2020 SPEAKER LINE-UP

More Speakers Will be Announced Soon

Christine
Tsai

500 Startups

Christine
Tsai

500 Startups

Christine is the CEO and Founding Partner of 500 Startups. Since the firm’s inception in 2010, she grew 500 to over $580M in committed capital, 2,200+ portfolio companies, 5,000 founders, 120+ team members, and a vibrant community of founders spanning more than 75 countries around the world. Christine has spent her entire professional career in Silicon Valley, building tech products and investing in early stage startups. From 2003 to 2010, Christine held product marketing and technical operating roles at Google, focusing primarily on monetization and developer products. Early on at Google, she was part of the team that launched Google AdSense and Google Analytics. Christine also drove marketing for YouTube’s syndication products, including strategic partnerships with major consumer electronics and gaming partners like Sony, Panasonic, Vizio, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft. She also worked on Google’s Developer Tools including App Engine, Google Web Toolkit (GWT), Android, and Google APIs, and led planning for Google I/O, Google’s flagship developer conference. Christine holds a B.A. in Cognitive Science from the University of California at Berkeley and was a National Merit Scholar. Christine also served as a research apprentice through the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program in the Department of Psychology.

Courtney
Powell

500 Startups

Courtney
Powell

500 Startups

Courtney Powell is the COO of 500 Startups. Courtney is tasked with helping 500 scale globally and explore new opportunities across both new and existing markets. She is responsible for driving day-to-day operations across the team to pursue 500’s mission. Courtney was co-founder and CEO of PublikDemand in Batch 4 of 500’s Seed Accelerator. She went on to become CEO of Agent Pronto, one of the largest real estate agent referral services in North America, which was acquired by Fidelity National Title Group. Most recently, Courtney was the Head of Corporate Development at Keller Williams, the largest real estate franchise in the world, with over 170,000 agents doing more than $330 billion dollars in gross sales volume during 2018 alone. During her tenure, she established the company’s first corporate innovation program and worked with Keller Capital to invest and acquire tech companies in the real estate space. Courtney also serves as an Advisory Board Member for the SXSW International Interactive, Film, and Music Festival since 2016, became a member of the Forbes Real Estate Council in 2017 and is a contributing author for Forbes and the Huffington Post. Courtney received the Twilio Doer Award in 2013, was named to the Forbes Top 30 Under 30 CEOs in 2014, and became a Google Business Leader in 2015. Courtney attended the University of Texas at Austin and studied French Language and Corporate Communication.

Ron
Simpson

The Avocado Show

Ron
Simpson

The Avocado Show

As a creative entrepreneur, Ron spends his time transforming his moonshot ideas into real life companies and campaigns that change the game. His visionary marketing concepts for global brands like Red Bull, Nike, Bacardi, Budweiser and SONY showed the world that he could think three steps ahead. But his ability to instantly create strong concepts and solve creative problems on the spot, made him the infamous go to guy for all your favorite brands and companies. After founding agencies like Don’t Say Nothing and 24K Agency, he started his latest adventure with his friends that took the world by storm: The Avocado Show.

Dr.
Graciela
Chichilnisky

Global Thermostat

Dr.
Graciela
Chichilnisky

Global Thermostat

Dr. Graciela Chichilnisky is the CEO and Co-Founder of Global Thermostat. A world-renowned economist and creator of the formal theory of Sustainable Development, she previously acted as Lead US Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which received the Nobel Prize in 2007. She worked extensively on the Kyoto Protocol, creating and designing the carbon market that became international law in 2005, and wrote the wording for the carbon market into the Kyoto Protocol at the COP in Kyoto in December 1997. In February 2019, Global Thermostat was named “10 Breakthrough Technologies” by the MIT Technology Review, curated by Bill Gates. In 2015, Dr. Graciela Chichilnisky was selected “”CEO of the Year”” by International Alternative Investment Review, and Fast Company Magazine selected Global Thermostat as one of the “”World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies”” in energy. Additionally, Graciela Chichilnisky is a professor of Economics and Statistics at Columbia University, a University Senator and the Director of the Columbia Consortium for Risk Management. She is the author of eighteen books and over 300 scientific articles in preeminent academic journals. Dr. Chichilnisky holds two PhD degrees, in Mathematics and Economics from MIT and University of California, Berkeley.

