Niilo Fredrikson Skype
Niilo is the Director of Partner Strategy and Marketing for Skype for Business, based out of Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Washington. His team sets the strategy for how Microsoft engages with partners around the world to sell and deliver more Skype for Business. Another focus area is increasing the value customers get out using Skype for Business through software and hardware add-on solutions developed by technology partners. Niilo started his career as software engineer, and co-founded and ran Nobman Informatics Ltd, which was acquired in 2002 by Ch5 Finland Ltd. Niilo has also served as board member and advisor for various startups and professional organizations, including four years on the board of the Finnish Software Entrepreneurs Association. He joined Microsoft in 2006, where he served six years in sales and leadership positions. In 2012 he was promoted to a global business development and alliance management role, and moved his wife and three sons to Redmond to work at Microsoft enterprise sales headquarters. Most recently, Niilo joined the Skype for Business team in January 2015. Niilo holds a Master of Science (Tech.) in Computer Science and Engineering from Helsinki University of Technology, and a Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration from Helsinki School of Economics.
Ziad Traboulsi Facebook
Ziad Traboulsi is an Engineer Lead at Facebook, where he’s been employed for the past 5 years. He develops software to bring access to the Internet in the developing world. Internet.org is a Facebook-led global partnership dedicated to making affordable internet access available to the two thirds of the world not yet connected. Ziad holds a bachelor's degree from the OSB at the American University Beirut and a master's degree from the London School of Economics and has filed one U.S. patent.
Ghassan Bejjani LFE
Ghassan Bejjani is a consultant and private investor based in Beirut and New York. He is a member of LIFE and is the founder of Lebanon for Entrepreneurs, a LIFE-backed initiative to reinvigorate the IT start-up ecosystem in Lebanon. From 1998 to 2007, Mr. Bejjani was a General Partner of Morgan Stanley Venture Partners. Prior to that, Mr. Bejjani was at Morgan Stanley & Co, where he built and ran the Tokyo Derivatives software application and support group, and created and ran the worldwide IT Strategic Investment and Business Development unit. Mr. Bejjani received an Engineering Diploma in Civil Engineering from l’École Centrale de Paris in 1983 and a dual M.S. in Civil Engineering and Technology & Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1985.
Habib Kairouz Rho Capital Partners
Habib Kairouz is a Managing Partner of Rho Capital Partners, a private equity firm with $2.5 billion under management and offices in New York, Palo Alto and Montreal. He is also a member of the Investment Committees of Rho Fund Investors, a private equity fund of funds as well as Rho Canada. Habib is a member of the board of directors of a number of companies in which Rho Ventures is an investor. His current and recent board seats include Dashlane, Everydayhealth, Intralinks, iVillage, ReachLocal, Tacoda Networks, Tripod, Verified Person, and Yantra. Habib also previously led Rho's investments in such companies as CommerceOne and OMGPOP (Sold to. Habib also serves on the Boards of Directors of a number of other Lebanon-focused organizations that emphasize economic development, including Social and Economic Action for Lebanon and the Lebanon chapter of Endeavor Global. Habib received a B.S. in Engineering and a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University, and an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia University.
Jimmy Ghazal M&C Saatchi MENA
In 2002, Jimmy Ghazal joined Quantum Group, one of the leading communications groups in the MENA region, that is made up of several companies from the various industry disciplines. His journey in the Group started at BrandCentral as a corporate identity and Arabic typography specialist. He later moved to the advertising arena with Saatchi & Saatchi, now M&C Saatchi MENA, where he headed the digital and multimedia division and helped lead the agency into the digital age. Along the way, he has worked on several iconic local, regional, and international projects ranging from F&B, Fashion, Banking, Telecom, Media to Religious, Governmental and Political. Today, Jimmy acts as Innovation Director at M&C Saatchi MENA and Digital Director in charge of digital thinking and implementations for group companies. He is also heading the digital operations at Mercury, the specialized digital and content-driven division of the Group. Jimmy is also an instructor in Media Studies at the American University of Beirut (AUB), a mentor in the Lebanon tech startup ecosystem, and a technology and innovation blogger on www.techiedad.me
Henri Asseily Shopzilla
Henri has 20 years of experience as a serial entrepreneur focused on internet-related businesses and has particular expertise in relation to algorithmics and computer science. He is the founder of Bizrate.com / Shopzilla, acting as CTO until its sale in 2005 for US$569 million. He was designing flat models before they were called NoSQL, and led the creation of the first product-centric online search engine. He is an active investor in (and mentor to) companies in the United States and MENA. Henri holds a BA in mathematics and economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Pierre tager Adobe Systems
Pierre has over 20 years of experience in the software industry. He is the co-founder of three successful international high-tech startups: Dorotech, Musicmaker.com, and OKYZ. Pierre also initiated and achieved OKYZ acquisition by Adobe in 2004, brought to market Acrobat 3D and LiveCycle PDFG 3D for the manufacturing industry, and launched the first enterprise cloud solutions from Adobe including LiveCycle for PDF based workflows, and Connect for web conferencing, using Amazon AWS cloud. Recently, he joined Adobe Marketing Cloud BU with product management responsibilities for CQ Cloud, a PaaS offering the deployment of applications enabling marketers to reduce the time and cost to launch, manage and meter WCM solutions supporting digital marketing campaigns.
MARCK L. AGHNATIOS KPMG
Marck Aghnatios is an entrepreneurial leader with an extensive background supporting companies of all sizes launch technology enabled initiatives. He has a long tenure in the Big 4 Consulting industry, where he has built industry focused technology products and global teams. A former business owner, Marck is also an investor, supports and mentors a number of startups and mid-size companies through their growth curve– i.e. start-up development, growth management, and business development. He is presently established in New York City where he earned his MBA from the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business.
Desiree El-Chebeir Amazon
At Amazon, Desiree El-Chebeir led various company-wide projects to increase the quality of Trillions of edits made to the product catalog every month, and to define the next $1 Billion market expansion for the company. Prior to Amazon, Desiree co-launched Endeavor-Lebanon to support high-impact entrepreneurs, and established and served as the Director of Operations of the Lebanon Creative Cluster. Desiree was also the regional director for the AllWorld Network and started her career with IBM (Silicon Valley and Germany), where she held various roles spanning software development, consulting and client relationship management. She holds an MBA from INSEAD and a BS Cum Laude in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego.
Elie Habib MEVP
With over 25 years in public and private companies, international markets and the private equity sector, Elie Habib is currently a venture partner with Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) and a VC consultant to the World Bank. With Abraaj Capital (Dubai, Lebanon), Elie established and managed a $50 million private equity fund focused on investing and market development of high growth value companies in the Middle East region. From 2000 to 2006, Elie was SVP and GM at Nokia leading the Enterprise Security and Mobile Connectivity business unit. Elie is the co-founder and current board member of Lebnet the leading hi-tech Lebanese professional network in the US.
Min Yang Microsoft
Min Yang is a Finance Manager at Microsoft, where she is responsible for the financial forecast and analysis for Microsoft’s quarterly earnings release. Prior to this role, she held a variety of responsibilities ranging from Product Marketing, Account Sales, Global Purchasing and Business Development at Microsoft in the US and General Motors in China. In her Product Marketing role, Min designed marketing campaigns and the go-to-market strategy for Microsoft’s Hybrid Cloud solutions in the US market. At General Motors, she led strategic sourcing of electronic components globally, orchestrated supplier footprint development in Asia Pacific and managed supply chain partnership with GM’s Chinese joint venture partners. Min holds a B.E. majoring in Industrial Design from Dalian University of Technology and an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.
Tim Woo Amazon
Tim owns the end to end customer experience for Amazon's US large item delivery business where he drives feature development with Amazon's engineering teams and process improvement across operations. Prior to Amazon, Tim worked at Microsoft/Skype as the product manager for Lync where he led technical marketing for Lync Online and was the demo lead for industry events. Tim has also previously held business and engineering roles at PricewaterhouseCoopers, EMC, and the US Government. He holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, an MS from Johns Hopkins University in Security Informatics, and a BS from the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce.
