February 13 – 14,2019Dubai






The Most Experiential
Tech Festival in the Middle East

Participate at STEP to meet top VCs, investors, participate in the Startup Basecamp, Pitch Competition, Mentor’s Corner, Investor Meetings, and more.

 

Investor Meetings

Investor Meetings will be taking place at STEP Start where entrepreneurs get to book an exclusive 1-on-1 session
with leading investors in the region. Booking for Investor meetings will open closer to event day.

Investors

More Investors Coming Soon

Sonia
Weymuller

Venture Souq

Sonia
Weymuller

Venture Souq

Founding Partner of VentureSouq. Previously, she headed Advertising Sales for Turner Broadcasting’s portfolio of children’s platforms across MENA. Prior to Turner, Sonia worked with Viacom’s Emerging Markets’ Strategy Group and Microsoft’s Strategy and M&A team in London. Sonia holds a B.A. from Yale University and a MSc from the London School of Economics. She is a Charter Member & Board Director for TiE’s Dubai chapter, serves as the UAE Director for the Yale Alumni Schools Committee and is a Board Member and Mentor for e7 Daughters of the Emirates.

Saleh
Abbas

Flat6Labs Bahrain

Saleh
Abbas

Flat6Labs Bahrain

Has worked on multiple large scale projects in Bahrain such as the launch of Dragon City and played a key role in the launch of Flat6Labs Bahrain, MENA’s largest accelerator network, he is responsible for scouting startups, establishing investor networks and forming strategic partnerships both regionally and across the globe.

Ryaan
Sharif

Flat6Labs Bahrain

Ryaan
Sharif

Flat6Labs Bahrain

BA (Econ) graduate, majoring in finance, from the University of Manchester. Upon graduating, Ryaan worked for Ernst & Young in Transaction Advisory Department whereby he worked on numerous engagements with multinational firms in developing business plans, due diligence, feasibilities and valuations. Ryaan then went on to become a Senior Manager at the Economic Development Board of Bahrain whereby he personally account managed and attracted US$300 million in foreign direct investment persuading the likes of Mondelez, BAE Systems, CIMC, Ariston Thermo, Aleastur, SMS Meer to invest in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Earlier this year, Ryaan was appointed as the Managing Director of Flat6Labs Bahrain, the MENA Regions largest regional seed stage financier and accelerator program.

Christos
Mastros

Iliad Partners

Christos
Mastros

Iliad Partners

The Founder & Managing Partner of Iliad Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in MENA tech startups. He is an investor, ex-entrepreneur and operating executive with 20+ years of experience in tech in the US, Europe and MENA. Based in Dubai for the last 10 years, Christos was previously, the Head of Business Development of Yahoo Maktoob, leading partnerships post-acquisition by Yahoo, and before that a management consultant with Booz & Company’s TMT practice. As an entrepreneur, Christos was Co-Founder and seed investor of GlamBox.ME, UAE e-commerce startup (exit: 2017), Co-Owner & CEO of SloanGear, MIT company (exit: 2007), Commercial Director of Upstream, mobile advertising start-up (exit: 2005), and at govWorks.com, a NYC internet startup (exit: First Data Corporation: 2001). Christos sits on the Board of Advisors of MAGNiTT (“Crunchbase & AngelList of MENA”), Eventtus and The Box, and on the Steering Committee of in5 Innovation Center. He is a mentor with MITEF, Endeavor, Techstars, and MIT G-Lab ambassador. Christos holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a B.S. in International Relations from Georgetown University.

Tarek
Assaad

Algebra Ventures

Tarek
Assaad

Algebra Ventures

Managing Partner at Algebra Ventures, Egypt’s leading VC fund. Tarek is also Managing Partner at Ideavelopers where he has been managing $50m of VC investments since 2009, including some of Egypt’s most prominent technology startups. Tarek is a director of Smart Card Applications, SiWare and IdealRatings. In this role, he was also responsible for the investment in Fawry, the leading bill payment and presentment company in Egypt, which realized a $100m exit in 2015. Tarek started his career as an engineer at Lucent Technologies then as a software developer for SAQQARA Systems, an internet startup in Silicon Valley. He later became General Manager of CID Consulting where he led the company’s high growth, helping it to become one of the leading local consulting firms in Egypt. Tarek holds a B.Sc. in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Ain Shams University in Cairo and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Ahmed
Hegazy

Cairo Angels

Ahmed
Hegazy

Cairo Angels

Ahmed Hegazy is an Investment Associate at Cairo Angels; he’s responsible for Cairo Angels’ investment track, and seeks to analyze and develop early-stage startups to become large scaled companies.

