancy Sherpa Communications. With more than 14 years of expertise developing and executing all aspects of public relations and marketing campaigns, she provides senior counsel to brands of any size and structure helping them achieve business objectives and meaningful results through the strategic use of communication.

Karim Helal

ProTenders

Karim Helal

ProTenders

With over 10 years of active involvement in the MENA startup scene, Karim Helal is a passionate entrepreneur, mentor, angel investor, high-level athlete and explorer. As the the Founder and CEO of ProTenders, the first and largest Construction Tech platform in the MENA region, he lead a team of up to 85 people to scale the platform from an inside tool developed for his family Architecture office into a platform that is used by 28,000 member companies from 105 countries, tracks the progress of 60,000 projects in the region, and has been used to manage over $45 Billion worth of bids, while being bootstrapped. He was recently named as one of the Top 50 Construction Tech Entrepreneurs by Builtworlds.

Mustafa Husain Bohra

Careem

Mustafa Husain Bohra

Careem

Mustafa has 10 years of experience across Growth Marketing, Product Personalization and Data Science with a verifiable track record of helping business grow through smart data driven frameworks coupled with rapid experimentations. Currently working as Senior Growth Manger at Careem, an Uber subsidiary and a Super App in Middle East, responsible for optimizing activation and retention across Ridehailing, Food/Grocery Delivery and P2P Payments for 100+ cities.

Jose Burneo

Reinvance

Jose Burneo

Reinvance

Jose Burneo is a Co-funder and Growth Director at Reinvance. He focuses on boosting growth for Startups. Passionate about e-commerce and disruptive technologies. With 10+ years of Marketing experience in high-growth startups. He helps funders and business leaders build and grow sustainable businesses. His greatest talent is the ability to bring people together. “

Maria Zyryanova

Prototype

Maria Zyryanova

Prototype

An ambitious, creative, and performance-driven B2B Marketing and Business Development professional with over 15 years of experience across the EMEA region. A passion for Neuroscience and Social Psychology enables me to understand how to target niche audiences and market sectors in intuitive and lucrative ways. I believe in taking an entrepreneurial approach to any project I’m engage on so that I can experience a range of different industries, client needs, and customer desires. This allows me to see the big picture and drive growth and brand awareness in an accelerated and sustainable way. Specialties Include: Strategic partnerships, Business development & Market growth, Brand & Marketing Strategy, B2B Sales, Customer Relationship, SaaS products, C-Level Networking, and Events

Yasmen Dehne

Google

Yasmen Dehne

Google

Yasmen is a Digital Growth consultant at Google and specialise in onboarding high potential businesses onto the Google growth program. She has an MSc in International Marketing from King’s College London. She has previously worked as a various roles in the telecommunication and communication industry and has also worked as a business consultant and in Business Development for the Financial Times helping with growth in MENA.

Mohit Prem Gupta

Equity Address Technologies

Mohit Prem Gupta

Equity Address Technologies

More than decade of experience with Marketing and Technology under some of the biggest FMCG, Retail, Hospitality, Real Estate brands in India, Europe and Middle East. Currently serving the India advisory board of CMO Council, California,Startup Mentor – Abu Dhabi SME Hub. On a mission to build Equity Address Technologies – Metaverse – (Proptech, Fintech, Traveltech) with emergent technologies – AI & Blockchain.Building www.thevenya.com globally – World finest holiday homes marketplace.

Jose Francisco Fernandez Serna

Blendhub

Jose Francisco Fernandez Serna

Blendhub

Creative leader, Connector, Innovator and Entrepreneurial Executive. Out of the box thinker. With extensive experience managing international expansion and operations in the Food Manufacturing and Trading Industries as well as involved in Digital Transformation, Incubation, Acceleration & Venture Investments ( Seed-VC ) for the past 12 years. Member and chair of one of the experts panels for Food Innovation and Technology for EIT, body of European Union, with main competences in evaluating, assessing and securing funding for strategic projects for the EU countries in Food Innovation, Food Security and Sustainability, connecting Academia, Research Centers, Corporate and EU Institutions. Advisor, critical thinker, mentor and true angel in different sectors including Foodtech, Halal Certification Industry, EdTech and Biotech. Eager networker and HBS Alumnus , Harvard Alumni Entrepreneurs and Harvard Alumni for Agriculture and Food, with Global network in multiple sectors specially in Food and Beverages production and Distribution and Startup Ecosystems. Managing Director Miiddle East Blendhub Board Member of the UAE Spanish Chamber of Commerce Board Member of the Spanish Association of Researchers and Scientist in the UAE (ACIEAU, Scientific Diplomacy ) Board Member of Safety Horizon ( Spanish Halal Certification Body ) Steering Committee at In5 ( Dubai Government Incubator / Accelerator ) Venture Partner at Founder Institute (Sillicon Valley Pre-seed accelerator)