Kalsoom
Lakhani

i2i Ventures

Kalsoom
Lakhani

i2i Ventures

Kalsoom Lakhani is the Founder/CEO of Invest2Innovate, or i2i, which supports startups and the broader entrepreneurship ecosystem in growth markets, focusing mainly on Pakistan and the region. She is also a partner in i2i Ventures, a venture capital fund for Pakistan, which is also the country’s first female led institutional fund. Kalsoom has also trained young entrepreneurs, changemakers, and civil society leaders in Nepal, Cambodia, Ireland, Bangladesh, Kosovo, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, and has spoken at numerous venues, including the World Economic Forum, Aspen Ideas Festival, SXSW, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, and the Global Entrepreneurship Congress.

Jonathan
Richenthal

Human Future

Jonathan
Richenthal

Human Future

Dr. Jonathan Reichental is the CEO of Human Future, a global business and technology education, advisory, and investment firm. He is the former Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the City of Palo Alto, and a multiple award-winning technology leader whose 30-year career has spanned both the private and public sectors. In 2017, he was named one of the top 100 CIOs in the world and in 2016 he was named a top influential CIO in the United States. Dr. Reichental is also recognized as a global thought leader on a number of emerging trends including urban innovation and blockchain technology. In 2013 he was recognized as one of the 25 doers, dreamers, and drivers in government in America. He also won a best CIO in Silicon Valley award and a national IT leadership prize. His innovative work in government has also been recognized by the White House. Dr. Reichental is an adjunct professor at several universities including UC Berkeley and the University of San Francisco. He is a popular writer and online host, producing several highly successful online courses with LinkedIn Learning. He co-authored The Apps Challenge Playbook and he is a frequent public speaker on a wide range of technology and business-related topics. He co-hosts the popular podcast, Drinking Wine Talking Tech. He is currently working on his latest book about Smart Cities for Wiley & Co.

Khalil
Alami

Telr

Khalil
Alami

Telr

Khalil Alami is the Chief Executive Officer of a leading online payment gateway Telr. Khalil has more than two decades of experience in the financial services sector, including 19 years in the payment and card industry, with a focus on payment infrastructure and system implementation. He brings deep knowledge of industry structure, with emphasis on card processing and settlement, the four-party system, international payments architecture, electronic and mobile payments, consumer touch points, and network security. Khalil has an MBA from the American University of Beirut and a Bachelor of Science from Purdue University in Economics.

Noor
Sweid

Global Ventures

Noor
Sweid

Global Ventures

Noor Sweid is the founder of Global Ventures, a UAE-based, growth-stage venture capital firm focusing on investing in emerging markets. Previously, Noor was the Chief Investment Officer at The Dubai Future Foundation, where she spent time developing the innovation ecosystem in Dubai, and a Managing Partner at Leap Ventures. In 2008, Noor led the IPO for Depa, her family business, on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ Dubai, scaling the business tenfold in three years to reach $600M in revenues. Additionally, Noor founded ZenYoga, the first yoga and pilates studio in MENA and largest chain of wellness studios in the region, which she exited in 2014 through sale to a private equity firm. Noor is Chairperson of the Middle East Venture Capital Association, was on the Founding Board of Endeavor UAE, and serves as a Director for MIT Sloan, TechWadi, The Grooming Company, and beyond.Recently, Noor was listed in the World’s Top 50 Women in Tech by Forbes, received the Arab Woman Award for Finance, and was named in the Arabian Business 100 Most Powerful Arab Women list. Noor holds bachelors’ degrees in Finance and Economics from Boston College as well as an MBA from MIT Sloan.

