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Previous Speakers

HRH
Princess
Reema
Al
Saud

Saudi Ambassador to the U.S.

HRH
Princess
Reema
Al
Saud

Saudi Ambassador to the U.S.

Her Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was appointed Ambassador to the United States on February 23, 2019 by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. She is the first woman in the country’s history to serve in the role of Ambassador. She presented her credentials to President Donald Trump on July 8, 2019. From 1983 to 2005, Princess Reema lived in Washington, DC, while her father Prince Bandar served as Saudi Ambassador to the United States. She attended George Washington University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Museum Studies. Princess Reema returned to Saudi Arabia, where she focused on private sector initiatives and the empowerment of women in the Kingdom. In 2000, She co-founded Yibreen, a women’s gym. From 2007 until 2015, Princess Reema was the Chief Executive Officer of Alfa International Company Limited – Harvey Nichols Riyadh, a multi-brand luxury retail company, where she collaborated with leading female recruitment agency, Glowork, and commissioned a study on Obstacles for Women in the Workplace, which set the tone for female inclusion in retail, and resulted in opening the first workplace nursery in a retail store, enabling more women to work while caring for children. In 2013, she founded Alf Khair, a social enterprise aimed at elevating the professional capital of Saudi women through a curriculum developed to enable financial self-sufficiency. In 2016, Princess Reema left the private sector to begin a career of public service as Vice President of Women’s Affairs at the Saudi General Sports Authority where she developed policies and programs that benefited women and children throughout Saudi Arabia. After a successful year, she was promoted to Deputy of Development and Planning in January 2018. In October 2018, She was also appointed President of the Mass Participation Federation, making her the first woman to lead a multi-sports federation in the Kingdom, a role that she occupied until her appointment as Saudi Ambassador to the United States. Princess Reema is excited to take her leadership role to the world stage as Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States. As part of her philanthropic work, Princess Reema became a founding member of the Zahra Breast Cancer Awareness Association in 2007, which set a Guinness World Record by forming the World’s Largest Human Awareness Ribbon at the Princess Noura University in Riyadh in 2015. Princess Reema has served as a member of the World Bank’s advisory council for the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative since 2017. She has been a member of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee since 2017, and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Women in Sports Commission since 2018. In 2014, Fast Company recognized Princess Reema as the Most Creative Person of the year for Inviting Women into the Workforce. Foreign Policy Magazine recognized her as a Leading Global Thinker for the same year, placing her high up in the “Moguls” category. She was featured on the Forbes lists of the 200 Most Powerful Arab Women and Most Powerful Arab Women in Saudi Arabia lists for 2014.

Salman
Jaffrey

Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures

Salman
Jaffrey

Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures

Salman T. Jaffrey is the Chief Investment Officer at Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures (also known as Wa’ed Ventures), a $200 million venture capital fund established by Saudi Aramco. The fund invests in innovative and impactful, early-stage startups with high growth potential, that promote economic development and enhance the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in the Kingdom. Salman has more than 15 years of experience investing and consulting in venture capital and private equity deals. He has led a number of investments across the deal continuum – from originating, evaluating and executing deals to maximizing investment value – and has managed a sizable investment portfolio. Prior to his current role, Salman was the Chief Financial Officer & Head of Portfolio Management at Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, a $500 million corporate venture capital fund that invests globally into early-stage and high growth companies with technologies of strategic importance to Saudi Aramco, to accelerate their development and deployment in the Kingdom. He has previously worked at leading professional advisory and consulting firms, including PwC and Ernst & Young. Salman has completed executive programs on venture capital (UC Berkeley), innovation and entrepreneurship (Stanford), and digital transformation (MIT). He holds a master’s degree in business forensics from the University of Melbourne and a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Bond University, Australia. He is a Certified Public Accountant and has undertaken several leadership programs at Saudi Aramco.

AMAL
DHOKAN

Global Entrepreneurship Network Saudi

AMAL
DHOKAN

Global Entrepreneurship Network Saudi

Amal Dokhan is an innovation driver, a design thinking believer, a startup trainer and an angel investor. Amal currently manages the Global entrepreneurship network connecting different ecosystem players and delivering suitable content to different stake holders in the ecosystem. Previously Amal was the managing director of Babson Global Center at prince Mohammed Bin Salman college teaching entrepreneurship to masters students. She also worked at king Abdulla University of science and technology managing startup accelerators and corporate innovation programs. Alongside that Amal delivers startup boo camps in different countries around the Mena region and Africa.

Ahmad
AlNaimi

STV

Ahmad
AlNaimi

STV

Ahmad is a Partner at STV, a venture capital firm based out of Riyadh with $500m USD under management. He is responsible for end-to-end investment cycle including sourcing of opportunities and board memberships. Prior to STV, Ahmad was part of an early stage company based in Seattle that develops infrastructure software for machine learning. Prior to that, Ahmad led the business incubation function of Aramco Entrepreneurship Center.

