April 4 - 5, 2016 | Dubai International Marine Club
Husband, father, optimist. President/CTO of Connected Devices, Fossil Group. Previously: Founder of Misfit, makers of beautiful wearable and smart home products; Founder of AgaMatrix, makers of world’s 1st iPhone-connected hardware med device, 15+ other FDA-cleared products; Founder of Firespout, makers of machine learning-assisted natural language processing tech; Microsoft Research machine learning/NLP. UIUC Math BS & Linguistics BA, MIT Linguistics PhD work w/ Noam Chomsky. Knows some interesting languages. Would like to find 10x solutions for big problems and build companies that matter.
Jamie Bolding is the founder and CEO of Viral Thread. What started as a collection of Facebook pages posting funny content, VT now has over 5 million likes across Facebook while the website receives over 20m uniques per month.
Being his 3rd venture, Jamie has gathered extensive experience in digital marketing, online publishing and social media over the last 5 years. Aged 25, the vision of Viral Thread includes aggressive expansion in to several new and emerging markets.
Fadi Ghandour is Chairman and Managing Partner at Wamda Capital. Founder and Vice Chairman of Aramex, Fadi is also Co-Founder of Mena Venture Investments, the leading seed stage tech investment company, and is a founding investor in Maktoob.com, and sits on the Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut, and the Advisory Council of the MIT Media Lab, and the Board of Abraaj Group. Fadi is passionate about social entrepreneurship where he founded and chairs, Ruwwad for Development, and entrepreneurs-led youth empowerment organization.
Patrick de Laive (36) is co-founder of TNW, the most influential tech media entity with a global audience which is not based in the US (The Netherlands actually). He is one of the young leaders under 40 of the European tech scene. Patrick is a frequently asked speaker at international tech events (Slush -Helsinki-, Launch.co -SF-, ARABSmiss -Dubai-, 4YFN – Barcelona, IDCEE -Kiev-, The South Summit -Madrid- and many more), but as he just entered the ‘fatherhood’ he is limiting the number of speaking engagements.
In the past year he has been secretly working on a big data project, recently launched as Index.co. Index provides insights in private tech companies by turning unstructured content into structured intelligence on over 100k private tech companies.
Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi is a United Arab Emirates-based columnist whose articles have appeared in The Financial Times, The Independent, The Guardian, The Huffington Post, The New York Times Room for Debate, Foreign Policy, Open Democracy, and The Globe and Mail, as well as other notable publications.
Al Qassemi is also a prominent commentator on Arab affairs on Twitter. Rising in prominence during the Arab Spring, his tweets became a major news source, rivalling the major news networks at the time, until TIME magazine listed him in the “140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011.”
Al Qassemi is an MIT Media Labs Director’s Fellow, and in 2014, Arabian Business placed Al Qassemi in its list of World’s 100 Most Powerful Arabs under the Thinkers category. He continues both to write and tweet about the Arab world both from his home in Sharjah, as well as while giving lectures internationally.
Al Qassemi is also the founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, an independent initiative established to contribute to the intellectual development of the art scene in the Arab region by building a prominent and publicly accessible art collection in the United Arab Emirates. Barjeel Art Foundation currently has exhibitions at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, and the Whitechapel Gallery in London.
Hala has co-founded Leap Ventures in 2014, a venture capital firm focusing on series B investment in startups in the MENA region.
Hala has 20 years of experience in finance and entrepreneurship. She has been a portfolio manager for 12 years in European Equities at Comgest, a €20bn growth equity fund. Prior to that, she started Booleo, a telecom software business, later acquired as an internal solution by a client. Hala started her career in 1996 at Merril Lynch in London in mergers and acquisition. She is the founder and chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum of the pan-Arab region, an organization that promotes entrepreneurship and organises, among other things, the MIT Arab start-up competition since 2006. Hala also sits on the global board of the MIT Enterprise Forum and chairs the Arab Edition of the MIT technology review magazine. She is also an angel investor in start-up companies in the Middle East and Europe, and has launched a co-working space in Beirut called Coworking+961. Hala graduated from HEC in France in 1997 with a Masters in Financial Economics and attended the Berkeley Haas School of Business, she holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
Monty Munford has 15 years’ experience in the mobile, web and digital sectors and is a weekly columnist for Forbes in New York and The Telegraph in London.
He also writes regularly on technology for prestigious publications such as The Economist, MIT Tech Review and Wired UK. He also contributes to TechCrunch, Mashable and The Next Web.
He speaks on the BBC World Service and is a sought-after speaker around the world in cities such as London, San Francisco, Lagos, Dublin and Oxford University
Butheina Kazim is the co-founder of Cinema Akil, an independent
cinema platform in the UAE. She was a Fulbright scholar of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University (NYU) in New York and has worked as a project manager in television and radio stations in the UAE at media conglomerates Arab Media Group and Dubai Media Incorporated. Kazim has contributed to publications including Al Jazeera, Gulf News, Jadaliyya and the Art Dubai blog. She has been involved in programming cinema popups including Abu Dhabi Film Festival at The Pavilion Downtown Dubai, Films on the Court at Sole DXB, the Cinema Akil Outbox Short Film Festival in Alserkal Avenue during Art Week 2015 and a Focus on the UAE program at the Short Film Week (Kurzfilmwoche) in Germany. She is the producer of short documentary ‘Letters to Palestine’; winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (2010) which has been screened internationally at festivals. Kazim was on the jury for the iEmmys Asia & Africa Competition, the International Competition at the Short Film Week (Kurzfilmwoche) in Germany and A Shaded View on Fashion Films (ASVOFF) in Paris which takes place at the Centre Pompidou.
Butheina holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Design from York University and Sheridan College in Toronto. Kazim started her career as a graphic designer in Montreal and currently shuttles between Dubai and Abu Dhabi – follow her tweets @butheina
Michael is a venture partner at Golden Gate Ventures. Michael studied Management and Control of information science. He started his first businesses in 2001 and 2007 before joining Golden Gate Ventures as a venture partner. Michael has had various positions on a societal and administrative level as a result of which he has been able to build an extensive international network. Michael is a former vice chairman of the Economic Development Board Rotterdam and studied Financial Analysis for Business Valuation, and Private Equity and Venture Capital at Harvard Business School. Michael has over 15 years entrepreneurial and managerial experience.
Elissa Freiha learned how to confidently be an angel investor by investing with and getting mentored by her peers. The experience inspired her to co-found this platform to empower other women to do the same. She oversees marketing, business development, sales, events, and member satisfaction, having previously worked in these fields in publishing, F&B, and entertainment. She was included in Arabian Business “The 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2015“. She received her Bachelors in Communications from the American University of Paris. She is Emirati of Lebanese and American descent and speaks English, Arabic, French, and Spanish fluently.
The crowd tuned in to big-name speakers and influencers as they engaged in talks and discussions on the main stage, BMW stage, and workshops.
Over 100 startups showcased their ideas to a room full of investors, experts, and attendees.
Selected startups got to pitch to an audience of fellow entrepreneurs, VCs, investors, and other professionals with prizes from TMD International, Oasis 500, and Astrolabs.
Startups got their very own 1-on-1 sessions with influential mentors hosted by BECO Capital.
Step 2015 didn’t start nor end on the 31st. Our parties changes that.