RICHARD EL KADI Oracle
Richard is a Senior Software Development Manager at Oracle Corporation US. Prior to Oracle, Richard worked as a Senior Software Engineer at Siebel Systems, Inc. In 1998, he graduated with a BE in Computer and Communications Engineering from the American University of Beirut, and two years later, he earned a Master's of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Florida.
Habib Haddad Wamda
Habib is a serial entrepreneur and an early stage investor. He is the Co-Founder & CEO of Wamda, a platform of programs and networks that aims to accelerate entrepreneurship ecosystems across the MENA region. He is also a Venture Partner of Wamda Capital, a growth capital VC fund. In addition to being a founding member of a number of startups and non-profits, Habib is also the founder of Yamli, the leading Arabic transliteration and smart search engine, and YallaStartup, one of the first support organizations for MENA Entrepreneurs. Habib holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer and Communication Engineering from the American University of Beirut and a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California.
Charbel Abou Charaf White & Case
Charbel Abou Charaf is a partner with White & Case LLP based in London and the GCC. Previously based in New York, Charbel focuses on cross-border mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, equity investments and divestitures in a broad range of industries including the tech industry. Charbel has been involved in major transactions in the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa totaling more than US$30 billion, including several equity investments in Uber, Inc. and Didi China. Regularly advising institutional investors and large family offices in investments in US, European and Asian-based tech companies at various stages of their growth, he has recently won the 2016 IFLR Rising Star of the Year - Middle East award.
Auguste Bakhos Bakhos Law Practice
Auguste Bakhos is a Partner at Bakhos Law Practice, a multidisciplinary law firm in Beirut. His experience in general corporate law has been primarily focused on International Contract Law, Contract Bidding, and the legal aspects of the Oil, Gas and LNG industries. While in New York, Auguste was advising startups and entrepreneurs on establishing their business according to the Delaware Law and upon his return to Lebanon in 2012, he developed a strong reputation as the 'go-to' lawyer for startups in the country. A graduate of Fordham University School of Law, USA, and of Holy Spirit University School of Law, Lebanon (in association with the University Of Montpellier, France), Auguste holds Master of Laws (LLM) in Banking, Corporate, Finance, and International Contracts.
Elias Houayek Data Consult
Elias Houayek began his career as a young engineer with high expectations. After graduating from the faculty of Engineering at Saint Joseph University in 1981, he pursued his studies at the “Ecole Superieure d’Electricite” in Paris. Following a 6 years stint in Abu Dhabi at Mideast Data Systems, Elias was fortunate enough to be part of a new era in the telecommunication industry. With his insight, Elias saw an opportunity in introducing the Lebanese market to a new range of IT services and cutting edge technologies, by establishing Data Consult in 1991. With branches in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq & Ethiopia, Data Consult is at the forefront of Technology Providers in the region. As CEO of Data Consult, Elias is always involved in community welfare, apparent through various charity programs, student support and go green initiatives. He is also an active member of the United Nations Global Compact Initiative which fights corruption and advocates transparency, human rights and equitable labour practices. Elias participates as a guest speaker in myriad technology summits often sharing the secret ingredients that helped in the success of Data Consult, presented to the telecommunication community with his signature humor and modest demeanor.
Bijan Azad American University of Beirut
Dr. Bijan Azad is an Associate Professor at the Olayan School of Business (OSB), American University of Beirut and the Director of Samih Darwazah Center for Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship. Bijan pioneered the popular Entrepreneurship Practicum graduate course at AUB (modeled after Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad). He also teaches in AUB/OSB’s Executive Education programs with major firms including National Bank of Kuwait, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Aramex, Expeditors, Nissan Gulf, Bank Audi, and Sukleen/Averda. Bijan, in 1989 was co-founder of a successful map technology startup in Cambridge, Massachusetts, GIS/Trans (developed Dual Independent Map Encoding system, acquired by Etak Navigator, News Corp in 1995, later acquired by KeyHole and then Google Maps) & in 2001 he co-founded another successful map technology startup ILIS B.V. (acquired by ARCADIS bv 2003), in Arnhem, Netherlands. Dr. Azad earned his Ph.D. and Master’s degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Ramzi Moubarak Montagu Private Equity
Ramzi is a Partner at Montagu Private Equity, a leading European private equity firm with a history of over 50 years. Ramzi has over a decade of Infrastructure and Private Equity investing experience, having previously worked at Morgan Stanley and Macquarie in their infrastructure funds platforms. He is based in London and focuses on deal origination, execution, asset management and fundraising. Ramzi holds an MSc in Finance from Georgia Tech and an MSc in Business Management from Grenoble Ecole de Management.
Fadi Bizri Bader Young Entrepreneurs Program
Fadi Bizri is the Managing Director at Bader Young Entrepreneurs Program, a leading Lebanese entrepreneurship organization. Bader offers coaching, workshops and access to expert and investment networks. Bader has become a key destination for entrepreneurs looking for strategic advice, business growth, mentors and investors. Fadi is also a managing partner at Division 1, a seed-stage technology venture capital fund. Previously, he was a co-founder at Seeqnce, the first startup accelerator in Lebanon (featured in The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch). Fadi is a mentor and board member at a number of startups and regularly advises entities such as the World Bank, academia and Lebanese government ministries on entrepreneurship policy and initiatives. Fadi holds a master's degree in electrical engineering from the Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal and a bachelor's degree in computer engineering from the American University of Beirut.
Declan Gordon European Investment Bank
Declan Gordon Carroll has over 40 years of experience in working with startups and growth SMEs having supported the development of over 700 enterprises as a consultant, mentor and investor. In addition to working in his early career with the Irish Development Agency (IDA) one of the world’s most successful foreign direct investment (FDI) and enterprise development agencies, he also established and was chief executive of SEBIC a high technology incubator developing both policy and initiatives to support entrepreneurs and enterprises. In the past 12 years he has worked extensively in emerging markets in the MENA, South East Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa with both national governments and private sector intermediaries in developing ecosystems that are more supportive of both innovation and entrepreneurship. Currently engaged with 14 accelerators across MENA on behalf of the European Investment Bank he is working to establish a significant follow-on-fund for MENA high potential start-ups and a platform for assisting high speed international growth.
Donald Batal Ministry of Food
The talent behind CLASSIC Burger Joint (CBJ), Donald Batal, is a professional entrepreneur with over 18 years of experience in the hospitality sector. Donald’s visionary and innovative ideas have helped in the establishment and management of several chains not limited to Roadster Diner and Deek Duke. He later joined Boubes Group, the largest F&B firm in Lebanon. Then in 2009, Donald established the Ministry of Food s.a.l., the company that owns and operates CLASSIC Burger Joint, CAFÉ DIEM and TOMATOMATIC Pizza. He is a member of Syndicate of Restaurants in Beirut since 2014.
Elias Ghanem, is a FINTECH professional. Elias worked for VISA for 12 years in Miami and Singapore followed by 4 years at PAYPAL in Singapore (as GM for South East Asia and India) and then MENA GM. In Nov 2013 he left PayPal to become an entrepreneur (at age 43) and launched TELR, an online payment gateway based in Singapore and Dubai. He ran Telr for all 2014 and became the chairman of Telr in January'15. Since then he became the chairman of ZOOMAAL, the leading MENA crowdfunding platform. He sits on advisory boards of several FINTECH startups. He is currently the Resident Mentor of the UK Lebanon Tech Hub in Beirut, a startups accelerator program set up by Banque du Liban, the Lebanese Central Bank.
Karim Safieddine Cinemoz
Karim Safieddine is the founder and CEO of Cinemoz.com Karim founded Cinemoz following a career in Film & TV production and distribution, mainly spent between Working Title (Universal), Magnolia Pictures (NYC) and The Weinstein Company (NYC), as an international sales agent, negotiating premium content licensing for the EMEA and digital platforms. He is also the founder of Red Room Productions, a Paris based company dedicated to content production and distribution of Digital formats developed on web and mobile trends in European markets. Karim holds a Master’s Degree in International Law from the Sorbonne University in Paris, along with a Master’s Degree in Film Business and Management from the City University of London, during which he wrote a thesis on digital content and media distribution in MENA territories.
