Speakers
H.E Khaled Nasser Abdullah Al-Roudan Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of State for Youth Affairs,

Khaled Roudan is a visionary, passionate and entrepreneurial minister, driven by his strong belief in the capacity of Kuwait and its young people to alter the country’s economy into a more liberal, inclusive and socially-just one. He thrived, within one year of his mandate, to reduce the companies’ registration time from three months to three days, legalizing “Home Businesses” and implementing multiple policy initiatives within the reform strategy he has put in place. He led the Al Roudan Tournament to be one of the most prominent tournaments in the Gulf and Middle East region. He started his own business “Senyar” which is a leading company with five subsidiaries specialized in advertising, production, public relations, technology, social media and sports management. He is one of leaders of the “Nabiha Khamsa” campaign (2005) for electoral reform, as well of the campaign “Khalass” to issue the Sport reform act in Kuwait (2007). He is also a founding member of Kuwait Economic Association, ex-board member of the Youth Arabian Leadership Organization and of the Kuwait Achievement Organization. In addition, he is an Honorary Member at multiple renowned football clubs and was selected as an effective youth by Khaleejesque Magazine (2013), the Most Successful Management for Sport and Creative Events by Alanba Newspaper (2013), nominated to the Sport Creativity award of Mohammad Bin Rashaid Al Maktom (2013), and his Name was mentioned in the Book of Faces from Kuwait by the author Hamzah Al Alian as the Best Kuwaiti Personality with Creative Achievements and the Most Outstanding in its type.

Sheikha Al Zain Al Sabah Undersecretary of the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs - Kuwait,

Al-Zain S. Al-Sabah serves as Undersecretary of the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs and is charged with conceptualizing and running operations for the agency. A pioneering film/TV producer and social entrepreneur, Al-Zain co-founded Eagle Vision Media Group KSCC and served as Chairperson and Managing Director. Before heading EVMG, Al-Zain worked for ABC News’ World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, in New York City. Al-Zain earned an M.F.A. from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University. She serves on the UNDP’s Development Program Advisory Board, Boston University’s COM board, and the Arab Film Institute board. She founded the ADASA initiative, adopted by the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs.

Twitter:@alzains
Abdulla Al-Ajmi CEO, The Shared Electronic Banking KNET

Having started with the company since its establishment in 1993, Abdulla Al-Ajmi dedicatedly led various group functions within Technology, Operations, and Business, before becoming the company’s GM in 2009, and eventually, CEO in 2012. He’s been a member of the GCCNET Technical Committee since 1997 and has presented papers on E-payments and the role of KNET in Kuwait, GCC and International sphere. Al-Ajmi holds a BS in Computer Engineering from Kuwait University and a GMP certification from Harvard Business School.

Twitter:@abdullaalajmi
Abdullah Al Mutawa Co-Founder and CEO, Carriage

Abdullah Al Mutawa is the CEO and Co-founder of Carriage. He studied Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech and worked at Schlumberger for a few years after graduating. Shortly after that, Al Mutawa opened up his own restaurant in Kuwait City called the Stack, which led him to founding Carriage. Carriage was the first service of its kind in Kuwait to combine online food ordering and delivery in one platform.

Abdulwahab Alessa Co-Founder, Boutiqaat

PERSONAL DATA • Nationality: Kuwaiti • Date of Birth: March 17th 1988 • Bachelor political science – Kuwait university • British high school graduate WORK EXPERIENCE • Presenter of political programs in Al-Watan TV 2007 – 2015 • Co-founder Boutiqaat • Co-founder OMEDIA company • Co-founder Fork company • A member of the Kuwaiti Journalists Association • A member of the National Youth Project Amiri Diwan • Consultant in a number of public and private corporations A CHIEVMENTS AND ACTIVITIES • Participant in several seminars, conferences, local and international courses. LANGUAGES • Arabic: Mother language. • English: Above average Speaker, reader, and writer

Twitter:@_abdulwahab
Aby Thomas Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East, a business magazine catering to the region's entrepreneurs and business-minded readership. In this role, Aby writes and edits for Entrepreneur Middle East's monthly print publication, as well as for its website, www.entrepreneur.com/me. He is especially interested in stories on startups and the people behind them, and finding out how they put a successful enterprise together. Before working in the media sector, Aby was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.

