1 FESTIVAL, 4 CONFERENCES

 

STEP Start 2020 Speakers

Tim
Chen

MSA Capital

Tim
Chen

MSA Capital

Tim Chen is Vice President at MSA Capital, a global investment firm with $1.5bn under management. MSA’s portfolio includes most of the sector leaders in the Chinese technology space, such as Meituan, Didi, BGI, and Boss Zhipin. Today, MSA is also the most active China-based fund investing in MENA. Previously, Tim was the head of global product at Mobike, where he oversaw operations in 17 cities worldwide. Tim also worked at Uber and at Nomura Securities.

HRH
Mohammed
K.A.Al-Faisal

Al Faisaliah Group

HRH
Mohammed
K.A.Al-Faisal

Al Faisaliah Group

Mohammed K. A. Al-Faisal is the President of Al Faisaliah Group Holding, a leading Saudi based investment company established in 1969 and active in various sectors such as: food and beverages; consumer electronics; medical, measurement and media equipment; IT and communications; and petrochemicals. He was previously Vice-President at the Al Faisaliah Group, and before that Assistant General Manager and Manager at the Saudi American Bank. Earlier he had worked at Citibank in New York and Citibank in Geneva. Mr. Al-Faisal is currently serving on Other Boards: – Chairman of the board, Saudi Telecom Co. – Chairman and Independent Board Member of JP Morgan, Saudi Arabia. – Board Member of Al Khozama Management Company in which he chairs the remuneration and compensation committee. – Previous Board Member of Audi Capital Saudi Arabia. He is Also on the following Advisory Boards: – Member of the MENA and Central Asia Advisory Board for the Harvard Business School. – Member of the Global Leadership Circle of the Harvard Business School. – Member of the Board of Trustees of the Harvard Alumni Association. – Chairman of the Advisory Board of the College of Business at Al Faisal University. – Previously a member of the Advisory Board of the Saudi Arabian National Competitiveness Center Non- Profit Activities: – Member of the General Assembly of the King Faisal Foundation, and a member of the foundation’s audit committee. – Member of the Board of Trustees of the King Khalid Foundation, and a member of the investment committee. – Member of the Board of Trustees of King Salman Center for Disabilities Research and head of the executive committee. Mr. Al Faisal received his BSc in Industrial Management from the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  

Hany
Aly

DU

Hany
Aly

DU

Hany brings more than 18 years of experience to his position at du, where he heads up the company’s Enterprise Business division. Hany’s broad experience covers marketing, customer experience, product development and relationship management. In addition to being an expert of P&L management, Hany’s strengths are strategy setting, planning, managing growth, leading large organisations and turnarounds, Hany is passionate about startups especially in the areas of Blockchain, AI, Fintech, and E-commerce. Prior to joining du in 2013, Hany worked with Vodafone where he spent 13 years managing Consumer and Enterprise Businesses. Hany started his professional career with Procter and Gamble in Egypt. Hany holds a Master of Business Administration from Columbia Business School in New York, from which he graduated with honours

Arjun
Sethi

Tribe Capital

Arjun
Sethi

Tribe Capital

Arjun Sethi is currently the Co-Founder of Tribe Capital, an early-stage firm investing in N of 1 opportunities. Arjun combines entrepreneurial and executive experience at scale across a multitude of sectors, strengthening Tribe Capital’s brand with entrepreneurs. Arjun was previously a Partner at Social Capital, where he led the venture team with a broad focus on early-stage investing in the consumer and enterprise sector. Arjun’s investments include notable companies such as Cloud Kitchens, Front, Carta, and Relativity Space. Arjun is considered one of the top angels in the valley with investments across stages in companies such as Snapchat, Lyft, OpenDoor, Gusto, LTSE, and Rubrik, to name a few. After his second company, MessageMe, was acquired by Yahoo, he joined the executive team at Yahoo leading mobile and emerging products where he drove mobile product usage from 100M to 1B monthly active uniques. Before MessageMe, Arjun was a Founder and CEO of mobile gaming company LOLapps which he grew to 100M monthly users and subsequently sold to 6waves Nexon for $240M.

Fatma
AlMulla

FMM

Fatma
AlMulla

FMM

Fatma Mohammed AlMulla, Founder and Designer of FMM. Fatma graduated from AUS attaining a Bachelor of Science in Visual Communication in 2011 and in 2012 she established FMM which was one of the first pop culture label, designed and created in Dubai in. Fashion and accessories inspired by culture has allowed Fatma to collaborate with international brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Kiehls, Ikea, Garrett’s popcorn and Samsung to name a few.

Boye
Balogun

FutureTech

Boye
Balogun

FutureTech

“Boye Balogun is Managing Director of FutureTech , a connected marketing and technology business. He has a keen passion for scaling startup businesses and specializes in helping brands accelerate their digital marketing & achieve digital transformation. “

Ziad
Matar

TiE Dubai

Ziad
Matar

TiE Dubai

Ziad Matar is President of the Dubai Chapter of TiE, a global organization fostering entrepreneurship around the world since 1992. He is also Founding Parther at Meditari, a Digital Advisory Network bridging the gap between Global Innovation and Local Opportunities, a Board Member at Potential.com and co-founder of HeyHotStaff.com.Ziad is a seasoned technology executive with a proven track record in global technology companies, where he built and developed business partnerships across the Middle East and Africa region throughout his 20+ years corporate career at wireless technology leaders Ericsson and Qualcomm.Ziad is an avid social media consumer, casual photographer, accidental athlete, and Chief BBQ Officer. Ziad Matar is President of the Dubai Chapter of TiE, a global organization fostering entrepreneurship around the world since 1992. He is also Founding Parther at Meditari, a Digital Advisory Network bridging the gap between Global Innovation and Local Opportunities, a Board Member at Potential.com and co-founder of HeyHotStaff.com. Ziad is a seasoned technology executive with a proven track record in global technology companies, where he built and developed business partnerships across the Middle East and Africa region throughout his 20+ years corporate career at wireless technology leaders Ericsson and Qualcomm. Ziad is an avid social media consumer, casual photographer, accidental athlete, and Chief BBQ Officer.

Fadi
Ghandour

WAMDA Group

Fadi
Ghandour

WAMDA Group

The Executive Chairman of Wamda Group, a platform that invests, nurtures and builds entrepreneurship eco-systems across the Middle East and North Africa. Fadi is also the Co-Founder of Aramex, one of the leading global logistics companies. Fadi spent the first 30 years of his work life as CEO of Aramex, building the company, making it the leading emerging market logistics company, employing over 15,000 people working in over 250 offices in 90 countries. He took the company public twice, first on Nasdaq making it the first company from the Arab work to do so, then on Dubai Financial market. He continues to be active on the Aramex board. Fadi is a serial entrepreneur. In his career, he was involved with founding, investing and launching tens of companies and non-profits, from digital tech, hospitality, F&B, fitness & wellness to security. Passionate about impact and social entrepreneurship, Fadi founded and Chairs Ruwwad for Development, a private‐sector led community empowerment platform that helps marginalized communities across several countries in the MENA region, overcome marginalization through activism, civic engagement, education and financial inclusion. He has also co-founded and continues to support one of the leading not-for-profit sports clubs in Jordan. Fadi also served and continues to serve on several global and regional boards of companies, education institutions and non-profits.

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.

Nour
Al
Hassan

Tarjama

Nour
Al
Hassan

Tarjama

Nour, a serial entrepreneur, is the founder and CEO of Tarjama, a leading language service provider based in the MENA, with offices across the region. Tarjama’s embraces a socially responsible business model, training and employing the largest network of Arabic speaking female translators in the world.. Building on Tarjama’s success, and recognising the need for a more flexible model for sourcing linguistic talent, Nour launched Ureed, an online platform designed to become the region’s official editorial marketplace for linguistic and editorial services. Nour has recently completed an Executive Programme at Singularity University, focusing on innovation and technology, and holds a Bachelor degree in law from the Al-Ahlia University in Jordan. She is an Aspen Fellow, a certified life coach, and a member of the advisory board at Saint Joseph University in Lebanon. She is an angel investor, mentor to start-ups and spends time coaching entrepreneurs and empowering the ecosystem in MENA. She is also involved in other start-ups in Jordan. Nour’s vision is to create sustainable businesses that have a social impact, particularly advocating women’s empowerment.  

Triska
Hamid

Wamda

Triska
Hamid

Wamda

Triska Hamid is the editor of Wamda, the region’s leading entrepreneurship platform. She has covered the technology, media and telecoms sectors of the Middle East for the past decade.

Abdullah
Mutawi

Dubai angel investors

Abdullah
Mutawi

Dubai angel investors

Abdullah is the head of the regional corporate practice at Al Tamimi & Co (the largest law firm in the MENA region) and is also the co-founder and Chairman of Dubai Angel Investors (one of the best-known micro-VCs in MENA). He is a lawyer with nearly 25 years’ experience in global corporate finance, M&A and venture capital with a deep focus on technology transactions. He is an expert in navigating financing transactions as well as shareholder, management and corporate governance issues. Abdullah’s clients range from sovereign wealth funds, publicly traded corporations, VCs and CVCs to early-stage companies and he has led deals in 35 emerging and developed markets with an aggregate deal value in excess of US$30 billion. He is a serial angel investor with many personal investments including successful exits in the U.S. Europe and the Middle East.

Amjad
Ahmad

Precinct Partners

Amjad
Ahmad

Precinct Partners

Amjad Ahmad has 25 years of experience in venture capital, private equity and investment banking. He has invested in and advised over 50 companies helping them to develop and grow. He is currently the Managing Partner of Precinct Partners, a venture capital firm which has backed several leading digital companies including Mumzworld, Bayzat, The Luxury Closet, and Yallacompare. He also serves on boards in various industries including e-commerce, fintech, consumer products and logistics. Amjad earned a Master in International Affairs from Columbia University and he is a graduate of the General Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Deena
Shakir

Lux

Deena
Shakir

Lux

Deena is on a mission to partner with the world’s most audacious founders taking on the most challenging problems. She is an operator at heart with a passion for partnerships and company building. She is particularly interested in breakthrough approaches in health, home, and access that can positively transform lives. Deena believes humanity-focused venture investing is about more than just capital, approaching company building with support and empathy for founders and a lens towards the ethical and societal implications of technologies. Since joining us in late 2019, she has led Lux’s investment in Shiru, a company that leverages computational design to create enhanced proteins to help feed the world sustainably, where she is also a board director; she has also joined as an observer on the board of directors of RDMD, a data platform for rare disease drug development. Prior to joining Lux, Deena led strategic partnerships for early stage products in healthcare, research, machine intelligence and search at Google. There she also directed social impact investments at Google.org and supported a portfolio of more than 300 companies to achieve business development and growth opportunities with GV (formerly Google Ventures). Before she became an investor, Deena had diverse people-centric global experiences as an aspiring anthropologist, journalist, diplomat, aid worker and technologist. She was a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of State under Secretary Clinton, where she helped launch President Obama’s first Global Entrepreneurship Summit in 2010. Her non-traditional path to venture capital landed her in roles that brought people together to foster partnerships through diplomacy, public service, and technology. It has also cultivated Deena’s deep conviction in the power of founders of new ventures to positively transform the future and an unparalleled network to help them achieve it. Deena serves on the Boards of several non-profits including Tarjimly, TechWadi, and AMIDEAST. She is a Kauffman Fellow and a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member. Financially independent since the age of 18, she funded her undergraduate and graduate degrees through a variety of merit scholarships and side hustles, including co-founding her first internet company while still in college. Deena earned a joint BA in Social Studies and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard (where she delivered the graduation address) and an MA from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.

Abdullah
Mutawi

Dubai angel investors

Abdullah
Mutawi

Dubai angel investors

Abdullah is the head of the regional corporate practice at Al Tamimi & Co (the largest law firm in the MENA region) and is also the co-founder and Chairman of Dubai Angel Investors (one of the best-known micro-VCs in MENA). He is a lawyer with nearly 25 years’ experience in global corporate finance, M&A and venture capital with a deep focus on technology transactions. He is an expert in navigating financing transactions as well as shareholder, management and corporate governance issues. Abdullah’s clients range from sovereign wealth funds, publicly traded corporations, VCs and CVCs to early-stage companies and he has led deals in 35 emerging and developed markets with an aggregate deal value in excess of US$30 billion. He is a serial angel investor with many personal investments including successful exits in the U.S. Europe and the Middle East.

Carl
Morner

Swedish Embassy

Carl
Morner

Swedish Embassy

Swedish diplomat with a primary background in security politics, now a tech savvy promotor of the world’s second most innovative country.

Khaled
Talhouni

Nuwa Capital

Khaled
Talhouni

Nuwa Capital

Prior to founding Nuwa Capital , Khaled was Managing Partner at Wamda Capital, a Venture Capital fund investing in technology-enabled companies in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. He started his career at Dubai International Capital where he supported the development of the MENA region’s first seed capital fund. Since then Khaled assumed a number of venture capital and startup roles including heading investments and strategy at twofour54 in Abu Dhabi. Khaled has centered his career around identifying and investing in disruptive businesses that displace incumbent inefficiencies in traditional sectors of the economy. His areas of interest include ecommerce, Fintech, marketplaces, digital content and enterprise solutions. Through out his career Khaled has focused on building lasting partnerships with the entrepreneurs delivering the region’s digital economy. Khaled has invested in and managed over 100 early stage transactions including Careem, Twiga Foods, Mumzworld, Insider, Modanisa and Luxury Closet and Step Group. Education: BA in Economics from Duke University

Scott
Zhang

Boopin

Scott
Zhang

Boopin

Scott Zhang is the Account director in Boopin for handing MENA and CHINA markets. He leads a team responsible for developing communication & marketing strategies that help advance the brands in the Middle East want to enter China and Singapore markets, or targeting Chinese outbound travelers. Also including helping Chinese brands to set communication & marketing strategies to enter the Middle East region. Prior to joining Boopin, Scott has more than 5 years of communication & media experience in both client and agency sides. He was the regional communication & media manager for HONOR brand (Sub-brand under global tech giant Huawei) in the MEA region, Scott also worked for HAVAS MEDIA ME for travel and fashion brands.

Matthew
Sliedrecht

Cleartrip

Matthew
Sliedrecht

Cleartrip

Matthew is the Director – Marketing at Cleartrip, the Middle East’s largest and fastest growing online travel agencies. Matthew has over a decade of experience in marketing and has worked with global and local brands in telecommunications, travel and hospitality, financial services, automotive and FMCG.

Vera
Futorjanski

Innovation Expert

Vera
Futorjanski

Innovation Expert

Vera Futorjanski is a highly experienced innovation and ecosystem expert who advises both corporates and governments on innovation, helping them to build thriving ecosystems. Most recently, she was Director of Innovation for the global Venture Capital firm 500 Startups in charge of corporate innovation and ecosystem building in the Middle East and Russia. Prior to joining 500 Startups, Vera was with the Dubai Future Foundation, where as well as being the head of global communications, she was also a founding member of the Dubai Future Accelerators, an initiative of Dubai Government to accelerate innovation and diversify the economy. Before joining the Prime Minister’s Office, Vera was the Founder of a German tech startup in MENA. Prior to her time in Dubai, Vera ran the global communications for Rocket Internet during the IPO, the largest tech IPO in Germany in a decade. She is also a strong supporter of female empowerment initiatives and a social impact advocate. She serves as a Global Ambassador and Mentor for Vital Voices, a Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright NGO that works with women leaders. Before her career in the tech and innovation world, Vera completed her MSc at the London School of Economics and worked as a political consultant in the European Union in Brussels. Vera has lived in 10 countries and is fluent in five languages.

Namir
Hourani

GMIS

Namir
Hourani

GMIS

Namir Hourani is the Managing Director of the organizing committee for the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS – www.gmisummit.com). A joint initiative between the UAE Government and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), GMIS is the world’s first cross-industry forum dedicated to shaping the future of manufacturing. Namir is also a passionate entrepreneur and owner of Marj Group (www.marj.com), a private holding and investment company he established in Dubai in 2008 with investments that span across multiple sectors such as Food & Beverage, Pharmaceutical Distribution, Child Education, Pet Care, and Facilities Maintenance. With an avid interest in technology and the way it has been evolving over the past decade, Namir invested, through Marj Group, in a technology fund which holds a portfolio of renowned Middle Eastern tech companies such as Property Finder, Careem, fetchr, shedul, and bayzat. Prior to the role of Managing Director, Namir volunteered to establish the inaugural GMIS in 2017 at the Paris Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi by leading all marketing and operational logistics on behalf of the organising committee. During his tenure as a volunteer, Namir was instrumental in transforming GMIS into a platform for global good. This transformation has transpired in the launch of GMIS’ first endeavor – the Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity (www.makingprosperity.com), a global impact initiative which aims to unite the world’s leading manufacturers, start-ups and entrepreneurs, governments, UN agencies and philanthropists, academia and researchers, to form a community dedicated to spreading global prosperity through the art of ‘making’. Namir started his career in marketing and held various roles at Procter & Gamble, Universal McCann, 3M and Impact BBDO, and credits his accomplishments to the experience he gained from working with these global organizations. Namir is of Lebanese descent, born and raised in Dubai. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from the American University in Dubai (2003) and attended Georgetown University (2001) in Washington DC.

Muhammad
Nabil
Alsaied

Microsoft

Muhammad
Nabil
Alsaied

Microsoft

Known amongst his peers as ‘Mr Fixer’, Muhammad Nabil thrives on building disruptive solutions that fit the unique needs of emerging markets. For the past four years, Muhammad has served as the Partner & Start-up Strategy Lead under Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative – the tech giant’s market and economic development programme in Africa, which seeks to enhance affordable access to the internet, digital skills and opportunities for cloud-based innovation. In his role, Muhammad is seek to build self-sustainable ecosystem for partners and start-ups with innovative business models, and supporting them in integrating technology to take their ventures to the next level. He is particularly passionate about digital solutions in healthcare, agriculture, education and finance, due to their long-term social impact.   Muhammad has over 15 years’ experience in Information Communication Technology, Engineering and Business Development. He holds a BSc in Computer Science, a Master’s in Information Systems and a Diploma in Cognitive Psychology. Prior to joining Microsoft in 2010, he worked as a Senior Analyst for companies including IBM and Google.

Sarah
AlSaleh

STV

Sarah
AlSaleh

STV

Sarah is an Investment Associate at STV. She worked at start-ups across functions and sectors in Silicon Valley, New York, and most recently, Dubai. Prior to STV, Sarah headed Product and Strategy at a data and intelligence start-up based in Dubai. She led the Middle East desk operations at Dataminr, a New York based start-up that transforms real-time data into actionable signals, and previously served as an Analyst at Google and McKinsey&Co. Sarah holds an MA in International Policy focusing on Internet and Tech Policy from Stanford University.

Mossab
Hussein

spiderSilk

Mossab
Hussein

spiderSilk

Mossab started exploring hacking at the age of 13. In 2009 he landed his first official white-hat hacking job at Souq, where he started their bug bounty program. For the past 10 years, he’s been involved with several global & regional organizations where he helped drive efforts in securing public-facing technologies and adopting real-life hacking scenarios. In 2015 he lead Careem’s Internal Operation Products, with a team of 15 engineers, designers and business analysts.

Jeff
Weinstein

FJ Labs

Jeff
Weinstein

FJ Labs

Jeff Weinstein is a Principal at FJ Labs, an early stage venture fund and startup studio that invests in and builds online marketplaces. Jeff co-heads the fund’s 500+ investments which have included Alibaba, Flexport, Rappi, Betterment, Fanduel, and Delivery Hero, and also manages FJ’s external fundraising efforts. Jeff was previously a Senior Associate at Lux Capital, and prior to that worked at a fund of hedge funds. Jeff has a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and is an elite distance runner training to run a sub-four-minute mile.