Stephanie
Holden

MBC Ventures

Stephanie
Holden

MBC Ventures

Head of Strategy and Business Development for MBC Group, and jointly heads MBC Ventures, MBC’s venture capital investment arm. While at MBC, Stephanie has lead the Group’s M&A investments, partnerships and joint ventures. Before assuming her position at MBC in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Stephanie was an Associate with McKinsey and Company (Dubai) where she worked with clients in the Middle East regarding education reform, healthcare reform, valuation and business plan development. During the Internet boom of the nineties, Stephanie worked as a Project Manager at Priceline.com and was responsible for International Implementation. Additionally, she was a Manager of Finance who maintained Priceline’s financial IPO model and worked with Priceline’s debt offering. Stephanie was able to pursue her love for media while working at the Walt Disney Company in Burbank, California through projects in Studio Strategic Planning. From 1995 through 1998, Stephanie was a Financial M&A Analyst at Merrill Lynch in New York as well as Singapore designing pro forma mergers, leverage buyouts and divestiture and recapitalization models. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she earned her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a Minor in Economics and a Concentration in Multinational Management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania; her MBA from the Harvard Business School (HBS) in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and her MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government (KSG) at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As a high school and college student, Stephanie studied abroad in Hong Kong and Moscow.

Tarek
Kabrit

Seez

Tarek
Kabrit

Seez

The CEO and co-founder of Seez, prior to that he spent over 15 years working in VC, PE, Investment Banking and consulting with the likes of Wamda, Mubalda, Abraaj, Deutsche Bank, and Booz & Co. He currently sit on the ICs of a number of VC groups and family offices

Zeina
Mandour

Cairo Angels

Zeina
Mandour

Cairo Angels

The current Cairo Angels General Manager. Zeina currently overlooks Cairo Angels’ strategic operations, and is focused on launching new projects to promote angel investments and the startup ecosystem in Egypt and MENA.

Hasan
Haider

500 Startups

Hasan
Haider

500 Startups

A Partner at 500 Startups, the most active Venture Capital firm in the world, based in Silicon Valley, with 1,800+ investments in 50+ countries and $330m in AuM. Hasan heads up the firms practice in the MENA region, with the Arabic speaking market being a core area of focus. 500 Startups has invested in close to 40 startups in the region over the course of the last 3 years, including Wuzzuf, Jamalon and fetchr. Hasan is also the CEO and founder of Tenmou, the first business angel’s organization in Bahrain and one of the first in the MENA region, and a founding member of the MENA Angel Investors Network (MAIN), an association of all the active angel investment groups in the region. Hasan’s work in developing angel investment in emerging markets through Tenmou has been picked up as a case study by the World Bank and is taught to Entrepreneurship Policy makers at Babson College.

