STEP Start 2020 Speakers

more speakers will be announced soon

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.

Francesco
Cracolici

Nomadic Minds

Francesco
Cracolici

Nomadic Minds

Francesco is General Manager at Nomadic Minds, the world’s largest network of Silicon Valley CEOs & Top Execs that collectively raised +$4BLN, generated +$20BLN in companies’ value, and that worked with the White House, King of Marocco, King of Jordan, Government of Paraguay and many others. Nomadic helps emerging startups ecosystems to grow by connecting them with the brightest mind from the Valley. Nomadic also do the matchmaking between the most promising seed stage startups and VCs from the Valley Prior to that, he was a 2 times founder and head of Sales at The Family, the 2nd largest accelerator in Europe with +3bln in companies portfolio.

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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

Jeff
Hoffman

Global Entrepreneurship Network

Jeff
Hoffman

Global Entrepreneurship Network

Jeff Hoffman is a successful entrepreneur, proven CEO, worldwide motivational speaker, bestselling author, Hollywood film producer, a producer of a Grammy winning jazz album, and executive producer of an Emmy Award winning television show. In his career, he has been the founder of multiple startups, he has been the CEO of both public and private companies, and he has served as a senior executive in many capacities. Jeff has been part of a number of well-known successful startups, including Priceline.com/Booking.com, uBid.com and more. Jeff is the Chief Evangelist for the Global Entrepreneurship Network. Jeff serves on the boards of companies in the US, Europe, the Middle East, South America, Africa, and Asia. He supports entrepreneurs and small businesses on a worldwide basis. He has not only built multi-billion dollar global companies, but he has worked with them in many different industries and markets, and he possesses a unique and powerful knowledge of what it takes to achieve exponential growth for entrepreneurs and small business owners everywhere.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

more speakers will be announced soon

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.

Elijah
Whaley

PARKLU

Elijah
Whaley

PARKLU

Elijah Whaley is a content producer, marketer, and a leading voice for influencer marketing innovation in China. Elijah has seven years of experience in China’s influencer marketing space. Elijah is the Chief Marketing Officer at PARKLU, China’s premier influencer marketing tech platform. Elijah is also the Cofounder of the Chinese beauty KOL Melilim Fu. Melilim is a top ranking beauty KOL in China.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Melissa
Rosenthal

Inspo

Melissa
Rosenthal

Inspo

Melissa is the co-founder of Inspo, a text-tech and publishing network for Gen Z Previously, Melissa held executive positions at Cheddar, a live video media company at the intersection of business news and culture, which was acquired by Altice, and BuzzFeed. For her creative work in advertising, she was named to Forbes 30 Under 30, Business Insider’s 30 Most Creative People Under 30 and as one of Digiday’s Changemakers.

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.

Jeffrey
Cafone

Inspo

Jeffrey
Cafone

Inspo

Serial entrepreneur, co-founder of Inspo Text Tech and publishing network for Gen Z. Formerly founder/designer of plus-size women’s fashion brand All 67.

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.

Jonathan
SIBONI

Luxurynsight

Jonathan
SIBONI

Luxurynsight

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 Co-Founder & CEO of Luxurynsight, luxury market expert, Visiting Professor of luxury at Sciences Po Paris. Official China expert at Business France, Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI Paris), French Federation of Female Ready-to-Wear (FFPAPF), and the Committee of Development and Promotion of Apparel (DEFI).

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

more speakers will be announced soon

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.

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.

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.

Asma
Shabab

IBM

Asma
Shabab

IBM

Asma is the Digital Strategy Leader at IBM UAE and advises companies and governments on how technology can help them create competitive advantage. With insights into the role of technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, blockchain and big data, Asma is uniquely placed to help organizations develop sustainable strategies that address disruption and futureproof their businesses.

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.

Robert
Scoble

Infinite Retina

Robert
Scoble

Infinite Retina

Transformation Group Partner, Former UpLoad VR Entrepreneur in Residence and Futurist for Rackspace, Blogger, and Author Robert Scoble is among the world’s best-known tech journalists and futurists. He is also a keynote speaker and most passionate about Virtual and Augmented Reality and how they will change and disrupt business. Futurist 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 with Israel. 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. Technology Expert Scoble is best known for his blog, Scobleizer, which came to prominence during his tenure as a technology evangelist at Microsoft. He later worked for Fast Company as a video blogger, and then Rackspace and the Rackspace sponsored community site Building 43 promoting breakthrough technology and startups. He worked for Upload VR  — a new media site covering virtual and augmented reality — as its entrepreneur in residence, where he developed new shows, events, with other entrepreneurs in the Upload Collective, a co-working space for virtual reality-focused startups. Transformation Group, LLC Founded by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel in March 2017, Transformation Group, LLC, is the first consulting firm dedicated to helping big brands develop and implement Mixed Reality (MR) strategies, a trend just now starting that will soon transform businesses as profoundly as the smartphone did a decade ago. 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 will be called. Robert wants to help brands understand, plan and implement strategies to make this vital transformation. Books Robert has interviewed thousands of tech company founders, and his 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 was released. Age of Context predicted how wearable and mobile technology would bring new kinds of software. His newest book, The Fourth Transformation, predicts how augmented and virtual reality will change every business. Keynote Speaker 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 mixed reality, which will bring a new user interface onto smart cities, IoT devices, self-driving cars, robots, and drones. He gives businesses an insight into how other businesses, like Sephora, Disney, and Ford, are already using augmented reality and how your business will need to change to get ready for consumers and workers who will be wearing augmented reality (or what we call mixed reality) glasses while interacting with their business.  

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

more speakers will be announced soon

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.

Ahmed
Al-Balaghi

Encrypted

Ahmed
Al-Balaghi

Encrypted

Ahmed Al-Balaghi is the Co-founder of Biconomy and Founder of the Encrypted podcast which is MENA’s largest podcast dedicated to blockchain and crypto-assets.

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.

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.

Muhannad
Ebwini

HyperPay

Muhannad
Ebwini

HyperPay

Muhannad Ebwini, is the Co-Founder and CEO of HyperPay. With over 20 years of experience in the online, eCommerce, gaming, and payment industries, Muhnnad was able to lead the business to its current position as one of the Middleeast’s fastest growing and widely successful online payment businesses. It is regarded as highly innovative and is seen as one of the new generation payment service providers. The company has offices in Riyadh, Dubai, Amman, and Cairo.

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

Daniel
Diemers

Strategy&

Daniel
Diemers

Strategy&

Dr. Daniel Diemers studied economics at the University of St. Gallen HSG and has a Ph.D. in Virtual Communities. In 1997 he won the European Honeywell Futurist Award and his book Virtual Triad: Cyberspace, Cyborgs and Artificial Intelligence was published in 2002. As an entrepreneur and founder, he worked in the field of internet-based early warning systems. Since 2005, he has been advising banks, corporates and regulators across Europe and Middle East on strategy, digitisation, fintech and distributed ledger technology. He also acts as the PwC Head of Blockchain EMEA and works closely on topics such as blockchain, crypto and tokenization. Daniel is co-founder of Swiss Finance + Technology Association and Crypto Valley Association, member of fintechrockers.com, angel investor and closely associated with the international fintech and blockchain community.      

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.)