Neil
Yorke-Smith

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Neil
Yorke-Smith

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Neil Yorke-Smith is an Associate Professor of Artificial Intelligence at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. His vision for AI is a tool to help people in socio-technical systems. His previous work includes the technology originally behind Siri (acquired by Apple). Currently his research focuses on agent-based optimization and behavioural factors in data-driven planning. He has consulted in Silicon Valley, Europe, and the Middle East, and is co-chair of the 33rd Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference (IAAI) in 2021. More at: member.acm.org/~nyorke-smith

Alice
Nawfal

Notabene Inc

Alice
Nawfal

Notabene Inc

Alice Nawfal combines a business and policy background, and is passionate about bringing privacy-preserving technologies to market. She is the Cofounder and COO of Notabene, a KYC platform for digital asset businesses. Before Notabene, she was COO of uPort, the decentralized identity platform anchored on Ethereum, where she led sales, marketing and operations. Alice spent her earlier career as a Management Consultant at Bain & Company, and later as a Public Policy Consultant at the Economist Intelligence Unit. She has an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, an MBA from the Wharton School, and Math and Economics degrees from MIT.

Mark
Walker

The Fintech Power50

Mark
Walker

The Fintech Power50

An experienced technologist, my early corporate successes led me to form my own enterprise software company, producing and selling to Universities and institutions. A hands-on role, I executed this idea from concept to maturity, while also leading the international sales for an advanced engineering company before its M&A. I’m a former Senior Adviser at UK trade & investment. Managing a team of seven, my role facilitated a good understanding of the London technology environment. I then continued my passion for supporting Start-up and Scale up organisations by joining London & Partners as the tech & urban specialist on the Mayor’s international business programme. Helping London companies internationalise. I’ve now stepped out of the public sector, to continue supporting ideas, Start-ups and Scale-ups with several of my own ventures, including working with an amazing co-founder on a new style of award, accolade and accelerator programme The Fintech Power50.

Jonathan
Reyes

Tulua

Jonathan
Reyes

Tulua

Jonathan is a cross-cultural impact entrepreneur cultivating solutions that liberate communities and environments through technology. After spending many years working in big data and scalable infrastructures with companies like Activision, he turned his focus towards Aquaponics which is next-gen farming using earth’s microbiome to grow produce with higher yields, better quality, greater nutrient density and higher profitability than traditional farming. Jonathan has also dedicated his time to this method of farming to aid in solving the water crisis, environmental regeneration, localization of agriculture, and empowerment of communities. He is the CEO and Co-founder of two social impact enterprises: Aquaponics AI, a US-based aquaponic tech company, and Tulua, a Jordan-based aquaponic system research and design company.

Paul
Blazek

cyLEDGE Media

Paul
Blazek

cyLEDGE Media

Dr. Paul Blazek is a passionate entrepreneur that is driven by the curiosity to research and understand how user needs change the way products and services are developed and sold online. He is founder and CEO of cyLEDGE Media, Europe’s leading customization experience agency, with offices in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. In co-founding and scaling-up eight startups Paul learned many lessons on success and failure drivers and build up a strong network in the entrepreneurial scene. Currently he is also transforming in Vienna the former biggest bread factory of Europe into a co-innovation hub that will celebrate a new innovation culture in bringing young entrepreneurs together with established industries with the goal to solve the challenges of our times. Paul is mentor for the MENA region of the initiative enpact and in several European institutions, teaches customer experience management and business model innovation at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, is affiliated researcher at the RWTH Aachen University, founding member of the International Institute on Mass Customization and Personalization (IIMCP), appointed member of the MIT’s Smart Customization Group and a research fellow of the Peter Pribilla Foundation. Paul studied at the RWTH Aachen University and the University of Vienna and achieved his Ph.D. at the University of Göttingen.

Ross
Veitch

Wego

Ross
Veitch

Wego

“Ross is CEO & Co-Founder at Wego, which is online travel marketplace that provides top ranked mobile apps and websites for users living in the APAC and MENA regions. Wego harnesses powerful technology that simplifies the process of searching, comparing and booking flights and hotels across hundreds of airlines, hotels and online travel agency websites. Wego is has dual-HQs in Singapore and Dubai and is backed by top-tier investors including Tiger Global, Crescent Group, Square Peg Capital and the MBC Group. Ross is a veteran of the Asian internet industry having established Yahoo!s Southeast Asian operations in Singapore back in 1998 and leading product development efforts across the region for 6+ years. He is also Singapore Co-Chair of H2, the premier global leadership network for the digital industry.”

