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.
Digital Transformation Lead| passionate about everything digital , design-led and entrepreneurial. Experienced Strategist - helping clients create differentiating digital business models, products and services | build creative partnerships | and discover new ways of working. An Intrapreneur | a Leader | a Doer - experienced in Digital Strategy | Consulting | Design Thinking | Design Sprints | Communication
A mission-driven serial parallel entrepreneur passionate about transforming industries, cities and lives through ideating and launching ambitious new platforms, Aman began his entrepreneurial journey in 1991, having launched eleven & led three others in markets across the Middle East & Asia regions since then.
When he isn’t cooking new ideas as chief disruptor at the moonshots kitchen in d'labs, his ‘day jobs’ include being Chief Provocateur at Radicle (a strategic innovation studio), Chief Optimizer at Epiq360 (wellness/longevity/performance optimization), Curator of Abundance 360 Dubai (CEO Summit with Singularity University), CEO/Co-Founder at Impact Hub Dubai (a global network of over 16,500 impact-driven entrepreneurs & innovators in 100+ locations) as well as Executive Director at ENG Group, one of the leading visual communications & outdoor media solutions companies in the UAE and across the Middle East.
Previously, he co-founded INOS (world's 1st global leadership strategy consortium), 10x Futures (breakthru leadership advisory firm for C-level teams) as well as Future Leadership Academy (greenhouse for preparing future world leaders, thinkers & entrepreneurs aged 3-24).
His first venture in 1999 was Leading Concepts that revolutionized executive education in the region. In 2002, he launched the region’s 1st ever performance consultancy Paradigmz through an exclusive regional alliance with Mercer.
He holds a 1st Class Masters Degree (Hons) from Oxford University in Politics, Philosophy & Economics as well as a Diploma in Marketing from London School of Economics. A Stanford GSB & Oxford Business Alumni, he is also a member of the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) as well as the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) where he served as Past UAE chapter President & Regional Director. Between 2009-10, he was a board member of the Global Agenda Council on Emerging Multinationals at the World Economic Forum.
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.
FCA with 20+ years of glorious international career encompassing wide range of professional services:
Corporate Finance | Valuation | Transaction Services | M&A | Due Diligence | Feasibility Study | Business Combination | Intellectual Property Rights | Intangible Asset Valuation | PPA | IPO Valuation | Private Placement | Financial Modeling | Trading Update | Asset White-wash | Debt Re-financing | International Business Development | Global Research | Strategic Consulting | Equity Research | Anti Money Laundering | Port Privatization | Stock Exchange RULEBOOK Formulation | Ministry of Oil & Gas Special Assignment | 'Ministry of Finance & National Economy' Project.
Wharton School USA - Global CFO & ADP,
Harvard University USA - Data Science,
Babson College USA - Entrepreneurship "X-SERIES" Expert from World No.1,
Berkeley California USA - Blockchain & Fintech,
London Business School UK - Brand Management,
University of California USA - Economics,
SDA Bocconi Europe - Private Equity & Venture Capital,
NYIF - Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A),
Duke University USA - Renewable Energy & Green Building,
Cornell University USA - Financial Management,
ICAI India - Fellow Member (FCA) & Qualified Valuer (National Top Ranker)
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.
Senior international and multi-disciplinary professional.
Driving corporate strategy, new product development, alliances & partnerships for organic & non-organic growth. Enabling transformation through turnaround strategy and business optimization.
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.
Mohamed Hamdy is the founder and managing partner of Venture MENA, a UAE based venture capital fund focused on investing in early stage technology startups based in the Middle East.
Believing a solid funder-founder relationship is vital in any portfolio, Hamdy parlayed his nearly two decades of executive and managerial experience in private equity and venture capital, besides being a former entrepreneur, into establishing the principles of Venture MENA.
Before taking on an advisory role with the Department of Finance in Abu Dhabi, Mohamed was the Director of Future Platforms at the Dubai Future Foundation. His threefold mandate was to support shaping the future of Dubai's strategic sectors by bridging initiatives across the public and private sectors, developing partnerships while managing the Foundation’s vast stakeholder networks, and designing programs that helped engage entrepreneurs and technology companies worldwide.
During his tenure there as Director of Investments, Mohamed along with a venture team managed deal flow that was intended to strategically support the UAE’s innovation initiatives and amplify regional venture capital funds, by filling critical funding gaps in the region.