Paul
Papadimitriou

Intelligencr

Paul
Papadimitriou

Intelligencr

Paul is a voyageur. He explores human behavior — who we are, how we feel & transact, how technology impacts it all, what it means to us. Trained in global affairs, serial entrepreneur, and creative at heart, Paul advises organizations, from venture to startups, from fintech to travel. He deciphers global mythologies — our experiential journeys around a nomadic, augmented & tribal world. Paul is a sought-after speaker, a TV/radio/stage host, and a show creator, appearing in more than 70 countries. He draws a unique perspective from his multi-cultural background, a Swiss, a Greek, a Finn, having lived in Tokyo, Manila or London, and his forever travels to discover more. Paul has always been at the forefront of enabling what’s next. He’s an air travel nerd, award-winning photographer, and a chocolate lover.

Patrick
de
Laive

TNW

Patrick
de
Laive

TNW

Patrick de Laive is co-founder and CPO of TNW (The Next Web). As a frequently asked moderator and speaker at events across the world (Slush, Launch, South Summit, 4YFN, DIS Berlin) he is at his best at the intersection of creative thinking and technology. Patrick’s specialties include branding, marketing and communication strategy, growth hacking, innovation, event concepting and blockchain applications.

Rami
El
Malak

spiderSilk

Rami
El
Malak

spiderSilk

After graduating from McGill in Finance, Rami started his 1st business which won the award for best web solution in Montreal in 1998. He then launched one of the first digital agencies in the UAE in 1999 which was acquired by a private equity firm in 2006. He would go on to launch 3 ventures including West Coast Customs Middle East, and Suomi a Nokia Interactive agency. He also setup 5 Pillars, a boutique advisory and private equity firm and has advised several family offices and worked on tech M&As and large cross-border transactions before establishing spiderSilk.

Nimi
Mehta

NowMeMedia

Nimi
Mehta

NowMeMedia

The radio host of Channel 4 Breakfast on 104.8FM which broadcasts LIVE across the UAE every morning. When she’s not talking on the radio to the Nation, Nimi is busy running her media company NowMeMedia, creating content for her platforms, recording her Podcast ‘Everything Legit: The Nimi Mehta Podcast’ & hosting on stage for stars like Steve Harvey and Lilly Singh. Nimi started her media career in Television at the age of 21 with MTV UK as the face and presenter of their music fashion channel, District MTV. She hosted red carpets for the most high profile events at London Fashion Week, Harpers Bazaar and Grazia Magazine. Back in 2014 she decided to diversify into the Radio industry- catapulting from community level to a National show within 2 years, something that many of her peers have worked majority of their careers to achieve. She’s a leading face and voice of women in the UAE who recognise their limitless potential in an industry where they have to work extra hard to make their mark.

Patrick
Rogers

Clara

Patrick
Rogers

Clara

Patrick Rogers is an entrepreneur working at the intersection of law and technology. He is the CEO and Co-Founder of Clara, a legal technology company that digitizes and automates startup legal expertise. Clara is rewriting the rules of startup law across the world to deliver better outcomes for both entrepreneurs and investors and in the process saving all parties substantial time and money. Patrick previously co-founded Support Legal, an award winning, UAE-based law firm that has brought some much needed disruption to GCC’s legal services sector with its innovative business model. Patrick also acts as a director and advisor to a number of high growth companies and serves as a mentor with both Endeavor and Techstars. His thoughts on entrepreneurship and the disruption of the legal services sector have been featured in a range of publications including the FT, Crunchbase, The National, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Arabian Business and Gulf Business. Prior to commencing his entrepreneurial journey in 2015, Patrick practiced corporate law with two of the world’s largest law firms, DLA Piper and Jones Day, where he advised on venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures across more than 40 countries. He holds a B.A. from the University of British Columbia and a J.D. from Western University. During his career he has lived and worked in Toronto, London, Hong Kong and Dubai.

Lee
McMahon

Clara

Lee
McMahon

Clara

Always an early adopter, Lee understood the impact technology would have on the legal profession, an industry that has still lagged behind other professional services. He co-founded Clara with the foresight the legal sector would be unable to scale with the demands of a growing global economy. In a world shaped by technology and automation, legal services would need to automate and digitize. Lee understood that technology would create new challenges for traditional legal firms. McMahon’s legal career benefits from time spent in private practice, as in-house counsel at blue-chip firms and that of being a founder. Lee has acted as a pragmatic, and trusted advisor to his clients on over 300 corporate, commercial, and governmental projects. Lee is a prominent commentator on legal technology and alternative legal services providers in the media. He has been nominated General Counsel of the Year (2016) and nominated Australian Business Person of the Year – UAE (2019).

Junaid
Iqbal

Careem Networks

Junaid
Iqbal

Careem Networks

Junaid Iqbal is the MD of Careem PAY. Trained as an economist an economist at University of Michigan, Junaid has excelled across various industries, from trading in energy futures and launching Pakistan’s first live stock market TV show, to leading privatization deals valued at $1.6 billion and co-founding Salt Arts, Pakistan’s leading Arts production management agency. He previously served as the MD of Careem Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Careem is the leading technology company for the MENA region, including Pakistan and Turkey. It’s mission is to simplify and improve the lives of people and build an awesome organization that inspires. With its technologies, infrastructure, diverse and talented people, Careem is creating work, wealth, safety transportation, trusted payments and delivered, all in a single Super App built for our customer’s everyday needs. Careem is also working alongside smart thinking governments and leading organisations to help reshape agendas that will bring greater services to people so they can actively share in modern life. Since forming in 2012, Careem has created over 1.7 million employment opportunities and generated over $US 2.1 billion in earnings; we operate in 14 countries, over 100 cities, and are valued at over US$3 billion and operate as an independent brand within the Uber family.

Kuppulakshmi
Krishnamoorthy

Zoho Corporation Private Limited

Kuppulakshmi
Krishnamoorthy

Zoho Corporation Private Limited

Kuppulakshmi, fondly known as Kuppu, heads the Zoho for Startups program globally. She has been part of Zoho’s growth story for about a decade now; and, bridging the gap between businesses and technology has been her core area of work. She focuses on strategic alliances between Zoho and various startup bodies such as State Governments, Incubators, Accelerators, and other stakeholders. She also mentors startups on pitching, design thinking, and on using EQ while hiring new talents and while setting up the vision and culture of startups. Kuppu loves public speaking, and is a sought-after keynote speaker on topics like Future of Work, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership for Future, and Entrepreneurship. Her previous experience from being a softskills and communication trainer and a voice&accent specialist, strengthen her expertise in story telling, and she is a great fan of explain-it-like-I am-five concept. She loves working with young minds and aspires to contribute towards the future of education.

Zheng
Yu
Huang

Yu Capital

Zheng
Yu
Huang

Yu Capital

Zhengyu is Chairman of Yu Capital, an investment firm with focuses on education and healthcare. Zhengyu worked at Intel Corporation as a Managing Director and then served under President Obama as a White House Fellow and special assistant to the Administrator for US Agency for International Aid. In 2009, Zhengyu left Intel to found a successful financial services technology company connecting global institutional investors with opportunities in the emerging markets.He has worked in over ten countries, including the US, Germany, Japan, India, and China and traveled to over 70 countries. Zhengyu was educated at Stanford University, with a M.S. in Computer Science, B.S. in Industrial Engineering, and B.A. in Economics. He also earned his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Ahmad
AlNaimi

STV

Ahmad
AlNaimi

STV

Ahmad is a Sr. Principal at STV, the largest venture capital firm in the Middle East, where he is responsible for end-to-end investment cycle including sourcing of opportunities and board memberships. Prior to STV, Ahmad was part of an early stage company based in Seattle that develops infrastructure software for machine learning. Prior to that, Ahmad led the business incubation function of Aramco Entrepreneurship Center. Ahmad holds an MBA from MIT and a BSc. CS from KFUPM.

Mamoun
Hmedan

Wego Middle East

Mamoun
Hmedan

Wego Middle East

Mamoun serves as Managing Director, Wego Middle East. Drawing on more than a decade of experience in the region, he passionately drives revenue and market growth in the Middle East, North Africa and India and leads the region’s operations. Hmedan began in this role in October 2014 where he focused on developing the product as well as played an integral role in expanding the company’s portfolio and hiring the right talent across MENA and India. Prior to that, he established the Advertising sales unit in 2013 and was the Acting GM for the MENA region. Mamoun’s vast experience along with his strong leadership skills and significant multinational experience brings in new dynamism in the management team. His solid background with sales operations, retail, e-commerce and thorough understanding of the importance of partners is profound and has helped the company become the largest travel marketplace in MENA. Mamoun today leads a growing innovative team from the company’s Dubai headquarters. Prior to joining Wego Middle East, Mamoun held different senior roles with leading start-ups with online and digital presence in the region.

Damien
Drap

Nomad

Damien
Drap

Nomad

Damien is COO of Nomad, a property technology company in the Middle East. Prior to joining Nomad, Damien was a General Manager at Uber. He started his career in strategy consulting at Oliver Wyman, where he advised leading Retail and CPG players in Europe and the US. He then joined Uber in its early days in 2013 in Paris, participating in building what’s today one of the largest markets for the company. In 2015, he moved to create the Strategy & Planning team for Western Europe before leading it for the entire EMEA region. He moved to the UAE in 2016 to lead the Uber Eats business locally, covering the GCC region. Damien holds an MS in Industrial Engineering from Ecole Centrale de Paris.

Martin
Tidestrom

Abu Dhabi Global market (ADGM)

Martin
Tidestrom

Abu Dhabi Global market (ADGM)

Martin Tideström is ADGM’s Director of Business Development. He is responsible for promoting Abu Dhabi as a business destination and attracting new firms, for providing growth support to ADGM’s client community, and for developing markets, products and services to enhance competitiveness of the financial centre and its business ecosystem. Innovation and entrepreneurship are high on ADGM’s agenda. Martin and his team have developed a range of support initiatives to facilitate set-up, growth and the financing lifecycle for start-ups and SMEs in the UAE, and they work closely with leading stakeholders across the region and internationally enhance and boost the sector. Prior to joining ADGM, Martin led business development for two other financial centres. Martin began his career as legal counsel with EY and Skandia, focused on venture capital. He holds an LL.M. from Uppsala, Sweden and MBA from IMD, Switzerland.

Jaimie
Evanz

STEP Group

Jaimie
Evanz

STEP Group

Jamie Evans is a Welsh lawyer-turned-entrpreneur and ecosystem builder that has spent time assisting in the business development of several startups from health and fintech to game development. Having spent the last 3 years working with Slush Tokyo and Techsauce Thailand on developing the Asian startup ecosystem, as well as helping startups attend events in Silicon Valley, he joined STEP for 2020 to create ties between the Asian and MENA ecosystems

Dana
Fawaz

Microsoft

Dana
Fawaz

Microsoft

Dana Fawaz is the startup program manager at Microsoft, working actively with startups in the ecosystem to help them adopt new technologies and scale to new customers. Dana has always been passionate about working with startups. She started her career working at a venture capital firm, prior to which she obtained a Masters in Engineering with Innovation & Entrepreneurship from University College London.

Zeina
el-Kaissi

Smart Dubai

Zeina
el-Kaissi

Smart Dubai

Zeina El Kaissi is the Chief Digital Director at the Smart Dubai Office where she spearheads Dubai-wide strategies and implementations of disruptive technologies and the positioning of Dubai as a global and industry leader in the smart city field. In particular, she is currently leading the implementation of the globally recognized award-winning Dubai Paperless Strategy which aims to digitize all city services saving residents time and money spent on paper and visits to Government centers. Moreover, she helped launch the Dubai Blockchain Strategy in 2017 and has been leading its implementation since then. With over 12 years of experience, Zeina has held strategic roles in both the public and private sectors. She has worked as a Senior Consultant at The Executive Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE, where she led city-wide projects aimed at increasing the quality of life of Dubai residents and the economic competitiveness of the city regionally and globally. There, she also led the development of the Dubai 3D Printing Strategy launched by the Prime Minister in 2015. Prior to that, Zeina worked in management consulting at Booz and Company where her professional experience spanned diverse fields such as education reform, transportation planning and implementation, business policy advocacy, private sector and SME growth and Innovation policy and planning. She also served within the Abu Dhabi Government at the General Secretariat of the Executive Council where she led the Government-wide strategic planning and performance management of over 50 public sector agencies. Zeina was also a technology entrepreneur in the field of city experiences. She holds an MBA with distinction from London Business School and a BA with distinction in Corporate Finance from the American University of Beirut. Zeina has authored studies and perspectives on a wide range of topics including technology, public sector governance and innovation.

Nader
Museitif

HUB71

Nader
Museitif

HUB71

As Head of Business Development and Partnerships at Hub71, Nader Museitif focuses on building strong alliances with tech enablers across different sectors to enrich Hub71’s global ecosystem for startups. Museitif’s experience spans across multiple regions – Europe, Middle East and Africa, leading strategic growth activities for companies including Uber and Aramex.

Jehan
Ara

The Nest I/O

Jehan
Ara

The Nest I/O

Jehan Ara became the President of [email protected] in 2008 and has overseen the evolution of the organization from a trade association to a body which works actively to steer the technology sector in Pakistan. A decade of meticulous planning culminated in the birth of The Nest I/O, an incubator, accelerator and community hub built in collaboration with Google for Startups. With Jehan at the helm, The Nest I/O has become the epicenter of disruptive innovation in the startup ecosystem and has for 3 years also hosted 021Disrupt – the premier flagship startup innovation conference. Jehan is a member of the Prime Minister’s Task Force on IT and Telecom and is on various industry and university boards. Entrepreneur. Leader. Mentor. Jehan Ara continues to inspire young founders with her boundless energy and zest for life.  

Akef
Aqrabawi

INJAz Al-Arab/ JA MENA

Akef
Aqrabawi

INJAz Al-Arab/ JA MENA

Akef is the CEO of Injaz Al Arab, the largest non-profit organization in the region that leverages entrepreneurial expertise and harnesses it to train and mentor the younger generation of Arab youth by encouraging the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in business. Injaz Al Arab operates in 13 Arab countries. Prior to taking over the management and leadership of the organization since 2015, Akef held various positions in the field of communications and public relations and then managed the operations and strategic planning section of the organization for the Middle East and North Africa countries. Akef’s expertise and tasks are centered around providing technical support and strategic planning to member states, and coordinating with INJAZ’s boards of directors in 13 countries in the region, as well as strengthening relations with government partners such as ministries of education and labor, and discussing ways to expand the Organisation’s work in a number of Arab countries to empower a new elite of Arab youth to contribute to the development of extracurricular education and entrepreneurship in the region. Akef recently completed his education at Harvard University’s Executive Leaders Program for 2018-2019. He holds a BA in Archeology from Mutah University, Jordan. “

Ola
El-Khatib

SE Factory

Ola
El-Khatib

SE Factory

Computer and Communication Engineering AUB graduate with Masters in Mathematics. A former test automation engineer at Murex Systems. A Lab engineer at the electrical and computer engineering department at AUB.

Ahmad
Alwan

Hub71

Ahmad
Alwan

Hub71

As Head of Strategy and Corporate Development at Hub71, Ahmad looks after the tech hub’s operational and organizational strategic direction and various programs; from design to implementation. He also looks after enabling key operations through corporate functions. Prior to this, Ahmad supported the strategic development and launch of Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners, a $1bn fund launched at Abu Dhabi Global Market aimed at boosting opportunities in the Emirate across asset management, specialty finance and financial infrastructure, among other sectors. Before that, Ahmad was a Vice President at Mubadala’s Portfolio Strategy team where he worked on formulating the corporate strategy, overlaying internal and stakeholder objectives. His role extended to supporting Mubadala’s leadership in special projects. Ahmad was part of the project management office for the Mubadala Development Company and International Petroleum Investment Company merger and also served as the Working Committee Secretary. Additionally, Ahmad co-lead the Mubadala Ambassador Program where select Mubadala employees are trained to present Mubadala externally. Ahmad also supported Mubadala Capital’s Private Equity Funds team in evaluating investment opportunities globally. He holds a Master of Science in International Business and Emerging Markets from the University of Edinburgh and is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst.

Briar
Prestidge

Prestidge Group

Briar
Prestidge

Prestidge Group

Briar Prestidge is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Prestidge Group, a high-profile PR and media production agency working with world leaders, top CEOs, government, celebrities and strategists. In recognition for her work, in 2019 Briar was selected to produce and compete on an Amazon Prime TV series called The Social Movement, where 40 entrepreneurs, CEOs and investors from all over the globe are tasked with building a company in four days to solve a socio-economic issue. A qualified digital marketer and comms professional, Briar has an international career spanning across Dubai, New York, London and Australia. Speaking on global stages, Briar delivers engaging keynotes and workshops on “no-fluff” social media strategies, entrepreneurship, and building an online-offline reputation. Thousands have seen Briar’s monthly Dubai-based talk show Deals in High Heels which features inspiring thought leaders. As a young entrepreneur originally from a small farm in New Zealand, Briar is driven to inspire people to invest in their lifelong learning, to be strategic and work hard for your dreams. Her first book, ‘Building A Reputation for Success’ is being launched this year. Briar has designed a corporate suit label for business women which is going live this year and has co-founded a fashion fitness label called Tightz where she heads up brand and marketing.

PK
Gulati

SmartStart Fund & The Assembly

PK
Gulati

SmartStart Fund & The Assembly

Prashant (PK) Gulati, Connector and Enabler Prashant K. Gulati (popularly known as PK) is an entrepreneur, idea accelerator, angel investor, mentor and writer with interests in exponential technologies, innovation, start-ups, entrepreneurship, future of work, mobility, knowledge sharing and more. He is an active Early Stage investor in start-ups and fresh ideas. With a portfolio of ventures in India, Middle East and US, he is actively involved in providing mentorship, guidance and advice to such companies at various levels for over a decade. He has been associated with several successful start-ups and has an active portfolio in the US, Middle East and India. He has been actively associated with TiE, Dubai Future Foundation, The Assembly, in5 Innovation Centre, Sheraa, SmartStart Fund, Nasscom, Future Now, Dubai Enterprise Centre, Indian Documentary Foundation and many other global initiatives, besides multiple Board and Advisory

Christine
Nasserghodsi

Mirai Partners

Christine
Nasserghodsi

Mirai Partners

Christine has worked with international companies, schools, and government agencies in the United States, Europe, India, Africa, and the United Arab Emirates to develop high-impact leadership, learning, and organizational transformation programs. Christine is the co-founder of Mirai, a learning innovations consultancy, and a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania in organizational learning with a focus on leadership for innovation. In her previous roles as the Vice President for the TELLAL Institute (GEMS Education) and Head of Innovation Strategy for the Innovation, Research, and Development Department at GEMS Education, Christine was responsible for leading professional learning and development, educational research, and strategic partnerships for schools and corporate entities across the UAE. In this capacity, Christine developed Creating Communities of Innovation, a project run with Harvard University’s Project Zero focused on transforming schools through pedagogical, technological, and leadership innovation. Christine served as the TELLAL Chair for the Learning Innovations Laboratory at Harvard University, was a Harvard University Project Zero Classroom faculty member, and is a member of the advisory board for the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and GEMS FirstPoint School. She is also the board chair at Wellington International School. Christine writes on innovation, education, technology, and entrepreneurship for Forbes and the Huffington Post.

Issa
Aghabi

IFC

Issa
Aghabi

IFC

14+ year career with focus on Venture Capital in the wider TMT space. Executed 50+ direct transactions with focus on early stage investment as well as fund of fund investments. He managed over $150m in AUM predominantly focused on Emerging Markets. His last role was head of IFC MENA, ECS & Pakistan venture investments both from a direct (early stage and growth capital) and indirect (accelerators and fund of fund). Also worked with World Bank on developing programs for investments and a number of Government fund of fund initiatives in Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt and the UAE. Prior to IFC he was the Head of Investments for twofour54, consulted Yahoo! on their MENA M&A and BD strategies, Head of BD and Investments at N2V and founding member of IV Holdings / Accelerator technologies, the first venture funds in MENA. Currently branded as Silicon Badia. Issa was also the founding member of Middle East Venture Capital Association (MEVCA).