Dr.Abdullah
Alaraj

Riyadh Angel Investors

Dr.Abdullah
Alaraj

Riyadh Angel Investors

Dr. Alaraj is an academic and active angel investor. He holds BSc, MSc and PhD degrees. Dr. Alaraj is active angel investor. He has invested in startups in the USA, UK, LATAM, UAE and Saudi Arabia. His portfolio includes more than 20 investments in the fields of Fintech, Blockchain, LegalTech, EdTech, Cybersecurity, F&B, Transportation/Logistics and others. Dr. Alaraj is a member of United Kingdom Business Angel Association (UKBAA). He is also member of more than ten angel investors syndicates in the US and UK. He is the co-founder and chairman of Riyadh Angel Investors-RAI

Loulwa
Bakr

Global Ventures

Loulwa
Bakr

Global Ventures

Loulwa Bakr lead a notable career in corporate finance and investment banking that spanned 15 years and culminated with heading the investment banking division of Credit Suisse Saudi Arabia. In 2017, she founded Chrome Advisory, an investment advisory firm that supports and enables the venture capital ecosystem. She has participated in various CMA committees that reviewed regulations at the inception of the CMA, and lead some of the landmark transactions in Saudi capital markets. Loulwa has advised and arranged the financing, restructuring, growth through mergers and acquisitions and most significantly, access to capital markets, for top tier corporations. In addition to being recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, she is currently an independent member of the Board of Directors of Reyl Finance (MEA), a member of the audit committee of Budget Rent A Car Saudi Arabia and a member of the advisory board of Columbia University’s Global Centers. Loulwa holds a Master’s degree of Business Administration in Finance and Economics from the Graduate School of Business of Columbia University in the City of New York.

Yousef
Albabtain

SHOROOQ PARTNERS

Yousef
Albabtain

SHOROOQ PARTNERS

Yousef is a Senior Investment Professional at Shorooq Partners, a leading MENA focused venture capital fund based in Abu Dhabi. Previously worked at an internationally renowned advisory firm in Riyadh, working as a Consultant in strategy and financial due diligence. Yousef then moved to lead the business development and growth activities for a portfolio of Saudi-based companies across real estate, logistics and investment sectors. He received his Bachelor’s honor degree in Finance from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

Hashim
Alawadi

Tech Invest Com

Hashim
Alawadi

Tech Invest Com

CEO of Tech Invest Com, a Saudi, MENA focused, PE and VC company. Hashim is an investment and technology professional with over 20 years of experience in engineering, operations and capital management. A veteran of the U.S. high tech industry, he serves on the boards of various technology and telecom companies in the region, and the Saudi British Business Council. He is also an advisor to various businesses on technology commercialization, development and investments.

Ali
Al
majthoob

MEVP

Ali
Al
majthoob

MEVP

Ali is an Associate Director at MEVP with over 6 years of experience in the entrepreneurship ecosystem, working for startups, incubators, a development bank, and a consulting firm. Prior to joining MEVP, Ali worked at Bahrain Development Bank (BDB) in the Business Development Unit and the Development Services Division. Prior to that, Ali was an Analyst for Dun & Bradstreet. Ali has bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Entrepreneurship from Ryerson University, Canada. During his time at university, Ali worked for 2 startups in addition to working for the university’s own business incubator, the Ryerson Digital Media Zone (DMZ).

Mazen
M.
Hassanain

SaudiVax

Mazen
M.
Hassanain

SaudiVax

Professor Mazen M. Hassanain is a founder and the Managing Director for SaudiVax, a biotechnology company responsible for the manufacturing of high quality & affordable halal vaccines & biopharmaceuticals localized in Saudi Arabia by Saudi nationals for national self-sufficiency and pandemic preparedness. He is also a Professor of Surgery at the College of Medicine, King Saud University, an adjunct professor at the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, and a formal adjunct Professor at the Department of Oncology at McGill University. He is an experienced clinician-scientist with a demonstrated history of working in hospitals, research centers, and the healthcare industry. Skilled in collaborative translational, immunology, and oncology research and development projects, and is success-driven. Strong educational background with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) focused on moving scientific research from bench to bed. He received his medical degree with honors from King Saud University, Riyadh Saudi Arabia, and did his surgical residency and transplantation fellowship at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. He is a Fellow of The Royal College of Physicians of Canada and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Prior to SaudiVax, Prof. Mazen was working at the Saudi Ministry of Health from 2012 to 2014 as the Director-General, the General Administration of Research and Studies. He was leading the health research strategy for Saudi Arabia, deciding on priorities, inserting needed regulatory measures to protect patients and improve the research quality. Initiated the health services research center, the national biobank, the national disease registries, and the maternal screening programs. In the last 20 years, he has presented 60 orals/posters at national and international meetings, which has resulted in 100 peer-reviewed publications and supervised hundreds of graduate and postgraduate students both in Saudi and in Canada. Prof. Hassanain has founded multiple startups in the field of healthcare services and biotechnology including MediCorp Inc, Umano Saudi, Ergomed MENA, SPA Inc and VOIRx.

Yehia
Badawy

Rain

Yehia
Badawy

Rain

Yehia is a co-founder of Rain, the first central bank licensed cryptocurrency platform in the Middle East.

Ali
Abulhasan

Tap Payments

Ali
Abulhasan

Tap Payments

Ali Abulhasan’s interest in payments and technology has grown into a continuous road of discovery for the past 15 years. Throughout his career in the oil, banking, and telecom sectors, he always found himself exposed to payment transaction pain points. So he founded Tap Payments in 2014 to help enable startups and SME’s in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to start accepting online payments easily. Today Tap serves over 50,000 businesses of all sizes, from small home businesses all the way to large corporations across various industries such as retail, food, insurance, airlines, telecom, and many others. Ali Abulhasan also shares an interest in arts, design, and product development.

Faisal
Al
Haroun

Tap Payments

Faisal
Al
Haroun

Tap Payments

Faisal comes from a financial background where he was involved in the investments sector since the beginning of his career in 2007. He progressed during his time with Kuwait Finance Center (Markaz) where he engaged in Private Banking Services, working mainly with clients in the investments sector. In addition, Faisal was closely involved in the launch of multiple tech startups such as Ride Rove & The Pretty Book. Today, he looks over Tap’s integration team.