Mussaad
Al-Razouki

Kuwait Life Sciences Company

Mussaad
Al-Razouki

Kuwait Life Sciences Company

The current Chief Business Development Officer of Kuwait Life Sciences Company (KLSC) where he is part of a team that manages over 100 million dollars in assets under management including local, regional and international investments on behalf of the Kuwait Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of Kuwait. Dr. Razouki is a regional thought leader within the Middle East life sciences industry and has championed the building of strong pillars of the local life sciences ecosystem including the region’s premiere pharmaceutical licensing and distribution platform; NewBridge – a 50 mn USD revenue company operating across all 22 MENA countries including Iraq, Iran and Turkey as well as South Africa, Clinart – the region’s top Clinical Research Organization (CRO) and host of the first ever Phase II Clinical Trial in the history of Kuwait at the Dasman Diabetes Institute, eCore – the region’s top active pharmaceutical ingredients licensor and distributor, the Life Sciences Academy – the region’s first ever training and development company focused on the healthcare and life sciences industry as well as Innomedics – one of Kuwait’s top medical device distribution companies that pioneered the distribution of personalized digital health products in the region. At KLSC, Dr. Razouki and his team have invested and co-invested with some of the world’s top life science venture capital funds including, New Leaf Venture Partners in New York, Wellington Partners in Munich and Kearny Venture Partners and Presidio Partners both of which are based in San Francisco. Notable investment direct and indirect investment include: CRISPR Therapeutics – a leading personalized genomic medicine company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts (NASDAQ: CRSP), iRhythm Technologies, based in San Francisco, which closed 56% above its listed stock price on the first day of its IPO (NASDAQ: IRTC), Quanta Fluid Solutions – one of the world’s first home hemodialysis manufacturers, Median Technologies – a leading global provider of medical imaging solutions, especially in the field of oncology based in France (EPA: ALMDT) and SuperSonic Imagine – a leading global provider of medical ultrasound solutions also based in France (EPA: SSI) Dr. Razouki is also a former advisor to the central Kuwaiti government where he worked with senior government leaders during the administration of HE the Prime Minister, Sheikh Naser Al Mohammad Al Sabah and Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Sheikh Ahmed Al Fahad Al Sabah on both Healthcare, Education and Entrepreneurial reforms as part of Kuwait’s 100 billion dollar Development Plan. Dr. Razouki continues to work closely with the Council of Minister’s of Kuwait and is currently advising the government on the development of the Sabah Al Ahmad National Genome Center together with the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, a National Pharmaceutical Quality Control Laboratory, and the 1 bn USD Jaber Hospital project, a 1,168 facility which will be the largest single healthcare structure in the Middle East.

VW Mentor’s Corner

Mentorship sessions hosted by Volkswagen will be taking place at STEP X where entrepreneurs get to participate in 1-on-1 sessions focused on specific topics. Booking for mentorship sessions will open closer to event day.

VW Mentors

Hanadi
El-Sayyed

Shared-Csuite

Hanadi
El-Sayyed

Shared-Csuite

More than 15 years of experience in human capital management positions. Her career includes key human capital roles with Majid Al Futtaim and ranges between partnerships with business to driving corporate strategies. She serves currently as Head of Human Capital at Majid Al Futtaim Holding where she ensures realisation of Majid Al Futtaim’s people vision through the development and implementation of a future driven, fit for purpose human capital strategy. Hanadi’s ability to strengthen the link between people and strategy, as well as manage, motivate, and retain and develop talent is invaluable for the world of budding startups and SMEs on a growth trajectory. In her current role, she advises Majid Al Futtaim Holding ecosystem of startups in human capital related matters, and applies her expertise and knowledge to lead the people integration of startups and SMEs acquired by Majid Al Futtaim Holding, mentoring, coaching and supporting the leaders and teams to realise the significance of their talent capital and a solid Human Capital management practice to their business success. Her passion is to leverage her expertise to mentor startups beyond Majid Al Futtaim ecosystem. She works very closely with passionate entrepreneurs in the region who are switched on, engaged and have a keen understanding of the benefits of amazing talent. Her ideal partners want to improve lives, grow their business, and get excellent ROI, through best in class human capital strategies. Hanadi graduated from the American University of Beirut with a Bachelor of Science and completed her Masters’ Degree in Economic Development from the University of London and carries a certificate in Strategic Human Resources Management from Cornell University. Follow Hanadi on Twitter @Hana_ElSayyed and LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/hanadielsayyed/

Haider
Al-Mosawi

Sirdab-lab

Haider
Al-Mosawi

Sirdab-lab

CEO of Sirdab Lab, a startup hub based in Kuwait, as well as Catalyze, a User Experience (UX) Design firm. He’s been training, mentoring, and advising startups since 2014.