Jabir
Walji

Systematic Innovation, UK

Jabir
Walji

Systematic Innovation, UK

Innovation/strategy and foresight expert that applies high impact TIPS (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) and its 21st century successor Systematic Innovation with Design Thinking, to deliver disruptive solutions from 1st principles of innovation to all functions of business across industries. He is associated with Systematic Innovation, UK, the architect of the New Science of SI. Jabir is a man who knows how to transform the mental and psychological structures of others! A man with the right schema of how things/people work and change, what goals to achieve, the places and times to act, and what tools to use. I was honored to attend his workshop on Business Innovation and the effect on me was great. I highly appreciate and recommend his work and passion. Hassan Shahin, Chief Knowledge Officer, SYNTAX Digital, Jordan

Maya
Hojeij

Dubai Tv

Maya
Hojeij

Dubai Tv

Maya has over two decades of refined media and communications experience working with prominent international news channels, and participating in global events and forums that support the local business segment in the Middle East, from the World Government Summit, to the Women in Leadership Forum, She has moderated and participated as an MC for high-level events attended by Senior Members of Government and C-Suite Executives from global companies. She is currently a Senior News Presenter and Chief Editor at Dubai TV and has worked at other reputable media channels including Al Arabiya TV. She has carried out extensive media training for several high-profile spokespeople in various industries and has educated students in Media and Journalism at the American University of Dubai. She invests her time in mentoring and empowering women and has participated in several high level events focusing on youth, women and entrepreneurship. Her TedxTalk was entitled ‘Does Our Profession Define Who We Are?’ her podcast Rakwet Ahweh has become a platform that inspires youth with stories from and of successful women in the hope of taking it to the next level and creating change.

Hans
Christensen

D-tec

Hans
Christensen

D-tec

Hans holds university degrees from Bentley; BA in finance, Hult; MBA and is a candidate for PHD with Tübingen. Hans hold certificates from Oxford and MIT in Blockchain and AI. For the past 7 years he leads Dtec the largest techhub in MENA with 800+ startups from 71 nations. Dtec helped create 3000 jobs and the inflow of $300m into the local economy. Dtec excels in providing co-working, acceleration, incubation, labs, events, learning, venture capital and corporate innovation. Hans has founded and run several startups and departments within MNCs on different continents, including Siemens’ first incubator. Hans serves as board director and advisor of start-ups and Universities. Dtec has won 9 awards during Hans’ leadership.

Hussain
Almahmoudi

Sharjah Research Technology & Innovation Park

Hussain
Almahmoudi

Sharjah Research Technology & Innovation Park

H.E. Hussain serves a dual role as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the American University of Sharjah Enterprises (AUSE) and as the CEO of the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP). Both these entities were established through royal decree by the Ruler of Sharjah, who also directly appointed Mr. Hussain to these responsibilities in order to create collaborative long-term relationships between industry, academia and the public sector, fostering an ecosystem of enterprise and innovation. Previously, H.E. Hussain served as the Director General of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a Member of the UAE Chamber Federation, and GCC Chambers for 8 years. He was responsible for the overall management and operations of the Chamber including the provision of services to its members. In this role, he launched several strategic economic initiatives for Sharjah such as the SME Act, Sharjah Export Centre, Sharjah Commercial Arbitration Centre, and the Sharjah Business Forum. H.E. Hussain has held leadership roles at leading regional and international companies such as the Royal Dutch Shell Group, Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), and several Dubai Holding entities. He currently serves as honorary board member of both, the Tatweer Forum and of Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and as chairman of the Emirates Business Council for Sustainable Development. H.E. Hussain possesses an MBA from the American University of Sharjah and a BA in Economics and Communications from Seattle Pacific University in the US.

Hasan
Haider

500 Startups

Hasan
Haider

500 Startups

Hasan Haider is a Partner at 500 Startups, the most active Venture Capital firm in the world, based in Silicon Valley, with 2,000+ investments in 50+ countries and $400m 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 over 100 startups in the region over the course of the last 4 years, including Wuzzuf, Jamalon and fetchr. Hasan was the Co-founder and CEO of Tenmou, the first business angel’s organization in Bahrain and one of the first in the MENA 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.

Lubna
Hamdan

Arabian Business

Lubna
Hamdan

Arabian Business

Lubna Hamdan went from intern to editor of Arabian Business in just four years, having joined the executive title straight out of university, with no previous journalism experience, becoming the magazine’s youngest ever editor at 25, and first ever Arabic editor for the English title. During this time, she has built up a network of contacts and a bank of ground breaking interviews including Ayman Hariri, Ivanka Trump, Dr Habib Al Mulla, Elie Saab and Naguib Sawiris. She also led the team investigation into the fall of Abraaj, a story that received global attention.

James
Maughan

Falcon and Associates

James
Maughan

Falcon and Associates

James joined Falcon as Director of the Dubai Business Associate Programme, the brainchild of its patron HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to bring talented young graduates to Dubai for a nine-month management training programme. He is a regular visitor to China to promote the city of Dubai. Prior to Falcon, James enjoyed a two-decade career in financial services and educational publishing. He has been in the Arab world since 2009, residing in Lebanon for four years where he worked as Director of the regional joint venture partner of Pearson. He also spent a year as an independent consultant during which he was senior adviser to Falcon. In 1995, James completed his MBA at INSEAD Business School in France and later became the Swiss Alumni President from 2003-2008 during which he sat on the International Advisory Board and Swiss National Council of the School. He worked for 4 years with GE Capital in several countries til 1999 and then spent ten years as a Director of UBS in Switzerland. He started his career with Saudi International Bank after his MA degree in Economics from Cambridge University and soon after completed the JP Morgan Finance Program in New York.

Rob
Withagen

Asoko Insight

Rob
Withagen

Asoko Insight

Rob is a seasoned emerging market operator with a background in Africa-focused investment consultancy. Prior to founding Asoko, he worked with Oxford Business Group where he led research teams in Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’ivoire, Gabon, Senegal and Algeria. He also consulted corporates and investors on trade and investment in the region. Dublin City University (MSc); Reims Management School (BSc).

Samer
Azar

Alex The CFO

Samer
Azar

Alex The CFO

Samer Azar, CFA is the founder of Alex the CFO, an online service that automates your accounting and helps you increase cash flow. Samer has helped dozens of entrepreneurs raise more than USD 5 mln in early stage financing; and sits on the boards of several of them. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the American University of Beirut, and an MS in Operations Research from Columbia University in New York.

Corrie
Block

Dr. Corrie Block

Corrie
Block

Dr. Corrie Block

Dr Corrie is a global business strategist, futurist and employee happiness expert who has worked on over 100 companies, from the World Bank and Council of Europe to tech startups, to prepare them for Industry 4.0 disruption, I would share strategies that companies and individuals can use to prepare themselves for a technological future. Featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, EuroNews, and CEO magazine, Dr. Corrie talks about emerging tech, the recipe for employee happiness and engagement and motivation. • Qualified in Artificial Intelligence, an NLP business practitioner and holds a Masters in Business Administration & Global Leadership, Doctorate in Business Administration and a Ph.D. in Arab and Islamic Studies. • The leading employee engagement expert, Dr. Corrie has unique research on the brain chemicals required for happiness. • Founded 5 successful businesses before becoming a futurist and business strategist, preparing organizations for disruption for emerging tech.

Thaer
Samara

Safra

Thaer
Samara

Safra

Thaer Samara is an entrepreneur that has been featured in Forbes Middle East as one of the top Arab Innovators. Thaer is the Founder and CEO of Safra, the travel technology solution for businesses in the MENA region. His 9 years of experience in the travel industry, has led him to witness the market needs, and therefore, eagerly establish Safra, one of the fastest-growing travel tech startup in the MENA.

Bijan
Azad

OSB, American University of Beirut

Bijan
Azad

OSB, American University of Beirut

Dr. Azad teaches in Executive MBA, Executive Education and MBA programs. Bijan pioneered the only experiential Venture Acceleration Practicum graduate course at AUB (modeled after Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad). In 2016 he designed AUB’s Growth Readiness Program that helps mid-range firms overcome scale-up challenges and reach $5 million revenue—supported by USAID. Bijan is active in the startup ecosystem as mentor/instructor at Arab Bank iHub, Amman Jordan, Flat6Labs accelerator, and IM-Capital MIT Venture Mentoring Service. 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.

Dana
Baki

Lunch On

Dana
Baki

Lunch On

Before co-founding LUNCH:ON, Dana was a Partner of Business Development at AlJal Capital—a boutique financing and venture capital firm in the United Arab Emirates. Previously, she worked for Procter & Gamble in the United States for 7+ years, benefiting from a wide range of assignments within the company and gaining expertise in Corporate Strategy, Marketing and Consumer Insights. She holds an MBA from Georgetown University and B.A. in Economics and English Literature from The University of Michigan.

Janardan
Dalmia

TRUKKIN

Janardan
Dalmia

TRUKKIN

An investment banker turned entrepreneur, Janardan Dalmia aka JD is the Founder and CEO of techno-logistics firm Trukkin. Prior to Trukkin, JD was an investment banker honing his corporate finance experience working with and advising on some of the very high profile M&A transactions over a decade at Barclays and Bank of America in Dubai and New York.

Walid
Mansour

Middle East Venture Partners

Walid
Mansour

Middle East Venture Partners

Walid has more than 15 years of experience in Venture Capital, strategy, corporate finance and engineering within the digital, telecom, software and new media industries. Prior to joining MEVP in 2010, Walid was a lead associate at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and before that he worked as a strategy manager at the UAE’s Prime Ministry Executive Office focusing on public policy initiatives. During his stay in Dubai, he worked on setting-up entrepreneurship related programs and developing incubation in the Arab World through several Dubai based initiatives such as the Mohammed Bin Rashid Foundation. Prior to that, Walid worked at Booz & Company as a consultant covering telecom & media. Prior to Booz & Company, Walid worked as an industrial engineer in France. In 2009, he completed Morgan Stanley’s summer associate program within their investment banking M&A division in London. Walid holds an industrial and urban planning engineering degree from Institut National des Science Appliquées de Lyon (INSA de Lyon) and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Richie
Santosdiaz

Rise Group ME

Richie
Santosdiaz

Rise Group ME

Richie is a management consultant with a specialty in the economic development and diversification context, particularly in the realm of internationalization (international trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) specifically). Now based in Dubai, Richie is the head of strategy for Dubai-based RISE Group ME, where he oversees strategic work with key projects and working internally with the management team with future company growth. Originally from the USA and having lived in seven countries with over 15 years professional experience, he spent almost 5 years until 2018 with a leading management consulting firm based in London; there he had a portfolio of high-level government (UK, Canadian, Mayor of London) and multinational corporate clients in Europe, North America and the Middle East. Richie has worked in others industries, such as higher education, manufacturing, transportation, NGOs and retail. Richie has worked with a wide range of sectors in the context of economic development and internationalization, but, in particular he developed a skill set and sub-passion for the agriculture/food, tech, tourism and creative industries sectors (particularly in film & television). Richie comments about economic development, some of which he has written opinion eds or quoted in some of the world’s leading outlets like Forbes.com, Entrepreneur, NBC News, various leading regional outlets like The National (UAE), The Muscat Daily and Arab News and Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) – to name a few.

Ryan
Sharif

Flat6labs Bahrain

Ryan
Sharif

Flat6labs Bahrain

Ryaan Sharif is 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 BAE Systems, CIMC, Ariston Thermo, Mondelez (Expansion), Aleastur, SMS Meer to invest in the Kingdom of Bahrain. In early 2018, Ryaan was appointed as the Managing Director of Flat6Labs Bahrain, the MENA Regions largest regional seed stage financier and accelerator program whereby they have already invested in 28 portfolio companies in Bahrain and over 260 portfoilio companies in Flat6labs Group.

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 led international expansion in Europe and Latin America and helped take the company public. 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 currently serves on the board of Yellow, Meliuz, Shedul, FiscalNote, and EatStreet.

Amit
Chaudhary

Lenskart.com

Amit
Chaudhary

Lenskart.com

Amit Chaudhary, Co-Founder, Lenskart.com is known for deriving innovative ideas and has a deep understanding and interest in Technology, Analytics, Operations along with an expertise in organizational development which has brought in a revolutionary growth in the business. Amit is also responsible for the aggressive offline expansion of Lenskart.com. The Omni Channel brand retails not only through its website also 500 plus stores spread across 100 plus cities at the moment and plans to ramp up the number aggressively making it the fastest retail growth witnessed in India.. Lenskart is India’s first and the only brand to use robotic technique that delivers glasses which are accurate to 3 decimal places. The brand has brought a Technology revolution in eyewear with services like 3D Try On and Home Eye Check Up.

Helen
Chen

Nomad

Helen
Chen

Nomad

Helen Chen is the CEO and Co-founder of Nomad, a property technology company in the Middle East. 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 whilst 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.

Jane
Khedair

London Business School

Jane
Khedair

London Business School

Following an education in business law, Jane spent eight years as an international credit analyst and corporate loan officer in the City of London. After founding Business Plan Services (‘BPS’) in 1991, which helped companies for over 20 years with business planning and proposals for bank finance, business angel funds, venture capital and grants, Jane became one of the UK’s leading authorities on business planning. Jane is co-author of the leading book Successful Business Plans and was a guest speaker on BBC Radio 4 on the subject as well as giving regular talks at business conferences and workshops. Since joining London Business School in 2013, Jane has supported entrepreneurial students by developing and delivering initiatives such as the Entrepreneur Journey events programme and the Entrepreneur Mentor in Residence initiative. Jane also runs the School’s Incubator programme, working with the (formerly Deloitte) Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to provide a support package and space for the Incubator businesses as well as access to a full range of professional experts. In addition Jane manages Enterprise 100, London Business School’s angel network, which she set up with faculty more than 16 years ago. The network provides early-stage funding for many of the School’s entrepreneurial ventures.

Eric
Cheng

Carsome

Eric
Cheng

Carsome

A serial entrepreneur, Eric Cheng founded Carsome to transform the used car industry in Southeast Asia. He leads the overall strategic direction of the business across multiple verticals and expansion strategies. Prior to Carsome, Eric accumulated 8 years of marketing experience in the internet industry and a pioneer in championing digital media within Southeast Asia.

Abe
Seksek

Startupbootcamp

Abe
Seksek

Startupbootcamp

Ibrahim Abe Seksek is the current Managing Director of Dubai Smart City Accelerator, powered by Startupbootcamp. Before joining Startupbootcamp he Co-Founded a couple of companies such as ZenHR Solutions, which addresses the entire HR cycle, and Crystel, Jordan’s first business process outsourcing (BPO) provider. Ibrahim also worked as Head of Global Operations Support for Naspers, the parent company of dubizzle and OLX, which oversaw the operations in 70 countries.

Noor
Sweid

Global Ventures

Noor
Sweid

Global Ventures

Noor Sweid is the founder of Global Ventures, a UAE-based, growth-stage venture capital firm focused on investing in emerging markets. Previously, Noor was Chief Investment Officer at The Dubai Future Foundation and Managing Partner at Leap Ventures. In 2008, Noor led the IPO for Depa on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ Dubai, scaling the business tenfold in three years to reach $600M in revenues. Noor founded ZenYoga, the first yoga and pilates studio in MENA, which she exited in 2014 through sale to a private equity firm. Noor is Chairperson of Middle East Venture Capital Association, was on the Founding Board of Endeavor UAE, and serves as a Director for MIT Sloan, TechWadi, and beyond. Recently, Noor was listed in the World’s Top 50 Women in Tech by Forbes.

Arif
Saiyad

ASA Ventures

Arif
Saiyad

ASA Ventures

Mr. Saiyad is the eponymous founder and CEO of Arif Saiyad & Associados Ventures, more popularly known as ASA Ventures. His foray into entrepreneurship started in his native Portugal, and in the last 15 years has successfully established businesses in the United Kingdom, India and the United Arab Emirates. Throughout his whole career, he has created, seed-funded, and made fruitful exits from over 60 companies across the world.

Major
Williams

DreamVille Labs PR

Major
Williams

DreamVille Labs PR

Agri-preneneur, athlete and hip-hop head, Major Dream, co-founded and launched The Vegan Cafe Wild & The Moon located in Dubai and Paris in 2014. After creating the establishment, which was voted among the Top 5 places to Eat Breakfast in Paris by Vogue Australia, Major has since gone on to evolve into a leader in the plant-based and farm to table movement. A Jamaican member of the diaspora, he moved to Puerto Rico in solidarity and with the mindset that the Caribbean is a Country of Islands that are ONE NATION. Fusing his Jamaican upbringing on the streets of the Bronx with his global perspective on spreading Agripreneurship, Major aims to make farming sexy and healthy again by making every jungle edible and doing away with food deserts. Major is currently operating DreamVille Labs PR, a startup in Puerto Rico focused on food resilience and promoting hyper local nutrient dense food for the island and all of the Caribbean. Empowering community by decentralizing the current Puerto Rican food system and creating a cyber marketplace for local at-risk community members to participate and create income.

Bilal
Baloch

GlobalWonks

Bilal
Baloch

GlobalWonks

Bilal’s background spans entrepreneurship, academia, and consulting in international affairs. He is Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of GlobalWonks: the world’s first real-time expert network. This tech-enabled platform connects global knowledge experts to clients ranging from financial institutions to Fortune 100 companies. Prior to starting GlobalWonks, Bilal was Regional Director for MENA & South Asia at the Wharton School’s Lauder Institute, University of Pennsylvania. Previously, Bilal was Chief of Staff to Dean Vali Nasr at Johns Hopkins SAIS and an Associate at leading expert network firm, Macro Advisory Partners in London. Bilal completed his bachelor’s at the London School of Economics and holds a master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He completed his doctorate in political science from Oxford University.

Pamela
Attebery

HSBC

Pamela
Attebery

HSBC

Leading HSBC’s innovation agenda across Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, Pam is a collaborator across the bank to link emerging technology with business strategy. She oversees the Dubai Innovation Lab, aimed at transforming the bank’s products and processes through strategic partnerships, driving innovative culture and serving as an incubator for new ideas. Pam has worked in a variety of roles and geographies spanning more than 20 years in financial services, bringing a wealth of experience and a creative mindset to open new opportunities in the bank.

Vijay
Tirathrai

techstars

Vijay
Tirathrai

techstars

Vijay is the ​Managing Director at Techstars. Techstars is the worldwide network that supports entrepreneurs succeed with a network of over 10,000 mentors in 150 cities worldwide. Through its mentorship-driven accelerator programs Techstars has invested in 1,900+ start-ups at seed stage with a portfolio valuation estimated at $22Bn. Currently he is managing the Techstars accelerator in partnership with Hub71 based in Abu Dhabi. Formerly, Vijay was the Global CEO of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) based in Washington D.C. At EO he ​led the growth of 16,000+ leading entrepreneurs with ​the combined revenue of $600Bn, through the expansion of a world class peer-to-peer network present in over 180 cities worldwide. As a serial entrepreneur, Vijay founded several start-ups including manufacturing of safety helmets, association management, event production and a venture fund. Early in his career he served in senior executive roles namely in fashion retail, clothing manufacturing and real estate development. ​ Throughout his career, he has taken up leadership and boards roles on several non-profit entities, such as the Young President Organization (YPO International Board), Richmond University (U.K.), the 16th Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games and as International Chairman of the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Now based in Abu Dhabi, Vijay has previously lived and worked in Dubai, Washington D.C, London, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Hong Kong. He ​is proactive in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem as an investor ​and mentor. During his spare time he is passionately exploring world heritage sites. https://www.linkedin.com/in/vijayktirathrai/

Daniel
Piehler

Nomad

Daniel
Piehler

Nomad

Dan Piehler is the Chief Product Officer and Co-founder of Nomad, a property technology company in the Middle East. Previously, Dan was a Senior Product Manager at Addepar, a Silicon Valley-based fintech company that provides data aggregation and performance reporting solutions to private wealth management firms. While at Addepar, Dan was responsible for driving the company’s portfolio of third-party integrations, APIs, and developer toolkit. Prior to Addepar, Dan served as the Head of Platform at Lumia Capital, an expansion-stage venture capital firm based in San Francisco. Dan was previously a Product Marketing Manager at ClearMomentum (Acquired by Ipreo) a provider of portfolio analytics software for private equity and venture capital firms. Dan holds an MBA from the Simon Business School and BA/Economics & English from the University of Rochester.