Randy Rayess Venture Pact
Randy worked in venture capital, private equity and at startups in financial services, transaction processing and machine learning. Randy and his partner recognized that many businesses were struggling with their digital initiatives and started VenturePact.com to help businesses better address their tech needs. Over the last few years, they met software consulting firms around the world (both onshore and offshore) and assessed their portfolio, their programmers, and their previous clients' experiences. Based on their skill set, industry focus and pricing schemes, they connect companies with these trusted prescreened software development firms. More, Randy has looked into is how companies can better innovate. The amazing growth in mobile adoption means that businesses have to rethink their entire marketing, sales, and product strategy. Randy has a Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E), Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.
Fouad Fattal Krimston
With a Computer & Communication Engineering Degree from St Joseph University in Beirut, Fouad started his career by acting as the project manager of a workflow solution dedicated to advertising agencies (Job Tracking System – JTS) at Layout Ltd. His strategic role in the business development sector of the company led to the establishment of a solid distribution network across the Middle East, leading to strong relationships in the region that then catered to marketing multiple products held by the company. Fouad then decided to move to the entrepreneurship world and founded his first firm, Distimania SARL in 2009, which specializes in the distribution of innovative high end IT accessories in Lebanon and across the MENA region. In less than a few month, Distimania SARL thrived its way into becoming among the key distributors at all top retailers of the country known for its continuous unique and trendy portfolio of gadgets in the multimedia world. Fouad is currently the founder and CEO of Krimston SAL, leading the project to success.
Fabien Chraim Civil Maps
Fabien Chraim is the CTO and co-founder of Civil Maps, a company developing the next generation AI for geospatial applications. With his team, he brings large-scale computing to support critical infrastructure missions. He holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from UC Berkeley, with an emphasis on distributed sensing.
Marc Dfouni Eastline Marketing
Marc Dfouni holds a Bachelor and a Masters degree in Management Information Systems and Knowledge Management from Concordia University. Marc has worked in various fields including Business Process Coordinator, Inventory Coordinator, as well as Y2K Consultant at Microcell Solutions, Canada. He has also managed high scale projects that have won numerous awards including South by South-West, Canadian New Media Awards,Vidfest, Webby Awards, Gemini Awards, New York Festivals, Boomerangs, BIMA (British interactive media awards), Bell Fund 10 year anniversary award, Moebius United Nations Design award, Digital Marketing award, Prix Media and the most prestigious Cannes Lion d'Or. Marc co-founded Beirut-based Eastline Marketing in 2006 and is presently its CEO and Managing Partner. He has been recently selected as an Endeavor High Impact entrepreneur as well as received the British Council Young Creative Entrepreneur Award. In 2012, he was named amongst the top 20 Entrepreneurs in Lebanon.
Abdallah Jabbour Lebanon For Entrepreneurs (LFE)
Abdallah Jabbour is the Managing Director of Lebanon for Entrepreneurs (LFE), a diaspora-backed reform initiative for Lebanon’s technology start-up ecosystem. He is also a cofounder and Board member of Speed@BDD, and a mentor to several startups in the Middle East and the US. Prior to LFE, Abdallah worked at Oracle Corporation and Cisco Systems in Silicon Valley, in roles that spanned software engineering, business development, business incubation, and corporate strategy. At Abraaj Capital in Dubai, Abdallah worked on early-stage investments in the technology sector, and helped launch Abraaj's technology seed fund. Abdallah holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the American University of Beirut, a Master of Science from MIT, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. He is fluent in Arabic, French, English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Elias Boustani Wamda
Elias is the Head of Operations at Wamda, a platform that aims to accelerate entrepreneurship ecosystems across MENA. He is responsible of the design and delivery of innovative programs that engage Corporations and Startups. Elias is also managing the Wamda Research Lab and is responsible of scaling Wamda's internal operations. Prior to Wamda, Elias was a Strategy consultant at Strategy& (previously Booz&co.). He had advised, for seven years, technology companies in France, Middle East and Asia on setting-up corporate, marketing and sales strategies. Finally, Elias is a Techie at heart.
Michel Haddad National Instruments Arabia
Michel Haddad currently holds the position of Managing Director for National Instruments Arabia. Mr. Haddad received his Sc.M. in Electrical and Computer Science Engineering from M.I.T. (MA, USA) and his BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from George Washington University (Washington D.C., USA) where he graduated Suma Cum Laude. He first joined National Instruments in 1990 as an Analog Design Engineer and has previously held the positions of Group Manager, Senior Group Manager and Section Manager for Signal Conditioning, Switching, Digital Multimeters and Data Acquisition Systems product lines. Mr. Haddad holds several patents in the field of Measurement and Instrumentation. Before becoming Managing Director of National Instruments Arabia, Mr. Haddad most recently held the position of Director of Technology Relations in the Technology and Corporate Development Department reporting directly to the Vice President of Technology and Corporate Development. At this position, Mr. Haddad worked closely with all engineering and marketing groups in evaluating technologies. He was primarily involved in expanding National Instruments exposure to a broad range of new technologies and enhancing the relations between key technology sources and National Instruments to facilitate the incorporation of these technologies into National Instruments products
Mark S. Allcock Barclays Bank
Mark is an experienced Fintech and startup executive having uniquely raised millions of Dollars in funding from prominent Emirati investors building in Abu Dhabi and from Downtown Beirut a global white-label mobile payments technology platform from Seed stage to Series A. Mark was Programme Director for the delivery and successful launch in 2013 of an €89m investment by Visa in Europe of the V.me Digital Wallet delivered by introducing agile and startup style ways of working at massive scale inside a globally recognised financial brand. Mark is actively involved with European accelerators and incubators and has advised multiple European VCs on technology investments. He has structured global sales distribution and teaming agreements with companies such as Dell and is also credited with managing the launch of NBAD Online - arguably the most successful e-payment and digital banking platform in the Middle East. In 2014 he became a Director at Barclays Bank in London where he leads an innovation group that introduces new solutions to complex industry-wide problems and encourages collaboration with early-stage high tech startups.
Francis Doumet Adenda
Francis is founder of Adenda, maker of tools for mobile app developers that turn the lock screen into an extension for any app on Android. His vision is to break down the boundaries between app and operating system, blending both into one integrated user experience. Prior to Adenda, he built a team making and selling mobile productivity apps to Fortune 500 businesses internationally. Francis has an engineering degree from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.
Nicolas Rouhana IM Capital
Nicolas is currently the General Manager of IM Capital, a $15M fund, part of USAID MENA Investment Initiative, providing matching Capital, Equity Guarantee and Technical Assistance to early-stage businesses and investors.Between 2002 & 2015, he was the Executive Director of Berytech Technological Pole, a Business Innovation & Incubation Center in Lebanon, counseling and mentoring Lebanese entrepreneurs in their startup ventures. Since 2008, Nicolas is senior strategy & technical advisor to Berytech Fund, investing in Lebanese technology start-ups. Nicolas is also Associate Professor at the Saint-Joseph University (USJ) in Beirut where he lectures computer networking and entrepreneurship courses to undergraduates and graduates students at the Faculty of Engineering (ESIB). Nicolas is Board Member ISOC-Lebanon Chapter, Berytech, and LINC (Lebanon Internet Center). He is a certified Business Incubation Trainer from InfoDev (WorldBank) and an accredited EU-BIC (Business Innovation Center) auditor, and the spokesperson of Beirut Internet Exchange.Nicolas has a Telecommunications Engineering degree from USJ, a PhD in Networking Systems from Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, and an EDP graduate from INSEAD, France.
Paul Chucrallah Berytech Fund II
Paul Chucrallah is the Managing Director of Berytech Fund Management (Holding) SAL, the fund management company of Berytech Fund II. Paul has been part of the Berytech team since 2010, both on the incubation & hosting side, and on the fund management side. He was later in charge of the management of the two Berytech sites in Beirut. Prior to that, he had held senior positions with various Lebanese Investment and Commercial Banks, including instances where he worked intensively on fund raising and corporate finance. He also had a short stint as CFO of a large industrial concern in Egypt. He holds a diploma in Telecommunication and Electrical Engineering from ESIB - USJ in Beirut, and an M.B.A. from INSEAD - Fontainebleau. He is married with two children.