Jeremiah
Owyang

Kaleido Insights

Jeremiah
Owyang

Kaleido Insights

Jeremiah is a technology analyst who forecasts how technology will impact business, society and our lives, based in Silicon Valley.

Sohaib
Hasan

Sohaib
Hasan

Sohaib Hasan is a multi-award winner and dedicated Human Resource Professional. Recently awarded for the ‘Most Successful Youth Influencer – Dubai’, Sohaib has an Internationally recognized career in Human Resources working in various industries across the UK, China, Germany, Pakistan and UAE. With over 500,000 active and engaged followers on LinkedIn, Sohaib is on a serious mission to help empower not only the job seeker community, but to show organizations how they can take advantage of social media platforms to facilitate brand awareness. Sohaib is consistently listed in the top list of online influencers and career advisors. His work and efforts in career coaching and personal branding never go unnoticed and which keeps him engaged in multiple live broadcasts and workshops.

Jean-Baptiste
O’Neill

Accenture Middle East

Jean-Baptiste
O’Neill

Accenture Middle East

Jean-Baptiste O’Neill is a Retail Client Account Executive within Accenture Middle East. Accenture is one of the world’s largest professional services companies, leading with Innovation, with capabilities in Strategy, Consulting, Digital, Technology and Operations.With more than 15 years of experience, Jean-Baptiste has led multiple transformation projects in the retail industry across Europe and the Middle East, mainly for groceries, fashion and DIY retailers. He has extensive experience on both demand side (merchandising, commercial levers, omnichannel) and supply side (forecasting, supply planning, store operations, back office functions).He graduated from EM Lyon in France and holds an MSc in Management. He has lived in Dubai for 4 years with his wife and their 5 children.”

Michael
Dermer

The Lonely Entrepreneur

Michael
Dermer

The Lonely Entrepreneur

Michael Dermer is an entrepreneur authority, lawyer, speaker, coach, and author of The Lonely Entrepreneur.  The Lonely Entrepreneur was born from Michael’s harrowing experience of living through the perfect storm – watching the company he built from scratch to over 500 people nearly get destroyed overnight by the 2008 financial crisis. Not only did they survive, they sold the company and today are considered the pioneer of the health rewards industry.  No one knows more about the journey from struggle to success than Michael. Today, Michael leads The Lonely Entrepreneur and its mission to help entrepreneurs turn their passion into success. Michael is a sought after authority and speaker and has appeared in national and international media outlets (MSNBC, CBS, ABC, Entrepreneur, Forbes, Huffington Post, Telemundo) and has keynoted and acted as judge in over 100 events serving entrepreneurs in the United States, Mexico, China, India, the UAE, Croatia, Singapore, Spain, and other countries throughout the world.

Mohamed
Al
Fayed

GrubTech

Mohamed
Al
Fayed

GrubTech

With over 20 years’ experience as a successful C-Suite executive in US Fortune 100 companies and local family conglomerates, Mohamed has leveraged his technology affinity with deep retail industry knowledge to lead international brands through digital transformations. He has successfully launched the region’s largest luxury online pure player Ounass.com and the lifestyle platform, Nisnass.com. In addition, he has deployed omnichannel solutions with the launch MamasandPapas.ae, and Gap.ae in the GCC. He has recently co-founded GrubTech, an end to end ai powered digital platform enabling restaurants to successfully manage omnichannel operations. Previously he held the position of Senior Vice President of Omnichannel for Al Tayer for 12 years, where his responsibilities included Product & IT, Logistics, Merchandise Planning, Supply Chain and the E- Commerce division.