Amira
Rashad

BulkWhiz

Amira
Rashad

BulkWhiz

Amira is CEO of BulkWhiz, the first bulk grocery ecommerce platform in the Middle East, powered by home grown artificial intelligence. She has extensive strategy, operations and marketing experience across the technology, media, consumer products and services sectors. She was most recently the regional Head of Brand for Facebook Middle East, North Africa & Pakistan, working closely with leading global and regional companies as well as the startup and VC ecosystem. She has advised Fortune 500 companies as a senior consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, and led teams at PepsiCo, Yahoo, Dun & Bradstreet, and Leo Burnett Advertising, while working in the U.S., Europe, Middle East and Africa. Amira holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and is s a UK Foreign Office Chevening scholar. She is a board member of Tech Wadi in Silicone Valley and The MIT Enterprise Forum Middle East. Amira is a regular speaker at major regional events on ecommerce, artificial intelligence and women’s issues.

Walid
Faza

MSA Capital

Walid
Faza

MSA Capital

Walid Faza is a Partner and Chief Operations Officer at MSA Capital for MENA. With over 9 years of experience in the region’s Venture Capital industry, Walid is responsible for investments and partnerships. Walid is an advisor to many startups and has extensive managerial, leadership and mentorship expertise. Previously, Walid was a partner at Wamda Capital and managed the investments of MENA Venture Investments (MVI) investing in high growth and capital efficient technology businesses which include some of the region’s most prominent exits such as Souq/Amazon, Yemeksepeti/Delivery Hero and Careem/Uber. Prior to Wamda, Walid established his own immigration consultancy firm, created a music management company, and founded a non-for-profit organization.

Ben
Harburg

MSA Capital

Ben
Harburg

MSA Capital

The Managing Partner of MSA Capital, a venture firm based in Beijing that has invested over $1b over the last 4 years in many of China’s leading technology companies in the AI, consumer internet, and gene sequencing sectors (Didi, Mobike, Meituan, NIO, Beijing Genomic Institute, etc)

Philip
Bahoshy

MAGNiTT

Philip
Bahoshy

MAGNiTT

The founder and CEO of MAGNiTT, is the largest investment data platform for the MENA startup ecosystem, be investors, entrepreneurs and corporates. Raised in the UK with Iraqi origins, Philip obtained an MBA from INSEAD in 2013 and a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics. During his time in Dubai, Philip worked at Oliver Wyman in the Financial Services practice for three years, followed by nearly three years at Barclays Wealth working as Chief of Staff to the CEO advising on strategic initiatives. Philip has lived in the UAE for more than ten years and is passionate about developing the MENA startup ecosystem.

Muhammed
Mekki

AstroLabs

Muhammed
Mekki

AstroLabs

Muhammed is a Founding Partner at Dubai-based AstroLabs, the MENA region’s premier coworking community and learning academy for digital technology companies. AstroLabs operates a network of three spaces in the UAE and Saudi Arabia with over 120 resident companies building innovative technologies. AstroLabs Academy delivers a variety of practical training courses on topics related to digital business. Prior to AstroLabs, Muhammed co-founded Namshi, now one of the largest ecommerce companies in the MENA region. Muhammed is a former McKinsey & Company strategy consultant with clients across the GCC. Muhammed received an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Medea
Nocentini

AWROSTAMANI / C3

Medea
Nocentini

AWROSTAMANI / C3

Medea Nocentini is Chief Strategy Officer at the AW Rostamani Group where she is responsible for Group strategy and planning, investment strategy, market intelligence, risk management, performance management, and corporate marketing. Medea is also Co-Founder and CEO at Consult and Coach for a Cause (C3), a UAE-based organization fostering social enterprise in the MENAT region. C3 social entrepreneurship and innovation programs have helped more than 350 entrepreneurs and engaged more then 2000 experts with the support of blue-chip companies such as HSBC and Bain and Company. Prior to joining the AW Rostamani Group, Medea was Senior Vice President Strategy at OSN, the leading Pay TV platform in the MENA region, where she was responsible for corporate development, strategy planning, and management, as well as market and consumer intelligence. Before joining OSN, she spent several years at Booz Allen Hamilton developing strategies for media, consumer, and social sector’s clients across Europe, the United States, and the Middle East. She holds an MBA from Columbia Business School (New York, USA), an MSc in Mechanical Engineering from Politecnico di Torino (Italy) and an Engineering Diploma from Ecole Centrale Paris (France).

STEP Digital 2020 Speakers

Zhenpeng
Chen

Palazzo Versace Dubai

Zhenpeng
Chen

Palazzo Versace Dubai

Zhenpeng oversees all marketing activities targeting the China market for the first Versace-designed hotel in the Middle East, Palazzo Versace Dubai. The hotel is stepped in classic Italian design with waterfront views, landscaped gardens and rooms and suites furnished with the Versace Home Collection, making it a very enticing destination for Chinese luxury travelers. Zhenpeng has been instrumental in a developing and implementing a content strategy across social media, digital and PR to attract the Chinese market to the hotel over the last year. He has over 7 years’ experience in managing the Chinese social media accounts of some of the most iconic hotels in Dubai.

Zahra
El
Zayat

OSN

Zahra
El
Zayat

OSN

Zahra Zayat has just joined as the SVP leading OSN’s strategy on Digital, OTT (currently named as WAVO) and Telco. Zahra has been awarded “Woman Media Executive of the Year for Broadcast Industry” by BroadcastPro. Previously, and under her leadership, YuppTV has launched in the MENA and has grown to become one of the largest OTT platforms serving South Asians in the region. Zahra is an experienced media executive with expertise in OTT, e-commerce, digital transformation, telco partnerships, market entry strategies, technology and Analytics. She is passionate about re-inventing the future of TV and revolutionizing the way TV is viewed across the MENA region. Prior to joining YuppTV, Zahra has held senior leadership roles at OSN and Deloitte.

Pawan
Setpal

Adform

Pawan
Setpal

Adform

With more than 15 years of work experience in media, I’m an established Sales and Management professional. I have over 10 years’ experience in Digital Media in the MEA region across both large multi-national and start up growth companies. I’ve a keen interest in AdTech and have previously held positions as Head of Business at C1X MEA – a full-stack AdTech company and as Commercial Director at Clique Media – a Media Sales House, where I helped launch their SSP product called Aftermarket and was responsible for all the commercial aspects of the business in the GCC liaising with all holding group agencies. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with Linkedin, Yahoo! and Maktoob earlier in my career, selling media solutions in various capacities.

Darelle
Paniora

OMD

Darelle
Paniora

OMD

An experienced digital & planning director with a career that spreads across 4 countries and several industries (Travel & Tourism, Tech, Retail, Beauty, FMCG). She has mastered her craft in communication strategy, digital & omni-channel planning as well as cross-agency integration to develop holistic campaigns that deliver brand level and business results. She has an interest in measurement advancements, tech/data, innovations, start-up solutions and travel.

Jonathon
Padron

dubizzle

Jonathon
Padron

dubizzle

Jonathon is a veteran of digital media and advertising. He served as Publishing Operations Manager for an NGO news site in Washington, D.C. where he managed technology and revenue. Before that he was a Senior Analyst at comScore, where he provided research and measurement to pharmaceutical clients. Currently, he is the Head of Ad Operations for dubizzle and its sister sites across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

XU
YANG

Bytedance/TikTok

XU
YANG

Bytedance/TikTok

ByteDance is a technology company operating a range of content platforms that inform, educate, entertain and inspire people across languages, cultures and geographies. Dedicated to building global platforms of creation and interaction, ByteDance now has a portfolio of applications available in over 150 markets and 75 languages, including TikTok, Helo, Vigo Video, Douyin and Huoshan. ByteDance’s platforms aim to help users explore and discover the world’s creativity, knowledge and moments that matter in everyday life, while empowering everyone to be a creator directly from their smartphones. We are committed to building a safe, healthy and positive online environment for all our users. Nicole Yang has more than 7 years experience in the ME region. Currently, she’s working at Bytedance / Tiktok ME HQ office for managing partnerships and new users growth. Before Bytedance, Nicole worked as BD manager for Seeniun media, the biggest Chinese media in UAE for managing brands want to target China market, and Chinese outbound visitors.

Charles
Schreger

NYU

Charles
Schreger

NYU

Former president of HBO Enterprises, currently marketing professor at NYU Stern School of Business, visiting professor at American University in Dubai and former staff writer at the Los Angeles Times.

Amer
Attyeh

Exponential Interactive VDX.TV

Amer
Attyeh

Exponential Interactive VDX.TV

Amer Attyeh is leading Exponential Interactive (VDX.TV) in the Middle East and North Africa. As Managing Director MENA, his focus is to expand the business in the region and build partnerships with clients and media agencies, aimed to assist Exponential’s partners in accomplishing their strategies in an ever changing complex digital ecosystem. Amer is a champion of Innovative Business Development Strategies that build brands and drive Growth.his outstanding success in Developing & Executing Business Strategies, Online Brand Communication, Audience Data and Analytics, Connected TV, Digital Video Advertising & Performance Marketing, passion for E-Commerce and innovative Digital Marketing Technologies with main focus on Digital Transformation and Fourth Industrial Revolution made him a strong leader in the industry.

Waseem
Afzal

OMD

Waseem
Afzal

OMD

Waseem has driven OMD’s digital agenda over the past decade, breaking down silos to demonstrate the importance of this medium early on. Thanks to his dedication, our clients have been able to benefit from a strong early-mover advantage. Waseem has also been behind several industry-firsts, including the integration of digital within offline teams to create a new hybrid planning system well before anyone else in the region. Since 2016, Waseem has been responsible in incubating & scaling all diversified services including the launch of Transact, a full-service e-commerce unit within the company. In his recent appointment as Deputy Managing Director at OMD UAE, he is responsible for delivering impact and business performance.

Nicholas
Mott

ADARA

Nicholas
Mott

ADARA

Nick currently runs the commercial P&L for Adara in MENAT. Adara is a travel data company that specialise in providing the travel industry with customer insights and data intelligence that fuels Machine Learning to allow businesses to engage in more personalised ways with their customers. His knowledge is a blend of his understanding of the ever changing digital ecosystem dynamics and being able to consult and then translate what this means for his customers to allow them to make fast decisions.

Bassam
Rizk

OMD

Bassam
Rizk

OMD

Bassam has championed achieving efficiencies and profitability through data & technology which is used to support strategic recommendations. He has enabled clients to apply various techniques such as attribution modelling, advanced segmentation, data-driven targeting strategies, dynamic creative optimization, CRM and Omnichannel analysis. He also focuses on enhancing ROI though marketing automation and predictive technologies that put the customer at the center of all marketing strategies.

T.J.
Nammour

DMS

T.J.
Nammour

DMS

TJ is the Strategic Publishing Lead at DMS (Digital Media Services), whose purpose is to ensure that DMS’s publishers remain competitive in the market and attractive to advertisers. Through study and analysis of ever-developing digital trends, TJ strives to offer his publishers the very best analysis and advice he can to help them grow and remain prepared for the future. TJ has also recently discovered a love of home-brewed coffee and uses his colleagues as taste testers.

Marco
Bertozzi

Spotify

Marco
Bertozzi

Spotify

Marco Bertozzi is VP of Advertising Sales, EMEA at Spotify, responsible for the streaming company’s advertising revenue throughout the region. He began his career as a TV buyer at Zenith Optimedia, where he rose to Head of Digital. Since then he has held various senior leadership roles at Zenith, Vivaki and Starcom, specialising in programmatic strategy, Audience On Demand, addressable media and performance marketing. A regular contributor to Campaign on programmatic-related topics, Marco joined Spotify in January 2017 and is especially excited about the opportunities for programmatic audio and data innovation at the company.

Zeeshan
merchant

OMD UAE

Zeeshan
merchant

OMD UAE

Zeeshan leads the People Team at Marketing and Media Services agencies OMD UAE and Annalect MENA, where he oversees the entire Employee Experience cycle, while always looking to strengthen the organization’s ‘Great Place to Work’ ethos. During his 12 years with OMD, Zeeshan has moved from an Account Management role to leading the People Team within the company, where he uses his industry experience and knowledge to form a Talent Development and Engagement strategy, with the aim of creating a fulfilling work experience for the workforce.

David
AbiDaoud

Expo 2020 Dubai

David
AbiDaoud

Expo 2020 Dubai

A senior leader with a successful track record in the marketing space with 20+ years of experience leading multi-disciplinary teams across a wide range of industry’s specializing in Digital.

Jing
Leng

QFPay

Jing
Leng

QFPay

JING LENG has more than 10 years of experience in Payment & Chinese Marketing as well as Retail, Jing is the Director of Business development Middle east and North Africa of QFPay International Limited. Prior to QFPay, Jing worked at The Dubai Mall Management Office for managing China market, UnionPay Middle East.

Huiming
Shi

Aviamost Magazine

Huiming
Shi

Aviamost Magazine

Huiming manages Aviamost Magazine Chinese version, region’s leading luxury magazine distributed to more than 110 luxury hotels in the UAE. The magazine focuses on luxury retail & experiences in the UAE, and it is also available on board of First and Business Class in all Emirates and Etihad flights from China to the UAE. Having lived in Dubai for over 7 years, Huiming has previously worked in the luxury retail sector that was essential for Aviamost. She curates and oversees the planning and conception of both written & visual contents to be featured in print as well as online portal. The magazine targets Chinese tourists & residents in Dubai, with information on business, fashion, luxury, lifestyle and hospitality.

Nagham
Akileh

OMD

Nagham
Akileh

OMD

Nagham has over 15 years of digital marketing experience across various disciplines and verticals, and is part of OMD Transact- the agency’s e-commerce unit. She is passionate about technology, analytics and creativity, often interweaving all three in her work, some of which has been awarded at industry festivals. When she’s not podcasting or tweeting her thoughts, you can find her following TV shows or expanding her shoe collection as part of her ongoing eCommerce research.

JOHANNES
LARCHER

SHAHID, MBC GROUP

JOHANNES
LARCHER

SHAHID, MBC GROUP

Johannes Larcher is an accomplished and versatile internet and digital media executive whose track-record spans a wide range of industry sectors, functional roles, and company types. Johannes has successfully managed P&Ls from first revenue to over $300m in both B2B and B2C environments. During his tenure at Hulu (2009-2013) – the premium video service owned by Disney, Fox, and NBC – where Larcher served as SVP International, Larcher was responsible for all of Hulu’s activities outside the United States. Since leaving Hulu, Larcher has served as a strategic advisor and interim CEO for major broadcasters, studios and private equity firms, for which he evaluated and launched various OTT Video services in Europe, the US, and Asia. Immediately prior to joining MBC Group, he served as CEO and co-founder of SubVRsive, an Emmy-nominated VR and AR Content Production start-up funded by WPP. Through this venture, Larcher worked closely with global brands, including: Ford, Google, Showtime, and Walmart to create immersive brand experiences through 360 Video and interactive VR and AR applications.

BIG
HASS

RE-VOLT

BIG
HASS

RE-VOLT

Hassane Dennaoui , a.k.a Big Hass is the radio host of “Yalla Home”, a Drive Time show on Pulse 95 Radio. & also is the founder of Re-Volt Blog & Re-Volt Magazine. He recently launched his YouTube show Buckle Up which is a series of interviews he conducts on the go. He believes in Music Liberation and takes pride in supporting local & regional artists. His passion is all about being true to Hip-Hop culture. He also founded THE BEAT in 2013 which is a series of events aimed to support local artists by having them perform live. He has interviewed the likes of LL Cool J, Russell Simmons, K’naan, Pete Rock, Dj Premier, Dj Kool Herc, Omar Offendum, Narcy, Outlandish, and many local & regional talent. Big Hass has recently relocated to Dubai to enhance his Autistic kid’s life since the awareness in the UAE is much better than KSA. He uses his platform/voice to state that Autism is not a disease but its a way of life.

Youmna
Borghol

Choueiri Group

Youmna
Borghol

Choueiri Group

With over 10 years of experience in data and marketing analytics and a PhD in social media analytics, Youmna’s career has been focused on data-driven marketing and communications strategies to solve real business objectives for advertisers. Today, she heads the Data department at Choueiri Group; where she oversees all aspects of the data team and data-related product solutions on both the buy and sell sides.

Ece
Inanc
Stepien

AppsFlyer

Ece
Inanc
Stepien

AppsFlyer

Ece is the regional sales manager for AppsFlyer’s Middle East and Turkey markets. She’s been in the mobile industry for 10 years with a wide range of experience in mobile marketing, mobile content, ad networks.

Allan
Lim

Boopin Communications

Allan
Lim

Boopin Communications

Allan is a result driven, creative and customer orientated Management Executive with over 20 years of experience covering Asia Pacific and China. Equipped with a strong acumen in Business Development, Integrated Marketing, Digital Marketing, Account Management and Events Management, Allan possesses superior interpersonal skills, proficiency in English and Mandarin and the ability to resolve multiple and complex issues. He is highly adaptable to changing environment and is never afraid to get my hands dirty whenever necessary.

Samer
Saad

Criteo

Samer
Saad

Criteo

Samer Saad is heading Criteo’s agency-related business in the Middle East and Africa. As Agency Partnerships Director, his focus is on building and expanding trustful partnerships with digital and media agencies, aimed to assist Criteo’s partners within agencies in accomplishing their set client strategies in an ever changing complex digital ecosystem. Samer joined Criteo as senior Sales Manager back in 2015 to lead the company’s sales efforts in the MEA region at the time of its first regional office opening in Dubai. Samer joined Criteo from Yahoo!, where he held account management and agency lead positions.

Raouf
Ketani

Adylic

Raouf
Ketani

Adylic

Raouf Ketani has over 18 years of web and digital media advertising experience, delivering and operating large scale web advertising projects for a wide range of global clients. His experience spans across ad agencies, web publishers and ad technology providers.

Ovais
Ahmad

Boopin

Ovais
Ahmad

Boopin

Head of Programmatic and Performance

Solange
El
Rassi

Al Aan TV

Solange
El
Rassi

Al Aan TV

Solange El Rassi is Head of Corporate Communications for AL Aan Television. Among her areas of executive oversight are global brand marketing, corporate advertising, global media relations, website and interactive, and employee communications. With more than13 years’ of experience in media, Solange has strengthened top global brands while cultivating talent and key relationships across MENA Region, her focus is on corporate reputation management, with extensive experience at the head of large global and regional teams in advertising; brand building and consumer engagement; executive communications; consumer relations; global talent development; sustainability communications; crisis communications and issues management. With storytelling as her core skill, she has built and executed global thought leadership and campaigns programs for both brand building and demand generation. Solange holds a Master’s in Journalism & Mass Communications from Lebanese University and she has a special interest in social media and Arab youth.

Omar
Othman

Al Aan TV

Omar
Othman

Al Aan TV

Omar is a Marketing and Commercial professional with 15 years experience in the industry. Omar is currently the Commercial Director at Al Aan TV and also Heads the Digital Technical team which has over the past year revamped the company’s digital / app presence. He has also lead the project of the development of Al Aan’s Citizen Reporting app, Khabbir. Prior to his time at Al Aan, Omar spent over a decade at MBC Group/Al Arabiya News Channel and also worked for OSN during the transition and revamp of Go Online TV to WAVO.