Tarek
Ghobar

PointCheckout

Tarek
Ghobar

PointCheckout

A three time entrepreneur with a passion for startups. Tarek holds two degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Canada and the Netherlands while working on his first startup, IcySolutions. The latter a sports heath hardware company whos products were used by the likes of Manchester United, German National Team and several Olympic Teams. Later he joined Rocket Internet to launch their online food ordering startup Foodpanda, managing the Middle East growth, taking the platform from a few 100 orders to over 15,000 per day. Tarek is also a mentor to several startups focusing mainly on finding the value proposition (who the customer is, how much to charge, target market) and startup growth, he is now the founder of PointCheckout, a fintech based in UAE.

Youness
Yaghcha

BrightCircle

Youness
Yaghcha

BrightCircle

The Founding Partner and he leads BrightCircle’s Strategy and M&A practices. He has a decade of financial services and management consulting experience. Youness is a serial entrepreneur and he has extensive experience across different markets, working with large financial institutions in private banking, technology and other industries. He also advises some of the Europe and MENA’s most innovative startups. He holds deep expertise in corporate and business unit strategy, digital strategy as well as M&A. He also advises clients on the development of innovation and growth strategies, market entry strategies and turnaround strategies.

Sam
Fouladgar

You Unlimited

Sam
Fouladgar

You Unlimited

Advises companies, executives, and entrepreneurs on how to think and develop strategies for lasting transformation in life and business. He delivers corporate training, one-on-one and group coaching sessions, and public speaking engagements. Sam’s work is inspired by eastern philosophy including meditation, mindfulness, martial arts, and yoga. He appreciates spending his free time in nature and performing adventure games. He is committed to help companies and individuals pursue their goals and ultimately thrive.

Karan
Deep

GEMS Education

Karan
Deep

GEMS Education

A design thinker with a successful background in strategy, innovation, technology and intra-preneurship. As the Senior Innovation Manager for GEMS Education, he researches, creates and executes future-focused initiatives and partnerships towards addressing educational challenges and driving exponential growth and impact. An ardent supporter of the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem, Karan has created the region’s first youth startup accelerator and leads an innovation challenge with Singularity University, which sees over 100,000 students applying their solutions to address the global grand challenges. Previously, Karan has worked with companies in UAE and UK in research and strategic growth.

Franck
Boissinot

Shared-Csuite

Franck
Boissinot

Shared-Csuite

The Founder of Shared-Csuite, helping SMEs and start-ups navigate the complexities of growing a business. Before devoting his work fulltime to this platform, Franck served 18 years at Carrefour, most recently as Vice President Marketing and E-commerce for Majid Al Futtaim Retail. In addition to growing the retailer’s physical presence, he led in the development and launch of Carrefour’s E-commerce platform in 2011 and loyalty program in 2013. Franck was also instrumental in transforming the customer care and services department, directing all omnichannel marketing activities. Prior to joining Majid Al Futtaim Retail in 2006, Franck served as Sourcing, Sales Development and Pricing Manager at Carrefour Turkey and Hyperstar Iran.

Sherif
Hefni

Levari

Sherif
Hefni

Levari

After completing his BA in Business & Psychology from the University of Northampton (UK) Sherif held several senior management positions at international and national companies in the UK such as Euromoney PLC. After gaining valuable management experience in the city of London, Sherif undertook postgraduate qualifications in law allowing him to be called to the Bar of England & Wales and qualifying as a Barrister. Sherif has undertaken extensive legal work including at International Labour Organization in the UN in Geneva, ICT Lawyers and Crowell & Morning offices prior to founding Levari LLP in 2012. Sherif’s expertise is in mergers and acquisition, corporate restructuring and investments. Sherif holds a BA (hons) in Business & Psychology from the University of Northampton (UK), a Graduate Diploma in Law from Oxford Brooks University (UK), the Bar Vocational Course from City Law School-University of London (UK). Memberships: – Member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple – Member of the Charted Institute of Arbitrators – Member of American Chamber of Commerce.