Rami Rafih BCG
Rami is a project leader at the Boston Consulting Group. Prior to that, he was a Senior Associate at Booz and Company, a Senior Manager at Monitor Group, and a Financial Analyst at General Electric Healthcare. In 2003, Rami earned his BE in Computer and Communication Engineering from the American University of Beirut, and continued his studies in France graduating with a Masters in Management from Grande Ecole.
Ayman Kayssi American University of Beirut
Dr. Ayman Kayssi, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the American Univeristy of Beirut (AUB), is one of three co-founders of SAUGO 360. Ayman obtained his BE at AUB, his MSE and his Ph.D at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (UM), all in electrical engineering. He has made his way from a Research Assistant at UM, through Assistant and Associate Professor to a Full Professor currently in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at AUB. In 1999, Ayman had the opportunity to be the Chief Technology Officer at Transmog Inc. (Cyberia). Ayman specializes in applying his expertise to computer networking, Internet technologies, information security, digital privacy, cloud computing, as well as microelectronics and integrated systems. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses at AUB in topics such as electronic circuits, computer networks, Internet engineering, and security. He has supervised or co-supervised over 78 final year projects, 9 of which have received the Dean’s Award for Creative Achievement; the master theses of 40 students, and 5 PhD students. Additionally, Ayman worked in the consulting field, as an academic consultant to Al-Ahfad University for Women in Sudan, Prince Fahd Bin Sultan University in KSA, and the Ministry of Culture in Lebanon; and as a technical consultant for Dar Al Handassah, International College, SGBL Bank, and BLOM Bank in Lebanon and at the American University of Sharjah in the UAE. Finally, Ayman is a Senior Member of IEEE and a Member of ACM and the Beirut OEA.
Mohamed Ghalayini Lumiere Group Holding
Chief Financial Officer of Lumiere Group Holding. Mohamed is in accomplished global executive with a time-tested record of driving continuous improvements in management strategy, financial reporting and controls, and corporate governance for businesses with operations in multiple countries. Backed by solid academic and professional credentials, including an EMBA from Esa Business School and ESCP Europe and CPA, and multilingual fluency in Arabic, English, and French, Mohamed is the co founder and chairman of the board of Salamah Health, a professional home healthcare company located in Beirut, Lebanon.
Ziad Khammar Choueiri Group
Ziad’s association with digital media dates back to 1999, when he assisted a friend with launching an e-commerce supermarket website. In 2000, he was appointed as General Manager of “eworks” Publicis’ dedicated digital agency, where he furthered the digital marketing initiatives for world-class advertisers, including Nestle, British Airways and HP. In 2007, EMAP’s $24 million acquisition of “AME Info” witnessed Ziad joining the portal as their General Manager, overseeing operations, editorials, sales, marketing and web development. By 2010, Ziad ventured out once again to launch “Madison Digital”, an independent digital agency focused on delivering consultancy services. Ziad’s fifteen plus years of intensive experience across the digital media scene led him to his current role at DMS - the digital media arm of Choueiri Group - where he serves as Strategy and Development Director.
Patrick Thiriet Choueiri Group
Based in Dubai, Patrick is the Chief Strategy Officer of Choueiri Group, a leading player in the MENA media landscape. He is in charge of developing the investment arm of the Group. Prior to joining Choueiri in 2014, Patrick spent 20 years in banking: from 1994 until 2008, he worked for Societe Generale Private Banking, where he steered various acquisitions and organic development projects between Europe, Asia and North America, before opening the bank’s subsidiary in Dubai in 2007. In 2009, Patrick joined BNP Paribas Wealth Management, where he was promoted Head of Middle East and North Africa in 2011. Patrick graduated from EDHEC (Ecole Des Hautes Etudes Commerciales Lille) in 1993, and holds an Executive MBA from INSEAD.
Marc Nader Data Consult, Exeo
After a decade spent in Europe, Marc joined Data Consult, where his efforts, dedication and energy led to his appointment as COO of the company in 2008. Marc contributed to expanding the Data Consult’s offering and market reach making it one of the leading Systems Integrators in the MEA region. His passion for technology gained him several accolades that he successfully deployed in enriching his career. Marc was able to position Data Consult at the forefront of technology advisory. Adding to this legacy Marc is spearheading the company towards new heights of achievement in Cloud, Data Analytics, and IoT that are now transforming businesses worldwide by creating intertwined ecosystems bridging IT with Operations. He also cofounded Exeo in 2012 which introduced the Lebanese market to a new concept of IT services. Exeo is considered a perfect partner for Data Consult, as it complements its technology expertise and allows the clients to benefit from a newer experience in consuming information technology. Marc holds a degree of Engineering from ESME Sudria in France, he is CCIE certified and PMP certified. Marc is also a lecturer at Saint Joseph University.
Joseph Azar PinPay
Joseph is the chief operating officer at PinPay SAL. With more than 16 years of experience in the computer and software industry, Joseph amassed a widely diversified knowledge in the fields of information technology, software design and development, management and business. With a strong business mindset and feet firmly planted on the ground, Joseph handles the highly stressful day to day work of the banking and payment industry in a calm and subjective manner. Having worked and co-founded many startups during his work life, he was able to identify the different do's and don’ts of starting companies and how to achieve growth in nowadays fast paced economy.
IMAD EL HAJJ American University of Beirut
Associate professor (2011 – present) in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the American University of Beirut, Imad Elhajj also happens to be one of three co-founders of new startup company SAUGO 360. Before becoming the person he is today, Imad was an assistant professor at AUB and before that at Oakland University, a part-time instructor in the department of ECE at the University of Windsor in 2004, and a research and teaching assistant at Michigan State University. He currently teaches several graduate and undergraduate courses many of which he developed, coordinated, and modified. His expertise covers topics including Multimedia Networking, Computer Networks and Security, and Control Systems and Instrumentation. As well as teaching, Imad worked in the consulting field with the Regional External Program at AUB, Mada Communications Co., Ino-Tech, and the Euro-Lebanese Centre for Industrail Modernization (ELCIM). Dr. ElHajj is a designated ABET Program Evaluator representing IEEE Society in the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC). Dr. Elhajj has conducted over 17 presentations and workshops, published over 99 conferences, 31 journals, and 2 book chapters. One should also note that he has supervised/ co-supervised over 32 Final Year Projects – some of which have received the Dean’s Creative Achievement Award, 5 PhD students, 20 ME students, and the research work of more than 40 undergraduate students. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum on Global Agenda Council on Artificial Intelligence & Robotics.
Ali Chehab American University of Beirut
With over 13 years of experience in the American University of Beirut, Ali Chehab is a highly skilled professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is also one of three co-founders of new startup company SAUGO 360. He has experience as a Senior Design Engineer at Multilink Technology Corporation in NJ and in the Sort/Test Development Group at Intel Corporation. Ali’s area of expertise involves Programming, Digital Systems Design & Testing, Digital VLSI Systems, Cryptography and Network Security. He has outstandingly supervised/co-supervised over 44 Final Year Projects, 14 PhD students, 41 ME students, and the research work of 44 undergraduate students. He has co-authored as many as 8 book chapters, 40 journals, and 120 conference papers, all in international venues, and he has been awarded with Best Paper Award at the International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design. For his Scholarly Contribution to the ECE Department in Research and the Advancement of Knowledge at AUB, Ali was awarded with the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2013. Moreover, he received the AUB Award for Excellence in teaching in 2007, and the Stone Fellowship award for academic achievements at UNC Charlotte. He is proud to be a Senior Member of IEEE and a Senior Member of ACM. Ali is qualified with a BS from AUB and a Masters from Syracuse University both in Electrical Engineering, as well as a PhD at UNC Charlotte in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Manale El Kareh Unsquared Consulting
Manale is a strategy and management entrepreneur. Formerly in Booz and Co and currently contracting for A.T. Kearney and other similar companies as engagement manager, she has launched her own consulting boutique in the Middle East in 2014 aiming to assist startups in setting up their businesses and developing their business plan. Manale has 10+ years of experience in industry and strategy consulting across the USA and EMEA. She was a Business unit leader/ Project Manager at a global Fintech company and later as an associate and engagement manager led private and public sectors major transformations as part of topnotch management consulting firms. Manale has led corporates in building teams and deploying operating models and drove startups in developing their ideas from concept to business plan. Her core strengths are FinTech, Multi-Channel Tech, Services, and Government. Manale holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer and Communication from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon and a Masters in Business Administration from INSEAD in France / Singapore.