Twitter:@thisisaby
Ahmad Alomani Chairman, Markab Capital

Ahmad Alomani, Executive Chairman of Markab Capital, currently sits on the board of VenCap6 fund of venture funds, is vice chairman of BeWireless (WIMD) and Chairman of BeOnline (GulfNet). Ahmad founded Qatar Consultant Company, was Vice Chairman and senior advisor to Gulf Cryo, Chairman and co-founder of Eastern United Oil Services, advisor to the United Bank of Kuwait High Yield Fund, was on the investment committee of VantagePoint venture fund in Silicon Valley and was Co-Head of Alternative Investments at a Kuwaiti Sovereign Wealth Fund.

Ahmed Salamah Co-Founder and CEO, BilBayt

Ahmed Salamah graduated from the American University of Beirut then went on to work in banking and financial markets for 5 and a half years. He completed his MBA in London at the London Business School. Salamah worked for one year in BD and Corporate Strategy at Alghanim Industries followed by two years at Bilbayt.com.

Akash Pandya Senior Manager - Digital, Zenith

Akash Pandya - Senior Media Manager at Zenith Media Kuwait (Part of Publicis Media): A 31 year old professional with more than 12 years of experience within India and APAC region spread across Digital, IT & Telecom. Akash specializes in helping brands take a digital and mobile route and achieving their Digital transformations with a variety of media mixes in turn guiding them in achieving their vision of moving the digital way.

Ali Alqenai Founder, Cavaraty

Ali Alqenai is a Computer Engineer and was an IT Manager at Dar Alwatan from2006 to 2007. He is the co-founder of Capital Quality General Trading Company. He also founded Cavaraty in 2010 and Lab General Trading Company; a company for manufacturing electronics and smart gadgets.

Twitter:@Alqenai
Ammar Hamadien Head of Strategic Engagement - MENA, GSMA

Ammar Hamadien is the Head of Strategic Engagement at the GSM Association (GSMA). He was the CEO of Chinguitel in Mauritania and worked with Zain Group where he was instrumental in the development and execution of their Products and Services strategies. Ammar was also responsible for the design and launch of M2M, Mobile Money and a host of Value Added Services across Zain’s footprint in the Middle East. He worked with Etisalat, NOW Electronics, HP and then moved to Cisco Systems as a Systems Engineer.

Twitter:@ahamadien
Andrew Hanna Chief Commercial Officer, Kuwait Telecommunications Company (VIVA)

Athbi Alenezi Co-Founder, Justclean

As a founding member, Athbi’s role heads most of the functions in the company. He’s been instrumental in the company’s development and growth when the acquisition was made at the beginning of the year. Prior to the JustClean birth, Athbi’s former five-year career experience included in the UK working in the financial sector for hospitality arena, continuing in Kuwait where he joined NBK in HR department. Athbi earned a High Diploma degree in Information Technology from Shrewsbury Collage of Arts & Technology in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Benjamin Ampen Head of Revenue - MENA, Twitter

Since joining Twitter in 2012, Ampen has launched the company's sales activities in France, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. Prior to that, he worked at Google for four years, where he spent his last years spearheading the business development team across the UK and EMEA region. Ampen also previously worked at Universal McCann and Detecon Consulting. He holds three Master's Degrees in Management from highly esteemed universities in London, Germany, and Paris and has lived in Paris, Berlin, Dublin, and London before relocating to Dubai.

Twitter:@bampen
Carlos Tibi Founder and CEO, Icflix

Carlos Tibi is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ICFLIX. He has led several multi-national projects for Fortune 500 customers across the United States, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Tibi established multiple profitable business ventures in the areas of Internet Technology (IT), Secure Cloud Computing including various Real Estate ventures. His vision for ICFLIX is creating a #1 global entertainment Over The Top (OTT) streaming company that provides the best content anytime, anywhere and on any device.

Dana Al Hanbali Managing Partner, Beattie + Dane

Twitter:@DanaAlhanbali
Dana Mado Founder and Marketing Strategist, Twentytwo11

Dhari AlAbdulhadi Co-Founder and CTO, Ubuy.com

Dhari Jassem AlAbdulhadi, a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer officially became a part of Ubuy in 2012. Yacoub Yousef AlHassawi joined the company in August 2015, not only as a partner but as a dedicated team member as well. Furthermore, AlAbdulhadi started a couple of tech companies namely FANtec Solutions, Almoadala Capital Technologies and CABLI TV. In June 2015, Ubuy. com went live in the entire GCC, making over 180 million products readily available to consumers with integrated local payment gateways, Arabic content, and central customer support.