Mohamed
Taysir

Destiny

Mohamed
Taysir

Destiny

A certified Blockchain Solutions Architect, Business Strategist, Angel Investor and an Entrepreneur since a young age starting in 2009. Mohamed has worked within multiple industries in different capacities including Banking, Advertising, Management Consulting, Wealth Management and Public Relations. Mohamed is also involved with the Start-Up community through mentoring in accelerator labs. Mohamed holds a MSc. in Real Estate Development from the University of Manchester and a BBA from the American University in Cairo, with a major in finance and double minor in macroeconomics and political science international relations.

Mehrad
Yaghmai

Power of Art

Mehrad
Yaghmai

Power of Art

The Managing Partner of Power of Art and serves as the Innovation Architect to Sahem, where in both capacities he works with entrepreneurs, startups and corporate clients to launch innovative projects. His participation within the startup ecosystem involves working with public and private entities to activate startup initiatives.  He invests and advises startups in addition to working with various incubators and accelerators. For the past 5 years, he has worked with startups across various industries from SaaS & marketplaces to healthcare & education startups and is currently the Co-Host of Streams of Progress, interviewing the UAE’s innovative change makers and leaders.

STEP Start Mentor’s Corner

Entrepreneurs get to participate in exclusive 1-on-1 and group mentoring sessions focused on specific topics
at STEP Start. Booking for mentorship sessions will open closer to event day.

STEP Start Mentors

Haider
Al-Mosawi

Sirdab-lab

Haider
Al-Mosawi

Sirdab-lab

CEO of Sirdab Lab, a startup hub based in Kuwait, as well as Catalyze, a User Experience (UX) Design firm. He’s been training, mentoring, and advising startups since 2014.

Stephane
De
Palmas

Shared-Csuite

Stephane
De
Palmas

Shared-Csuite

An experienced Entrepreneur, Patrner in Shared-Csuite, General Manager and advisor with a long track of astute achievements. Stephane is a straight-forward strategist and creative thinker, able to drive innovation processes for brand development. Stephane is a seasoned leader with enduring passion for Luxury Retail. He is continuously inspiring brand ambassadors and partners to deliver enhanced customer’s journey.

Lisa
Nyman

VISA

Lisa
Nyman

VISA

Lisa Nyman, Director Digital Partnership, Fintech & Ventures at Visa CEMEA Lisa leads the business development with key strategic partners, primarily the global tech giants, as well as regional players primarily within the eCommerce, digital wallets and ride haling space across the +90 CEMEA markets. Prior to joining Visa, Lisa was the Head of Strategy & Business Innovation for MENA at Ericsson, responsible for the strategy development and execution, partnerships and customer lead innovation. The extensive ICT experience is complemented with leadership roles in banking and strategy consulting. Lisa was part of the team behind the first fintech accelerator in MENA, DIFC Fintech Hive, and passionately mentors startups on a regular basis.

Tarek
Ghobar

PointCheckout

Tarek
Ghobar

PointCheckout

A three time entrepreneur with a passion for startups. Tarek holds two degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Canada and the Netherlands while working on his first startup, IcySolutions. The latter a sports heath hardware company whos products were used by the likes of Manchester United, German National Team and several Olympic Teams. Later he joined Rocket Internet to launch their online food ordering startup Foodpanda, managing the Middle East growth, taking the platform from a few 100 orders to over 15,000 per day. Tarek is also a mentor to several startups focusing mainly on finding the value proposition (who the customer is, how much to charge, target market) and startup growth, he is now the founder of PointCheckout, a fintech based in UAE.

Tariq
Qureishy

Mad Talks

Tariq
Qureishy

Mad Talks

A futurist, media professional & international speaker. He is currently the Founder/CEO of MAD Talks, an integrated digital media and audio/visual storytelling platform. He has worked in top leadership roles in Dow Jones Markets, The Times/Sunday Times & Bloomberg Media for over 20 years. Tariq’s media and broadcasting experience includes being an international keynote motivational speaker, panellist, chairing and moderating global conferences, radio & television. He specialises in talks about the future, the brain, innovation and creativity, moon-shot thinking, always with practical business solutions. He has a degree in Economics and is a Harvard Business School alum.