Helen
Chen

Nomad Homes

Helen
Chen

Nomad Homes

Helen Chen is the CEO and Co-founder of Nomad Homes, a property technology company. Prior to founding Nomad, Helen was an investor and worked at several notable companies including Goldman Sachs, China Investment Corporation (CIC), and Blackstone as well as studying at Stanford Business School. Always having had a passion for real estate, the idea for Nomad was conceived while Helen was in Silicon Valley, but recognizing the potential in the Middle East she relocated to Dubai and launched the business in September 2019. A strong believer in supporting women both in tech and in the boardroom, Helen is a champion for hiring female talent at Nomad and encouraging a balanced workforce. Helen graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Martin
Jaouni

Funding Souq

Martin
Jaouni

Funding Souq

Martin is the founder of Funding Souq which is a digital lending platform that connects established businesses (SMEs) with investors who are committed to supporting the local economy

John
Tsioris

InstaShop

John
Tsioris

InstaShop

John Tsioris is the founder and CEO of InstaShop, the leading grocery shopping app in the GCC, operating in the region since 2015 and having been nominated for two consecutive years as one of the most promising startups in the Arab world by Forbes. John holds a diploma in Mechanical Engineering and a MScBA in General Management. he led the global competitive intelligence of PHILIPS CL for 2 years and set up the marketing Intelligence department for the Middle East and Turkey Lighting organization; he also has prior experience in the startup world having founded a social voice network.”

Zubin
Mowlavi

VaynerCommerce

Zubin
Mowlavi

VaynerCommerce

For 20 years, Zubin combined his passion for technology, music, and human interaction to launch and grow Lucid Fusion, a leading global eCommerce tech agency. In 2020, VaynerX acquired Lucid Fusion, launched VaynerCommerce, and appointed Zubin as President. Currently, Zubin leads VaynerCommerce and advises several direct-to-consumer, retail, and technology companies.

Ramzi
Atat

Aston Martin

Ramzi
Atat

Aston Martin

Heading the marketing and PR for Aston Martin in the MENA region, Ramzi leads on the project or establishing the British luxury Marque as an industry leader when it comes to building automotive art. With a background in digital marketing and transformation, Ramzi aims to combine the craftsmanship of traditional luxury personalized marketing with the new age of digital communication as Aston Martin takes on a new chapter of exciting products.

Mona
Ataya

Mumzworld

Mona
Ataya

Mumzworld

Mona Ataya, CEO and Founder of Mumzworld.com, has proven to be one of the Middle East most prominent of women entrepreneurs. Beyond leading a successful and growing SME, and inspiring her employees and communities, Mona is on a mission to change the region, one mum at a time. A transformational leader and a change agent in every sense of the word, Mona has managed to grow Mumzworld from a business plan on paper to a leading an enviable brand reaching more than 2 million mothers across the region in 7 years. Founded in 2011, Mumzworld has pioneered a revolutionary and gold standard e-commerce shopping experience for all things mother, baby and child in the ME region. Today, Mumzworld prides itself with being the leading, trusted and definitive source with over 250,000 products, an engaged community, exclusive product offerings and delivery to over 20 different countries in the fastest, most convenient and cost-effective way, at everyday low prices. Under Mona’s leadership, Mumzworld has undergone tremendous growth and successfully established itself as the regional leader in this vertical space. With 6 rounds of funding, great investors on board and a solid business plan, Mumzworld has become the #1 Funded Women-Led e-commerce Company in the Middle East. We expect to hear a lot from this brand in the years to come. Regional recognition: Mona has won more than 80 awards throughout her career. She is amongst the top 2 Forbes women creating impact in the region, and was voted amongst the 100 most Powerful Arab Women, Forbes Top 10 Arab Women 2017, 2018. World’s 100 Most Powerful Arabs – Generation Next – Arabian Business; She was also voted SME Executive of the year 3 years in a row. Mumzworld.com has won The Small Business of The Year Award and Best Kids Online retailer by Timeout Kids in 2015 and 2016. Mumzworld.com was also awarded the Images Most Admired Online Retailer of the Year 2014 and 2016 as well as the “Customer Service Excellence Award” by The Customer Festival Awards 2018. Beyond the many awards she received, Mona was also selected into the prestigious group of globally recognized Endeavor businesses’s in 2014 and was the 1 st woman selected into this prestigious network in the Middle East.