Twitter:@ddalabdulhadi
Dr. Samar M. Baqer Faculty member in the College of Business Administration, Kuwait University

Dr. Samar M. Baqer is a Faculty member in the College of Business Administration, Kuwait University. She is a public speaker, consultant and coach in the fields of strategic marketing, marketing for small businesses and youth development.

Twitter:@DrSamarBaqer
Eric van Biesen Chief Financial Officer, PayTabs

Eric van Biesen is Group CFO and BOD member in the B2B, B2C, Fintech, Individual and General Insurance sector, with 15 years of relevant experience, including Payments, Robo-Advisors, Medical/Motor/Life Insurance and Third Part Administration. He’s the acting CEO retail Wealth Management, Head of Sales Treasury and Private Banking in the banking sector. His management experience covers accounting, finance, corporate and retail sales, financial control, treasury, compliance, legal, planning, reporting, administration and HR. His advisory experience covers finance, IT, internal audit and strategy.

Eyad Zarea META Media Director, Mars

Eyad joined P&G in 1994 after completing an Electrical Engineering degree from KFUPM University in Saudi Arabia. He held several positions in Operation and Purchasing until 2002, when he started managing P&G Media - Middle East. He then held several P&G Media and Marketing Purchasing positions across Central Europe, Middle East and Africa until moving to Mars in 2012 to lead Media across the META region. Eyad holds a diploma in Digital Marketing from the Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing (IDM) in the UK.

Twitter:@joufaf
Fadi Chalouhi Group General Manager Retail Banking, Kuwait Finance House

Fadi Chalouhi occupied the position of a Deputy General Manager, Head of Strategy, Product, Marketing, PMO, and Consumer Lending - Consumer Banking Group – National Bank of Kuwait during the period from 2011 till 2016. He served as Head of Corporate sales and Structuring Desk in Treasury Group – National Bank of Kuwait during the period from 2008 – 2011. Also he served as Structured Products Manager – Treasury Group – National Bank of Kuwait during the period 2005 – 2008. Chalouhi holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the American University of Beirut.

Fadi Ghandour ‎Executive Chairman of Wamda Group, Founder of Aramex

Fadi Ghandour is the Executive Chairman of Wamda Group, a Venture Capital fund and platform that helps nurture and build entrepreneurship eco-systems in the MENA region. He is also the Founder and Board Member of Aramex, one of the leading global logistics and transportation companies. Additionally, he serves on the Advisory Council of the MIT Media Lab. Passionate about social entrepreneurship, Fadi is the Founder and Chairman of Ruwwad for Development, an initiative that helps disadvantaged communities.

Fares Ghandour Partner, Wamda Capital

Fares Ghandour is a Partner at Wamda Capital where he leads investments in companies at the seed and growth stages. He works closely with the Wamda Capital portfolio and supports them operationally as needed. He worked as Investment Manager at MENA Venture Investments and has executed over a dozen transactions over the past 4 years. Fares also ran the region’s flagship mentorship event, Mix N’ Mentor, while working at the Wamda Platform and organized the first MIT Media Lab workshop in the region at twofour54 in Abu Dhabi.

Twitter:@toosketch
Farshad Dabeshkhoy Commercial Director, Middle East, Criteo

Farshad Dabeshkhoy is the Commercial Director for the Middle East at Criteo, overseeing all of the client side activities across the region. Prior to this he was based in London and Dubai, working closely with the publishers for Criteo, heading the Business Development team, across the Middle East, Turkey and Africa. Prior to joining Criteo, Farshad worked with the same regions, at AppNexus located in London as a client advisor to both buyers and sellers.

Twitter:@MrFashD
Fawaz Alobaid Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Seeds Partners

Fawaz Al-Obaid is the co-founder and managing partner at Seed Partners. He started his professional career in the global treasury department at “State Street Corporation” in Boston, MA. He then moved on to be a co-founder at “RFMarkets Inc.” and “Waylz Inc.” in Boston. Al-Obaid is also the Director of International Business Development at “Tanseek Trading and Contracting W.L.L”. He is a co-founder at a couple of regional ventures covering different industries such as Health & Fitness, Food/Beverage, and services.

Firas AlOda Director of Finance and Investment, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS)

International &Regional experience in Investment Strategy, Portfolio Management, Structured Finance, Merger and Acquisition, valuation and business Planning. Currently Director Finance & Investment, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences in which he Led the investment restructuring process, Manage the endowment investment portfolio and ensure the investments are managed in a structured manner. MSC in Investment Management, City University UK. Bachelor's in Finance, University of Portland, USA. Certificate in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors (UK). Investment Management Certificate (IMC).