Rina
Bardic

BlueOceans.Ventures

Rina
Bardic

BlueOceans.Ventures

A well-experienced cross-sector business strategist with strong expertise in marketing, sales and business development. As a born connector with strong business acumen, she has proven success in creating synergy and delivering value through long-lasting partnerships and communications, stimulating revenue growth, expanding territories and generating new revenue streams and funding.


Ayman
Itani

Think Media Labs

Ayman
Itani

Think Media Labs

Advises business owners, founders, and investors who bring him in to grow a business by acquiring customers, improving business process to help them scale, get them ready to raise funds, and work closely with the founder as an advisor and mentor on issues related to: growth, hiring, personal struggles as the business is growing and scaling. He has worked with founders in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Bahrain, Riyadh, Bahrain, and Beirut …. Startups he has worked with include but not limited to Careem, Matic, Basirly.

Abed
Agha

Vinelab

Abed
Agha

Vinelab

More than 18 years of multi-disciplinary experience in technology, media, and financial services having worked with leading institutions in MENA, South-East Asia and the US. Abed is the founder and CEO at Vinelab, the influence marketing company that enables brands to tap into the social side of social media by harnessing the power of people-centric narratives and conversations. By leading a tech and digital-first institution, Abed has acquired exceptional understanding of the underlying changes that social media has brought to shift the balance of power between the mass, corporations and cultural elite. Prior to Vinelab, Abed lead Mubasher Financial Group’s transformation that pushed the FinTech firm to top equity trading volumes and market share in the UAE consistently despite the financial crisis of 2008. Prior to that, Abed spent a few years within the financial services sector across the globe with firms such as Standard Chartered Bank and Capital Credit and invested in multiple technology firms that enabled him to witness the digital economy’s early development. Abed is currently a board advisor at the Beirut Arab University’s school of Maths and Computer Science, in addition to advising a multitude of digital startups in the MENA region. He holds a BSc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.

Priyasha
Corrie

Fichte & Co Legal Consultancy

Priyasha
Corrie

Fichte & Co Legal Consultancy

A corporate and commercial lawyer with over eight years of experience in the MENA and India region acting for acts for multi-national companies, regional conglomerates, as well as upcoming start-ups. Her primary practice areas are mergers and acquisitions (M&A), private equity, joint ventures, corporate restructuring, finance, commercial, and general corporate advisory. Outside work, she enjoys reading and writing (both fiction and non-fiction), music, working out, and exploring spirituality and philosophy. Also, as an animal lover, Priyasha volunteers for animal welfare organizations from time to time.

Samia
Hasan

Unwind The Grind

Samia
Hasan

Unwind The Grind

The CEO and founder of Unwind the Grind – millennial career development platform offering an interactive and inspiring place for young folks based in UAE to accelerate their careers or businesses. Samia skillfully blends her decade long marketing and coaching background to craft engaging experiences through community building events, corporate events, employee engagement consulting, career & startup coaching, writing, training and speaking. She’s a certified Strengths Strategy coach, NLP Practitioner and IPCC from International Coaching Federation. After completing her MBA in Marketing, she started her career with Procter & Gamble, world leading FMCG organization. She worked her way up as a Senior Regional Brand Manager, growing some of P&G’s billion dollar brands for 9+ years. Throughout this time, she experienced tremendous learning and growth, managed a huge business with multiple geographies and teams, until she discovered ‘people development’ as her true calling. Samia helps young professionals see who they are and achieve what they are capable of. As a career coach, she helps them find their passion and calling, discover and leverage their strengths, enabling them to excel in their careers. As an employee engagement consultant, she enables organizations get the best out of their millennial employees by understanding their drivers and barriers of peak performance. Having lived in the UAE for more than 20 years during different stages of her life, she has witnessed the country’s remarkable growth and the limitless possibilities it offers. As a budding thought leader, Samia writes about career and startup topics pertaining millennials as a regular contributor at Huffington Post, Thomson Reuters and Entrepreneur ME.