Elie Habib Anghami
Elie is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 10 years experience in the telecommunications sector, working across the Middle East and North Africa. He co-founded several companies and telecom products from the grounds up, and he is specialized in Software development and mobile telecoms platforms.
Walid Mansour Middle East Venture Partners
Walid has more than 12 years of experience in Venture capital and strategy & management consultancy, corporate finance and engineering in telecom, media and public sector industries. Prior to joining MEVP, Walid was a lead associate at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants within their Middle East team, supporting the firm's implementation and growth in the region with a focus on the telecom & media sectors. Before Roland Berger, Walid worked as a strategy manager at the UAE's Prime Ministry executive office focusing on long term public sector strategies and implementation plans. 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 and public sector industries across the region. Prior to that, Walid worked as an industrial engineer in France within Altsom. 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.
Hana Dib McKinsey & Company
Hana is an associate at McKinsey & Company. Prior to that, she worked as a digital strategy consultant at American Express in London and as a product manager at Amazon UK. She also worked as a strategy consultant at Booz & Company (now Strategy&) in the Middle East and South East Asia. Hana was engaged with different growing companies in their early stage such as Yamli (Lebanese transliteration and smart search engine), Converteo (French digital and cross-channel consulting firm) and Curatepro (British online platform for freelance consulting). She is currently helping different start-ups in the Middle East and Europe to setup their strategies. Hana holds an MBA from London Business School and a bachelor degree in Computer and Communications Engineering from the American University of Beirut. She was awarded the Boston Consulting Group - American University of Beirut Promising Leader Award in 2009.
Grace Maroun GUIX
Grace is a UX / UI designer with front-end development skills. She's been designing and coding for the digital world since 2005. She continuously evolved her knowledge while working for multi national companies where she expanded her skills and led a team of designers. In 2013, Grace decided to take her journey one step forward and run her own business, GUIX, focusing on User Experience and User Interface design and analysis. Grace holds a Masters in Multimedia Engineering at the Antonine University, Lebanon.
Ronny Karam GUIX
Ronny Karam is a web engineer specialized in Digital Product design. With over 10 years of experience, and hundreds of projects for clients all over the world, Ronny is focusing on creating better User Experiences (UX), and developing usable & intuitive User Interfaces. Ronny holds a M.S. in Multimedia and Communication engineering from the Antonine University, Lebanon, and is currently one of the co-founders of GUIX, the interactive lab.
Michel el meouchi Badri and Salim El Meouchi
Michel El Meouchi, COO Badri and Salim El Meouchi Law Firm. Michel practiced law in Canada and the Middle East for 10 years before branching out into business. Michel is a member of the Quebec Bar Association and the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario Bar Association). He was the co-founder of one of the Middle East’s pioneering startup accelerator programs, and contributed to the success of its first acceleration cycle. Michel advises a number of startups and growth companies on their strategies for expansion, and advises a number of growth-stage companies. As COO of Badri and Salim El Meouchi Law Firm, Michel heads the firm’s 30-strong support team and overseeing finance, HR, Marketing, back office and support functions. Michel is also involved as co-founder in various ventures outside of Lebanon.
ZEINA SULTANI SYNKERS
Zeina Sultani, graduate of the American University of Paris has over 15 years of experience in Marketing & Business Development. Zeina worked for 5 years with Nike where she was handling the roll out of standalone stores in the Levant Area, then joined Azadea Group Holding. During her position as VP of Business Development at AGH, she secured the Master Franchise Agreement of 6 international brands for the Middle East territory. For the past 5 years, Zeina has been the Marketing Director at Acres Development Holding (sister company to Azadea). Zeina is a co-founder in Synkers and is handling the marketing and business development side of the business.
toufic azar Meacor
Toufic Azar obtained his Honour’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and is currently a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering, both at McGill University. Together with MD. Renzo Cecere he is developing a novel medical device aiming at repairing heart valves without open-heart surgery thus potentially allowing the treatment of tens of thousands of patients annually that currently are not candidate for the open-heart procedure. Toufic holds several patents in the field of cardiac devices. In 2013, they won the William and Rhea Seath award for Engineering Innovation and in 2014 McGill Dobson Cup start-up competition. In 2015, Toufic and Dr Renzo Cecere co-founded Meacor with the mission of developing and delivering this technology to the marketplace. Meacor, based in Beirut and Montreal, has raised seed financing from MEVP, Isme, IM Capital and angel investors with the aim of testing their device on animals within the upcoming year.
Rami Hallal Blink My Car
Rami is the Co-founder and CEO of Blink My Car. Previously worked as a Global Partnerships Manager (Mobile & Communications) at Yahoo based in Dubai where he crafted Yahoo MENA partnership strategies and built alliances with strategic partners including media and e-commerce players (such as Amazon), telecom operators, and OEMs. Prior to that, Rami worked for five years at Booz&Co as an Associate advising government authorities and public institutions in core areas of public administration including social services, environment & climate change, e-government, and transportation. Rami holds an MBA from INSEAD and a BA in Economics from the American University of Beirut.
Ramy Boujawdeh Berytech
Ramy is the Deputy GM of Berytech, with more than 16 years of international experiences in management in the different disciplines , Ramy amassed a diversified knowledge in the fields of change management, quality management, operations, and entrepreneurship support programs. With a strong business mindset and a firm commitment to achieve excellent, Ramy learned that connecting people to the resources needed can make a difference in accelerating their growth, and he is keen on mobilizing his connections to the best interest of his mentees. He actively advises early-stage startups in Lebanon. Ramy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture Engineering from the American University of Beirut, and a Master’s degree in Business Management and Economics.
Bruna Zacka Instagram
Bruna Zacka is a product marketing manager at Instagram, based out of their headquarters in California. She has been working at Facebook for the past 6 years, in the advertising and monetization side of the business. She has occupied various roles in multiple offices going from sales, to partnerships and, now, product development and marketing. Bruna holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University in North Carolina and a Master’s in Businesses from HEC in France.
Widad Machmouchi Sansaire & Microsoft
Widad is a co-founder at Sansaire, a sous vide kitchen appliance company. Sansaire aims to introduce modern and scientific cooking techniques into the home kitchen by providing the necessary tools and education. Widad was involved from inception to the design, manufacturing and distribution of Sansaire. She helped in running a super successful Kickstarter campaign (exceeding initial target 8-fold) and in bringing Sansaire to online and retail stores worldwide, making it one of the top-selling sous vide machines in the market. Widad is also a data scientist at Microsoft where she uses her computer science background and data hacking skills to assess whether Bing is providing its users with the best results for their intended web searches. Widad has a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle, and a bachelor in Computer Engineering and minor in Business from the American University of Beirut.
Samer Saad Addbloom Builder Bee
In web design, development, and technical lead, Samer stared his promising career with addbloom in 2012. He proved to have advanced knowledge in Wordpress design and manipulation, PHP, CSS, XML, RSS, MySQL and more. With his unique style and expertise, he had the chance to develop some of the most known websites, games and applications, till he took charge as CTO at Addbloom in early 2015.
Jad Joubran eTobb
At the age of 19, Jad Joubran founded eTobb, a startup that connects patients and doctors in the MENA region. At 22, his experience revolves around managing a team of 4 developers at eTobb, Technical Consulting companies in the Middle East and South Africa, publishing web development articles, presenting at international conferences and providing mentoring sessions for developers on Codementor.