HASAN
JABARTI

FASTCOO

HASAN
JABARTI

FASTCOO

Over 20 Years of experience within different functions as: Supply Chain, Quality Assurance, Cold chain management and warehousing (including 3PL, 4 PL, fleet management and fulfillment solutions), Fulfillment, e-commerce & last-mile delivery & Business development

Samar
Nassar

KPMG

Samar
Nassar

KPMG

Samar Nassar is the Director of Healthcare Markets at KPMG Saudi Arabia with over 18 years of professional experience in the healthcare industry. Prior to joining KPMG, Samar worked for GE Healthcare. Her experience encompasses care area solution architecture such as breast cancer screening, trauma and emergency care, primary care as well as customer leadership programs with emphasis on leadership, innovation and strategy. She was recently helping health-tech startups in Silicon Valley expand their footprint to the Middle East, bringing AI in diagnostic imaging to the Middle East for the first time. She joined the public sector as part of the National Center for Privatization and PPP, where she was the marketing director.

Jessy
El
Murr

Jessy Trends

Jessy
El
Murr

Jessy Trends

Jessy El Murr is a multilingual, independent digital journalist and certified media consultant with over 18 years of international news experience. A seasoned field journalist and former BBC and Sky News Arabia correspondent, El Murr has acquired and executed several media consulting and training projects for government and private entities across GCC countries including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates and the State of Kuwait.

Carlos
Sanchiz

AWS

Carlos
Sanchiz

AWS

Carlos Sanchiz is a Solutions Architecture Manager at AWS, helping companies innovate, transform and move faster with the use of technology. With over 20 years of experience in IT, Carlos has lived the evolution of traditional datacenter infrastructure into the new paradigm of cloud computing, which he believes has democratized the access to technology and innovation so that any developer or company, no matter the size, can build new ideas quickly and change the world we live in.

Mohammed
M.Abu
Al
Saud

Hyperpay Inc Saudi

Mohammed
M.Abu
Al
Saud

Hyperpay Inc Saudi

Banker for the past 16 years – corporate services and digital payments solutions

Keerthi
Chakra

AWS

Keerthi
Chakra

AWS

Keerthi  is AI/ML Business development manager for EMEA Emerging markets at AWS. He has 13 years of experience in working with customers and  helping them define their IT Infrastructure strategy. Over past 7 years , he has been helping hot startups and enterprises acceleratee their cloud adoption. In the current role he is working with enterprises to  innovate faster and solve complex business challenges with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies .

Antonio
Duma

AWS

Antonio
Duma

AWS

Antonio is a Sr. Startup Solutions Architect helping startups to adopt and be successful with AWS Cloud. With several years of engineering background and a specific focus on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning topics, he helps customers to design flexible, secure and innovative architectures using AWS services.

Anshuman
Nanda

AWS

Anshuman
Nanda

AWS

Anshuman comes with over 25 years of experience in technology (Development, DevOps and Solution/Enterprise Architecture). He has worked extensively in areas like App Dev, Infrastructure migrations, CI/CD, Security and DevOps. Before joining AWS, he has worked with companies like HCL Technologies, Fidelity Investments and NTT to name a few. Currently working with startups and enabling them to deploy scalable, and secure architectures on cloud. He is passionate about using technology to solve business problems.

Remo
Giovanni
Abbondandolo

Checkout

Remo
Giovanni
Abbondandolo

Checkout

Remo Giovanni Abbondandolo is the Senior VP of Business Development at Checkout.com for the MENA region. Prior to joining Checkout.com Remo led the Middle East expansion for Travelstart. Previously, Remo helped found Africa Internet Accelerator (one of Naspers’ investments), which launched three of the fastest growing e-commerce businesses in South Africa. He also worked at Rocket Internet Australia & South East Asia where he was a founding member of the team that launched leading e-commerce companies The Iconic, Zalora and Lazada. Remo holds a Dual Master’s of Science in Management of Innovation and New Technology from Bocconi University and Copenhagen Business School.

Abdalrahman
Alfarra

Criteo

Abdalrahman
Alfarra

Criteo

Abdalrahman Alfarra is a Palestinian expat currently based in Barcelona, Spain. He completed his Master’s Degree in International Business and Management from Osnabrück University for Applied Sciences in Germany. He has taken over many roles focused on developing business with international companies expanding in the Middle East. For Abdalrahman, life is a continuous journey of endless learning, and the best way to learn more is to meet and talk to more people, that’s simply what drives him.

Ibrahim
Alqarawi

Criteo

Ibrahim
Alqarawi

Criteo

Ibrahim Alqarawi, A passionate Saudi Marketer & Marketing communication Manager of Nana. interested in building strong brands and drive growth through branding activities. before joining Nana he was in charge of the digital analysis team in Smaat and participated in the digital presence for several clients such as RCU, Saudi vision, ..etc.

Ali
Shabdar

Zoho

Ali
Shabdar

Zoho

An avid user and consultant of Zoho since 2008, Ali fell in love with the platform when he built a CRM for his real estate company in Zoho Creator in a single afternoon. A multidisciplinary business technologist and a published author, Ali contributes to the steady growth of Zoho’s diverse ecosystem in the MEA region. Experienced in business growth and transformation, business process, marketing, and information management, Ali understands the challenges of modern businesses and helps them utilize the immense power of cloud computing strategically and in day-to-day operations. Ali also chairs the SME and Entrepreneurship Committee of MENA Cloud Alliance where he contributes with other peers and industry leaders to the advancement and adoption of cloud computing in the region.