Stelios Leftheris

VESTIGOS

Stelios Leftheris

VESTIGOS

20 years’ experience with banking multinationals, responsible for global information security programs,3rd party audits and contract negotiations with FT100. Deep experience in technology, cloud, digital transformation, fintech, blockchain, AI/ML. Strategic tech adviser to start-up companies and leadership teams in the Middle East and a mentor for multiple startups. Lived and worked in Greece, UK, UAE; BSc in Computer Science, held CISSP , CISM, CRISC, CoRM, and Six Sigma certifications.

Obediah Ayton

Synaptech Capital

Obediah Ayton

Synaptech Capital

Obediah Ayton has successfully completed over $500 Million of advisory and financial transactions across the MENA region under his Holding Company in Abu Dhabi.. Mr Ayton is a Managing Partner of Synaptech Capital $100m Abu Dhabi Venture Capital Fund. Mr Ayton sits on the Department Of Economic Council SME Committee, as well as setting up the first Coding school with ADGMA, Ministry Of Human Resources, Khalifa Fund and NYU Abu Dhabi.

Chandni Jain

Abraar Advisors

Chandni Jain

Abraar Advisors

Chandni Jain is a Partner and Co-founder of Abraar Advisors, a management consulting firm catering to clients across all industry sectors within Asia, the Middle East, the US, and UK. A BBA and an MBA with a career spanning over 20 years’ in C-suite and director-level positions, she has worked with Ogilvy and Bates of the WPP Group, and served as Acting CEO, Social Innovation Park, Singapore. She has lived across India, Singapore, Nepal, London, and Dubai. She is keen on enhancing entrepreneurial leadership performance through specific tools and techniques grounded in Emotional Intelligence. An ICF (International Coaching Federation) Professional Certified Life & Executive Coach (ICF-ACC), and a Certified Six Seconds’ SEI® EQ (Emotional Intelligence) Coach, she coaches executives across diverse geographies. She has authored nine books, which have been referenced within India and internationally.

Sameer Sortur

SquareCircle Global

Sameer Sortur

SquareCircle Global

Early-Stage Tech Impact Ventures Builder | Advisor & Board Member | Startup Grind | Founder Institute | GovTech | Decision Science Transformation Consultant for Manufacturing/Services Excellence

Pakiza Alsouse

NEOM

Pakiza Alsouse

NEOM

Pakiza joined NEOM’s Economic Development Office in 2022 in the capacity of Manager, Business Attraction & Support for Startups. She works across NEOM’s sectors and regions to identify & support the development and growth of Innovative startups at NEOM With an extensive background in Product Development, Enterprise Marketing, Corporate Sustainability & Entrepreneurship within the telecommunications industry, Pakiza joined the EDB in 2017 to head the newly established Startups division, aimed at attracting new and building existing technology-based innovative startups to Bahrain through a multi-stakeholder initiative. Pakiza is a member of the Technology & Digital Economy Committee at the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce. An advisor to the board of Women In Tech chapter in Bahrain A frequent public speaker at both private and government lead events in Bahrain and abroad including Web Summit in Lisbon and GEN Policy in Estonia. She has been the Manama Chapter Director for Startup Grind 2020-2022 which is a Silicon Valley based global network of startups, investors, and mentors. She was also a founding Board Member of GEN Bahrain, Google Developers Group Manama (The local chapter certified by Google to build local tech skills) Pakiza holds an Executive MBA from Duke University – USA and most recently completed her Level 7 certificate in Digital Transformation and Leadership in the Times of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Chaos and Ambiguity) from Babson University. She is an IVLP alumnae; the International Visitor Leadership Program for an Open, Reliable & Diverse Digital Economy) funded by the State Department.

Kareem Anabtawi

Annex investments

Kareem Anabtawi

Annex investments

Been part of the ecosystem for 5+ years and investing in startups for 2 years

Alexandra Parr

Salt Digital Recruitment

Alexandra Parr

Salt Digital Recruitment

12 years recruitment experience across the Middle East. Salt work with SME’s, Start Ups, Global Corporations to develop their recruitment processes and help attract talent.