Alexandra
Kodjabachi

PersEd

Alexandra
Kodjabachi

PersEd

Alexandra is the Founder and CEO of PersEd, a training, coaching and consultancy enterprise for personal education nurturing 21st century skills and mindset through social and experiential learning. She is an international public speaker and an awarded published author, recipient of one of the Alain Decaux Literary Prizes for the Francophone world. Alexandra has been recognized as a MENA Leadership Academy fellow (2016-2017), G20 Young Global Changer (2017), Unleash Global Talent (2018) and UNESCO APCEIU Youth Leader (2019). As the Connection Creator, she’s always exploring the breadth and depth of multidisciplinarity and putting connections at the service of creativity, innovation and foresight.

Triska
Hamid

Wamda

Triska
Hamid

Wamda

Triska Hamid is the editorial director of Wamda, the Mena’s region’s leading startup platform.

Elie
Habib

Anghami

Elie
Habib

Anghami

Elie is the co-founder of Anghami – the leading music streaming service in the Middle East. Anghami has reached over 40 million users, raised many millions from Venture Capital firms over several rounds and partnered with MBC – the top media group in the region – as well as over 20 mobile operators. At Anghami, Elie runs the operations and product development, spending most of his time working between clouds, streams and pixels.

Jon
Richards

Yallacompare

Jon
Richards

Yallacompare

Jon Richards is co-founder and CEO of yallacompare, the Middle East’s leading comparison site. The company’s success is down, in no small part, to the technological innovation that Richards has driven with his insistence on working with the region’s top IT talent. As a result, he and the company have disrupted insurance distribution in the Middle East, and continue to drive innovations in the insurance and finance spaces. An entrepreneur from an early age, Richards is a master of digital marketing and is a keen follower of financial technology developments.

Kaan
Kayabali

Onedio

Kaan
Kayabali

Onedio

First took on the power of Onedio with the idea that civil journalism would develop in 2010, started his work in the technopark located at METU in 2011 and started to realize his idea. Onedio, which was originally thought to be a blog for serious news, turned into a platform where you can watch the most popular news, photos and videos of the Internet today.

Hisham
Al-Falih

Lean Technologies

Hisham
Al-Falih

Lean Technologies

Hisham Al-Falih is a Fintech entrepreneur and investor whose portfolio includes Addepar, Affinity, Blend, and Shogun. A native of Saudi Arabia, Hisham completed his undergraduate studies at Stanford University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Mayfield Fellowship. Hisham is Co-Founder & CEO at Lean, a Fintech infrastructure company with offices in Riyadh and London. Lean’s mission is to empower innovators, entrepreneurs, and developers by building the Middle East’s first region-wide financial data gateway.

Tala
Nsouli

Urban

Tala
Nsouli

Urban

Tala Nsouli is the General Manager of Urban. A graduate of Harvard Business School, Tala worked at McKinsey and Company for 3 years as an Expert Associate Partner. Before that, she was a Senior Product Manager at Amazon in London, and a Consultant with Booz & Company. Tala is also a real estate expert with comprehensive knowledge of the property market in the region.

Yasir
Khan

Noon Academy

Yasir
Khan

Noon Academy

Yasir is the Chief Technology Officer at Noon Academy, an Edtech startup that impacted more than 6 million students in the MENA. Noon Academy is the fastest growing Edtech startup in the MENA region and solving the biggest problem in studying (“”boredom!””) by making the study experience SOCIAL. Students learn from the best teacher and their friends, compete with them, and initiate live sessions. He is a seasoned technologist, startup enthusiast, and aspiring Entrepreneur. Before Noon Academy, Yasir has a small stint with Morgan Stanley for its Advanced Technology Office. He is currently building technology that can take Noon Academy on a global scale to make their vision to teach 50 million students in the coming four years.

