Spring | Dubai | 2016
Jeremiah Owyang is the Founder of Crowd Companies, which focuses on how large companies tap the collaborative economy, maker movement, and customer collaboration. He focuses on how disruptive technologies —such as social media, the collaborative economy, and interactive marketing—impact the relevance of corporations to customers today and in the future. He is well recognized by both the tech industry and the media for his grounded approach to deriving astute insights through rigorous research.
His site, “Web Strategy” is one of the premier blogs on how corporations connect with their customers using Web technologies. Jeremiah is frequently quoted in top-tier publications, and currently writes for Fast Company. Previously, Jeremiah was a founding partner at the Altimeter Group, worked at Forrester and at Hitachi, where he launched the company’s first social program. He was featured in the “Who’s Who” in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, and his Twitter feed was named one of the top feeds by Time.
Mike Butcher (FRSA) is currently Editor of TechCrunch Europe. Mike is also involved in a project to bring European technology entrepreneurs and investors together in a club environment called TechHub (@TechHub), in London initially. A long time journalist, Mike has written for UK national newspapers and magazines including The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The New Statesman. He is a former editor ofNew Media Age magazine, the leading new media weekly in the UK, and the European edition of The Industry Standard magazine. Since 1996 he has launched or re-launched numerous media web sites and in 2000 he was nominated as NetMedia’s European Internet Journalist of the Year. In 2004 he was voted “One of the 100 Innovators of the UK Internet Decade” by GfK NOP, the fourth-largest custom research business in the world. In July 2008 he was put at No. 47 out of the Top 100 people in London’s creative industry by The Independent newspaper and The Hospital Club. In August 2008 TechCrunch Europe was awarded the best “Web 2.0 and business blog” in the UK, by the readers of Computer Weekly magazine. In 2009 it was named as one of the Top 10 blogs out of the UK. Also in 2009 he was named one of the Top 10 bloggers on Twitter in the UK. In October 2009 he was named one of the Top 50 most influential Britons in technology by The Daily Telegraph. In April 2010 he was named as one of Britain’s Top 100 “digital power-brokers” by Wired UK magazine. In April 2010 TechCrunch Europe was shortlisted in the Specialist Digital Publisher category of the prestigious UK-based Association of Online Publishers’ Digital Publishing Awards. In November 2010 he was named as one of London’s most influential people in New Media and “king of dotcom commentators” by The Evening Standard Newspaper. In February he was listed as one of the Top 100 most influential people on Twitter in the UK. He has spoken at the prestigious Monaco Media Forum and Le Web, among many other conferences. Mike is a regular commentator on the technology business, appearing on BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4 and Bloomberg. Mike’s personal blog is mbites, while he Twitters as @mikebutcher.
Jon is the Managing Director of TechStars in London.
Previously Jon was the co-founder and CEO of Springboard. Jon loves to help start-ups and their founders achieve their true potential. Over the last 2 years, Jon acted as an advisor to many other multi-company accelerators from Montreal to Moscow.
Since launching Europe’s first bootcamp accelerator in 2009 – The Difference Engine – he helped to launch Springboard now based in Cambridge and London. In addition, he has also founded ignite100, a re-invention of the Difference Engine, that combines a 13 week accelerator with follow on funding of up to £100k per team and Startup Wise Guys in Estonia, Eleven in Bulgaria and TexDrive in Moscow.
In a previous life, Jon trained as an accountant with Arthur Andersen, and subsequently has worked in various start-ups and turnarounds. He has worked in London, throughout Europe, Australia and also the United States.
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.
Greta Seeger, alumna of School of Design Thinking in Potsdam/Stanford and ESCP Business School in London, co-founded the first startupweekend Berlin back in 2010 and worked for the Berlin startup CarJump (meta carsharing app) as a Marketing Manager. Greta also worked as an Expert and Consultant at the Innovation Centre for Mobility. Currently she works as a Co-Create Lead at the Rapid Co-Creation program at Philips Design in the Netherlands.
Dave McClure is an entrepreneur and prominent angel investor based in the San Francisco Bay Area, who founded and runs the business incubator 500 Startups. He is often described as one of the super angel investors.
Amir is an entrepreneur, angel investor, startup advisor and mentor. He has invested in and co-founded a number of local businesses, including Toolman, a property maintenance business; Purple PR, a boutique PR company of which he successfully exited in 2012; and Tandem Partners, a startup and small business advisory firm in which he helped over 100 companies plan and grow their businesses. He has looked at early stage businesses from every angle, starting with a Swedish VC firm based in London, followed by a stint at what was the first seed capital fund in the MENA region, the Arab Business Angel Network (part of Dubai International Capital), before becoming an entrepreneur himself.
Christos is an experienced entrepreneur and investor based in Dubai. He is Founder and Managing Partner of Iliad Partners, a new early stage technology venture capital firm.
Before Iliad, he was the Director of Business Development of Yahoo Maktoob, where he led the company’s strategic partnerships in MENA, previously a management consultant with Booz & Company advising C-level and Board-level clients in the TMT industries in the region.
Christos has been actively involved in multiple startups as a co-founder, investor and executive. He is co-founder and seed investor of GlamBox, a MENA e-commerce startup with $4M in funding from MBC Ventures, STC Ventures, GCC private investors and angels. He was Commercial Director of Upstream, a mobile advertising start-up (exit via LBO), and early team member at GovWorks, a New York-based internet startup with $60M in funding from KKR and Mayfield (acquired by First Data Corporation). He has been an angel investor and advisor to several startups, and is a mentor, judge and supporter of MITEF Pan-Arab Region, Endeavor, ArabNet, Startup Weekend and Young Arab Leaders (YAL).
Christos holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management and a B.S. in International Relations from Georgetown University.
Kaswara Al-Khatib, Chairman and CEO of UTURN Entertainment, is widely recognized as a media and production pioneer in Saudi Arabia. In 2002 he established Fullstop, a small independent creative boutique agency that is now a fully-fledged communications group with advertising, digital and social media, film production, photography and 3-D studios, and today he runs UTURN, the leading online entertainment network. He’s been rewarded as the Entrepreneur of the year, 2014.
Issa’s career has focused on finance and investments for the past 11 years.
He started his career in investment banking and transitioned into the regional Venture Capital space in 2008. He was one of the founding members of IV Holdings / Accelerator technologies, one of the first venture funds in the Arab world. His venture experience focused on early stage / growth companies in the TMT space. Issa consulted at Yahoo! to help shape their growth plans from both an investment and business development perspective. He then joined N2V, a regional online holding company, as the Head of business development and investment as well as their acting director in one of their largest ecommerce investment. He recently rejoined twofour54 as the Head of investment which includes overseeing their Venture activities.
He has successfully executed diverse operational strategies, originated deal flow, conducted in-depth market research and competitive analysis, as well as performed appraisals of target investment opportunities’ business models to ensure profit maximization. He closed over 35+ investment deals (from $100K to $3.5M), managed over $100m in MENA Venture funds and served as a BOD member for a number of companies, providing commercial and business strategies, along with general operational, financial, and strategic support as needed. In 2015, he lead and supported the exit of twofour54’s largest two investments.
Issa holds an MBA with focus on Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Mergers & Acquisition, Corporate Finance from Cass Business School (City University of London) and a bachelor degree in Commerce from Concordia University.
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.