Fodhil

Benturquia

Okadoc

Fodhil

Benturquia

Okadoc

I have spent much of my career in executive and entrepreneurial positions, championing the cause of digital innovation in MENA. As the Founder and CEO of Okadoc, along with a team of an equally passionate team, we are in a mission to improve the Healthcare Experience for All. I started my e-commerce journey by co-founding MarkaVIP.com, which became one of the largest private online shopping platforms. I then moved on to Souq, where I held multiple leadership roles, helping drive the company from a fledgling startup to a scaled-up e-commerce platform which attracted the attention of the world’s biggest e-commerce player and that was eventually acquired by Amazon.com for US$600million. In 2015, I accepted an offer to become the Group CEO of Noon.com. The US$1bn joint venture involving key Dubai captains of industry and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund where we managed to take the company from cradle to one of the largest regional e-commerce players.

Musab
Abdullah

Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB)

Musab
Abdullah

Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB)

Musab Abdullah, Director – Technology & Innovation, Bahrain Economic Development Board Musab is the Director of Technology and Innovation at the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB). In this capacity, his focus is on international outreach and attracting investments to the Kingdom within the ever-growing technology sector. This work is coupled with continuous policy advocacy and eco- system building to ensure ease of investment and continued growth and success for investors. Musab and his team work closely with technology-related companies, including startups, that are looking to access the region through the Kingdom of Bahrain. This includes supporting the companies throughout the decision-making process, through to their establishment and potential expansion of their operations. Musab is also responsible for working with key stakeholders to identify the strategic direction of the sector, develop the eco-system and ensure that Bahrain offers an attractive, seamless and friendly business environment for all entities, from startups to corporates. Prior to joining the EDB, Musab worked in the telecommunications sector for over a decade, including as a policy-maker with the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications and as a regulator with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority. His work focused on ensuring the continued growth and development of the sector, through introducing forward-looking policies, rolling out national projects and representing the Kingdom in international fora such as the International Telecommunications Union. He has also worked with a number of entities in other fields, including e-Government projects with the Central Informatics Organisation (now the Information and eGovernment Authority) and on banking solutions with Kuwait Finance House. Musab holds a BSc. in Computer Science from the University of Bahrain and an MSc. in Finance from DePaul University.

Fadi
Ghandour

Wamda

Fadi
Ghandour

Wamda

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

Tariq
Alomaireeni

Hudhud Conversational AI

Tariq
Alomaireeni

Hudhud Conversational AI

– His experience spans 13 years in the fields of big data, predictive analytics, and AI. – Actively passionate about harnessing AI to positively impact people’s lives. – He is particularly interested in the intersection of artificial intelligence and linguistics. – Contributed to several national AI projects, in addition to heading AI departments in a number of Saudi startups. – Founder and CEO (Hudhud AI).

Mahmood
Alabbas

Workhint

Mahmood
Alabbas

Workhint

Mahmood Alabbas is an Entrepreneur and Founder of Workhint, a B2B SaaS solution to launch a talent marketplace for business functions to reduce cost, and increase productivity. Workhint is backed by 500 Startups, and expanding its operation in MENA enabling organizations to create a distributed workforce in some business functions. Mahmood has a Master’s degree in global management from Thunderbird School of Global Management and worked as a management consultant in the U.S., Romania, and Saudi Arabia, which gave him a global perspective on business challenges. Mahmood won several awards including the 100 Startups award by Badir Incubator, and nominated Workhint as a company aligned with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG).

Mansour
Althani

ITCAN

Mansour
Althani

ITCAN

A combined passion, experience and expertise in digital marketing and e-commerce led Mansour Althani, a young Saudi entrepreneur to establish ITCAN in 2015. Today, Mansour is widely recognized as a thought leader in the industry and continues to share ITCAN’s success and his vision to improve the e-commerce sector at the local and regional level through continuous innovation and creativity. Prior to ITCAN, Mansour co-founded T-lbs to enter the Young Entrepreneur Competition for SMEs in Dubai in 2012. He joined Namshi in 2014 as an affiliate marketing specialist. He also worked as search engine analyst for MakoLab in Poland and contributed to Renault’s search engine optimization process in the GCC. He also entered into modelling for the advertising of known brands in the region such as Saudi Telecom, Nissan Motors.

Sajjad
Kamal

Thakaa / Global VC

Sajjad
Kamal

Thakaa / Global VC

Sajjad Kamal co-founded AlemHealth, a Tele-radiology RIS/PACS for emerging markets, as the CTO. AlemHealth is backed by notable investors including Y Combinator. Prior to that, Sajjad co-founded Beneple, a health insurance analytics platform, as the CTO. Sajjad has had a successful exit with Beneple. He has been involved in the health tech space for over 15 years starting with a project working with Nobel Peace prize winning Dr Muhammad Yunus to develop telemedicine kiosks for the base of the pyramid. Ever since, Sajjad has been involved with several technical healthcare projects such as Empower Health which was a Hult Prize finalist. Sajjad has previously worked at Blackberry and Apple early on during his career. He holds a BMatch/CS from University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada – the birthplace of the forgotten Blackberry. In support of empowering the community, Sajjad has curated several TEDx events and co-founded the Coding Circle. Sajjad is passionate about supporting health tech companies to increase global access to care through technology.

