Ali Al-Salim is a Kuwaiti national with a background that spans nearly 15 years in technology and finance. Ali is a co-founder at Arkan Partners, a specialist consulting firm dedicated to alternative investments (hedge funds, private equity, real estate) and Middle East investors (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman). To date, the firm has consulted to over a dozen leading asset managers based in New York, London and Hong Kong that manage in excess of $150bn of alternative assets.
Alia is the Digital Strategy Leader for IBM and has over 13 years of Strategy and Consulting Experience.
She has shaped business model and process innovation for various clients across the Pubic and Private sectors including IBM, across the Middle East and Africa region.
In her recent role, Alia has built the IBM entrepreneurship ecosystem enabling innovation and new business and partnership models empowered by IBM Cloud and Cognitive Platform.
Ammar Al Malik is the Executive Director of Dubai Internet City (DIC), the MENA region’s largest ICT hub and Dubai Outsource City (DOC), a modern, hi-tech business hub dedicated to the growth of the global outsourcing industry. In his current role, Ammar leads the business alignment to ensure the effective implementation of TECOM Group’s overarching strategy; to be a world-class developer and operator of business communities while delivering maximum value to shareholders. He is also responsible to oversee the identification of new business opportunities, and nurturing relationships with the business parks’ existing partners. Ammar holds an MBA from the Kwansei Gakiun University in Japan.
Christos Mastoras is a Founder & Managing Partner of Iliad Partners, venture capital firm investing in early stage tech startups in MENA. Digital executive, tech entrepreneur and venture investor with investment, operating and consulting experience in the US, Europe and MENA. Previously, Director of Business Development of Yahoo Maktoob, and a management consultant with Booz & Company. Co-founder, seed investor and Board Member of GlamBox.ME. An alum of several startups including govWorks and Upstream, mentor/judge with Endeavor, MITEF and other ecosystem organizations, and on the Advisory Boards of Magnitt and Eventtus. Graduate of MIT Sloan School of Management (MBA) and School of Foreign Service (SFS) of Georgetown University.
Elissa is a co-founder at WOMENA, a Dubai-based women-only angel group that empowers and educates women investors. It provides a supportive, professional network and dependable guidance to invest in new companies in the MENA region and facilitates the investment process from deal sourcing to close.
I have over fourteen years of banking experience with a strong market knowledge in SMEs business and market, and proven skills in projects finance and management. I have managed projects and businesses in different areas, launched SME businesses in three banks, and i have worked in multicultural environments by being associated with large international banks; HSBC, Standard chartered Bank, Arab Bank, Capital Bank and now with Emirates Development Bank.
Currently I am the Business Finance Director at Emirates Development Bank; the leading banking financial services provider based in UAE, having an extensive experience in the SME industry. In my present role as Director of Business Finance, I enjoy the responsibility of leading the business team to become the best SME bank in UAE and managing projects through from conception to delivery. I have successfully managed the launching of new products and campaigns throughout Emirates Development Bank and I have supported several entrepreneurs and innovators throughout my career.
In addition to the internationally social diversified experience, I have a Master of Business Administration from NYIT. My goal is to continue leading the SME business growth in the region by supporting entrepreneurs and innovators.
Fares Ghandour is a Partner at Wamda Capital. He has regional insight on tech startups beyond the scope of investment. He ran the region's flagship mentorship event, Wamda's Mix N' Mentor. He served as an Investment Manager of MENA Venture Investments Ltd. Mr. Ghandour holds a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Southern California.
Genny Ghanimeh Founder @ Pi Slice & Mind Cloud Academy. Following her passions for the MicroFinance & the Online industries, and after a life-altering trek in Kilimanjaro, Genny founded Pi Slice in March 2013 and negotiated a partnership agreement with MicroWorld from the Group PlanetFinance to build and administer the first microlending online platform in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Leveraging the knowledge from various industries, Genny founded Mind Cloud Academy built on good practice principles that allow for diverse and tailor-made education programs to fit personal and business challenges of each particular applicant.
Socially motivated finance professional with 18 years of business experience in entrepreneurship, emerging markets, financial technology, impact investment, microfinance, project finance, financial services and consulting. Key skills include leadership, strategic planning, cross-border deal structuring, investment placement, closing, negotiation and credit analysis. Accomplishments include the closing of more than 20 microfinance debt transactions totaling $47 million in 7 countries; founding the first social business in the Arab region; structuring a $50 million loan guarantee program for microfinance investments; and launching the first women’s angel investor group in the Middle East.
Matthew Karau Lecturer of Engineering Design at New York University Abu Dhabi. Matthew continues to exploring the intersections between Design, Innovation, Engineering, and Entrepreneurship. Specialties: Engineering design, electrical engineering, STEAMED thinking (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math, Entrepreneurship, Design)
Mohammed has over 17 years of experience in the Technology and Tech VC space. Currently the Managing Director of Tharwa Capital, a Dubai based financial investment and advisory firm focusing on the technology equity markets. Previously Mohammed was leading the Venture Capital practice at Global Investment House, a Kuwait based investment company. Prior to that, he was the Director of technology investments at Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA). Founder and CEO of Sulaf Solutions, a tech solutions provider based in Silicon Valley.
Ned is a seasoned executive with a 25+ years’ experience in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He has held senior startup roles with successful tech ventures (e.g. Zawya), Fortune 500 multinationals (Intel, CA), family firms, and government. He joined Expo 2020 Dubai after launching and leading 1776 Dubai, the Middle East’s first international tech incubator, in partnership with Dubai Future Foundation. Previously, he was at the UAE Prime Minister’s Office where he helped setup the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation. Ned’s community involvement includes mentoring high-impact entrepreneurs, and he is a board member of Young Arab Leaders (YAL), an advisory board member of UK-Lebanon Tech Hub, and founding president of the Stanford UAE Alumni Club. He holds an M.S. from Stanford, a B.S. from Northeastern, and a management certificate from INSEAD.
Before joining Endeavor, Noor was the Head of Strategic Initiatives at Bayt.com, the Middle East’s largest job portal. At Bayt, Noor worked with the senior management team across functions to optimize the company’s processes and performance. Before Bayt, Noor was the Head of Content at Zawya.com, the Middle East’s first business and financial information provider, which was acquired by Thomson Reuters in 2012. Noor played an integral role in Zawya’s growth by establishing its content to rival and beat international giants such as Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, and others. Before Zawya, Noor was a full time lecturer at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. He lectured on Entrepreneurship and Business Strategy.
Noor has an MBA degree and a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Concordia University.
Ramez Dandan has Over 28 years of experience in IT, Telecom and Biotech across MEA in senior sales, marketing and business development leadership roles. Currently leading Microsoft’s Digital Transformation enablement efforts with key customers in the Gulf by helping them translate and bridge how Cloud technology, policy and business model opportunities can empower every person and every organization in the region to achieve more.