Hind Hobeika Instabeat
Hind Hobeika is a self-tracking engineer who believes biological parameters are the most fascinating input for technological systems. She is the founder of Instabeat, an award winning startup that creates high-tech tools that track and improve swimmers' performance and well-being. Hind is also the founder of the Quantified Self, Beirut chapter.
Paul Saber eTobb
Paul Saber is a serial entrepreneur focused on tech startups. He is the co-founder & CEO at eTobb, a 500 Startups company that facilitates access to healthcare in the MENA region. He also co-founded Buildify, a peer-to-peer marketplace to rent construction equipment and Feedeed, which helps startups and small businesses hire pre-screened freelancers. He actively advises early-stage startups in Lebanon. Prior to founding eTobb, he was a senior consultant at PwC. Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the American University of Beirut and is a CFA charterholder.
Nayla Ziade Procter & Gamble
Nayla is a marketing and communication consultant in the Middle East. She has worked in brand management for Procter & Gamble, managing several brands in different markets, across Europe. She has extensive experience in product development, communication, including digital and social media, go to market and project management. Prior to that, she had worked for Danone and Chanel. Nayla holds a BA in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut, a Masters in Management from HEC in Paris and an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York City.
Priscilla Elora Sharuk myki
Priscilla is the co-Founder of myki (myki.co), an enterprise identity management solution that eliminates the need for usernames and passwords, and creator of the pitchplease.me initiative that helps entrepreneurs optimize their pitch deck in its visuals, content and delivery. Priscilla believes in sharing with others what she continues to learn on her journey as an entrepreneur.
Abed Halawi Vinelab
Software developer, speaker, organiser of the Neo4j Meetups in the MENA region and active open source contributor. Being the Tech Lead at Vinelab, he had the opportunity to work on many large-scale projects in the MENA region (including Star Academy, Arabs Got Talent and A-list artists projects in the region) which were the origin of numerous experiments in software architecture and programming patterns for high traffic and heavy consumption, backed by years of experience in infrastructure implementation. Curious about code collaboration, team workflows, software and infrastructure architectures and documentation.
Cedric Maalouf Et3arraf
Graduated from ESCP - Europe with a master in business administration with emphasis in Strategy, he worked as a consultant in Strategy and Transformation at Capgemini Consulting Paris. He is now the cofounder and CEO of et3arraf.
Rakan Nimer Et3arraf
Rakan, passionate about all things JS and cloud, is the co-founder and CTO of et3arraf. His experience consists of more than 10 years of development in which he has developed solutions to a wide range of commercial and research problems. He is now scaling his startup and managing a growing team of developers and designers.
Wissam Youssef CME Offshore
Wissam Youssef is a co-founder and CEO of CME Offshore, a Lebanese technology firm that provides software and electronics engineering services with a golden track record among the top fortune 500 US companies as well as US startups in more than 10 different industries. Through the past 13 years, Wissam has also co-founded CME China and contributed to 4 US patents in IoT, energy management, artificial intelligence and supply chain innovation.
Joanna Maria El Khoury Cleary Gottlieb
Joanna Maria El Khoury is an associate in the Paris office of Cleary Gottlieb and a member of the New York Bar. Previously, she was based in the firm's office in Washington D.C. Her practice focuses on international corporate and financial transactions, including debt and equity securities offerings, complex structured products and mergers and acquisitions. Joanna has also been involved in advising financial and technology companies on compliance with U.S. sanctions regulations. Joanna is a graduate of The George Washington University School of Law and the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.
Constantin Salameh Stanford Business School SEED Centre
Constantin is an investor, board director and executive coach with the Stanford Business School SEED Centre. He has more than 30 years of international experience in funding, coaching and directing startups and SMEs as the Managing Director of HP Financial Services in EMEA and Asia Pacific (20 years) and the Group CEO of Al-Ghurair Investments, SafInvest and the AMS Group in the UAE (8 years). He is a member of the Berytech Investment Committee and a board director of several SMEs including QuickCash, Delta Group, Emigoh, Reals Pharmaceuticals and Kokoby. Constantin has engineering degrees from King's College London and MIT combined with an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Marc Homsy McKinsey & Company
Marc is an associate at McKinsey & Company. Prior to that, Marc worked with Uber, leading the company's launching efforts in Jeddah, KSA. He also launched Harvard Business School's Research Office in Dubai, covering businesses in the MENA region. Marc was engaged with several startups in the United States and the Middle East. He launched a fashion startup - Tankies - in Boston and supported the launch of Fix My Resume in Lebanon. He was part of the leadership team for the 2014 Harvard Arab Weekend conference, planning and hosting a startup competition focused on early-stage startups across the Arab world. He also worked with the California Center for Innovative Transportation in San Fransisco, focusing on the implemention of innovative solutions to improve the safety and efficiency of California's transportation. Marc holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor degree in civil engineering from the American University of Beirut.
Samir Zehil Wynder Coaches
Samir Elias Zehil is the founder of Wydner Coaches & Associates. He is specialized in Strategic Sales from Harvard University. He also holds a degree in Chartered Accountancy as well as an MBA from the University of Lyon 3- Jean Moulin - France. Upon his return from Harvard, Samir quickly began delivering Sales seminars to all kinds and sizes of companies. He has addressed live more than 62700 people to date. In 2002, Samir was the first person to introduce Coaching to Lebanon and its neighboring countries. Samir coaches everyday upper-managers, CEOs, politicians and employees of big companies in the USA, Sweden and the Gulf area. He is a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) He is also member of the Worldwide Association of Business Coaches (WABC) Samir is an upbeat, dynamic and entertaining speaker with a talented ability to coach and inspire audiences to achieve more in terms of sales and personal growth.
Mustafa Baalbaki Saily
Mustafa Baalbaki is an iOS Engineer at Saily. After graduating as a Civil Engineer 6 years ago, he switched careers to follow his passion of iOS development. He worked for KnowledgeView developing iOS apps for major MENA newspapers and magazines. He attended Apple's WWDC12 and WWDC16 and got featured by Apple in the latter in "The New Beginnings" video for the first app he developed, Beirut Electricity. Mustafa is also an iOS development instructor at New Horizons, DAC camp at AUB and TeensWhoCode.
Mohamad Sabouneh Moodfit
Mohamad is currently associate at Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) where he is actively involved in sourcing and screening deals, structuring investments and portfolio management. Mohamad is also cofounder of Moodfit, an online platform for interior designers and furniture suppliers. Prior to joining MEVP, Mohamad worked as an academic research assistant covering several subjects ranging from Venture Capital to leadership management. He also completed his MBA thesis on the subject of VC syndication patterns in the MENA region. Mohamad additionally worked in oil & gas project and construction management in UAE, Algeria and Italy. Mohamad holds a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the Lebanese University, and an MBA from the American University of Beirut (AUB).
Amir Abou Baker Oscar
Amir is a highly driven, results-oriented technology & operations leader with expertise in retail, customer care and operational transformations for global operations. Background includes 2 years of Consulting with Fortune 100 companies followed by 3 years at General Electric doing Lean/Six Sigma and process improvements and 5 years at Google doing Global Strategy and Support Operations then Incubating and Managing their entire Retail Operations Practice in North America. Most recently ran all Service Operations & Customer Services for a Health Startup called Oscar.
Elie Noune Unity Technologies
Elie is a product manager at Unity Technologies, the world's leading game development platform. He focuses on market intelligence and analytics products for large studios in the gaming industry. Before that, he was a PM at NativeX where he built advertising products for mobile games. Elie's passionate about the early stages of product development, finding product market fit and creating new markets. He holds a bachelors in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the American University of Beirut and a masters in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
Wajdi Ghoussoub Middle East Venture Partners
Wajdi is and associate director at Middle East Venture Partners. Wajdi has more than 7 years of experience working in Corporate Finance and Management Consulting in a wide range of sectors in the Middle East. Prior to joining MEVP, Wajdi worked for AlixPartners, a leading consultancy firm in Dubai. He executed business planning, debt restructuring and enterprise improvement projects for key global and GCC clients. He supported the firm’s growth in the region having been one of its first recruits based out of the UAE. Prior to joining AlixPartners, Wajdi started his career with the Valuation and Economics team at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dubai. Wajdi holds the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and is a member of the CFA Institute. He graduated from The Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University, Canada with an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration.