Mohammad
Al-Razaz

OTO

Mohammad
Al-Razaz

OTO

Mohammad Al-Razaz is the Co-founder & CEO of OTO, a logis-tech company that helps the retailers ship their online orders directly from the physical stores to the customers in less than an hour! Today OTO is considered the largest integrator for last mile delivery services in MENA region with 70+ integrated delivery companies serving more than 20 regional retail brands. Mohammad is the former CEO of Jak, an on-demand, last-mile delivery company that aims to deliver any package inside cities on the same day. Before that, as a Country Manager, he had been in charge of Jeeny (Previously Easy Taxi), a Rocket Internet venture in Saudi Arabia. As a serial entrepreneur, Mohammad spent his career founding, managing, and scaling tech companies and startups in the logistics/transportation industry in the region.

Omar
Malaikah

َQuantum Platform – Martech

Omar
Malaikah

َQuantum Platform – Martech

Omar is the Co-Founder & CEO of Quantum martech platform, passionate about marketing technology and data analytics. Holds a degree in both Marketing and Finance, A certified consumer-behavior-analyst from Brainstation Toronto, Canada

Othman
Abahussein

Nala

Othman
Abahussein

Nala

Originally a programmer, Othman worked briefly in government and then moved on to build multiple tech companies before building Nala, a digital health company with the mission of simplifying healthcare access.

Piyush
Kakkar

Alibaba

Piyush
Kakkar

Alibaba

Piyush is working as Director for Industry Solutions at Alibaba Cloud META region since 2019, In past decade, He has focussed upon Carrier & enterprise market’s digital transformation across middle east & africa, Piyush is a passionate learner and anchors his leadership principles in what he calls a high-growth mindset, which is required to transform and accelerate business. Continually checking items off what he calls his “Career Bucket List,” Piyush has demonstrated expertise in identifying market opportunities and business transformation needs

Khaled
Talhouni

Nuwa Capital

Khaled
Talhouni

Nuwa Capital

Khaled is Managing Partner at Nuwa Capital. Prior to launching Nuwa Capital, Khaled was Managing Partner at Wamda Capital, the region’s first institutionalized Venture Capital fund investing in technology-enabled companies in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. He started his career at Dubai International Capital where he supported the development of the MENA region’s first seed capital fund. Since then Khaled assumed a number of venture capital and startup roles including heading investments and strategy at twofour54 in Abu Dhabi. Khaled has centered his career around identifying and investing in disruptive businesses that displace incumbent inefficiencies in traditional sectors of the economy. His areas of interest include ecommerce, Fintech, marketplaces, digital content and enterprise solutions. Throughout his career Khaled has focused on building lasting partnerships with the entrepreneurs delivering the region’s digital economy. Khaled has invested in and managed over 150 early stage transactions including Careem, Mumzworld, Insider, Modanisa, Twiga Foods, Luxury Closet, Goldenscent, LunchOn, Tamatem, VoltLines and CrowdAnalyzer.

Zach
Finkelstein

Class 5 Global

Zach
Finkelstein

Class 5 Global

Zach Finkelstein is a Managing Partner at Class 5 Global. He has a background as a VC investor and operator focused on emerging markets. Zach was previously the VP of Corporate Development at Careem where he oversaw several acquisitions, divestments, and fundraising. Zach also played a role in the launch of several new markets and business units. Prior to that, Zach was at Lumia Capital where he focused on Lumia’s emerging market portfolio including such investments as Careem, CargoX, and Shedul. Previously, Zach worked at Citigroup and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Zach earned a BA magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania where he was an editor of the Journal of International relations as well as a board member of the Wharton Undergraduate Finance Club.

Yash
Patel

Telstra Ventures

Yash
Patel

Telstra Ventures

Yash Patel joined Telstra Ventures in 2014 and leads TV’s consumer technology investing efforts, with an emphasis on esports/gaming, social media, ecommerce, AR and SaaS. Yash has sourced and led TV’s investments in BigCommerce (Nasdaq: BIGC), Snapchat (NYSE: SNAP), Skillz, Team SoloMid, SnapTravel, Swish Analytics, OpenGov, Singular, FitOn and Near. He is particularly interested in products that can reach massive scale and exhibit network effects. Previously, he was a Director of Corporate Development and Strategy at Adknowledge, an online advertising technology platform whose investors include TCV, JMI, TPG, and Nokia. Prior to Adknowledge, Yash was an investment banker at Jefferies LLC where he focused on mergers and acquisitions, capital raising and strategic advisory in the technology sector. Yash holds a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics and Biology from University College London.

Sarah
Toukan

Zina

Sarah
Toukan

Zina

Sarah Toukan is the Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of Ziina. She has product experience across several diverse and exciting spaces and a passion for bringing consumer-first products to life. Most recently, Sarah was part of a PropTech startup in London, where she engaged closely with clients to translate their needs into intuitive products. She has also worked on user-experience design for autonomous vehicles in Silicon Valley in partnership with Valeo. As a granddaughter and daughter of company founders, entrepreneurship runs in Sarah’s blood. She formerly co-founded a food and beverage business which within 8 months of public launch was selling in Harrods and to high profile clientele. Sarah graduated from Stanford with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a Master’s Degree in Product Development from Stanford’s Design School.

Hashim
Larry

Kitopi

Hashim
Larry

Kitopi

Hashim Larry is the Managing Director of KSA at Kitopi. He is responsible for looking after Kitopi’s operations and expansion plans in the Kingdom. Larry previously worked at Careem, and in his five years at the ride-hailing giant, he led several functions from operations to core products, before eventually taking on the role of GM, looking after the entire market. Larry graduated in Business Administration from the American University in Cairo (AUC) and holds an MBA from Esade Business School in Spain.