Sameer
Sortur

Squarecircle Tech

Sameer
Sortur

Squarecircle Tech

The Founder & CEO of SquareCircle Tech which provides market entry and growth for B2B and B2G focussed growth stage tech companies across Middle East Africa, Asia Pacific and United States. Our model is inclusive of Strategic Partnerships, JVs, Growth-Stage Investments and Technology Advisory for global corporations seeking digital transformation.

Mohamed
Taysir

Destiny

Mohamed
Taysir

Destiny

A certified Blockchain Solutions Architect, Business Strategist, Angel Investor and an Entrepreneur since a young age starting in 2009. Mohamed has worked within multiple industries in different capacities including Banking, Advertising, Management Consulting, Wealth Management and Public Relations. Mohamed is also involved with the Start-Up community through mentoring in accelerator labs. Mohamed holds a MSc. in Real Estate Development from the University of Manchester and a BBA from the American University in Cairo, with a major in finance and double minor in macroeconomics and political science international relations.

Legal Lab

The go-to and most innovative legal services platform in the Middle East and Africa region. Their team comprises only consultants from the top 1% of lawyers globally who will be hosting 1-on-1 sessions for expert legal advice for entrepreneurs and startups at STEP Start.

Legal Lab Mentors

Lee
McMahon

Support Legal

Lee
McMahon

Support Legal

Co-Founder & Principal of Support Legal, the go-to and most innovative legal services platform in the Middle East and Africa. We use streamlined practices, technology and a disruptive mindset to bring innovation to a traditional industry. Unlike traditional law firms, Support Legal does not charge our time by the hour. We provide cost-efficient and cost-certain legal services by working on a fixed-fee basis or via our unique subscription model. Our team is comprised exclusively of the top 1% of lawyers in the world, each with a minimum of 10 years’ experience with the world’s pre-eminent firms and we have “Uber-ised” access to them. Off the clock and on your side. Welcome to Support Legal – Same Law, Different Thinking. Lee is an Australian lawyer who qualified to practice law in 2005 with King & Wood Mallesons in Sydney, a leading corporate and finance law firm in Australasia. Within the corporate team at KWM he worked on a broad range of transactions. In 2008, Lee moved to the UAE to join Herbert Smith Freehills before taking a Legal Counsel role with the Dubai headquartered container terminal operator DP World. Lee then joined Xstrata plc in 2012 during their takeover by Glencore. Shortly after the takeover, Lee commenced his position as General Counsel of Ferrexpo plc, a UK listed company based in Switzerland. For the last 3 years, he has managed the company’s legal function including negotiating finance transactions, managing their debt restructuring, leading on the disposal of minority interests and managing all of the company’s corporate and commercial transactions. His time at Ferrexpo earned him a nomination in 2016 for General Counsel of the Year at the Corporate Counsel Middle East Awards. Lee also has a keen interest in technology and is bringing this knowledge to bear in developing the suite of technologies and applications we plan to use to deliver our leaner way of working. Lee has already engaged in discussions with leading legal technology companies in Asia and the US to partner with them for the UAE (and the wider MENA region). Lee holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business (Management), a Bachelor of Laws and a graduate certificate in legal practice from the University of Technology, Sydney. Lee is licensed as a lawyer in New South Wales and the High Court of Australia.

Patrick
Rogers

Support Legal

Patrick
Rogers

Support Legal

Co-Founder and Principal of Support Legal, a disruptive legal services platform that is leading the innovation of the legal sector across the Middle East and Africa. Patrick believes entrepreneurs are the engines of every economy, driving positive growth, not only in their respective sectors, but the world as a whole. He is passionate about using his unique skill set to support entrepreneurs and the companies they are building through the innovative legal services platform that Support Legal has developed. He has worked on a wide array of transactions in over 40 countries, from venture capital financings and private equity deals to franchising and IP-related matters. Acting as director and advisor to a number of high growth companies, Patrick also serves as a Venture Corps Mentor with the Endeavor organisation, a global non-profit organisation that aims to catalyse economic growth in emerging countries. Patrick’s thoughts on entrepreneurship and the disruption of the legal services sector have been featured in a range of publications including the FT, The National, Forbes Middle East, Entrepreneur Middle East, Arabian Business and Gulf Business. He is unwavering in his belief that the legal industry needs to be driven in a fresh and innovative direction in order to maintain its relevancy. Patrick is licensed to practice law in England and Wales and Canada. He holds a B.A. from the University of British Columbia and a J.D. from Western University and has lived and worked in Toronto, Hong Kong, London and Dubai, where he currently resides with his family.