Bijan
Azad

Darwazah Center for Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship – AUB

Bijan
Azad

Darwazah Center for Innovation Management & Entrepreneurship – AUB

Bijan Azad, is an Associate Professor at the Olayan School of Business (OSB), American University of Beirut and the Director of Samih Darwazah Center for Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship. Dr. Azad, who holds MS and PhD degrees from MIT, teaches in OSB’s Executive MBA, Executive Education and MBA programs. Bijan pioneered the popular experiential Startup Acceleration Practicum graduate course at AUB (modeled after Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad). In 2016 he designed AUB’s SME Growth Readiness Program that focuses on overcoming scale-up challenges of companies supported in part by USAID. Bijan is also very active in the startup ecosystem serving as bootcamp mentor/instructor at ArabBank Jordan iHub fintech, Flat6Labs SPEED, and AgryTech accelerators. He has been a mentor with the IM-Capital MIT Venture Mentoring Service in Lebanon. Bijan, in 1988 was co-founder of a successful map technology startup in Cambridge, Massachusetts, GIS/Trans, was acquired later by Google Maps. In 2001 he co-founded another successful map technology startup International Land Information Systems bv (acquired by ARCADIS bv 2003), in Arnhem, Netherlands.

Shane
Shin

Shorooq Partners

Shane
Shin

Shorooq Partners

As a Forbes 30 Under 30, Kauffman Fellows, Founding Partner at Shorooq Partners, Shane spearheads the firm. Shorooq is a leading Early Stage VC in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. Shane has built his career as an investment professional, investment banker and entrepreneur in the US. He used to work at UBS, TD Securities, Lazard Freres & Co., Alpine Investors and GlobalFoundries – wholly owned subsidiary by Mubadala Investment Company, $250bn Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund. Shane concentrated in Finance and Mandarin at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating with Summa Cum Laude, Joseph Wharton Scholar and Benjamin Franklin Scholar Honors. Shane was born and grew up in South Korea and has studied and worked in the US, Canada and China prior to settling down in UAE. Having played the piano and clarinet for 15+ years, he has strong passion for music and community service and performed in many musical concerts.

Elena
Agaragimova

Bessern.co

Elena
Agaragimova

Bessern.co

Elena is an engaging skilled trainer and talent development specialist, credited with combining operations, education, and international expertise to design and deliver programs for diverse audiences. She is known for her ability to drive change within individuals and organizations that are looking to reach their potential and maintain their competitive edge in the business world. She has started her career in higher education, having worked across various institutions, departments and regions. In her recent years, she dove into business and founded a learning and developing consultancy – Agar Global Services and Co-Founded Bessern – tech solution for productivity and well-being in organizations. She is a regular contributor to Forbes Middle East, and various publications and online platforms in the Middle East region.

Zach
Finkelstein

Class 5 Global

Zach
Finkelstein

Class 5 Global

Zach Finkelstein is a Managing Partner at Class 5 Global. He has a background as a VC investor and operator focused on emerging markets. Zach was previously the VP of Corporate Development at Careem where he oversaw several acquisitions, divestments, and fundraising. Zach also played a role in the launch of several new markets and business units. Prior to that, Zach was at Lumia Capital where he focused on Lumia’s emerging market portfolio including such investments as Careem, CargoX, and Shedul. Previously, Zach worked at Citigroup and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Zach earned a BA magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania where he was an editor of the Journal of International relations as well as a board member of the Wharton Undergraduate Finance Club.

BERK
YILMAZ

MEDITOPIA

BERK
YILMAZ

MEDITOPIA

Berk studied Industrial Engineering and Business Administration in Koc University, Istanbul. He worked at Boeing Company and Intel Corporation in business development departments before founding his first startup, Longi, a well-aging platform. Afterwards, he pivoted the idea to Meditopia, a mental coach with more than 15m users which he runs as the cofounder and CEO.

Abdulla
Almoayed

Tarabut Gateway

Abdulla
Almoayed

Tarabut Gateway

Abdulla Almoayed is a serial entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Tarabut Gateway (TG) – the first and largest company licensed open banking platform in MENA. Abdulla has been a key figure in driving digital transformation across Bahrain and the wider region. He worked closely with the Central Bank of Bahrain to pioneer the Kingdom’s open banking regulation. Now, through TG, he focuses on projects that will help reposition the region as the leading hub for innovative companies to come and test their technologies. He is a strong advocate for putting data ownership into the hands of the consumer and increasing access to financial services through emerging technologies. Previously Abdulla spent 15 years investing in various sectors, before taking over parts of his family’s investment business. From this, he established his own holding company, Almoayed Technologies – a privately-owned, venture-minded investment vehicle focused on large-scale infrastructure projects aimed at accelerating MENA’s digital transformation. It invests in game-changing companies across Fintech, Healthcare, Education, Logistics, and Cybersecurity – one of which was TG. Abdulla holds an MBA from the London Business School and a BABM with Honours from the University of Westminster, London.