Nujood
Alyusuf

Endeavor

Nujood
Alyusuf

Endeavor

Nujood Alyusuf is the Entrepreneur Selection & Growth Manager at Endeavor Saudi Arabia where she plays a pivotal role in selecting and scaling High-impact entrepreneurs in the region. She began her career journey in 2011 where she built her experience around establishing new corporate ventures, and supporting SME’s to launch their businesses. Nujood has a BA in Organization & Innovation Management from Colorado State University and is a certified Investment Financing Professional. With more than 9 years in this field, Nujood is always in pursuit of supporting companies and start-ups in terms of operational and strategic growth, and is also a part time consultant in multiple start-up companies in Saudi.

Mohammed
Aldhalaan

Noon Academy

Mohammed
Aldhalaan

Noon Academy

Mohammed is Noon Academy’s Co-founder and CEO. After graduating from James Madison University with a BSc in Computer Science, Mohammed began his career working with SIDF, one of Saudi Arabia’s oldest financial institutions. As a Senior Credit Analyst, he supported SIDF’s mission to enable Saudi’s industrial evolution, granting loans to investments worth $1bn USD. Mohammed later moved on to Elm Company in Riyadh, as Strategic Alliances Executive Manager. Here he established new functionality to improve the handling of acquisitions, investments and joint ventures. He was also responsible for the formulation of Elm’s five-year growth strategy, in collaboration with a team from McKinsey. In 2011, Mohammed and his Noon Co-Founder Aziz AlSaeed launched CloudTech, a start-up that provided IT solutions for the education industry. At Noon, Mohammed focuses on fundraising, product development and strategy. He is passionate about empowering young people through learning which is accessible and fun.”

Abdullah
Aljuma

Zid

Abdullah
Aljuma

Zid

Abdullah is a Saudi Marketeer with over 5 years experience in marketing & sales. Abdullah worked at various companies and startups in the GCC and Europe in variety of industries as Marketing & Sales strategist and automation specialist. Abdullah currently works as a business & operation development manager at Zid.

Big
Hass

Re-Volt

Big
Hass

Re-Volt

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

Emon
Shakoor

Blossom Accelerator

Emon
Shakoor

Blossom Accelerator

Emon Shakoor (إيمان عبد الشكور) is a neuroscience researcher turned technology entrepreneur and startup catalyst. She has mentored hundreds of startup companies and has worked to help them raise millions in seed stage funding. She is currently the CEO & Founder of Blossom Accelerator, Saudi Arabia’s first tech-inclusion and female focused accelerator. The company provides founders access to community, network, educational resources as well as curating investment opportunities. Blossom Accelerator focuses on inclusivity as it not only leads to greater innovation but yields higher economic returns. Emon also serves as an Advisory Board Member at OQAL, Saudi Arabia’s largest Angel Investment Network. Prior to her career in Entrepreneurship and Acceleration, Emon obtained her bachelors in Cognitive Science from UC San Diego and was a neuroscience researcher at the University of California, San Diego investigating the role of mirror neurons in social cognition. She also worked at PAREXEL where she led and managed hundreds of Pfizer clinical drug trials across North America. Emon is a Jeddah Hub, Global Shaper and was appointed as the delegate of 30 Under 30 group at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. She is a TEDx and regular public speaker on topics such as Neuroscience & Innovation, Technology & Entrepreneurship, Startup Investment, Youth & Women Empowerment as well as Equity & Inclusion. She has been featured on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Arabia and various other outlets such as Yahoo Finance, Washington Business Journal, Entrepreneur Arabia, Arabian Business, MBC, Arab News, Okaz, Saudi Gazette, amongst others. Her mission is to build a bridge between Saudi Arabia and Silicon Valley and her vision is to empower millions of founders and entrepreneurs and build a better connected and more collaborative world.

Youcef
Oudjidane

Class 5 Global

Youcef
Oudjidane

Class 5 Global

Youcef is a Managing Partner at Class 5 and Head of MENA. Prior to joining Class 5, Youcef was an Investment Manager at the Dubai Future Foundation. Before moving to Dubai in 2017, Youcef was a Senior Associate at Solebury Capital, a boutique Investment Bank in New York. Youcef has an undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Nottingham and an MBA from Lynn University. He is a former student-athlete and won the NCAA Men’s Soccer National Championship. Youcef is currently part of the Global Shapers Community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum.

Sheikha
Aldosary

6722 coworking space

Sheikha
Aldosary

6722 coworking space

An entrepreneur, storyteller, journalist, media, and communication specialist specialized in socio-economic issues in SaudiArabia. Having more than a decade of work experience in media, communications, and public relations fields. Working worked with well-known journalists and media organizations locally and internationally such as AFP, The NewYorkTimes, The WashingtonPost, Alsharq Alawsat, ArabNews, and Saudi National Radio. Serving as a cross-cultural consultant with various official delegations, media organizations and NGOs. Currently working on advancing Saudi entrepreneurship ecosystem, while run Saudi Women’s Stories a storytelling and educational platform to highlight women and youth stories in Saudi Arabia

Hasan
Haider

+VC

Hasan
Haider

+VC

Hasan Haider has over 10 years of experience investing in MENA startups. Hasan is the Founding Managing Partner of +VC, an early stage venture capital firm focused on the MENA region. Hasan was previously Managing Partner, MENA at 500 Startups and led the firms growth in the MENA Region over the last 5 years, turning 500 Startups into the most active VC fund in the MENA region, raising and deploying the 500 Falcons fund, building partnerships and running programs in the region to help build the regional ecosystem. Hasan has invested in more than 180 startups in the region over the course of the last 10 years. Prior to 500, 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.