Saif
Kidwai

Digital Gurus MENA

Saif
Kidwai

Digital Gurus MENA

Saif Kidwai is one of the Founders of Digital Gurus, a specialist global digital recruitment agency based in London, Dubai & Sydney. Over the past decade he has helped work with and scale up businesses across agencies (WPP, Omnicom) high profile brands (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Careem) and in the start-up world. In 2016 Digital Gurus were acquired by the Rethink group, Saif joined the board and later moved to Dubai to look after our office across the MENA region. We’re now a business of over 200+ consultants with 10 offices globally. Pre-acquisition Digital Gurus were also awarded 1st place as the most socially engaged recruitment agency in EMEA region for companies between 50-500 employees by Linkedin, which shows the influence the brand has been able to create in the space. Working alongside some of the most innovative and forward-thinking businesses in the digital space, in an area where demand outstrips supply he’s been able to carve out a niche as an advisor and consultant when companies are looking to scale up but also retain staff.

TJ
Lightwala

Accenture Interactive Middle East

TJ
Lightwala

Accenture Interactive Middle East

TJ brings 16 years of industry experience, including mastery in digital products such as programmatic, data platforms, biddable solutions and digital innovations. Her career roster includes FedEx MEIA, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch as well as prior stint at Aegis Media, all in Boston. She currently serves on the board of directors at Mobile Marketing Association, MENA and measurement chair of the same, global jury at ICom Data & Creativity and Board of Directors, at TIE Dubai chapter.

Walid
Kanaan

TBWA\RAAD

Walid
Kanaan

TBWA\RAAD

With over 23 years of advertising experience across the Middle East and North Africa, Walid has worked on hundreds of multinational and regional brands and managed to create iconic campaigns with tremendous impact on the media scene. Walid’s trophy cabinet goes all the way back to 1992, combining a diverse collection of prestigious local and regional award shows: Gold at the Gemas Effie, a multitude of Grand Prix awards at the Dubai Lynx, “Creative Agency of the Year” at both the Dubai Lynx and Mena Cristal Festival, in addition to many notable wins at esteemed international award shows such as the Cannes Lions, Cresta, Epica, Sabre, New-York Festival and the London International Awards. Walid was ranked #1 Chief Creative Officer in the MEA region by the B&W Report 2018 Rankings.

Rami
Zeidan

TikTok

Rami
Zeidan

TikTok

Rami Zeidan is Head of Video and Creative at TikTok. Driving with a team of TikTokers a mission to inspire creativity and bring joy through nurturing a wider creative community across multiple content disciplines such as Food, Fashion, Sports, Comedy, Music, Education, and more. Rami is a marketer who has previously worked on building the Anghami Brand, the leading music streaming service in MENA and OMD before that, consulting for global brands like McDonald’s , Visa, Pepsico, and GE. Fun fact, Rami is a father of twin daughters, a DJ, and an avid offroader.

Jim
Louderback

VidCon

Jim
Louderback

VidCon

Jim Louderback is among the most respected figures in digital media with a 20-year history of leadership at the intersection of publishing, media and technology. He currently runs events business VidCon as an independent division of Viacom. Jim joined VidCon in 2014 as editorial director of the industry track, and took over as CEO in 2017. in early 2018 he led the sale of VidCon to Viacom. He is also a Venture Partner at seed investment firm Social Starts and recently did extensive consulting with a variety of top tech and media companies. He previously built and sold online video network Revision3 to Discovery, was editor-in-chief of PC Magazine and founding content lead for cable network TechTV.

Nadim
Habr

Designhubz

Nadim
Habr

Designhubz

Nadim Habr is the founder and CEO of Designhubz, a SaaS that enables e-commerce retailers to sell their products in 3D & Augmented Reality (AR) on their websites and apps. Designhubz’ Robotic Rigs enable instant digitization of physical inventories and its ‘XR Commerce platform’ allows selling the products in Full 3D and Web-based AR to let retailers run highly interactive online stores. Nadim was awarded the 2019 Distinguished Young Alumnus Award from the American University of Beirut (AUB). Prior to starting Designhubz, Nadim founded AutoTech in 2014, a boutique one-stop-shop for supercars that started designing its own electric supercar before being sold in 2015. After AutoTech, he worked for 4 years as a Business Development and Technical lead at a regional maritime company based in UAE where he developed accounts with Oil & Gas majors. Nadim holds a BE in Mechanical Engineering from AUB, and a degree in Automotive Technology & Advanced Systems from the Universal Technical Institute of Pennsylvania. He joined Mercedes-Benz USA in Los Angeles after his graduation.

Zeina
Akkawi

Paz Marketing Management

Zeina
Akkawi

Paz Marketing Management

– 20 years of experience specialized in Marketing, Events & PR management. Part of the StartUpSchool.me government initiative, a member at the Women Council and a Community Activist focusing on CSR in the UAE – A marketing and PR professional, speaker and mentor; specialized in training entrepreneurs, promoting brands/organizations; and assisting in developing corporate and individual image and identity – A brand consultant with a role to build Marketing platforms for companies – Board Member with the Arab Fashion Council – Mentor on Chatello App (Download Now on Android and Iphone) – Podcast Host and Founder of 30mn with Zeina

Amy
Jones

Augustus

Amy
Jones

Augustus

Amy is the Content Director at Augustus, known for Lovin Dubai, Lovin Saudi, SMASHI tv and its content studio ODEUM. She started her career in London, specialising in Entertainment marketing – working for clients including Sony Pictures, Paramount and Universal Music, before making the move to Dubai in 2018. As Content Director she oversees all content output across brands, both commercial and editorial.

Christian
Eid

The Duck Way

Christian
Eid

The Duck Way

A start-upper for over 10 years with a spanning a career across the Middle East and North America building brands that make us proud.

Shaheen
Al-Khudhari

Ajar

Shaheen
Al-Khudhari

Ajar

Shaheen AlKhudhari is the Founder & CEO of Ajar Online. Shaheen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Starting his career as an accountant, Shaheen now has over 10 years of experience working in a variety of fields including logistics, real estate, finance, and IT. In 2016, Shaheen founded Ajar Online to solve a personal frustration that he faced while paying rent through traditional means. Since then, he has grown Ajar Online to be the leading property management and rent collection solution in the Middle East.

Shams
Al-Attar

Augustus Media

Shams
Al-Attar

Augustus Media

Born and raised in New Zealand with a degree in International Business & Management, Shams has been in the UAE for 6 years working in Advertising, media and startups. She has a passion for the startup ecosystem and everything tech related. She loves connecting with people and is an advocate for youth empowerment.

Moe
Hamzeh

Warner Music Middle East

Moe
Hamzeh

Warner Music Middle East

Moe Hamzeh was appointed Managing Director of Warner Middle East in February 2018. The newly formed organisation, based in Beirut, covers all the MENA region. Moe began his career in the music industry in 1998 as a Label Manager with Warner Music’s regional licensee at the time Music Master, overseeing the marketing & distribution in Lebanon. He then founded Temple Entertainment, an independent label and publisher, before working for Virgin Megastores, as a Product Marketing Manager. In 2008, he joined Melody Music Group as a General Manager. In 2012, he took up the role of Head of Content form M.Media, a V.O.D platform for Lebanese and regional movies, documentaries and series.

Stephanie
Atala

Influencer

Stephanie
Atala

Influencer

Stephanie Atala is an actor and singer. The French and Lebanese artist is based in Beirut. In 2020, Stephanie is starring as Lina, the protagonist in the feature film Farah (psychological thriller) co-directed by Hassiba Freiha and Kenton Oxley. Her most recent TV appearance is on Hadeth Aleb where she leads as Samar. As for her most recent on stage appearance, she plays a main role in Georges Khabbaz’ theater production Bel Kawalis. Stephanie hosts an online weekly show Kazdoura where she enjoys two of her favorite things: Comedy and Food. Joining her passions, Stephanie took part in a trilogy of music videos: In circle in 2017. She sang, acted and danced starring as «Nadine» in the film directed by Rachel Meg and shot in Los Angeles.

Mike
Fairburn

Mike Fairburn

Mike
Fairburn

Mike Fairburn

Mike leads the company in a dynamic, fast growing region that spans a vast market comprising Egypt, Lebanon, the Gulf countries and Pakistan amongst others. The labels head office in Dubai drives creative innovation for MENA talent through world class A&R, Creative Marketing & Promotions, Streaming and Global Distribution, Brand Partnerships and Live. Prior to joining Sony Music, Mike spent six years as CMO at the region’s biggest entertainment company – FLASH Entertainment. Mike arrived in the UAE in 2007 after a number of years in music and entertainment in the UK. He was part of the teams that launched global music and lifestyle concepts for Coca-Cola, Diageo, Orange and LVMH, working in China, Europe and the US. Mike also provided music consultancy to Orange UK and France Telecom, and developed sports and festival sponsorships for Johnnie Walker, Motorola and more. Mike is a founder member and Vice Chairman of the Marketing Society Middle East.

Ralph
Haiby

Sikasok

Ralph
Haiby

Sikasok

Ralph is the co-founder of Sikasok. He heads the operations in Lebanon & UAE along with the value-chain from supply to distribution, MarCom, & business development. Prior to Sikasok, Ralph worked in management consulting on Asia Pacific & GCC – wide projects; his projects have spanned growth strategies, B2B client acquisition strategies, and e-commerce business model evolution. Ralph has gained valuable work experience in project management, finance, and management consulting across the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Sweden. He graduated from the American University of Beirut with a degree in Economics.

Aws
Alnabulsi

Gamiphy

Aws
Alnabulsi

Gamiphy

Aws Alnabulsi, Chief Executive Officer of Gamiphy. With over 10 years of technology entrepreneurship and experience analyzing, optimizing, and delivering products, adopting a data-driven approach in the different aspects of building a business. Founded Gamiphy in late 2017 to become the dominant customer loyalty and gamification provider.

Tala
Samman

Myfashdiary

Tala
Samman

Myfashdiary

Tala Samman biography Having grown up in Dubai, Tala Samman calls the city her home. Born in Chicago to Syrian parents, Tala graduated from the London College of Fashion, and started the first blog to come out of the UAE, myfashdiary.com while studying and working at the Tom Ford headquarters in London. Tala moved back home to Dubai to work for Conde Nast, and eventually left to focus on expanding her site and focusing on her love for music. Tala currently runs her blog and DJs. Having expanded from a fashion blog, to a lifestyle site – Tala shares her experiences and regimens when it comes to beauty, travel, fitness and food. A brand ambassador for Breitling, Tala has also partnered up with Net-a-porter, Bobbi Brown, Sephora and Pantene. She also serves as a content creator for thehuntr.com and Hello! Magazine. Focusing on her music, Tala opened for Dua Lipa and Lana Del Rey, and plays for high profile events across the GCC – from luxury events for Michael Kors, Tod’s, and Jimmy Choo to streetwear parties for Adidas, Puma, Off White and Sole DXB.

Zahra
Khan

Feya London

Zahra
Khan

Feya London

Chef Zahra Khan is 28 years old entrepreneur who made the bold choice of becoming the mother of two little girls while opening two cafes (@FEYACAFE) and a dessert shop (@DYCELDN) in less than two years. Restless mindful, ambitious, she is a role-model for all women who want to fulfil their entrepreneurial and motherhood dreams. Connect with her on Instagram @ChefZahraKhan

Hamish
McPharlin

BBC Global News

Hamish
McPharlin

BBC Global News

Dr Hamish McPharlin is Head of Insight at BBC Global News. His research team track the health and consumption of the BBC News brand worldwide, using the latest in analysis technologies and data visualisation techniques. In addition, his audience research programme assists in optimising advertising strategy on BBC World News and BBC.com. Prior to the BBC, Hamish was Director of Research at award-winning London-based research agency Decipher for 10 years. He has a Marketing Degree and a PHD in Communications Studies from Murdoch University.

Omar
Chihane

Englease.com

Omar
Chihane

Englease.com

Omar is the founder and CEO of englease.com the region’s most effective online English teaching platform. In less than 6 months Englease.com has signed on some of the region’s largest corporates, have had thousands of registrations and is the GTM lead partner of a Global handset manufacturer in 5 countries. Omar is a corporate veteran and growing social media personality with a deep understanding of building network power, having built a platform of over 1million followers across the MENA region in less than 11 months Prior to Englease.com, Omar spent years leading organizations both regionally and globally with Siemens, Nokia and most notably Microsoft where he led one of their consumer divisions globally Omar hold an MBA from London Business School and has been living in Dubai since 2008.

Erica
Kerner

ONE Championship

Erica
Kerner

ONE Championship

Erica Kerner is currently Sr. Advisor at ONE Championship – Asia’s largest Sports Media Property. She was formerly Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Tiffany & Co. Asia Pacific. In this role, she was responsible for all aspects of Tiffany’s marketing and communications planning, strategy and implementation across all retail channels and all Asia Pacific countries. She held a similar position at Ralph Lauren prior to joining Tiffany in 2013 and brings to her role more than 20 years of marketing experience in Asia Pacific, specifically Greater China. Working for Adidas as director of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, she was responsible for all aspects of the company’s marketing, sponsorship, licensing and business development activities. She and her team won China’s first-ever Cannes Gold Lion for the adidas Olympics campaign. Erica held the same role for adidas at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Before joining Adidas, Erica was Director of Marketing and Communications for Special Olympics China, helping to develop the program from 50,000 to 500,000 participants. In addition, as an account director at J. Walter Thompson Shanghai, she was responsible for creative advertising development, product development and retail marketing for DeBeers and PepsiCo. She also worked at Nike in various roles including director of international marketing for Nike Retail and Asia Pacific marketing manager. Erica started her marketing and advertising career at Bates Advertising in Taiwan working on multi-national clients. Erica graduated cum laude from Tufts University in 1989 with a degree in international relations. She is also a founding steering board member of The Marketing Society Asia and Chairman of the Marketing Society South East Asia.

Maaz
Sheikh

STARZPLAY

Maaz
Sheikh

STARZPLAY

Maaz Sheikh co-founded STARZPLAY, the subscription video on demand service that streams to 20 countries across the Middle East and North Africa. AS CEO, he has led the company’s corporate and operational activities since it was established in 2014, driving its continued growth and expansion across the MENA region.

Hande
Cilingir

Insider

Hande
Cilingir

Insider

A 1X Enterpreneur and currently one of the Co-founders and Chief Executive Officer of Insider, Hande Cilingir is responsible for running efficient operations, building a strong company culture, managing overseas growth, supporting sales and marketing teams, sharing and developing Insider’s technology over 24 offices globally.

Juan
de-Lascurain

Dream big

Juan
de-Lascurain

Dream big

Juan de Lascurain is a designer – entrepreneur from Mexico city. A former tenis player and triathlete who was encouraged to paint by a lady that saw him doodling on a napkin. He started the Dream big brand in 2008 with the purpose of inspiring people to follow their dreams. Today he travels around the world sharing his story. Commercializing his designs and doing collaborations with tourist destinations like the Burj Khalifa, Kleenex and many others.

Mohammed
Tayem

Entourage Marketing & Events LLC

Mohammed
Tayem

Entourage Marketing & Events LLC

As a career entrepreneur, Mohammed Tayem has always seen opportunities for value creation when others planned an exit strategy. Mohammed established live communication agency entourage during the global financial crisis in 2008 at a time when international networks were closing. The idea was to partner with brands and tell their story going beyond the SLA model. Today entourage serves Google, LinkedIn, Prime Minister’s Office of the UAE and more, with dozens of industry accolades over the decade. The success of entourage inspired expansion into different industries: f&b, production solutions, outdoor media locations supply, education and digital publishing.

Emre
FADILLIOGLU

Interceptd

Emre
FADILLIOGLU

Interceptd

After a global corporate career that started at PWC and continued at Oracle, Emre decided to become an entrepreneur. Emre has founded, managed and scaled-up 4 technology start-ups with the help of top tier accelerators such as 500 Start-ups, and Techstars. He also took part in Executive Leadership Program at UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business. Emre has more than 15 years of experience in sales, business development, marketing, mobile, enterprise software, product, and team building. Emre is obsessed with the company culture and proud of attracting great talents to App Samurai and Interceptd.

Eman
Hylooz

Abjjad

Eman
Hylooz

Abjjad

I’m Eman Hylooz, founder & CEO of Abjjad, the biggest social reading platform with a community of 1,000,000 members where they rate, review, and get unlimited access to Arabic eBooks.

Yasmine
Rasool

Sunny Isle Studios

Yasmine
Rasool

Sunny Isle Studios

Yasmine is a Tech Entrepreneur focusing on Arabian social apps including Waastaa, Halla Walla and Wain Waleed. As Co-Founder of Sunny Isle Studios, she and her team aim to create social apps for the Arab social future. Yasmine is also a Cultural Advisor for the last 8 years with a passion for Art, Music and Film, and is an avid member of the culture scene in the UAE, London and New York. She believes in supporting regional artists internationally, and do so through her cultural investment platform, Yellow. Throughout her travels she has an extensive network of museums, galleries and auction houses with whom she collaborates regularly. Focusing mainly on broadening her understanding of the field, stay up to date with developments and build her creative and cultural network. A regular attendee at International Tech and Art Fairs, Yasmine is social and loves to constantly connect with people from around the world through storytelling to broaden her understanding, spark development and build her creative and cultural network.

STEP X 2020 Speakers

Robert
Scoble

Infinite Retina

Robert
Scoble

Infinite Retina

ROBERT SCOBLE: Infinite Retina Chief Strategy Officer | Spatial Computing Researcher | Expert on Augmented and Virtual Reality | Top Five Technology Blogger Robert Scoble is among the world’s best-known technology strategists. He is also a keynote speaker and most passionate about Virtual and Augmented Reality and how they will change and disrupt business. Based on his many meetings with tech pioneers and thinkers, he is always looking for early changes in patterns that foretell lasting trends. Three such trends have resulted in his three books. Siri was launched in his house. He did the first live video from inside the first Tesla (Elon Musk gave him a ride before he gave his best friend a ride). He has the first video of a Google self-driving car up on YouTube. He was first to show the world many companies and technologies, like those, and Flipboard, Pandora, Instagram, and thousands of others. Scoble is best known for his blog, Scobleizer, and associated social media accounts, like Scobleizer on Twitter, which came to prominence during his tenure as a technology strategist at Microsoft. He later worked for Fast Company as a video blogger and then Rackspace promoting breakthrough technology and startups and representing its brand to millions. Founded by Irena Cronin and Robert Scoble in October 2018, Infinite Retina, LLC, is the first strategy firm dedicated to helping big brands develop and implement spatial computing strategies (virtual and augmented reality, along with other computing that humans, robots, or virtual beings can move through). They believe that a decade from today the center of digital commerce and life will have migrated from today’s handsets to tomorrow’s VR and AR headsets — or smart glasses, as they might be called. Robert wants to help brands understand, plan, and implement strategies to make this vital transformation. Robert is working with Irena on a new book, “Infinite Retina,” which will be published in Spring 2020. It will focus on several industries that will radically change in the 2020s due to Spatial Computing. In addition, Robert has interviewed thousands of tech company founders, and his previous three books, written with Forbes author Shel Israel, have predicted three decade-long trends: “Naked Conversations” predicted how businesses would use social media before Facebook became popular. “Age of Context” predicted how wearable and mobile technology would bring new kinds of software. His most recent book, “The Fourth Transformation,” predicts how augmented and virtual reality will change every business. As a globally in demand keynote speaker Robert delivers a rocket ride through the future of technology, and shows you how your business is about to be disrupted by a perfect storm of technology changes. Spatial Computing, whether we call it mixed reality, augmented reality, or virtual reality, will join with autonomous vehicles, crypto currencies, new kinds of artificial intelligence and voice first systems, like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, along with other deep infrastructure changes from new kinds of cloud architectures to 5G to radically change what we think of computing and, even, what it means to be human.