Maggie Gebara Element M
Maggie is a seasoned consultant, strategist, highly skilled speaker, writer, risk taker, lecturer, and leader. She has created proprietary e-commerce operational models, headed operations in different managerial positions and industries, designed distribution centers and dispatching systems, created customer user experience processes and documentation, developed supply chain models, overseen the legal, financial and operational responsibilities relating to the project cycle of no less than 6 festivals, 10 concerts, 4 plays and 1 major musical production. With degrees from LAU and ESA and with over 18 years of local and regional managerial experience in the field, she has accumulated extensive know-how with every project she has undertook, expertise she thrives on imparting as a university lecturer in the plethora of fields she has mastered, doing so for more than 7 years now at UPA, USEK and AUST. Recently, Maggie started “Element M”, a boutique consultancy mainly focusing on the startup ecosystem, the ins and outs of which she understands and goes around with ease and joy. In short, she approaches her work with genuine passion, just like a hobby. She thrives on challenges, her risk-taking extending to her personal life; being an aficionado of extreme sports, she relates in words and pictures her adventures as a solo traveler in getlostandwander.com, a website soon to be launched. In the end, no matter how stressful or high-demanding her work gets, she strives to give her utmost, enjoying every task, endlessly growing.
Nassif Shalhoub PwC
Nassif is a Deals Partner with PwC Middle East and has been with PwC for more than 15 years. His experience began in various external audit and related assurance assignments and evolved to focus on transaction services and corporate finance engagements that include financial due diligence, financial modelling, feasibility studies, valuations and sell side mandates in connection with mergers, acquisitions, divestments and initial public offerings. Nassif advised clients across different business sectors including financial institutions, food and beverage, retail, real estate and hospitality, manufacturing, distribution, engineering and construction, oil and gas (import and distribution), healthcare, technology and telecommunication. Nassif holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the American University of Beirut and is a US Certified Public Accountant.
Riyad Abou Jaoudeh Middle East Venture Partners
Riyad is an executive director at Middle East Venture Partners. Riyad has more than 6 years of strategy and management consulting experience in the telecom and media sector in the Middle East. Prior to joining MEVP, Riyad was a Senior Associate with Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company). Riyad also helped launched an e-commerce platform focusing on toys, was country manager for Qatar at Careem, and launched a mini-burgers restaurant in Beirut. Riyad Holds an MBA from The Wharton School, a masters in Engineering from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor of Engineering from the American University of Beirut.
Jad El boustani Middle East Venture Partners
Jad is an associate director at Middle East Venture Partners. Prior to joining MEVP in July 2012, Jad worked as Project Manager at Truffle Capital as part of the Venture Capital Tech Team in Paris during which, he assisted in fundraising efforts and in the expansion of a build-up of startups specialized in mobile services. Prior to that, Jad worked as a financial analyst in the M&A department of Bank Lazard Brothers with a focus in EMEA Telecom and Technology. In 2010, he served as an auditor in the Finance division of General Electric Healthcare. Jad's experience in Lebanon includes working as an analyst and developer at NavLink and as an IT developer at Societe Generale. Jad holds a degree in Telecom and Computer Engineering from the Lebanese University, and an MBA (with a finance and private equity emphasis) from the Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales, ESSEC (France).
Anthony Haddad Amazon
Anthony is a Senior Manager for international expansion at Amazon, helping to build digital and retail products and services across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Previously, Anthony worked in strategy management consulting, advising clients in government, telco and education in KSA, UAE and the broader Middle East region. Anthony’s academic career includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from the American University of Beirut; a Master of Arts degree in foreign relations and economic development at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins, and a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Mounir Mouawad Google
Mounir heads up strategy and operations for Google's consumer payments business in EMEA, and currently focuses on launching and scaling Android Pay in the region. Prior to that he worked across a variety of roles in e-commerce, managing some of Google's biggest e-commerce clients in Europe, and completing a 3-year rotational programme at Amazon in the UK. Mounir sits on the board of advisors of an ed tech startup called Drum Roll and mentors regularly at Google Campus in London. He holds a computer engineering degree from the American University of Beirut and an MBA from London Business School.
Kamal youssef CME Offshore
Kamal is a solution architect at CME Offshore with 10 years of experience in building and engineering software solutions. He is technology agnostic, a data practitioner with more than 15 online certificates on data analysis, data mining, machine learning topics, and a technology mentor and instructor at New Horizons institute for more than 8 years. Kamal holds a Masters in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from the Lebanese University.
Ziad Jureidini Sqwirl
Co-founder of Sqwirl, a startup that offers hyper local on-demand deliveries, Ziad was previously the managing director of Publicis Beirut - an advertising and communication agency. With experience in the gulf region at Leo Burnett - communication, and NCB Capital - investments, he specializes in the development of products, brands, and communication campaigns. He worked on a portfolio of global brands such as Diageo, Procter & Gamble, Jeep, and L'Oreal. He is a founding member of the anti-corruption technology NGO Sakker el Dekkene www.sakkera.com. Ziad is a graduate in Finance from the American University of Beirut, and has over 13 years experience in Marketing and Management.
Carl Madi Amino Apps
Carl is the General Manager of Emerging Markets at Amino Apps, a social media start-up based in NYC. After 4 years of management, he worked on Uber's launch in Dubai, Uber’s first city in the Middle East. He was in charge of Operations there for a year and a half. He then moved to Amsterdam (Uber's international HQ) to directly work with the COO on international strategy. He has deep expertise in scaling the supply side of the business from scratch. He also worked on Global Host Acquisition at Airbnb in their San Francisco office where he also focused on growing number of listings in markets all over the world. Carl graduated from the American University of Beirut with a bachelor in mechanical engineering and completed his MBA at the Wharton School.
Fadi Mahmoud Alcalua
Fadi has more than 25 years in the technology sector and he is located in Silicon Valley. He holds more than 20 U.S. approved patents in enterprise and consumer innovative technologies which shipped in many products since early 1990s. As an entrepreneur and innovative technologist Fadi has taken products from new revolutionary or evolutionary innovative ideas to shipped products producing revenues of more than $500Million for companies like Adaptec, Microsoft, Dell and others. Recently at Alcalua, Fadi invented new wearable technology in sports and medical sectors for performance augmentation through hardware, software, cloud, mobile, and AI. The device is frictionless where one can’t see it, feel it, and would forget wearing it. Fadi graduated with Masters of science degree from University of New Orleans in the department of electrical engineering focusing on polarization optics where he published papers in U.S. scientific and academic journals. Fadi received his Bachelor of Science degree with honors from Beirut Arab University in electrical engineering focusing on electronics and communication.
souhail khoury Berytech Fund II
Souhail has more than 8 years of experience in Technology and Entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Berytech Fund Management, Souhail worked at Samsung’s MENA Headquarters and launched an accelerator for Intigral, Saudi Telecom’s Digital Media Arm called afkar.me. Souhail holds an MBA from Insead, a certificate in Disruptive Strategy from Harvard Business School (HBX), a Master in Digital Business and Strategy from HEC Paris/Telecom Paris Tech and a Computer Engineering Degree from the American University of Beirut.
Rami Panayoti Middle East Venture Partners
Rami has been active in venture capital for over 3 years across MENA with Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), MENA’s largest venture capital firm with $200M+ in AuMs. Throughout his time at MEVP, Rami has assessed over 200 companies and built investment memorandums for more than 20 prominent startups. He also sits on the board of Zoomaal, MENA’s leading crowdfunding platform and is part-time COO of a stealth-mode travel technology startup. Prior to joining MEVP, Rami had extensive experience in the Lebanese entrepreneurship ecosystem. Rami co-founded 2 different organizations (Entrepreneurship Club, and Lebanese Entrepreneurs), one of which grew to become an NGO with 500+ members across 3 university chapters. He also organized many entrepreneurial workshops and events, such as the first, massively successful Startup Weekend in Beirut. Rami holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the American University of Beirut.