Abdullah
Alyahya

Morni

Abdullah
Alyahya

Morni

Co-Founder and CTO at Morni, the leading mobility solutions in the Middle East. He has a 10 years experience in Technology and Product Management. His responsibilities ranges from designing the company products roadmaps, leading technical projects, improving the overall IT infrastructure. Additionally, Abdullah is mentoring and consulting many venture startups, including SaaS and shared-economy companies. Abdullah earned a Master in Information Systems & Technology with honor from Claremont Graduate University out of California, USA and a Bachelor in Information Systems from Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud University, Riyadh, KSA.

Dr.
Yasmin
Altwaijri

King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center

Dr.
Yasmin
Altwaijri

King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center

Dr. Yasmin Altwaijri is a Senior Scientist and Head of Epidemiology Research at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and a Visiting Fellow at Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts. As an expert in quantitative science and data analytics in public health research, she has been involved in projects at the intersection of science, health, technology, design, and society. Working in collaboration with Harvard University and the World Health Organization, she is leading the Saudi National Mental Health Survey, one of the largest health projects in the region, which spans genetics to policy outcomes, and provides a launchpad for future direction and innovation in the field of mental health globally. Dr. Altwaijri has experience in developing health applications of blockchain, AI, ML, she believes in harnessing the potential of technology to enable and optimize health for all.

Abdullah
Almoaiqel

Rain Financial

Abdullah
Almoaiqel

Rain Financial

Abdullah is a co-founder at Rain Financial, which owns the Central Bank of Bahrain’s first licensed crypto-asset platform Rain.bh. Abdullah has worked with the Central Bank of Bahrain since 2017, working under the fintech regulatory sandbox that concluded successfully with the graduation and follow up licensure of Rain.bh. Abdullah has a computer science and engineering background and has been one of the largest evangelists and educators on Bitcoin in the region, hosting talks, workshops and meetups since 2014.

Ghassan
R.
Khalifa

Saudi Post

Ghassan
R.
Khalifa

Saudi Post

Strong direction and ability to take vision and consistently present credible, critical, and relevant initiatives and utilize diverse and consultative history and experience to provide credible and internationally proven practices to build reputable long-term strategic plans in the best position to perform and yields sustainable results. With over 18 years years of progressive experience in driving strategy and collaborate with internal stakeholders to crystallize plans, set objectives, and direction to achieve commercial goals. With the right leadership successfully launched the 2020 Business Planning exercise, identifying 82 projects and engaging business units in SP to develop aspirations and project needs, a focused top-down C-Suite strategic objectives presented to senior management and approved by H.E. the President of Saudi Post and directed and led the negotiations during the 2020 and 2021 budget negotiations with the MOF, that has resulted in securing funding for over 132 new projects. As a sound and credible Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, with strong tenure and having a high sense of accountability and integrity for organization and operational excellence, I have been instrumental in developing and implementing the departments KPI’s for over 600 unique KPI’s, 23 strategies, and dashboards as part of the Performance Management division’s strategy. Agile and committed and holding a Doctorate of Philosophy, Management of Information Systems from Brunel University, London, a Master in Business Administration, Management & Finance from the Hofstra University, New York, and a Bachelor of Engineering from KFUPM.

Abdullah
Alfouzan

Entrdemy

Abdullah
Alfouzan

Entrdemy

Abdullah Alfouzan eCommerce Expert who made over 2 Milllion SAR IN revenue in 2010

Previous Maté Conversation Guest

Iyad
Aldalooj

Penny Software

Iyad
Aldalooj

Penny Software

Co-Founder and CEO of Penny Software. A Procurement and Spend-Management Software.

Previous Workshop and Sessions Hosts

Ahmad
Alwazzan

Tap Payments

Ahmad
Alwazzan

Tap Payments

Ahmad was involved in the field of financial services since the beginning of his career in 2009. He progressed during his time with Ernst & Young where he engaged in Assurance and Advisory Services, working mainly with clients in the banking industry. That took place before he moved to the Group Risk Management at the National Bank of Kuwait in 2012, focusing on the compliance function with respect to banking regulations. Building on his ambition to explore the financial technology space, Ahmad joined Tap in 2017, which came as a continuation to his project-based involvement with Tap since its launch in 2014. Today, he looks after Tap’s relationships with banks and regulators across the markets where Tap operates.

Jassim
Alharoon

Tap Payments

Jassim
Alharoon

Tap Payments

Financial and strategy expert with over 15 years of working experience in private and public sectors.

Sang
Valte

Jellyfish

Sang
Valte

Jellyfish

Sang is a UX Director and design leader with 16+ years of experience in the IT and design industry. He mentors designers, consults for founders, and trains business leaders on UX and design.

caragh
kennedy

HubSpot

caragh
kennedy

HubSpot

HUBSPOT FOR STARTUPS, MENA Caragh helps startups grow better by building and scaling their sales, marketing, and services efforts. She oversees the HubSpot for Startups program, as well as the Entrepreneur programs for MENA. Caragh started her career at Wayra (Telefonica) where she launched two EduTech & BioTech startups on the Spanish market. After this, she was responsible for building up the partner program for Findasense, then XPRT Media, and eventually moved to HubSpot to continue to help startups accelerate growth.

Abdulrahman
Almalki

HyperPay

Abdulrahman
Almalki

HyperPay

A Senior Manager and a Computer Science professional with 14+ years of diversified experience in spearheading major projects in Fintech and telecommunications

Joe
Haslam

IE Business School

Joe
Haslam

IE Business School

Professor Joe Haslam is the Executive Director of the Owners Scaleup Program at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. This is a program specially designed for small and medium sized companies that want to scale. He is also the Academic Director of the Global Scaleup Program, a joint course offered by IE with the American University of Beirut. Prof Haslam was on the founding Team of Marrakech, a Dublin based e-procurement company that raised over $75m in Venture Capital and scaled to over 250 people. He is the co-founder and Chairman of Hot Hotels, the first company from Spain to be accelerated by the Techstars program in the USA . He was born in Ireland and has an MBA from IE Business School.