Mr.
Samer
Obeidat

Stallion.AI

Mr.
Samer
Obeidat

Stallion.AI

Mr. Obeidat is a global serial entrepreneur, researcher, and an impactful investor. He has over a decade of experience in leading successful technology startups, business consulting and fintech. In 2013, Obeidat built the first online investment platform for spot precious metals deliverable contracts, and was involved, as of 2016, in the investment of over a US$ billion in the gold markets in the EMEA. In 2017, he founded Investifai, an artificial intelligence (AI) powered wealth management startup, producing higher risk-adjusted returns than most of the traditional investment managers. Obeidat holds a BA degree in applied chemistry from Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), and a masters’ degree in global management (MGM) from Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC, Canada, where he conducted an empirical research that focuses on managing global multi-asset investment portfolios using machine learning models.

Adam
Durant

Satavia

Adam
Durant

Satavia

Dr. Adam Durant is CEO and Founder of Satavia. Satavia’s vision is to make aviation smarter by simplifying decision-making for greener, next-generation aviation. Prior to founding SATAVIA, Dr. Durant worked as a professional atmosphere and climate scientist, and held posts at the University of Cambridge and the Norwegian Institute for Air Research.

Daniel
Gamber

BYTON

Daniel
Gamber

BYTON

Daniel Gamber is an entrepreneurial and result-driven executive contributing to the development of smart and electric mobility initiatives over the past decade. – Daniel’s passion for user-centric business models, shared mobility, and electric vehicles has led him to join BYTON in 2017. As the director of Business Development and Strategy, Daniel is currently leading strategic projects and partnerships for the global start-up. Based out of Silicon Valley, Daniel helps to establish a unique auto-tech ecosystem for the company. BYTON is building all new premium electric vehicles engineered around an immersive digital infotainment system. – Prior to BYTON, between 2010 and 2017, Daniel Gamber was employed in a series of positions at BMW Group in Germany, USA, China and Sweden. He was critically involved in leading the BMW i Project Management Office for the global launch of the first all-electric BMW i3 and plug-in hybrid BMW i8. Daniel’s positions in product management and corporate strategy have provided him with a track record of successfully leading complex matrix organizations and projects from vision to implementation. – Daniel Gamber holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Mannheim. He is a passionate skier, trail runner and traveller.

Liz
Madaras

poliloop

Liz
Madaras

poliloop

Liz, a bioengineer, has worked at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Sanofi and abroad in a joint project of the Ankara Medical University (Turkey), Duke (USA) and Istituzione Nazionale di Santina (Italy) as a researcher, at Gedeon Richter plc. as an analyst. As part of her work she has worked with genetically modified microbial cells and animal cell lines. Additionally for her work she uses bioinformatics and computational chemistry to study and model proteins. She is fluent in 4 languages and can order food in 3 more. As a side hussle she has been selling knives since her late teenage years.

Fodhil
Benturquia

Okadoc

Fodhil
Benturquia

Okadoc

Fodhil Benturquia is the Founder & CEO of Okadoc, the GCC’s leading healthtech startup with the mission to improve the healthcare experience for all. Under his leadership, Okadoc was named 2019 Arabian Business Start-up of the Year, Healthcare Innovator of the Year at the 2019 Entrepreneur Magazine’s Agility Awards and International Healthtech Start-up of the Year by CV Magazine. He was named among the GCC’s top 100 inspiring leaders of 2019 by Arabian Business magazine and listed in the same magazine’s 40 top entrepreneurs and business leaders under 40. Fodhil is a veteran of the technology ecosystem in the region having co-founded MarkaVIP in 2010 and later joining the core team of Souq.com where he launched the Deal of the Day and rose to become the company’s head of Saudi Arabia, Souq.com’s largest market. In 2015, Fodhil was appointed Group CEO of Noon.com where he built the company from the ground-up to become one of the largest e-commerce players in the region. After a frustrating personal experience booking a doctor’s appointment, Fodhil founded Okadoc with a vision to leverage technology to simplify and improve the broken patient experience while at the same time improving operational efficiency for healthcare providers. Okadoc is the region’s first instant online appointment booking platform that seamlessly connects healthcare providers and doctors with their patients. Patients can use Okadoc to find in-network (insurance) doctors across any location, specialty, language spoken, or gender and view real-time availabilities, instantly book appointments, receive reminders, reschedule, cancel or even request earlier availability. For healthcare providers, Okadoc provides both a 24/7 intelligent medical calendar system and a fully interoperable solution that integrates with most hospital information systems. Okadoc helps doctors, clinics, and hospitals reduce ‘no-shows’, optimize their bookings, attract and engage new patients.

Jamil
Fursan
Asfour

Abu Dhabi Investment Office

Jamil
Fursan
Asfour

Abu Dhabi Investment Office

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.

Stuart
William
Auld

A.L.I. Technologies Inc

Stuart
William
Auld

A.L.I. Technologies Inc

Stuart hails from the Blue Mountains of Australia and is now working as the marketing manager at A.L.I. Technologies Inc., an air-mobility startup based in Tokyo, Japan. They are involved in various different industries, including industrial and racing drones, cloud-based computing power sharing, and flying vehicles. Stuart shares the company’s belief that the future is, and always has been, up.

Dr.
Ahmad
Khwileh

Google MENA

Dr.
Ahmad
Khwileh

Google MENA

Dr. Ahmad Khwileh is a Solutions Lead, AI & Data science at Google MENA HQs in Dubai. He leads the newly established Machine Learning group on a mission to transform the marketing and ads ecosystem in the MENA region using AI technologies. Dr.Khwileh has over 12 years of experience, 7 of them spent working at Search and Publisher Quality teams at Google developing world-largest AI solutions to protect Google ads and search results from fraud and spammy content. He holds a PhD in Information Retrieval and Artificial Intelligence from Dublin City University in Ireland, Masters and Bachelors degrees in Computer Science from Yarmouk University in Jordan. Dr.Khwileh is actively conducting part-time research and reviewing for many scientific journals specialized in areas including Arabic Natural language processing, Information Retrieval and Data Science. His research contributions were published in multiple top tier peer-reviewed conferences and AI Journals such as the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research and others.

Nizar
fakih

STEP Group

Nizar
fakih

STEP Group

Nizar is the Co-Founder of STEP Group, the company behind MENA’s largest and most exciting tech event, STEP Conference. He has been a main part in growing it to its current size, launching content platforms StepFeed and YallaFeed, and has recently focused his interests on growing STEP’s startup and events programming services. He has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, mentored dozens of startups and delivered multiple workshops on leadership and entrepreneurship. Nizar studied Engineering at the American University of Beirut and holds an MBA from IE Business School in Madrid. He has lived in 6 different countries, speaks 5 different languages and is intrigued by all ideas that drive the modern world: political, social, economical and cultural. He spends a lot of time traveling, following sports, watching movies, and reading about almost anything he bumps into.

Amadou
Diallo

DHL

Amadou
Diallo

DHL

Since June 2017 Amadou Diallo is CEO of DHL Global Forwarding Middle East & Africa. He is the founder of Saloodo! GmbH. He was previously CEO DHL Freight, CEO Africa and South Asia Pacific DHL Global Forwarding and prior to this Chief Financial Officer of Deutsche Post DHL Logistics Divisions and Managing Director for the integration of Exel and DHL. Mr. Diallo has more than 25 years of experience in the tourism, banking, express and logistics industries. He is Senegalese and is fluent in several languages including English, German, French, Fulani, Wolof and Spanish. Mr. Diallo is Chairman of Amref in Germany and in the boards of Welthungerhilfe, Africa 2.0, Schiller International University …

Mia
Jafari

Intelak

Mia
Jafari

Intelak

Mia believes entrepreneurship is at the heart of economic growth and collaboration between corporates and startups create a cultural of innovation that is critical for building a sustainable future. Mia leads the Intelak incubation program and the plethora of events and activities Intelak runs and designs and leads workshops in creative thinking, resilience and lean design. Mia is passionate about creativity, human-centred design, art of hosting and building strategic partnerships that bring about the future of business forward.

Demet
Karaali

Mercedes Benz Cars & Vans Turkey

Demet
Karaali

Mercedes Benz Cars & Vans Turkey

Joining Mercedes-Benz Turkey in 2002, Dr. Demet Karaali has held a series of increasingly expanding positions, including the CEO& President Assistant, Head of IT for sales, aftersales and retail and CIO of Mercedes-Benz Cars and Vans Turkey. Since 2010, Dr. Demet Karaali has been a leader in information technology management with a focus on the digitalization. As CIO of Mercedes-Benz Cars and Vans Turkey, Karaali manages all IT aspects of sales, aftersales, marketing and retail in MB Cars, Vans Turkey and providing various IT services throughout Istanbul to global Daimler locations. Karaali provides leadership for the continued development of an innovative, robust, and secure information technology environment throughout the company. Under her leadership, IT in Turkey has consistently earned recognition and awards for achievements. Karaali received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Technical University of Istanbul and completed her Phd at the same university in Industrial Engineering. She has completed numerous executive leadership and management training programs during her career.

Leila
Serhan

Microsft FZE

Leila
Serhan

Microsft FZE

Leila Serhan is currently the Regional Director for Public Sector for Microsoft Corporation in the Gulf region covering UAE, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain. Prior to that, her experience spanned across Emerging Markets in the MENA region, leading global sales, marketing and services for more than 16 years with Microsoft, focused on developing the company’s in-country presence and strategy in countries like Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan. Prior to joining Microsoft, Leila held different positions with one of the leading telecom operators in Lebanon. In October 2016, she became the President of the Women in IT association in Lebanon. She is a speaker in many forums and conferences, specially focused on Women empowerment, Diversity and Inclusion, and Women in STEM. Leila holds a degree in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut.

Karl
Feilder

Neutral Fuels LLC

Karl
Feilder

Neutral Fuels LLC

In 2011, Karl pioneered commercial biofuel productionin the Middle East when hecommissioned the UAE’sfirst cleantechbiofuelrefinery in Dubai. Today, it’sthe largest group of cleantech fuel facilities in the GCC,and Karl’s direct actions to mitigate climate change haveresulted in over 12 million tonnes of CO2 savings. Eachfacility uses local waste cooking oils and transformsthem into a clean, green ultra-sustainable fuel which canrun in any diesel engine without any modifications. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Contact (+971)[email protected] to book Karl for your next event. Over the past five years, Karl has pioneered the use of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors tooptimise waste and fuel management, saving time and money for customers. Adding to the manyaccolades Karl and Neutral Fuels have won.Neutral Fuels was recently awarded a place on the Mohammed bin Rashid InnovationFund Accelerator (MBRIFA). It is one of just seven companies chosen from hundreds ofapplications representing 29 countries. Karl has built and sold five companies (the first to Microsoftand the last to DHL) and led two more to their Initial Public Offering (IPO). Karl is now preparing theNeutral Fuels group of companies for an IPO on the London AIM stock market in 2024, and coachingother start-ups at Hult International Business School. Recognised by the World Economic Forum as aTechnology Pioneer, Karl holds an MBA, a B.Eng. (Hons) in Industrial Engineering and Germanlanguage, and is writing his PhD thesis on “Psychological profiling of start-up teams.” He is aninternational conference speaker, and the lead vocalist for Dubai based classic rock band Sandstörm.

Ayman
Alashkar 

OVERWRITE.ai

Ayman
Alashkar 

OVERWRITE.ai

After 20 years’ experience working in real estate and with Artificial Intelligence, Ayman is the founder and CEO of property tech platform Overwrite.ai, and AI design and development AI studio OBOTO. An expert in custom made AI solutions for SMEs across industry, including FMCG, health, real estate and banking, Ayman is an expert in using Artificial General Intelligence and Artificial Special Intelligence to solve real world problems. The first of its kind, Overwrite.ai has disrupted the real estate marke t worldwide by using narrow AI to write property listings better than any human, saving Real Estate organizations a magnitude of time that was once spent on an everyday task. In 2008 Ayman was a pioneer in predictive modelling for property, completing his thesis on the infrastructure of urban planning, and heading up the UK wise research and advisory team at Colliers Real Estate, prior to becoming Head of Real Estate Wealth Management at Emirates NBD,handling assets over $2. 2US billion. Ayman was the Co Founder and Managing Partner of ARK Proventus, a real estate transaction platform and Board Member of Serenia Residences. A graduate of MIT, Artificial Intelligence for Business Strategy, with a bachelor in Maths and masters in Real Estate Investment and Development, Ayman is solution oriented, “numbers junkie.” He believes in owning your mistakes and failing fast. He is not afraid to share his failures along with his success and is an honest, raw voice in the UAE entrepreneurial landscape.

Irfan
Tansel

Al Masaood Automobiles

Irfan
Tansel

Al Masaood Automobiles

Irfan Tansel is a global citizen and the CEO of Al Masaood Group. After starting his career as an engine apprentice at the tender age of 15, Irfan has over 40 years’ experienc e working for family offices spanning across 3 continents. An entrepreneurial and visionary leader, Irfan is credited for his unique approach to company strategy, culture building within organizations and more recently, succeeding in a challenging market; this year Al Masaood gained global recognition for achieving 68% growth after re strategizing, repositioning on the automotive market and hiring a diverse workforce. An award winning CEO who is featured across publications including Forbes, CEO Middle East, Al Bawaba, Gulf News and Entrepreneur, Irfan speaks internationally and delivers motivational keynotes on preparing businesses for disruption, leadership, autonomous vehicles, transportation of the future and the green economy. Driven to build a legacy, Irfan has a competitive nature. And, after achieving his goals and reaching the peak of his career, Irfan is determined to inspire tomorrow’s leaders by sharing his career knowledge. When Irfan isn’t preparing for a future of disruption as autonomous vehicles and ridesharing comes into play, you can find him spending time with his family and playing golf

Charles
Blaschke

Taka Solutions

Charles
Blaschke

Taka Solutions

Founded Taka Solutions in 2013 to reduce the worlds energy consumption by 20% using fully-financed, paid-from-savings projects for smart buildings. Combining technology, finance and engineering by applying IoT, energy modeling and digital twins to save and predict Energy. Charles has raised 200m AED fund to invest in projects to so there is no investment from the customer to transform their assets to smart and low carbon buildings.

Pinaki
Laskar

Fisheyebox

Pinaki
Laskar

Fisheyebox

Pinaki Laskar, CEO & Founder, FishEyeBox. A disruptive Innovator & cognitive Technologist, has been founding brain for many disruptive AI solutions Ranging from Autonomous Car and ITS, AI-based Music and Retail. An expert and Distinguished Inventor in Artificial Intelligence and IOT with research in AI and Ethics. A thought leader and speaker at various conferences including ‘Make in India’, Mumbai, TIE – Bangalore, Sevan Startup Summit – Armenia, Neural Networks Conference – Finland, Artificial Intelligence International Conference – Barcelona, Cloud Expo, USA and many more with a work experience of two decades.

Joey
Bertschler

Cool Japan Holdings

Joey
Bertschler

Cool Japan Holdings

Joey Bertschler is an Austrian-Liechtenstein social blockchain entrepreneur. As CEO of Cool Japan Holdings he aims to make Japan carbon neutral by 2030, democratize AI with bitgrit Inc., and enable compliant and efficient capital-raising and transactions as VP of the Security Token Alliance, the industry’s most prominent think tank with over 100 partners. He started his entrepreneurial journey when he founded a media outlet at a very young age before entering the Blockchain space. Having visited over 20 countries, he built a genuinely cosmopolitan mindset.

Raghida
Dergham

Beirut Institute

Raghida
Dergham

Beirut Institute

Raghida Dergham is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Beirut Institute and Columnist for The National. She served as Columnist, Senior Diplomatic Correspondent, and NY Bureau Chief for the London-based Al-Hayat for 28 years. Ms. Dergham was named one of the 100 Most Powerful Arab Women in 2011 and in 2016, and in 2017 she was named Arab Woman of the Year for her achievements in Journalism. In 2018, she was named one of the 50 Most Influential Women in the Arab World.

Zohaib
Ali

Airlift

Zohaib
Ali

Airlift

In January 2019, he started Airlift Technologies, a smart-bus solution designed to cater to the mass transit market. Since then, Airlift has gone on to become a household brand, transporting hundreds of thousands of passengers weekly in Pakistan. Having raised the region’s largest Series A round (USD 12 Million) in record time. Zohaib’s day-to-day role at Airlift involves driving the business forward on its journey to become Asia’s largest mass-transit network.

Nadim
Taoubi

Natufia

Nadim
Taoubi

Natufia

Nadim is passionate about directly impacting peoples lives by giving them tangible and practical solutions to reconcile healthy living with sustainable growth. Nadim joined Natufia’s co founders to help realize this ambition as the Chief Operations Officer. At Natufia Labs, he oversees company’s corporate finance, strategic growth and business partnerships.

Jamil
Asfour

Abu Dhabi Investment Office

Jamil
Asfour

Abu Dhabi Investment Office

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.

Hans
Schreuder

enaible

Hans
Schreuder

enaible

Hans is co-founder of enaible and leads the business in the region. enaible is AI-powered Leadership: We enable leaders to become the best they can be, then better! We turn your underutilized system data into a normalized scoring and leadership recommendations to increase your productivity. Prior to enaible, Hans spent over 15 years as investment banker ans strategy consultant focused on telecom and emerging technologies, of which the past 10 years based out of Dubai. He is also an active angel investor, having backed 15 startups including Rasello, a leading analytics and communication platforms focused on healthcare NGOs across emerging markets, where he is non-executive Chairman. Hans is a graduate of Babson College.

Adah
Parris

The House of Griots

Adah
Parris

The House of Griots

Futurist, Storyteller and Cultural Strategist. A polymath and enthusiastic curator of people, patterns and stories. In 2019, Adah was recognised as one of TED Talks Global Emerging Innovators and was nominated by Google. In 2018, she was recognised as one of the UK’s Top 100 Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Leaders in Technology. Adah is a storyteller who empathetically subverts the status quo. She takes a philosophical approach to technology, hones her skills in pattern recognition and creates immersive storytelling and learning and development environments. Cultures in which her clients and audiences become critical thinkers, philosophers and immersive storytellers, problem-solvers. Innovators. With over 20 years experience in transforming cultures to nurture decentralised humanity-centred innovation environments. Adah has worked with businesses and individuals in advertising, education, entertainment, entrepreneurship, marketing, media and, technology start-ups. Her clients and partnerships have included Google, Unilever, Sainsbury’s, Oath, Ogilvy Labs, The British Council, The EU Council, The Tate Modern, the British Film Institute (BFI), The Union Chapel, Burning Man Camp: Playground, ArabNet Dubai, Innovate Finance, Wayra UK, The Friday Club, and Shambala Festival to name a few.

Baher
Al-Hakim

Medicus AI

Baher
Al-Hakim

Medicus AI

Dr Baher Al Hakim is a dentist by study and a serial entrepreneur by practise, with 14 years experience in a broad spectrum of disciplines including product & technology, business, sales and marketing. Since June 2015, he is the CEO of Medicus AI, applying the latest technologies & trends in AI, mobile and design into redefining the state of healthcare. Before Medicus, he founded several startups, including CloudAppers digital agency in 2008, napkin startup studio in 2012, and Wally, a smart personal finance app that became no. 1 finance app in 22 countries.

Jihad
Tayara

Evoteq

Jihad
Tayara

Evoteq

Jihad Tayara is the Chief Executive Officer of EVOTEQ, a UAE-based solutions provider that champions technological innovations and digital transformation across the region. In his role, Jihad is driving EVOTEQ’s vision to be the region’s premier technological innovations and digital transformation partner. Leveraging on his expertise, Jihad is spearheading the development of disruptive technological solutions that increase efficiency, support business growth, and fuel digital innovation. Under his leadership, EVOTEQ has undertaken several large-scale projects, including the award-winning implementation of the region’s first fully AI-integrated Office of the Future, delivering the largest municipal digital transformation project in the region and deploying Sharjah’s first blockchain platform.Prior to EVOTEQ, Jihad held senior leadership positions in du, Motorola Networks and Investcom.