Hadi Sawaya HaxFit
Founder of HaxFit, an online fitness platform that redefines personal coaching as we know it, Hadi was previously the Head of Operations at Quiqup - a 25 M£ UK based on-demand delivery services platform. A high-performing multilingual MBA graduate with valuable experience living in 6 countries, Hadi has worked in a variety of different industries, ranging from Sales to Consulting to Startups. After graduating with honours from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Computer Engineering, Hadi started off as an IT Advisor at Insight Canada, before working as a Consultant alongside Nakisa, Accenture and SAP. He channelled his passion for sports into the launch of the first iteration of HaxFit in Brazil before moving to Madrid to complete his MBA at IE (Instituto de Empresa), for which he was awarded a Scholarship. From there, he developed a particular interest in startups as well as helping others bring their ideas to life.
Pascal Chidiac Middle East Venture Partners
Pascal is the Portfolio CTO at Middle East Venture Partners. He has more than 25 years of experience in investing, software development, consultancy, project management, and almost every aspect of healthcare insurance. Pascal previously worked for a health insurance management company, was an independent consultant, and started a small family fund back in 1998. In 2002, he co-founded WeMind, a software company with clients in the telecom and in the financial sector. Pascal holds two Diplome d’Etudes Approfondies, in Fundamental Mathematics from Université Paris VIII, and in Theoretical Computer science from Université d’Orsay.
danny maalouly Berytech Fund II
Danny brings over 10 years of experience in financial markets, asset management, and wealth management. Danny is currently the Investment Manager at Berytech Fund II; a US$ 52 Million Beirut based Venture Capital Fund. Prior to joining Berytech Fund Management, Danny worked as an Investment Advisor and a Senior Trader at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Boston-USA, SHUAA Capital in Dubai-UAE, and managed the trading activities of several Hedge Funds covering multiple asset classes. Danny holds an Executive Education in Mergers & Acquisitions from Harvard Business School, an Executive MBA from ESCP Europe, a BBA in Finance from the American University of Beirut, and several investment management certificates.
Thomas Jurdi Google
Thomas is a senior program manager at Google, where has has built, launched, scaled and managed global large scale programs in Google Shopping. During his time at Google he has also led the abuse-fighting team against organic search in France, Italy and Romania. Over the past 12+ years, Thomas has built products and businesses, with the internet at their core, from scratch and helped them scale in different industries from telecoms and real estate to search and e-commerce. Thomas holds an MBA from INSEAD, an MSc in Internet Computing with an emphasis in cryptography from the University of Surrey and a BSc in Computer Science from AUB.
Tom nassr Checkmate Digital
Tom is the Co-Founder and CEO of Checkmate Digital, a studio in New Haven, Connecticut focused on helping entrepreneurs design and build software that solves everyday problems. Spanning industries from micro-finance and virtual reality to automation and health-tech, Checkmate Digital is driven by social impact in every field. Tom is also a board member of the Entrepreneurship Foundation, and was named the '2017 Entrepreneur of the Year’ by Connecticut Entrepreneurs Consortium
Saad El Zein LAU
Saad has a well seasoned communication personality with more than two decades in the business of banking, real estate, consulting and advertising. After spending the first part of his career life in Banque Credit Populaire and Middle East Bank, grooming his skills in management and finance, he embarked on a 15 year path working for major advertising agencies networks, Leo Burnett, Publi-Graphics, Madco, where he performed tasks ranging form new business development to mergers and general management. With such a broad spectrum of experience and knowledge Saad decided to form El Zein Consultancies, a firm specialized in providing value added counsel strategic recommendations to businesses; this lead to a joint venture with AGA Group and the formation of “The Network Communication Group” where he became CEO. Today he returned to Lebanon and joined the Lebanese American University in the capacity of Assistant to the President on Special Projects. His responsibilities include managing special assignments and acts as the President's liaison with LAU University, the government, and community leadership, pertaining to the specific area of institutional interest.
Jad Sabra McKinsey & Company
Jad is a junior manager at McKinsey & Company, Dubai. During his 4 years at McKinsey, Jad worked on multiple projects in the UAE and Lebanon, focusing on technology and go-to strategies. In addition, Jad is among the leaders of the Marketing and Sales practice in the Middle East, specializing in sales transformations and incentive schemes. Jad also works with The Nawaya Network as a Business Developer helping underprivileged youth (age between 18 and 24) build their small businesses to help solve a social need in their communities. Before joining McKinsey, Jad worked as a Civil Engineer in Lebanon, Qatar and Italy on multiple mega-projects. Jad holds a Bachelor degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the American University of Beirut.
Marc Bassil Broadgate Advisers
Marc is a senior Investment Banking analyst at Broadgate Advisers with 4 years of Financial Advisory experience in a wide range of sectors across the Middle East. Marc advises clients on investment opportunities by challenging market fundamentals, as well as the operational and financial aspects of the business in order to gain a better understanding of companies' key value drivers and risk areas. He assists clients in developing business plans, supporting them in building financial models and investor presentations, providing companies with a solid understanding of their financing needs and valuation expectations with the objective to approach the right investors in fund raising efforts. Prior to joining Broadgate, Marc began his career with the Deals team at PwC Middle East. Marc holds a MSc. in International Finance from HEC Paris and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the American University of Beirut.
Sami Ramly Wevr
Sami Ramly is a VR/AR Product Lead and member of the select Product Leaders group at Products That Count in Silicon Valley. He is currently the VR Product Management Lead at Wevr, the renowned VR startup specializing in producing and distributing award-winning VR experiences. Sami heads the Product efforts for Transport, the native network for VR creators and their audience. Previously, he worked in Product on 3D Printing & 3D Scanning at Microsoft, where he shipped Microsoft's first 3D Scan app for Windows 10. He also held several other roles in engineering, business and product management at Silicon Valley startups and accelerators, including StartX. Sami is a VR/AR Mentor & Faculty at VRARA, as well as a Mentor at Stanford, UCLA, SIGGRAPH, LIFE, LebNet and others. He also sits on the Executive Board of Predictera, the Advisory Board of UCLA Extension School’s Product Management Program, the Advisory Board of USC Marshall's Entrepreneur and Venture Management Association, and the Advisory Board of Rabbit Hole VR, Stanford's VR/AR maker community.
Malak Karajah Seez
Malak has spent 7 years in digital marketing - specifically performance marketing - and in the startup life, and is loving every bit of it. She is currently the Head of Marketing & Growth at Seez, and Co-founder/CMO at Petriotics. Apart from her full-time jobs, she does digital marketing trainings, mentorship sessions, and consultations.
Pierre Becerril Transparent
Pierre Becerril is a travel innovator and entrepreneur who currently serves as CEO of Transparent, the global leader in providing data intelligence for the vacation rental industry. Pierre co-founded Transparent in 2016 together with hospitality industry veterans and helped grow the business that now tracks more than 29 million listings worldwide and serves property managers, real estate investors and major brands like Booking.com, Accor Hotels, Phocuswright, Sykes Cottages, KPMG or Wyndham. Previously, he co-founded Seeusoon, a travel meta search engine offering vacation rental and flight packages. Prior to seeusoon, Pierre began his career at BBVA, Santander and Rothschild & Cie as an investment banker where he participated in several M&A transactions as well as Spain’s largest flotation since financial crisis with the IPO of Airports operator Aena.
Alex Sahyoun Instagram
Alex Sahyoun is a Product Manager at Instagram, based in their California headquarters. After 2 years as a Facebook Data Scientist, he moved to Product Management where he’s been for the past 2 years, driving a variety of efforts to improve people’s experiences with ads as Instagram’s business quickly scaled. More precisely, Alex focused on increasing ad load on Instagram while improving the relevance of ads people see, eliminating the worst ads, and giving people tools to understand and influence the ads they see. Alex holds a master’s degree from MIT and an undergraduate degree from Ecole Centrale Paris.