Geet Bhalla ​Co-Founder and CEO, HolidayMe

Geet Bhalla is the Co-Founder and CEO of HolidayMe, a Dubai-based online travel portal that offers customized holiday packages. Geet has been to more than 50 countries, and it was during this time that he spotted the outbound online travel opportunity in the Middle East and decided to focus on creating a travel product for this market. He has over 15 years of experience in building enterprise sales and marketing structures across the Middle East. Bhalla completed his Master’s in Business Administration from Symbiosis University, Pune.

Hadi Raad Regional Head of Digital Solutions - Central Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Visa

Hadi Raad heads digital solutions for Visa in CEMEA, driving Visa digital payments in e/m-commerce, contactless, digital wallets, mobile payments, push payments, Risk products, and the Visa developer platform. Before joining Visa, he was head of consumer products marketing at Google in MENA, a principal of Booz & Company digital media, telecom, and technology practice, and co-founder of internet access and e-commerce startups. Raad holds an MBA with distinction from University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, and a Masters in Engineering Management.

Twitter:@hadi_raad
Hussein Freijeh Managing Director - MENA, Snap Inc.

Hussein Freijeh is in charge of growing Snap Inc's business in MENA. Previously, he was the Managing Director of Yahoo Middle East, Africa and Turkey. At Maktoob, before it was acquired by Yahoo in 2009, Hussein was instrumental in establishing the startup’s sales portfolio into one of the largest in the Middle East. He continues to be passionate about advancing digital advertising across MENA. He holds a BSc in Computer Science from the Lebanese American University.

Twitter:@hfreij
Ian Manning Regional Head of Agencies - MENA and Pakistan, Facebook and Instagram

Ian Manning is the Regional Head of Agencies at Facebook Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan. He has had the privilege of working in the Advertising, Media and Digital industry for over 20 years in a broad range of local and International roles. Some of these roles included Media Strategy, Client Services and Agency CEO, giving a broad view of the industry, its opportunities and challenges. Manning was responsible for the commercial launch of Instagram in MENA.

Idriss Al Rifai Founder and CEO, Fetchr

Idriss Al Rifai has developed and optimized a last mile delivery solution specifically for the e-commerce needs and requirements in the Middle East. In 2013, he founded Fetchr, formerly MENA360, which has evolved to become a full end-to-end logistic solution, backed by technology, for e-commerce companies, regional players, social media sellers as well as SMBs in the MENA region. Fetchr is also the first company in MENA to raise $11M in Series A funding led by a top Silicon Valley VC, New Enterprise Associates.

Twitter:@Idriss_alrifai
Inass Abdulaziz CEO, DotSpace Group

A passionate Corporate Communications entrepreneur, media strategist and founder of DBS Digital, Inass Abdulaziz’s creative initiative, sharp business acumen and genuine enthusiasm elevated her from a career in publishing to becoming the CEO of a dynamic results-driven digital advertising agency.

Twitter:@inassaa
Iqbal Al Haddad Vice President at IAA, Professor at American University of Kuwait

Iqbal AlHaddad is a graduate of Webster University Geneva Switzerland double majoring in Management and Human Relations. AlHaddad has 27 years of experience at the National Bank of Kuwait heading the Corporate Communications Department. She joined AUK since 2009 teaching upper level Communications and Media courses. AlHaddad is currently the Vice President of International Advertising Association Kuwait Chapter since 2010 and Kuwait Representative for Cannes Lions Festival & Dubai Lynx since 2012.

Julien Cavailles Sales Director - Middle East and Africa, Buzzeff

Julien is the Regional Commercial Director of Buzzeff Middle East Africa, a leading online video advertising platform helping brands and advertisers to achieve effective digital communication strategies. He is advocating throughout the region for brand safe and viewable advertising on high quality online environments.

Karim Khorshed Co-Founder and CEO, Cequens

Karim became one of the founding fathers of the digital revolution in the Middle East when he launched Nemra1.com in 2001, one of the first five ISPs in Egypt. Upon noticing an overwhelming demand in the A2P SMS 57-billion-dollar industry, he cofounded Cequens in 2011 and spearheaded its massive growth to a multimillion dollar startup in just three years, becoming the A2P SMS market leader in MEA region and beyond.