Ayman
Sharaiha

Altibbi

Ayman
Sharaiha

Altibbi

Ayman is a Co-Founder at Altibbi, the leading Middle East digital health platform. His domain covers Operations, Marketing, Business Development & Business Intelligence to assist the company’s growth. Prior to his Co-Founder role at Altibbi, Ayman was a Vice President at IMENA Group, an internet investor and operator. His area of focus was corporate development, which revolved around fund raising on the investment side; strategy, business intelligence and monetization on the operations side. Ayman also founded his own telehealth company in the US. The company aimed at bridging the gap of healthcare quality between the US and the rest of the world through its global telehealth platform. Ayman holds an MBA from The Wharton School of Business and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School. He is passionate about entrepreneurship, Spanish proficiently and enjoys playing squash regularly.

Haris
Aghadi

Meddy

Haris
Aghadi

Meddy

Haris is the Founder & CEO of Meddy. He is a consumer internet addict with a passion for building products that solve real problems. He has a special interest in content-focused products that help people make better decisions. Haris has a strong background in product management, SEO and startups. He rants about them on Twitter. He occasionally writes guest posts for Entrepreneur MiddleEast magazine to inspire entrepreneurship in the region. Haris is currently running Meddy – a doctor discovery platform in GCC aimed at helping people in the region make informed health decisions. He Launched Meddy out of a course project at CMU, recruited 2 other co-founders and went from an idea to a public beta in 6 weeks. It’s currently the largest online healthcare platform in Qatar & UAE. It’s been extensively covered in major news outlets like Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Entrepreneur, ArabianBusiness, etc.

Karl
Jeanbart

Derq Inc.

Karl
Jeanbart

Derq Inc.

Karl Jeanbart is COO and co-founder of Derq, an award-winning MIT-spinoff with a mission to eliminate road accidents and save lives. Derq was founded in Dubai in 2016, in 2017 was selected to join the prestigious Techstars Mobility accelerator in Detroit, and in 2019 won best AI startup at SXSW. A former management consultant with Oliver Wyman, Karl advised ministers and senior executives on strategy and organizational matters in regulated industries, financial services and public sector. Karl also has previous engineering experience with major EPC firms, Utilities and Fortune 500 companies. Karl holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from McGill University with focuses on Finance and Entrepreneurship and graduate studies in Business Analytics applied to Energy. He is also a registered Professional Engineer with the Order of Engineers in Quebec, Canada.

STEP Money 2020 Speakers

Imran
Aziz

Dapi LTD

Imran
Aziz

Dapi LTD

Founder of Dapi, the first fintech infrastructure platform in the region that makes it possible for startups to launch innovative financial products. Mohammed is a serial entrepreneur who successfully established two tech startups in the MENA region prior to building the rails of fintech.

Alejandro
Carbon

Alfaisaliah

Alejandro
Carbon

Alfaisaliah

Alejandro is currently Chief Portfolio Officer for Venture Investments at Al Faisaliah Group. From 2016 to 2018, Alejandro was CEO of Beam for the Middle East, the leading UAE mobile wallet app that combines payments and rewards acquired by Majid Al Futtaim Group. In his previous role the Group, Alejandro was Executive Director for Alternative Products and Analytics function for MAF Finance (2014-2016) and VP Corporate Development, (2008-2014) responsible for Corporate Strategy and M&A for the entire Majid Al Futtaim Group. Prior to joining Majid Al Futtaim, Alejandro was Associate Principal with McKinsey&Co. He mostly focused on the Financial Services sector in multiple countries, including Venezuela, Colombia, Dominican Republic, USA, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and UAE. Alejandro also enjoys supporting entrepreneurship. He has been an active mentor at Endeavour for the last 5 years and Advisory Board Member at Mumzworld, Eyewa and Raffles International School in Dubai and Board member of STC Pay, the leading mobile wallet in KSA, and Nuwa Capital, a Venture Capital firm with focus on Middle East Seed to Series B investments. Alejandro has Spanish nationality where he grew up. During his life, Alejandro has lived for long periods of time in Spain, Venezuela, Australia, USA, Colombia, India, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and UAE. Alejandro has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, USA) and an Industrial Engineer degree from University Simon Bolivar (Caracas, Venezuela).

Ali
Abulhasan

Tap

Ali
Abulhasan

Tap

Ali Abulhasan pursued a double major in Accounting & Marketing at the University of San Francisco with a minor in Graphic Design. He started his career in the oil & gas retail industry and the banking & financial services industry. His career also included a stint in the telecom industry which enabled him understand the need for value added service innovation to become more consumer-centric and technology-driven. Ali Abulhasan founded Tap Payments in 2013, disrupting the Fintech industry in Kuwait, to solve online payment problems in Kuwait & the region by enabling all businesses to accept and collect online payments in days rather than weeks. The company today serves businesses of all sizes in nine countries within the MENA region.

Danish
Farhan

Xische & Co.

Danish
Farhan

Xische & Co.

Danish is an investor, storyteller & entrepreneur. Born and raised in the Middle East, Danish is a serial entrepreneur turned investor, heading privately-held group Xische Holdings , co mprised of a strategy boutique, communications agency, AI platform and publishing house, across Dubai, New York and Kuala Lumpur. Danish and his teams have spent seventeen years advising, creating, and investing in ventures for clients including the UAE Prime Minister’s Office , The Executive Council, UAE Mars Mission, Dubai Holding, Smart Dubai & DEWA . Evangelical about entrepreneurship, culture and anti-disciplinary thinking, Danish is a strategic advisor to the Government of Dubai , co-author of Dubai’s Happiness Agenda , and co-founder of World Happiness Summit. He serves as a board member of Dubai Government venture MORO, and is a Committee member for Dubai Holding’s in5 accelerator. An international keynote speaker, Danish has been quoted in TIME Magazine and Financial Times, and serves as a global brand ambassador of Infiniti Automobiles . Contacts twitter @danishfarhan twitter @xische [email protected] Briar Prestidge, PR Manager [email protected] +971 54 464 6422 Xisché & Co. Dubai Design District Box 500601 Dubai, UAE In The Press TIME Magazine: Danish Farhan on Inspiring Dubai’s Future Transformation Keynote Addresses World Blockchain Forum STEP Conference Digital Tourism Think Tank Brand Campaigns Infiniti: Beyond the Numbers Global Campaign Websites DanishFarhan.com XischeHoldings.com Xische.com

Nic
Watson

Encrypted

Nic
Watson

Encrypted

Nic Watson is a business leader, entrepreneur, investor and advisor passionate about enterprise technology in the spheres of fintech, cyber security, blockchain and SAAS. He mentors and consults with startups and SMEs preparing to scale and works with larger organizations to help re-focus, re-align priorities and facilitate rapid execution for those being heavily impacted by technological innovation. With a 20+ year career in leading teams, developing products and building on-the-ground presence in India, Africa, the Middle East and the United States across multiple industries in the B2B and B2B2C sectors, Nic has played a key role in helping to shape and propel businesses forward. Never ‘off duty’ for passions, Nic is also co-host on the podcast, Encrypted – the leading Fintech and Crypto podcast in the Gulf Cooperative Council.

Akif
Mohsin

HyperPay

Akif
Mohsin

HyperPay

Akif Mohsin is the Head of Business Development at HyperPay, one of the fastest growing payment service providers in the MENA region. He brings with him a decade of extensive experience in banking and payments industry. Prior to HyperPay, Akif has served many marquee organizations in UAE & KSA as a corporate banker. He is a graduate in commerce with majors in accounting & finance.

Elizabeth
Topolskaya

Pearson

Elizabeth
Topolskaya

Pearson

Elizabeth is a Lead Instructional Designer in Pearson Middle East and is pioneering the development of blended learning experience in emerging technologies. With several publications in E-Learning and Organizational Psychology, as well as wealth of experience in designing learning programs for consumers and companies alike, she is bringing an important angle of accessibility to the discussion. Passionate about emerging technologies, Elizabeth believes that with their exponential growth, such technologies must be made accessible to the public, both through education and the actual use.

Jon
Santillan

Denarii Cash

Jon
Santillan

Denarii Cash

Jon Santillan is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Denarii Cash, a money transfer app that help overseas workers to send money home . He has been passionate entrepreneur, investor and developed several technology companies for the past 14 years. Before devoting his work full-time to Entrepreneurship, Jon Santillan was a Sr. Performance Manager for Etihad Airways, Tajawal and Almosafer, where he led several significant multiple digital marketing programs and product development throughout the Group, delivering high sales revenue from digital marketing activities, year-on-year. Earlier in his career, he was in charge of all search marketing campaigns and digital marketing strategy projects at the Abu Dhabi Media, the official media organization of the Abu Dhabi government. With the founding of Denarii Cash, Jon Santillan dedicated himself to the development of the company which led the company in winning 1st prize at Dubai Smartpreneur 2019 this year where more than 1000 companies participated Denarii Cash have also raised a significant amount of investment coming from institutional and well known angel investors from Saudi Arabia, USA and UAE to grow and scale the company here in the country and regionally. Jon Santillan is also an advocate of pay-it-forward startup culture by helping each other flourish and grow.

Hala
Zahran

Arab Bank

Hala
Zahran

Arab Bank

Hala has 10 years of experience in the financial industry, leading in a number of diverse roles in MENA and the US. Before joining Arab Bank, Hala, was a founding team member and Vice President of Operations at liwwa, the first P2P lending startup in MENA, building the foundations to move it from startup to scale-up. Hala also worked on a number of multi-million dollar deals as an investment banker in Jordan and the GCC. Hala is an experienced researcher, holding positions in a number of economic policy thinktanks, such as Columbia University Global Centers, and winning fellowships and awards for her contribution to academic societies. Hala is passionate about the future of finance and is driven by curiosity and a love for problem solving. Hala graduated from the United World College of the Adriatic (Duino, Italy), the American University in Cairo, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, all with the highest honors.

Jay
Alammar

STV

Jay
Alammar

STV

Jay is Partner at STV, the $500M venture capital fund that is the largest VC fund in the MENA region. Jay has been active in the Saudi technology industry as an engineer, an entrepreneur, and an investor for over fourteen years. Over the last seven years, Jay has helped various entities launch and operate venture capital funds that give them exposure to the latest technologies and business model innovations shaping the economies of the future. Jay is also a globally renowned AI expert whose technical writing is referenced in AI courses at Stanford, MIT, and other leading computer science programs.

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 17 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.

Syeda
Samreen
Mehdi

None (Only Pro-Bono Work)

Syeda
Samreen
Mehdi

None (Only Pro-Bono Work)

I have taken assignments in coordination roles as a Volunteer for all the top-notch Business Awards, Summits, Conferences, Forums, Trainings & Workshops and Book Launch etc *International Business Excellence Awards (Jury Panel Coordinator). *Member of LeanIn Dubai Chapter. *Digital Marketing & Social Media Training, Google Ad Words, Google Analytics, (Content Development Assignment) *Womena Angel Series Workshop *Impact Hub (Superheroes Initiative). *Gulf Customer Experience Awards (Jury Panel Coordinator). *The Digital Education Show Middle East by Terrappin. The Trainers and Speakers I assisted are Mr. Eric Mazur (Harvard University) Ms. Teresa Hughes (University of Kent) * Dubai Cares (Volunteer for Walk for Education & School Renovation Program). *The Millionaire Summit (Onsite Facilitation) *Book Launch by Nikon Middle East *Launch of Mentor Program arranged by Unwind The Grind (Social Media Coverage of Event)

Joseph
Lim

Tribe

Joseph
Lim

Tribe

Joseph is the Head of Global Business Development & Partnerships at Tribe, the first blockchain-focused platform supported by governments and corporations globally. Joseph oversees Tribe’s growth strategy including expansion of global corporate, government, and investor networks, as well as cross border market penetration. His experience lies in establishing networks in APAC, MENA and North America. Prior to Tribe, Joseph began his tech career as a management consultant, and subsequently joined an early stage venture capital fund which invests globally in fintech & blockchain. Joseph obtained his finance major in the National University of Singapore.

Bhavin
Shah

Roland Berger

Bhavin
Shah

Roland Berger

Bhavin is Partner and Head of Banking at Roland Berger, focusing primarily on banks, sovereign wealth funds, capital markets, asset management, private equity, real estate, development Institutions, regulators and public sector. Bhavin has more than 12 years of experience in the Financial Services sector, having served clients in Asia, Middle-East, Africa, America and Europe. Bhavin is also one the founder of KIDDO, a digital marketplace and mobile payment solution for the education sector. He is a regular speaker at numerous conferences and has also authored multiple thought-leadership articles across a variety of topics. He is also a mentor/advisor to a number of Digital and FinTech start-ups in the region. He is a Harvard Business School alumni.

Rajdeep
Roy
Choudhury

Niyo Solutions

Rajdeep
Roy
Choudhury

Niyo Solutions

Rajdeep is an experienced management consulting and corporate strategy professional, specializing in financial services and fintech domain. He has worked for over 6 years in leading consulting firms such as EY & Deloitte, helping clients in BFSI sector in India, South East Asia & Middle East across areas such as business strategy, digital transformation, new bank setup, process re-engineering and program management. He heads strategic initiatives at Niyo Solutions, and is responsible for strategic alliances, regulatory licenses and international expansion. Niyo is India’s leading neo-bank, operating in 3 business segments across debit, credit and prepaid card platforms, with a customer base of over 1.3 million. Niyo has completed over 4 years of operations and is backed by marquee investors such as Tencent, Social Capital, Horizon Ventures, Prime Ventures and JS Capital.

Marie
Chowdhry

Pinsent Masons

Marie
Chowdhry

Pinsent Masons

Marie is a versatile financial regulatory and payments lawyer with experience advising banking clients, payment service providers, and FinTech start-ups on all aspects of their business throughout the GCC. Marie has extensive experience acting on regulatory-led transformation programmes for both established financial institutions and new FinTechs entering the GCC market. Marie regularly speaks and writes on innovation and digitisation topics impacting the financial services sector across the Middle East. Marie has recently been recognised as an ‘Associate to Watch’ in the 2020 UAE FinTech Chambers and Partners Guide.

Damu
Winston

FixMyBlockchain.com

Damu
Winston

FixMyBlockchain.com

A Dubai-based, American engineer with a focus on developing digital strategies, products and services.

Walid
Dib

Addenda

Walid
Dib

Addenda

Walid is the co-founder of Addenda, a blockchain Insurtech founded in 2018 that aims to bring trust back to the motor insurance industry, one block at a time. Originally an environmental engineer and certified insurance loss adjuster, Walid dedicated most of his free time since 2012 to learning about decentralized technologies.

Fadi
Hindi

Algofy.ai

Fadi
Hindi

Algofy.ai

Fadi Hindi Hindi Senio Partner of Xische & Coʼs DigitAl, EO and Founder of Algofy.ai Artificial Intelligence, Digital & Business Transformation Expert   &    A strategic leader, digital innovator and artificial intelligence transformational leader, Fadi Hindi is the co-founder and partner of Xische & Co.’s DigitAI, a company specialized in digital transformation, helping government entities and corporates leverage disruptive technologies to prepare for Industry 4.0. With over 30 years’ international experience reinventing organizations and working in C-Suite for governments and global brands, including Pfizer, Bank of America, Takaful Emarat, DEWA, Smart Dubai, Dubai Customs, and Dubai Government, Fadi Hindi was first inspired by emerging technology in the 90’s, working in University labs on artificial intelligence and rovers for the Mars mission. In 2016 Fadi co-authored the Dubai blockchain strategy towards a paperless Government in collaboration with the Dubai Future Foundation. Known for driving organizational culture shifts, designing and implementing innovation agendas and leading complex business turnaround, Fadi has many success stories where he completely transformed large organizations and failing projects. An international keynote speaker, Fadi speaks on emerging technology, leadership and building organizations that are prepared for the future. When he’s not listening to music, inspired by art or tinkering with engines in his garage, Fadi is a board member at Xische & Co., a boutique strategy consultancy, and the start-up Addenda Ltd., where he works closely with the co-founders to develop to make their company the fastest growing blockchain insurer in the Middle East. Specialist in innovation management, strategic operations planning & execution, marketing / brand management, strategic partnerships, culture transformation, insightful business analytics, robotics, fintech, blockchain, and deployment of effective Artificial Intelligence solutions.

Mirna
Sleiman

Fintech Galaxy

Mirna
Sleiman

Fintech Galaxy

Mirna Sleiman is the founder and CEO of Fintech Galaxy, an open innovation and crowdsourcing platform that promotes financial inclusion, connects the fintech ecosystem and supports institutions in their digital transformation strategy. Has more than 15 years of experience in government relations, business strategy, digital communications and journalism. Driven by passion for innovation and positive impact, Mirna has a track record in leading digital transformation projects, marketing comms strategies and global partnerships with public and private entities, focusing on knowledge economy development, regulatory infrastructure and financial markets. Managed public sector business for Thomson Reuters across 22 MENA countries and partnered with international organizations to promote innovation and social change. Spent more than 10 years as a financial journalist with Reuters, Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal and Zawya. Certified from MIT university in Fintech and ecommerce, and Digital Marketing and Communications from Columbia University. Mirna has an Executive MBA from City University of London in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Nameer
Khan

MENA FINTECH ASSOCIATION

Nameer
Khan

MENA FINTECH ASSOCIATION

Nameer Khan is one of the Top leading Fintech Influencers and Chairman of MENA Fintech Association. As MFTA,with its technical engagements,  within a short span of time is strategic partners with the Arab Monetary Fund and regional central banks to establish a fintech framework . Nameer Khan is Appointed as an Executive Advisor Fintech for key regulatory authorities, establishing with the central banks of the Arab world to establish a Fintech landscape and framework.

Ransu
Salovaara

Likvidi Securities Ltd.

Ransu
Salovaara

Likvidi Securities Ltd.

CEO of Likvidi, a financial firm based in Dubai focusing on blockchain bond issuance and secondary market trading. Over 5 years experience in the blockchain industry as an advisor for digital asset issuance and fundraising.

Mark
Ferguson

Aion Digital

Mark
Ferguson

Aion Digital

Mark Ferguson is the Sales Director of Aion Digital – based in Bahrain; helping banks to go digital with certainty. He has more than 25 years sales and management experience with world-leading software and services companies; specialist in banking, fintech, and optimised business processes. For 12 years at SAP and PSI he managed multi-function teams to initiate and manage major global client relationships – with strong focus on UK, Europe and Asia. Mr Ferguson’s international management experience helps Aion Digital create software solutions that enable our banking customers to compete in changing markets; and go digital faster, cheaper and with certainty; Artificial Intelligence capability delivers significant ROI. Mark believes that strong customer focus and world-class teamwork are critical to successful long term customer relationships.  

Fiona
Kirubi

Gateway Global

Fiona
Kirubi

Gateway Global

Over the last 10 years Farha has accumulated skills in finance working in advisory roles managing clients wealth and investments across Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. With strong international experience Farha brings expertise in regards to the African and GCC region and a global network of the highest levels. She is passionate about economic inclusion and transformation and works on fintech solutions as well as edutech solutions to empower communities economically, socially and transform personally. Farha sits on the board of 2 charity foundations and works tirelessly towards improving the lives of over 500 children at her orphanage.  

Alicia
Sornson

Village Capital

Alicia
Sornson

Village Capital

As the Manager for Programs and Partnerships in MENA, Alicia leads Village Capital’s work in the region. Alicia runs the MENA component of Village Capital’s collaboration with the MetLife Foundation around financial health and manages relationships with regional partners. Prior to joining Village Capital, Alicia worked with Ashoka in Istanbul, Turkey, where she resided for many years, as well as other NGOs in Washington DC. Alicia holds a Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Sabanci University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Susquehanna University.