Keltoum Zniber

MBRIF

Keltoum Zniber

MBRIF

Keltoum Zniber recently moved to Dubai from London after years of experience in the tech scene in the UK and globally. Her background ranges from ESG, tech, events, operations to being a founder herself. Her most recent venture was Datascrum, a community and platform aimed at bridging the gap of alternative data and finance in the UK via workshops, courses, hackathons and weekly insights. Originally from Morocco, Keltoum has lived in Boston, Madrid, Paris and London prior to relocating to the UAE. She is currently the Program Director at Bolt Consultancy, one of the service delivery partners managing the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund’s Accelerator, aimed to enhance the growth potential of the most innovative and disruptive businesses in the UAE and abroad.

Zeeshan Razzaqi

Bisdesk

Zeeshan Razzaqi

Bisdesk

Business development specialist with over 14 years of experience across multiple product and service based industries. I started with a global brand taking responsibility for sales in 40+ countries growing into a core position at a seed stage start-up and taken it to market leadership position.

Ayman Itani

Think Media Labs

Ayman Itani

Think Media Labs

Digital Strategist, Media Professor, Public Speaker, & Web3 Business Show Host. Building @nftpowerup, @thinkmedialabs, and Cloud for Work.

Mohamad Sabouneh

LaunchPod

Mohamad Sabouneh

LaunchPod

Mohamad has 10 years of experience in digital and tech startups from the investor, founder, and accelerator sides. His functional areas range from initial concept validation, venture building, business model design, financial modeling, fundraising, and transaction structuring. His latest roles include cofounder of Moodfit, MD of Dubai Fintech Accelerator, Venture Lead at Rainmaking, and currently Principal Venture Architect at Injazat/G42 venture builder. Mohamad holds a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the Lebanese University and an MBA from the American University of Beirut (AUB).

Shereen Abdulla

Spark! Studios

Shereen Abdulla

Spark! Studios

Shereen is a Middle Eastern business media producer and presenter. She helps finance and tech companies humanize their brands through creative multi-media storytelling. Together, they create soulful content worth sharing. On the side, Shereen is also an advocate for arab women in finance, entrepreneurship, and athletics. Shereen is a former banker, turned management consultant, turned accelerator manager, turned media entrepreneur. Collectively, she’s spend over 13 years in various parts of the financial industry, working with corporations, governments, and entrepreneurs alike. Shereen graduated from the London School of Economics with a Bachelor of Science in Operations Research and from Columbia University with a Master of Science in Technology Management. She currently resides in Dubai where she produces multi-media content out of Spark! Studios. If you want to start telling your story better, please get in touch with Shereen. PS, her back squat PR is 125kg.

Aiman Kabli

Eleva8or

Aiman Kabli

Eleva8or

Serial entrepreneur and investor, with a diversified portfolio of technology startups including innovative web platforms and mobile apps. I am passionate about enabling and supporting entrepreneurship culture and ecosystems around the world, and have co-founded the platform eleva8or.com which acts as a virtual accelerator for startups. Over the last decade I held numerous engagements as a mentor, speaker, judge, consultant, panelist, lecturer and coach in this field. Advised hundreds of tech startups and investors, incubators/acceletarors, sandboxes and other ecosystem entities.

Umaer Abid

Anker Innovation Ltd.

Umaer Abid

Anker Innovation Ltd.

An Enthusiastic Business Professional with 15 years of proven track record in Strategic planning, Brand management & development, Idea Validation, Product management, B2C & B2B marketing, Business strategy, Marketing mix modeling and Integrated marketing communication. Proficient in enabling startups to be Sustainable and Scalable.

Umair Muhammad Sheikh

mKhata

Umair Muhammad Sheikh

mKhata

Umair is an award-winning serial entrepreneur and ecosystem builder with 18+ years of diverse business experience. He is the Founder & CEO of mKhata and the Chairman of Arazi Ventures. Umair is a Director at the Founder Institute, a pre-seed startup accelerator based out of Silicon Valley and also serves as the Chapter Chairperson at the International Trade Council. He is very passionate about promoting entrepreneurship and mentors aspiring entrepreneurs through several local and international platforms.

Tarek Mounir

Enhance Fitness

Tarek Mounir

Enhance Fitness

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