As the Managing Director of The Catalyst, Hamdy led a partnership between British Petroleum Ventures and Masdar, setting up the first sustainability focused startup accelerator in the MENA region. He served as the founding Managing Director of the Turn8 Accelerator based out of Dubai and helped design and build several corporate accelerators across the MENA region.
Mohamed’s career in private equity began as the investment director for a private family office in Abu Dhabi, primarily focused on portfolio management and sourcing foreign investment opportunities across diverse industries. Hamdy also founded Tadawul, serving as CEO of the Abu Dhabi based online stock brokerage company.
A believer in the mandate of venture capital to support local entrepreneurship, in his free time Hamdy spends it with promising startups and their entrepreneurs, helping them raise funds and scale their operations.
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.
Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the electro-mechanical engineering industry. Skilled in Entrepreneurship, Strategic Planning, Business Development, Marketing Strategy, and Team Building.
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.
Michele Tarnow is the Founder CEO of Alliance Care Technologies (ACT) a digital health technology company. ACT’s driving vision is to provide world class connected care across the continuum of care. Michele has assembled a team of visionary physician entrepreneurs who have created technology solutions that leverage technology to optimize the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery.
Michele has spent most of her career in new product development with technology companies such as Hewlett Packard, Kodak Health Imaging (now Carestream), Kodak Digital Imaging, and Opsion Medical. Other industries she has worked include: Arts and Culture, Community Engagement and Public Policy.
As Professor of Practice at Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University. Has taught Marketing based Strategic Management, Social Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Enterprise, and Product Development. Also, she has taught Sociology as Adjunct Instructor at Syracuse University and SUNY ESF.
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.
Over 20 years of professional experience, Omar has contributed to: education, innovation and entrepreneurship, training, workforce development, immigration, and international trade. My approach has been as an innovation architect, finding better ways of planning and delivering. The true believer that a successful economy is one that is sustained through innovation and entrepreneurial activities.
Omar experience in Europe, the US, and the Middle East has prepared him for the VUCA* environment we live in. He am a connector and he have the ability to initiate ideas/solutions, provide the nuanced communication of the complex and boil it down to a simplistically elegant solution for all parties involved. He can think outside the box, and yet dial it back down to solve real world issues. A Business First article had this to say about him “But in the Louisville business community, anyone who hears that name immediately conjures an image of the gregarious executive director of the Mayor's Office for International Affairs. Granted, there probably aren't many local high-ranking officials with that particular first name, but high-ranking he is. Omar is rarely without a wide grin and a quick, warm laugh. It would be a trick not to like him.”
Associated with : Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, in5, SmartStart, Optimistix, Dubai Future Foundation, Dubai Future Accelerators, TiE Global, TiE Dubai, The Assembly, Global Blockchain Council, Zophop (now Chalo), Wrappup (acquired by Voicera), Remitr, YouPlus, EdCast, GOQii, SwagEasy, OneShop, Shifu/Signals, Habitera, AllSchoolStuff, COMAT AG, Streamedia, GulfCom, Umundo, CloudAppers, Communicate2, Oracle, MyNewz, Reliance Money, XPS ....
Specialties: Early Stage Investing, Incubation and Mentoring
Project definition and mobilization
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.
Rekha Setpal is Head of in5, a member of TECOM Group. She is responsible for enhancing Startups and Tech, Media and Design industry ecosystem that nurtures entrepreneurship through thought-leadership/industry partnerships.
Rekha has been a part of the management team of in5 that incubates startups in Dubai and supports entrepreneurs from the early stage right up to the commercial launch of the product or service. In5 provides startups with 5-key benefits that include Business Setup, Access to Creative Spaces, Training and Mentor-ship, , Networking Opportunities and Access to Investors.
Rekha brings with her rich macro-management skills and a systemic perspective on effective project development and the incubation of new business ideas. Through her long association with Dubai Internet City and TECOM Group, she has successfully created an enabling business environment.
Prior to joining Dubai Internet City, Rekha was working with Etisalat, where she managed the portfolios of large customers and conceptualized special projects. Overall, Rekha has held various challenging positions in both the public and private sector.
Rekha holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the American Global International University in Miami.
Seasoned technology professional with a proven track record within leading global corporations, where I built and developed effective business relationships across the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia region.
A true global citizen and digital native, I am also a thought leader in the field of wireless and advanced technologies, an excellent team player, and a competence developer with a strategic mindset and an extensive network of professional and personal contacts across the region.