Hussah
Alakeel

IBM

Hussah
Alakeel

IBM

I’m a passionate developer advocate. I enjoy learning new technologies and teach them to other developers and students.

Mofaq
Althiyabi

IBM

Mofaq
Althiyabi

IBM

Iam developer! Strongly interested in Cloud, Data and Machine Learning, Containers, Serverless. Adept at motivating self and others. I like to execute new innovation ideas. A big believer in innovations, open source & collaboration.

Dawn
Kubicek

Leaders In Digital

Dawn
Kubicek

Leaders In Digital

After launching Leaders In Digital 3 years ago – Dawn has been supporting entrepreneurs, start-ups, SME’s and enterprise businesses in GCC & Globally to achieve the unexpected in digital performance. Results go from a 250% increase in sales and 300% increase in leads. Dawn teaches corporates, Universities, entrepreneurs and SME’s her most unique processes formed from her 2 decades of digital marketing experience. All shaped around data driven marketing with test and learn strategies. Her objective is to share these with as many people as possible to improve efficiency in the workplace and life overall. “Simple changes can make a big difference”

Taha
Sajid

Limar Global Tech

Taha
Sajid

Limar Global Tech

Taha Sajid is a Chief Blockchain Consultant with Limar Global Tech, Founder of Smart-Mobile POS, Blockchain training alliance (USA) certified Instructor and solution architect, Fintech/Regtec senior advisor in Hash Cash Consultants (USA), Technical Director in Huawei, responsible for Blockchain, AI, Fintech, Cloud, 5G-IOT, Security solutions and training, He is ranked by Thinkers360 among TOP 10 Global Thought leaders in Blockchain, Fintech, 5G for Influencing, Consulting, Mentoring, Speaking and Entrepreneurship expertise. He has been also associated for building Fintech Labs, mentoring numerous Blockchain and Fintech startups for solution architecting, business planning and cyber security best measures to attract investments and clients. He is privileged to have been featured numerous times in Khaleej times, Fintech Saudi, Monshaat, MCIT KSA technology events , and other INTL media channels to share insights on emerging technologies, startups and building the digital eco-system.

Abdulrahman
Aloraini

IBM

Abdulrahman
Aloraini

IBM

Abdulrahman aloraini is graduated from king saud university college of compuer and information science as computer engineer , and now working with IBM as Cloud Developer Advocate

Edwin
Kooistra

CHASM

Edwin
Kooistra

CHASM

Edwin joined an early-stage Ymor in 2007, based in Utrecht in the Netherlands. Ymor was one of the first to fully specialize in user happiness or Digital Experience as we would call it now. In different roles my focus was always on growth: developing new services, entering new industries, finding new (technology) partnerships, or entering new geographical markets. Shortly after Ymor got acquired by Main Capital I moved to Dubai work for Gartner. In my three years with Gartner I provided start-up, mid-size and large enterprise Tech CEOs in the Middle East the advice, insights, and tools needed to accelerate the growth of their business. Outside work life I love to play golf on one of the many beautiful courses in Dubai, go sailing or run by the canal in Business Bay or by the sea at Kite Beach. My next challenge is to run the marathon of Dubai in January 2021!

Sameer
SORTUR

Founder Institute UAE

Sameer
SORTUR

Founder Institute UAE

My specialty is enabling Startups & Technology Ventures Scale Global. I am currently the Managing Director Founder Institute UAE, CEO-SquareCircle Global, where we offer revenue growth structuring through Business Model Redesign, Strategic Partnerships, JVs, Investments, Market Intervention & Validation for startups and corporations considering to launch in the MEA market.

Elena
Agaragimova

Bessern.co

Elena
Agaragimova

Bessern.co

Elena is an engaging skilled trainer and talent development specialist, credited with combining operations, education, and international expertise to design and deliver programs for diverse audiences. She is known for her ability to drive change within individuals and organizations that are looking to reach their potential and maintain their competitive edge in the business world. She has started her career in higher education, having worked across various institutions, departments and regions. In her recent years, she dove into business and founded a learning and developing consultancy – Agar Global Services and Co-Founded Bessern – tech solution for productivity and well-being in organizations. She is a regular contributor to Forbes Middle East, and various publications and online platforms in the Middle East region.

Previous Step Experiences Hosts

Sohayb
Godus

Godus Bros (Tape Productions)

Sohayb
Godus

Godus Bros (Tape Productions)

Sohayb is a writer, actor, producer and satire host. He worked for 5 years managing Jeddah branch for Telfaz11, to finally reside on becoming the MD of Tape Productions. Sohayb’s wittiness definitely puts him in the forefront of the stature and comedy scene in the region, achieving more than 500 Million views under Telfaz11 network. Furthermore, he has well established his acting career with playing roles on shows such as Khambalah, Kees and Predicament in Sight which has screened on Netflix. Lately, he just finished Shams Al Maarif his first feature film and was set to premiere the Red Sea Film Festival.

Mohanned
Sameer
Shobain

Swish Academy

Mohanned
Sameer
Shobain

Swish Academy

Mohanned Shobain is the founder & CEO of Swish Academy. First & youngest Saudi Player to play the major league and Coach the KSA team. Obtained his masters degree in Sports Business from Cleveland State. Looking to make a change in the Saudi sports industry to develop male & female athletics.