Karl Naim Co-Founder and CEO, ChefXchange

Karl is the Co-Founder and CEO at ChefXchange. He has an extensive international background in Finance, spanning from Wealth Management, Asset Management and Private Equity with UBS AG, Goldman Sachs, and Mubadala Development Company. He also is an avid Angel Investor and startup mentor. He received an MBA from the London Business School and an MSc in Economics & Finance from the Warwick Business School.

Khalid Al-Zanki Founder & CEO, LAUNCH

Twitter:@KhalidAlzanki
Khalil Shadid Founder and CEO, ReserveOut

Twitter:@khalilshadid
Kunal Kapoor CEO, ​​The Luxury Closet

Kunal Kapoor is the founder of The Luxury Closet, a marketplace for new and pre-loved items for top luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Cartier and Rolex. The company started in his own apartment, and now has close to 80 employees, across UAE, India and KSA and raised over $10m from leading regional investors like MEVP, Wamda Capital. The site now features the largest luxury catalogue in the region with 16000+ unique styles, and customers from over 40 countries each year.

Lena Ramfelt Co-Founder, Gear Up Ventures

Lena Ramfelt is recognized globally as a leading entrepreneurship educator with a passion for startups. Ramfelt taught entrepreneurship for 12 years at Stanford’s School of Engineering and now develops curricula and texts used worldwide; the most recent being Gear Up: Test your Business Model Potential and Plan your Path to Success (2014). She’s the Lead Faculty for Creative Startups, USA and for Social Entrepreneurship Forum, Sweden. Lena has funded two non-profit organizations and is one of the two co-founders of a non-profit organization.

Malek Hammoud Group Executive Director - Strategy & Business Development, Zain

Malek is Zain Group’s Executive Director of Strategy and Business Development. He had a long career at the National Bank of Kuwait as Head of the Domestic Multi-National Corporations. He’s a Chartered Financial Analyst (“CFA”) and earned an MBA from the London Business School. Malek has a vast experience in capital markets, corporate banking, investment banking and in the digital arena. He’s passionately involved in the start-up ecosystem whether advising aspiring entrepreneurs, investing in start-ups as well as many dealings with leading regional and international VC funds.

Marwan Farah IAA Board Member,

Marwan Farah is the General Manager of Rlp International – Kuwait office, a Regional company with media Representation of diversified Media Vehicles in Kuwait and the region. With more than 26 years of experience in Marketing, Media and Communication, Marwan is a Board Member of the International Advertising Association (IAA) and the Vice President of the Lebanese American University (LAU) in Kuwait. He graduated from the Lebanese American University with a Bachelor degree in Business studies majoring in Marketing and obtained his MBA from Maastricht Business School in the Netherlands.

Matthew Gardiner Founder, Catch London

Matthew Gardiner is the founder of Catch London. He advises FinTechs, international and central banks, VCs and CVCs and in EMEA, MENA, APAC and ASEAN on scaling emerging technologies, RegTech and cyber security. He has recently spoken at Next Money, CSFI, Google, Dubai Futures, MIT, Barclays, The Bank of China and The Turing Trust. He is a visiting lecturer at Cass Business School and the Asian Banking School and a founding member of the charity Techfugees.

Michael Aswad Senior Business Development Manager, ArabNet

Michael, now entering his 6th year with ArabNet, is Head of Sales and Business Development Department. With 8 years of expertise in events and media, he’s involved in over 25 major conferences, events and exhibitions across MENA and managed clients in various industries. Michael's role includes building strong relationships with clients and creatively customizing activations at ArabNet's annual conferences focused on the digital sectors. Michael's studied Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.

Twitter:@michaelAswad
Mijbel Alayoub Director - Coorporate Communication, Ooredoo

Mohamed El Shareef Chief Strategic Planning Officer, Warba Bank

Mohamed El Shareef, with +17 years’ experience in banking, held several positions in the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), as Manager, Head of MIS Unit, as well as Executive Manager, Head of Performance Analysis and Reporting. At Boubyan Bank, he was Executive Manager for the PMO and of Consumer Banking Group then Assistant General Manager, Head of Business Performance and Planning Division. In 2015, he joined Warba Bank as Chief Strategic Planning Officer, managing product & segment innovation, strategy, marketing and corporate communication, and MIS & research.