Hannah
McKinlay

Support Legal

Hannah
McKinlay

Support Legal

A New Zealand lawyer who qualified to practice law in 2005 at Russell McVeagh in Auckland, the premier corporate and finance law firm in New Zealand. She worked for three years in the corporate team on various corporate transactions and advisory matters including public and private M&A, corporate governance, regulatory and debt and equity securities matters for local and international corporates, financial services firms and private equity clients. Hannah moved to the UAE in 2008 and joined the Dubai office of Linklaters LLP, one of the world’s largest law firms. As an Associate in the corporate team, Hannah continued to work on a broad range of corporate transactions including public and private M&A, joint ventures, and debt and equity securities. Hannah advised local and international corporates and conglomerates, international banks and financial institutions, and local and regional family offices in a number of jurisdictions in the Middle East, north Africa and India. More recently as a Managing Associate at Linklaters LLP, Hannah’s experience focused on corporate advisory and commercial arrangements, including corporate governance, funds and regulatory and compliance matters with a particular focus on the financial services sector. Hannah was also responsible for developing the UAE offices’ knowhow function, including keeping abreast of legal developments and sharing them internally in a user-friendly format, drafting precedent documents, producing guidance notes for lawyers, preparing client publications and alerts, and providing legal and soft skills training sessions to both lawyers and clients. Hannah is eager to see rapid adoption of innovative technologies and working practices in the legal industry. At Support Legal, her work will help clients navigate the essential legal and regulatory requirements for their businesses to launch, grow and succeed. Hannah’s first major project at Support Legal was the launch of ScaleUp (www.supportscaleup.com), a digital platform which offers access to knowhow, practical advice and automated documents without charge to the user. Hannah is admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Commerce (Management and Finance) and Laws from the University of Otago, Dunedin.

Ahmed
Arif

Support Legal

Ahmed
Arif

Support Legal

Principal of Support Legal, the go-to and most innovative legal services platform in the Middle East and Africa. We use streamlined practices, technology and a disruptive mindset to bring innovation to a traditional industry. Ahmed spent over 10 years in the corporate practice group of Freshfields, both in their Riyadh and Dubai offices. He specialises in M&A, advising both strategic and financial investors (including banks, family owned business and international and regional private equity houses) across the Middle East, north and east Africa, Turkey and south east Asia. He has advised on some of the largest M&A transactions in the region and was involved with a number of precedent-setting deals, including the first bank merger in Abu Dhabi, the first bank disposal in Jordan, one of the largest technology investment in the region and the first acquisitions by international private equity houses into the region. Ahmed has been involved with a number of initiatives related to legal technology and new operating models for law firms aimed l addressing the evolution of delivery of legal services, including through the deployment of new legal technology to help lawyers work in the ways that clients want, not the ways the lawyers are used to. He is involved in the regional start-up ecosystem, having co-founded a Dubai-based startup in 2015. Ahmed holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Westminster and a Master of Laws (LLM) from the American University in Cairo. Ahmed is admitted to the New York Bar (NY, USA).

KIMBERLEY
CHRISTIANSEN

Support Legal

KIMBERLEY
CHRISTIANSEN

Support Legal

An Australian lawyer who qualified to practice law in 2006 and worked for 4 years with Baker & McKenzie in Sydney and also in London. In 2010, Kimberley moved to Freshfields Brockhaus Deringer in London, before relocating (with Freshfields) to Dubai in 2012. Kimberley took up a role as General Counsel with Dubai Maritime City, a Dubai World company, in 2016, and was promoted to General Counsel, DP World Maritime Services Division Kimberley holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and a Bachelor of Political Science (Hons), from Bond University in Queensland, having attended on a Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship. Kimberley is licensed as a lawyer in New South Wales and the High Court of Australia.