Arshad
Khan

Arabian Bourse

Arshad
Khan

Arabian Bourse

Arshad has diverse expertise in the complete financial markets eco-system. Being at the helm of several financial exchanges, from inception, he has detailed insight in setting-up and managing large financial exchanges. With 22 years of experience out of which 15 years in the gulf countries, he established strong business relations with regional financial institutions and regulatory authorities. In 2008, Arshad established Bahrain Financial Exchange regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain. As a Board Member of the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange and its’ clearing corporation for 5 years, Arshad was part of the core team that established the exchange in a record time of 12 months from conceptualisation to its launch in 2005. Before that he played key role in the establishment of the Multi Commodity Exchange of India in 2003. MCX has become one of the largest commodities derivatives exchanges in the world. Currently, he is the Co-founder & CEO of Arabian Bourse which is a pioneering crypto asset exchange and custodian being established in the Abu Dhabi Global Market. Additionally, if that wasn’t enough, Arshad has created 3 unicorns to date with his core team.

Frederik
Bussler

Invictus Capital

Frederik
Bussler

Invictus Capital

Frederik Bussler is a consultant at Invictus Capital and Founder of the Security Token Alliance, the industry’s largest think tank with over 100 partners. As a public speaker, he has presented for audiences including IBM, Nikkei, Slush Tokyo, and the Chinese government, and is featured in outlets including Forbes, Yahoo, Thrive Global, Hacker Noon, European Commission sites, and more.

Sonny
Mohanty

Latoken

Sonny
Mohanty

Latoken

Sonny is the Regional Director of LATOKEN based in Singapore. Sonny has over two years of expertise and experience in the field of Crypto and the Blockchain technology. Sonny has attended and spoken at various Blockchain conferences through out the world over the years. Besides being at LATOKEN, Sonny is an entrepreneur who believes and invests in projects that affects Climate change and Sustainability.

Loredana
Manushaqa

Pearson

Loredana
Manushaqa

Pearson

Loredana is a determined and dedicated professional that interlinks existent Business Strategies with technology. Bringing both Conventional and Innovative business models into the digital transformation world. Loredana has a background in Innovation Management, Training, Fintech and in working closely in the Startups and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Loredana is a Certified Blockchain Solution Architect as well as a Certified Blockchain Business Foundations professional. While holding a Master of Science in Blockchain Applications and Digital Currencies, she is also a researcher and educator in the sector that aims to deliver value in this fast-changing industry.

Daumantas
Dvilinskas

TransferGo Ltd

Daumantas
Dvilinskas

TransferGo Ltd

Daumantas Dvilinskas is a serial entrepreneur and advisor to startup founders, currently co-founder & CEO at TransferGo. Previously he co-founded Pinevio.com and “Green Trends”, of which he was also CEO. He graduated from Business Studies at Lancaster University in 2010. He has always been business-orientated and has had interest in focusing his efforts on creating something new and innovative that would add value to society, and he firmly believes that FinTech fascinatingly enables this. As one of the co-founders of TransferGo, he believes he is finally fulfilling this dream, not only by leading a successful business but also because the business is making a real difference and helping people to enter a middle-class lifestyle.

Hosam
Arab

Tabby

Hosam
Arab

Tabby

Hosam Arab is the CEO of Tabby, the region’s first Buy Now Pay Later solution. He was previously Co-Founder and CEO at Namshi, the Middle East’s premier online fashion destination which was fully acquired by Emaar Malls for $280 million. Prior to co-founding Namshi, Hosam worked in Private Equity with Waha Capital in Abu Dhabi, managing Waha’s portfolio of assets. A UAE resident for more than 30 years, Hosam earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Canada’s Queen’s University and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School in Boston.

Talal
Bayaa

Bayzat

Talal
Bayaa

Bayzat

Talal Bayaa, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Bayzat Talal Bayaa is the CEO and co-founder of Bayzat, a UAE based technology start-up that empowers businesses with smart insurance & HR solutions. As Chief Executive Officer, Talal is responsible for providing the vision, overall leadership and strategic management for the company as well as ensuring the highest quality of the services provided. Prior to setting up Bayzat, Talal worked for a private equity & corporate finance firm, followed by two years at an investment bank. After sensing an opportunity in the financial products market, Talal started Bayzat with his school friend and now co-founder Brian Habibi. The duo led Bayzat to where it is today and is now known widely as the company that provides insurance and smart HR solutions that simplify and empower lives with using world-class technology. Talal studied bioengineering at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA. He is a CFA Charter holder as well as finance, investment, and banking expert. During his free time, the 32-year-old Palestinian-American entrepreneur enjoys being outdoors and travelling.

Hadi
Radwan

Aqeed.com

Hadi
Radwan

Aqeed.com

Hadi is the CEO of Aqeed.com, an insurance technology company with a vision to power the insurance industry using platform-as-a-service technology

Jayesh
Patel

Liv. by Emirates NBD

Jayesh
Patel

Liv. by Emirates NBD

As the Head of the fastest growing bank in the Middle East, Mr. Patel was responsible for the set up and launch of Liv. the first digital-only lifestyle bank. The mobile-only lifestyle bank is part of a long term strategy by Emirates NBD (UAE’s largest retail bank) to define the next generation of banking by building a digitally-native bank. Focusing on Zillennials (millennials and Gen Z), Liv. helps in enhancing their finances as well as their lifestyle in one app. With more than 14 years of consumer-centric innovations and changes across various industries, Mr. Patel has a strong regional experience and is currently an active member in the Fintech and Angel investment community in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA.)

2020 WELLNESS SPEAKERS

Gary
Blowers

Switch & Co

Gary
Blowers

Switch & Co

Gary is the Co-Founder & CEO of Switch & Co – the UAE’s leading wellness benefits app for organisations’ staff & customers. Gary leads a business that was born in Dubai & now covers Hong Kong, Singapore & soon the US.

Youmna
Hobeika

Feelit

Youmna
Hobeika

Feelit

Feelit is a new dance workout concept where you come to class and feel like you’re in a party: Disco lights, dimmed lights and a mix of your favorite tunes and dance styles such as Macarena, Rock, Flamenco, Hip hop, Oriental and many more. No need to know how to dance, anyone can come in to have some dancing fun. The class is 60 minutes-long including warm-up and cool down. Check out @feelitdxb to get a sense of the class. It’s a lot of fun and people are loving it

Nadine
Chammas

The Life Director

Nadine
Chammas

The Life Director

Nadine Chammas Bekhaazi is one of the Middle East’s leading figures in the area of positive change, training and coaching. Nadine literally turned around the lives of numerous people by revealing them to themselves. She explored with them their deepest needs, helped them express their willpower and transformed their laid-back attitude into their own declaimed script until they took action and get on stage.

Wildene
Philander

Cultfit

Wildene
Philander

Cultfit

I am a Dance fit instructor who has a great passion for the art of dance, feeling the music and having overall fun is what makes me happy.

Sharon
Ghanime

N/A

Sharon
Ghanime

N/A

Sharon Ghanime | 500hrs E-RYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) From a young age, Shakti (Sharon) has always found an importance of connecting the physical body with the mental and spiritual body. Her self-disciplined and persistent nature have ultimately driven her to explore the journey of Yoga. Sharon was first introduced to Yoga in 2010. While juggling between a full time job and studying for MBA, she found the practice to be her haven in these stressful environments. In 2015, she ventured to India to pursue her 200 hrs Yoga Teacher Training from Trimurti in Goa. Immersed in Ashtanga, Shakti revisited India in 2016 to complete her 300 hrs Advanced Teacher Training and till date travels yearly to Mysore to continue studying at the source of Ashtanga, KPJAYI with her teacher Sharath Jois. A Vipassana meditator and Reiki practitioner, Shakti has also completed in Ubud, Bali a second degree initiation in the Usui System of Reiki (channeled energy). IG / FB : @ ashtangashakti

Noora
S.
AlAskar

MyNutribox

Noora
S.
AlAskar

MyNutribox

Noora is the Founder and CEO of MyNutriboxApp. A health and wellness focused platform, acting as a pocket nutritionist that empowers and helps the Arab World live a healthier life in the palm of their hands. She is a US Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist where she is also licensed to practice. Having been the Director of Nutrition at one of the leading private hospitals in Kuwait for 7 years, & also interning at the NHS in the UK at a very young age, she has 9+ years of experience in various areas of Nutrition, and has helped hundreds of people transform their health and lives.

Thabet
Altaher

Entropy Jiu Jitsu

Thabet
Altaher

Entropy Jiu Jitsu

Thabet is an accomplished practitioner in the martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a craft he has been pursuing and polishing for over 16 years now. A feat that has led him to the successful opening of his own academy, Entropy Jiu Jitsu, right here in Dubai! Thabet also holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a Master’s of International Business. Both of which he was earning at the same time as competing internationally and reaching the rank of black belt at the young age of 23. With more than 11 years of teaching experience in several countries and interacting with so many nationalities and cultures, Thabet brings a diverse view on the subject of “Fitness Influence” that he’s eager to share with everyone attending STEP 2020

Suna
Zoabi

Tawazon

Suna
Zoabi

Tawazon

Suna Zoabi – Othman Suna is the founder and CEO of Tawazon, the first Arabic-language meditation and mindfulness mobile application. After studying and working for several years as a chemical engineer, Suna decided to follow her dream and launch Tawazon (balance, in Arabic) to help improve the mental and social status in the MENA region, including among children. In November 2018, Suna began developing Tawazon with a small group of computer engineers, psychologists and meditation experts, and launched the first version of the application on October 2019. In this period, Tawazon has reached nearly 6K downloads (with minimal marketing) with nearly 70 percent of users using the app more than once per week.

Stefania
Brunori

Stefania Brunori – Building Memorable Brands

Stefania
Brunori

Stefania Brunori – Building Memorable Brands

Stefania Brunori is a Brand Strategist and Entrepreneur, with over 15 years international experience in managerial positions. Originally from Europe, she’s been working in the UAE for 11 years, both for multinational companies such as Nokia and SMEs with regional reach. Her entrepreneurial career started in 2015 with her mission to make Yoga and Meditation more accessible. She launched www.yoginfinity.com , Middle East’s most complete website for Yoga & Meditation. Currently she supports Start-Ups and SMEs growth as Coach and Mentor in Dtec and In5, and provides Digital Marketing and Personal Branding workshops too. Specialized in the Wellness and Fitness sector, she’s developing new Wellness Brand as well.

Ruqya
Khan

SMILETASTIC

Ruqya
Khan

SMILETASTIC

Ruqya Khan is an internationally honoured change maker. Leading from chaos to clarity, she sees herself more as a S.M.I.L.E. Strategist than a motivational speaker or life coach. In 2016 she did a TEDx talk on “”The Art of Possibility””. She has spoken and been felicitated for her contribution at the Women Economic Forum in New Delhi. She has delivered talks during the Happiness Carnival conducted in Dubai by the Prime Minister’s Office. She coached students and educationalists at the International Youth Leadership and Innovation Forum in Singapore. She is a Master Practitioner of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), Hypnosis and Time Line Therapy®. She is also proficient at the neuroscience techniques of mBraining. She is a graduate of the Badiri Social Entrepreneurship Program organised by NAMA Women Advancement Establishment run by Her Excellency Sheikha Jawaher’s Executive Offices.

Zeta
Yarwood

Zeta Yarwood Executive Consulting

Zeta
Yarwood

Zeta Yarwood Executive Consulting

Zeta Yarwood is a Dubai-based NLP Executive and Career Coach. Working with individuals across 4 different continents, Zeta strives to help others perform at their best. Partnering with multinational companies such as Credit Suisse, Hilton Worldwide, WSP, Engie and Cadbury’s, she also increases employee motivation and engagement through her interactive workshops and individual coaching programmes.\n\nConsidered a leading coach in the Middle East, she has been featured in over 20 publications worldwide and asked to sit on panels for TimeOut Dubai, [email protected], London Business School and Dubai Lynx. She is also the ambassador career coach for [email protected] – a recruitment agency helping women thrive in the workplace.\n\nWith over 10 years’ experience in coaching, management and recruitment, Zeta understands what it takes to experience happiness and success in our careers. Having completed her Marshall Goldsmith, Neuroleadership, NLP coaching certifications, she combines the methodologies learned, with the knowledge gained from her Psychology degree, and 5 years of coaching experience to help others unlock their potential. So they can experience even greater success in all they do.\n\nOutside of her core expertise, Zeta is also passionate about improving the quality of life for people in underdeveloped countries. Speaking at the Global Advocacy for African Affairs “International Forum on Women and Sustainable Development” in 2018 and 2019, Zeta is honoured to now sit on their Board of Advisors.\n\n\n\n”}” data-sheets-userformat=”{“2″:513,”3”:{“1″:0},”12″:0}”>Zeta Yarwood is a Dubai-based NLP Executive and Career Coach. Working with individuals across 4 different continents, Zeta strives to help others perform at their best. Partnering with multinational companies such as Credit Suisse, Hilton Worldwide, WSP, Engie and Cadbury’s, she also increases employee motivation and engagement through her interactive workshops and individual coaching programmes. Considered a leading coach in the Middle East, she has been featured in over 20 publications worldwide and asked to sit on panels for TimeOut Dubai, [email protected], London Business School and Dubai Lynx. She is also the ambassador career coach for [email protected] – a recruitment agency helping women thrive in the workplace. With over 10 years’ experience in coaching, management and recruitment, Zeta understands what it takes to experience happiness and success in our careers. Having completed her Marshall Goldsmith, Neuroleadership, NLP coaching certifications, she combines the methodologies learned, with the knowledge gained from her Psychology degree, and 5 years of coaching experience to help others unlock their potential. So they can experience even greater success in all they do. Outside of her core expertise, Zeta is also passionate about improving the quality of life for people in underdeveloped countries. Speaking at the Global Advocacy for African Affairs “International Forum on Women and Sustainable Development” in 2018 and 2019, Zeta is honoured to now sit on their Board of Advisors.

Stephanie
Baddour

Petits Poids/ DICE

Stephanie
Baddour

Petits Poids/ DICE

Stéphanie Baddour Nehmé, MSc, LD, is a clinical dietitian and part-time nutrition instructor at the Lebanese American University (LAU) & Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK). Stephanie majored in Nutrition and Dietetics at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in 2007, followed by an MSc in Dietetics and Human Nutrition at McGill, Canada, in 2009. Stephanie has been working as a university nutrition instructor since 2012 and has more than 10 years of experience in clinical counseling. She is the owner of Petits Poids, a diet clinic located in Lebanon where she counsels adult and pediatric patients. Aside from her teaching and clinical experience, Stephanie also gave sports nutrition certification courses with the International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA) and health & performance workshops with Fit-for-Business®. In 2019, Stephanie has co-founded DICE (Dietetics Institute for Continuous Education) with the aim of providing advanced practicums to dietetics professionals approved by the commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR), the credentialing agency for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (AND).

Rami
Rasamny

LIFE HAPPENS OUTDOORS

Rami
Rasamny

LIFE HAPPENS OUTDOORS

For years I would tell myself that today was not the day. Today was not the day to quit smoking, clear the fridge and start bringing my 110kg weight down. Today was not the day to reconsider my life choices. That could wait for Monday, my next birthday or next year’s resolution. What I wanted for myself could always wait until I came to the harsh realization of just how far removed I was from the life I wanted. That rude awakening was the start of a transformation that has since taken me from couch surfing victimhood to the summits of some of the most challenging peaks on the planet and empowered me to build Life Happens Outdoors, an adventure community that enables others to make today the day.

Baraa
El-Sabbagh

Baraa El Sabbagh

Baraa
El-Sabbagh

Baraa El Sabbagh

Baraa El Sabbagh is a U.S. registered dietician, certified sports nutritionist, licensed dietitian in Dubai and Lebanon, and ACE certified personal trainer. Baraa is a co-author to healthy recipe book Super Recipes. She hosts her own podcast called B for Better Health, where she brings on special guests and experts in the field of health and fitness. Baraa delivers several wellness and nutrition talks in different settings such as schools and corporations. She co-founded Healthy Happy Us, a nutrition and exercise center in Lebanon in 2013. She also released multiple home workout programs suitable for all levels. Baraa raises awareness on several portals and TV channels including Al Arabiya, MBC 1, MBC 3, Dubai TV, Al Araby, Al Ghad, LBC and many more. Before being based in Dubai, Baraa studied in Beirut at the American University of Beirut.

Omar
AL-Duri

Pulse 95

Omar
AL-Duri

Pulse 95

Omar is an award winning coach, trainer and practitioner in the health and fitness industry. A pioneer in the industry, he was educated in Europe before moving to the UAE where he has coached individuals as well as international football teams from Africa and the Middle East. Throughout his careers, he has founded his own training facility, developed a youth academy and has participated as a coach in the World Cup and African Nations Cup. His holistic approach and passion to listen, study and help people has been recognized across the world through his long-standing relationships with athletes, clients and celebrities.

Ali
Tazami

Inggez

Ali
Tazami

Inggez

I enjoy solving customer problems with modern technology with the end goal of creating and scaling businesses that matter. To accomplish this, I focus on delivering key outcomes, building amazing teams and quickly adapting to new learnings.

Jade
Palmer

BARE DXB

Jade
Palmer

BARE DXB

An athlete since childhood, Jade has always been drawn to movement, competition, and goal-driven action. This little Kiwi learned very quickly that through passion, persistence, and a ton of hard work, anything is possible. Working alongside Nike she has been able to explore, evolve, and discover how movement brings communities together both physically, mentally. Jade is a ball of good vibes waiting to spread her energy wherever she goes.

Faisal
AL-Hammadi

YACOB

Faisal
AL-Hammadi

YACOB

Faisal is the founder and chief executive officer of YACOB, a start-up that aims to combat the skyrocketing obesity rates by enabling schools to manage nutrition using the latest in technology and behavioral economics.

Mark
Ralea

8fit

Mark
Ralea

8fit

Mark Ralea is now since more than 17 years in the digital industry and the CEO of the leading fitness-app 8fit. He was the former Managing Director of STYLEBOP.com, a global e-commerce store for luxury fashion. The company is now part of the German P&C Group. Before Mark served nearly 6 years at the international beauty subscription company GLOSSYBOX, where he was CMO and later Managing Director, transforming the brand into the first profitable business in the Rocket Internet network, leading to an acquisition by The Hut Group. In 2010-2012 he was the Head of Marketing and Director Product of DailyDeal GmbH, which was acquired by Google Inc. in 2011.

Rima
Bazzi

Rima Bazzi

Rima
Bazzi

Rima Bazzi

Rima Bazzi is a Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist and self-empowerment coach. She inspires and motivates people to unlock their full potential. Rima specialises in stress management, building confidence, treatment of anxiety, social anxiety and phobias.

Yasmine
Hassan

SBTRCT

Yasmine
Hassan

SBTRCT

Shortly after graduating from university with a Bachelors Degree in Architectural Design, Yasmine realized that all she really wanted to do was be at the gym. She decided to change directions and merge her passion for fitness with her passion for design, designing bodies instead of buildings and to Re-Engineer Health! As the founder of SBTRCT in KSA, she empowers women to train, learn and connect physically, mentally & spiritually while having fun!

Samia
Kallidis

Bia Warrior

Samia
Kallidis

Bia Warrior

Born and raised in Dubai with Greek and Palestinian roots, Samia is a Fitness Coach, Ninja Warrior and Design Strategist with a passion for social impact. She is a Strength & Conditioning coach at Orangetheory Fitness; and co-founder of Bia Warrior, the region’s first 8-week Obstacle Training program for women, with a focus on mental and physical strength. Samia holds an MFA in Design Entrepreneurship from the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and has worked with startups to bring products, identities, and experiences to life for the past 10 years in New York, Toronto, and Dubai. This experience has led her to the intersection of fitness and design, and the aspiration for constantly challenging herself and the world around her.