Mohammad Al-Rashidi Executive Chairman, One Global

Mohammed is a founder of multiple ventures in Telcom, mContent, mHealth, mTourism, mEducation, mGovernment and Fintech. All his ventures are addressed under its Group One Global (Og), an idea Generation and incubation venture. Mohammed, founded Og Money (Formerly known as Payit), a mobile financial & Payment platform, offering Payments, Merchant services, mPos, Mobile banking switch, Mobile Wallet and Money Transfer. Mohammed invented a patent in Fintech industry registered in US and other countries for performing a card presence Transaction on the cloud.

Twitter:@msrashidi
Mohammed Soueidan Vice General Manager, Omedia

Mohammed Soueidan is Omedia’s Vice General Manager with 10 years’ experience in social and digital media. Mohammed was one of those who introduced advertising through digital network to the market early 2012/2013.

Twitter:@msoueidan
Mona Al Mukhaizeem Managing Partner at Savour Ventures, Co-Founder at Sirdab Lab

Twitter:@Monawesome
Musaed Al-Mutairi Brand Executive,

Twitter:@2020_musaed
Nabil Borhanu President and Managing Member, Graphene Ventures

For over fifteen years, Nabil Borhanu has been a serial entrepreneur, guest speaker, and judge in startup events across Silicon Valley and the Middle East. He successfully built three different companies in telecom, sports, and media and grew them into the $100M range in less than five years. Nabil moved to Silicon Valley where he started Graphene Ventures. His entrepreneur, corporate executive, and investor experience makes him an ideal partner for Graphene’s portfolio companies. He led Graphene investments in Snap Inc., Lyft Inc. among others.

Twitter:@NabilAlnoor
Nader Bitar Senior Director, MenaMarketPlace

Nader Bitar is the Senior Director of MenaMarketPlace , the region’s largest and centralized programmatic marketplace across the MENA Region. He has contributed heavily on shaping the programmatic ecosystem by developing MMP’s programmatic capability, data and technology offering while driving programmatic adoption for publishers, clients and media agencies. With several years of experience in the digital space, Nader is one of the industry experts in ad tech, programmatic, audience data, and measurement. Nader is a product driven individual with a passion in technology.

Twitter:@naderbitar
Nael Halabi Executive Vice President, Kuwait, Publicis Media

Nael Halabi first joined Publicis Media 17 years ago, during which he worked on a stellar roster of clients spanning various industries including telecommunication, FMCG, hospitality, investment, banking and real estate, to name a few. Halabi cites setting up the Kuwait network in 2002 as his biggest career milestone. Not one to revel in his achievements, Halabi emphasizes the importance of the role of his team as a whole in spearheading Publicis Media Kuwait’s market dominance year on year.

Twitter:@NINsomnia
Neda Aldihany Managing Director, Brilliant Lab

Neda Al-Dihany is the founder of Brilliant Lab, a startup accelerator service. Neda started Brilliant Lab in 2012 with the goal of enhancing the spirit of entrepreneurship among the youth. Brilliant Lab became a Scouting Partner with KFH capital and Impulse Investment Company for a $30 million fund which helped bridge more than 87 startups from Kuwait in various Tech fields. It also has acceleration Bootcamp programs and partnerships with IE Business School and Mind the Bridge, a top startup schools in San Francisco, Silicon Valley.

Twitter:@nedaaldihany
Neil Hardwick CEO, MEC MENA

Neil Hardwick, who’s had 30 years of industry experience, joined MEC from a position as CEO of WVI Group, the joint venture holding company for WPP’s brands in Russia including Maxus, MEC, MediaCom, Mindshare, GroupM and JWT. He started his career as a graduate trainee with Saatchi & Saatchi in London, before becoming CEO of the ad agency’s operation in Budapest. Neil was then named CEO of first Saatchi and Saatchi in Taiwan and then of Publicis in China.

Nour Al Masri Regional Digital Media Director, Sayidaty Magazine

Nour Al Masri is a digital marketing and media development expert with 17+ years’ experience working with recognizable media, publishing, Dot-com TV and telecom companies. In 2012, she joined Sayidaty magazine to establish the Digital Media Department across multiple countries in the Arab region. Now Sayidaty is recognized as the most reached magazine specialized in Arab women issues worldwide and recently the first to launch an ecommerce platform for its vast audience.