Joel
Ayala

Class 5 Global

Joel
Ayala

Class 5 Global

Joel Ayala is a Managing Partner at Class 5. Prior to co-founding Class 5, Joel was on the founding team at Lumia Capital where he focused on investments in emerging markets, including Careem, Shedul, CargoX and many others. Joel serves on the Management Committee overseeing Lumia Capital Fund 1. Prior to Lumia, Joel worked on operations and corporate development at YuMe (NYSE: YUME). Joel also co-founded Mingleton, a social discovery platform. He began his career as a banker with Jefferies. Joel graduated from Harvard University with an AB in Economics. He was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2016 and has invested in several global proptech startups like Cadre, TrueHome, Emcasa, and Nomad Homes.

Session & Workshop Hosts

More hosts will be announced soon

Murtaza
Manji

Kaizen Consulting Group

Murtaza
Manji

Kaizen Consulting Group

Murtaza Manji is an award-winning business coach and the founder of Kaizen Consulting Group. Over the last 10 years, Murtaza and his team have worked with over 950 successful CEOs, directors and business owners from a range of industries in the GCC, UK and East Africa to achieve sustainably higher profits, greater productivity from their teams, and attract high-value investments and acquisitions, by creating scalable systems and structures.

Yasin
Aboudaoud

Brinc

Yasin
Aboudaoud

Brinc

Yasin is the Chief Development Office of Brinc Global, the Managing Partner of Brinc MENA. He has been in the MENA region for 4 years, established the first major IoT hub based in Bahrain. Helping the country to build the ecosystem, he has been able to attract startups, scale ups come support the drive to make Bahrain a landing base for their operations. Previously he co-founded Ecico Group and still plays an active role on the Board of directors. Yasin has also co-founded a new home grown coworking brand called Diwan, also based in Bahrain and is active on the board of directors.

Jamil
Asfour

Artelligence.ai

Jamil
Asfour

Artelligence.ai

Jamil brings more than 20 years of experience working for fortune 500 companies including Apple, IBM, HPE, and E&Y in the US, China and the Middle East. Throughout his career, Jamil identified gaps stalling innovation, organizational integration and growth pre and post M&A deals. He also developed sustainable long-term partnerships globally. Jamil’s recent work experience focused on shaping the ubiquitous computing service offering while concentrating on privacy and security policies. He has carried out several executive positions, managing special and secret projects during his time at Apple and more than 20 M&A Mega deals. Jamil holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, a Diploma in Management and Leadership from MIT and a Master’s Degree of Business Administration from The University of Oxford.

Mo
Hakim

Black Matter

Mo
Hakim

Black Matter

A Digital Marketing Expert with proven experience in working with startups globally and worked with multiple multinational brands. Started his consultancy that focuses only on helping startups overcome their challenges in their digital marketing activities.

Steve
Rawling

Stories-that-work.com

Steve
Rawling

Stories-that-work.com

Steve Rawling is a former BBC TV journalist, international author and business coach. He helps clients like Google, Roche Pharmaceuticals and Accenture tell better stories about their work. Steve reckons he has told over 20,000 stories in his career, so he can probably help you tell yours.

Rayan
Chaves
de
Castro

Le Wagon Dubai

Rayan
Chaves
de
Castro

Le Wagon Dubai

Passionate about technology and challenges, Rayan is CTO and Founder of HortaTech, a software house that develops and accelerates Ruby on Rails web-apps. He creates each product as if it were his own and in the last two years, he founded 2 startups. Rayan is also an international teacher for Le Wagon, having taught in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Tel Aviv and São Paulo.