Twitter:@NrMasri
Nouri Alenezi Co-Founder, Justclean

As a founding member, Nouri heads most of the functions in the company along with his brother and co-founder Athbi Al Enezi. He’s been instrumental in the company’s development when the acquisition was made at the beginning of the year. Prior to the JustClean birth, Nouri’s career experience included working in the manufacture sector in the UK; continuing in Kuwait where he joined Larsen & Toubro Kuwait Construction Company. Nouri earned a High Diploma degree in Engineering from Shrewsbury Collage of Arts & Technology in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Omar Almajdouie Founding Partner, Raed Ventures

Omar Almajdouie is the founding partner and CEO of Raed Ventures, a Saudi venture capital firm owned by Almajdouie Holding which invests in seed and early stage startups in the MENA region. Almajdouie is the former CEO of Almajdouie Manufacturing LLC, with more than 17 years of enriched experience in various managerial and executive positions. He founded Raed Ventures in 2016 as part of Almajdouie Holding diversification strategy. He is a member of board of directors for several leading tech startups.

Twitter:@omar7772
Omar Christidis Founder and CEO, ArabNet

Twitter:@OmarChr
Omar Yassine Senior Vice President, Head of Retail Digital Channels, The National Commercial Bank

Omar Yassine is a Senior Vice President at the National Commercial Bank, Saudi Arabia heading Retail Digital Channels. His responsibility encompasses delivering the Bank’s digital agenda by developing, orchestrating and implementing the digital foundation to excel in automating and digitizing clients’ touch points on the outside and business processes on the inside, through Innovation and advanced analytics with distinctive customer experience. Prior to his current role, Omar was heading Corporate Digital Channels, focusing on innovating, marketing, structuring and executing Corporate Banking Products.

Prashant 'PK' Gulati Founder of The SmartStart Fund, Founder of The Assembly

Prashant ‘PK’ Gulati is an entrepreneur who’s associated with numerous leadership capacities including as Trustee on the Global Board of TiE, Senior Advisor for Dubai Future Foundation, President of TiE Dubai, Founder of The Assembly, Founder of SmartStart Fund, CEO of Optimistix Ventures, Steering Committee Member of in5 Innovation Hub, Honorary Secretary General of Indian Business & Professional Council-Dubai, Member of the Board of Dubai Enterprise Centre, Chairman of Gulfcom Group, Chairman of Prokraft Group-India and Board Member for Indian Documentary Foundation, Dubai Enterprise Centre etc.

Twitter:@PKGulati
Rashid Sultan Founder and Managing Partner, Savour Ventures

Rashid Sultan is an angel investor and the founder of Savour, The Middle East’s first food vertical Accelerator. He is also a partner at Messilah Ventures, a management consultancy and business incubator. Along with his wife, he owns Pet Land, Kuwait’s premier pet boarding facility. Sultan started his career at Goldman Sachs. Rashid holds an MBA from London Business School and received his undergraduate degree from The University of Chicago.

Rita Makhoul Managing Editor, ArabNet

Twitter:@rampurple
Sahar Salama Founder and CEO, TPAY mobile

Sahar is the CEO and founder of TPAY mobile TPAY is the Middle East, North Africa and Levant Regions’ first and biggest open mobile payment platform that connects consumers, businesses, and mobile operators for online payment using direct carrier billing technology. It allows digital businesses to connect to the platform through one single API to reach 200+ million subscribers population in 19+ countries with 40+ operators. TPAY is currently the no 1 monetization tool in a region leading the world in the terms of growth in digital online sectors. TPAY is solely focused on enabling monetization for local and international digital industry sectors targeting MENA and Levant with local presence in 13 offices With over 20 years of managerial experience in platforms development, product development in hi-Tech companies and telecommunications Sahar led the creation of T-PAY Mobile to capture this huge market gap in online payments

Said Ouchnak E-commerce Director, Sayidaty Mall

Said is the E-commerce Director of Sayidaty Mall (The new Fashion and Beauty marketplace). Since he joined Sayidaty group in 2016 with a strong belief that the customer experience is the key of a digital success, Said has had an accentuated focus on developing a Big data strategy towards AI at each step of the customer journey in order to predict the customers intentions and needs. Said comes with a 10 years’ experience in E-commerce and holds a master degree in International Business.

Salah AlFulaij CEO, National Bank of Kuwait

Salah AlFulaij joined the Bank in 1985 and was appointed as Chief Executive Officer – Kuwait in January 2015. He was previously the CEO of NBK Capital. AlFulaij serves on the board of NBK Capital and Watani Financial Brokerage Company. Prior to joining NBK Capital, he held several key positions at the Bank and his last position was Group General Manager of Treasury and Investment Services. Al-Fulaij has participated in a number of executive programmes at Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Duke University.

Susan Amat Founder and CEO, Venture Hive

Susan Amat is the CEO of Venture Hive, providing accountability and transparency software and content to support innovation management and entrepreneurship programs for Fortune 500 companies, governments, and universities internationally. She built businesses in the entertainment industry, including the first CD-Rom magazine, a national television show, and pediatric health monitoring products. She founded The Launch Pad, which was replicated globally as Blackstone LaunchPads in universities including USC and UCLA. She consulted for the US State Department, Kauffman Foundation, and World Bank on innovation ecosystem development.

Twitter:@SusanAmat
Tareq Al Saleh Assistant General Manager for Investments, Gulf Bank

Tareq Al-Saleh is Assistant General Manager of Investments within Consumer Banking at Gulf Bank. He has been with Gulf Bank since December 2012. Tareq is heavily involved with Gulf Bank’s efforts to offer its clients optimal investment solution through innovation. He has extensive experience in investment and finance. Tareq earned his BA from Boston University in Economics in 1994 and his MBA from F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College in 2000.

Tareq Muhmood Senior Deputy CEO- Banking Group, Ahli United Bank, Kuwait

Tareq Muhmood started with HSBC in Hong Kong (1994) and worked several markets including New York, London and Dubai covering Corporate, Institutional and Retail Banking and a period in Strategy. He moved to ANZ (2011) as their CEO, Vietnam before enjoying roles based out Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea. In 2017, he joined Ahli United Bank, Kuwait as the Deputy CEO covering Retail, Corporate, Treasury and Private Banking businesses. Tareq’s also an advisor to a fintech aimed at supporting small businesses in South East Asia.

Twitter:@TareqM
Waleed AlBallaa​ Partner, STVentures

With a long career that has spanned many links across the hi-tech food chain locally and internationally, Waleed AlBallaa is well-equipped for his career mission to participate in unlocking the potential of the region's innovation ecosystem. He is currently part of a team setting up a new VC fund, STV, with an operating model that could redefine how large corporations and startups work together towards growing the ecosystem for everyone.

Twitter:@wballaa
Walid Hanna Founder and Managing Partner, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP)

Walid Hanna has been active in venture capital and new venture development for the past 18 years with 50+ VC investments executed since 2010. Prior to founding MEVP and growing its AUM to $120M, he was the CEO of Dubai International Capital's venture arm "the Arab Business Angels Network" (ABAN). Before ABAN, he served on the investment-management team of Abraaj Capital. In May 2017, Mr. Mohamed Al Abbar acquired a non-controlling stake in MEVP. Walid co-founded, invested in, led and exited several startups in MENA.

Youssef Hammad Managing Partner, BECO Capital

Prior to joining BECO, Youssef Hammad held various roles with General Electric, most recently as a Commercial Operation Director for GE’s Aviation business, responsible for managing sales campaigns for Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Yousef had worked in the GE and Mubadala $5 billion joint venture. He co-founded multiple businesses in Saudi Arabia: Cafe Arab, Eventana and Chemya. He’s also been an active angel investor where he invested in multiple startups, regionally and internationally.

Twitter:@Yo_Hammad
Zeid Husban Founder and CEO, POSRocket

Zeid Husban and a partner founded ifood.jo in 2012, an online food ordering platform. It attracted the eyes of investors from abroad and in 2013, the company sold a majority stake to the Turkish food ordering company Yemeksepeti. In 2016, Zeid sold the rest of his shares in ifood.jo after a successful acquisition by the global giants "Delivery Hero". Zeid started another venture with the vision to revolutionize the point of sale systems in the region with a cloud-base product called “POSRocket”.

Twitter:@Zeid_Husban
Ziad Azzam Sales Director, DMS

With over 12 years of media experience gained in Kuwait, as well as the wider region, Ziad’s career spans intensive involvements with some of the most distinguished brands in the business. He currently spearheads DMS’ operations in Kuwait, where he focuses on leading the sales team, planning, and delivering DMS’ comprehensive suite of digital advertising solutions to empower his clients with tangible and measurable results. Ziad has formerly served as Senior Media Manager at Optimedia, as well as a Media Planner at MindShare. His industry tenure has given him valuable know-how and insight into the market’s overall transitioning from traditional to digital media. Determined to keeping his clients ahead of the game, Ziad keeps his eyes firmly affixed on the horizon, always seeking the next big trend in the digital advertising and media world.

Twitter:@Ziazzam