Startup Weekend GJU

    Thursday, April 2 - 4, 2015

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team

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Startup Weekend GJU

Thursday, April 2 - 4, 2015

Thursday, April 2 - 4, 2015
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Darat Othman Bdeir
Near Al-Balad Theatre Jabal Amman
Amman, Jordan

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Thursday April 2nd

5:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:30 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

7:00 pm
Speaker slot. Dr.Ala' Khalifah

7:30 pm
Pitches Start
Optionally line up to give your pitch

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:45 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

9:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

10:00 pm
Begin Work
Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Friday April 3rd

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Begin Work
Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend

12:30 pm
Lunch/Prayer Break

1:00 pm
After-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

2:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

4:00 pm
Speaker slot. Ms.Eman Abida

5:30 pm
Patrick Mc Namara

7:30 pm
After-dinner check-in, status reports, call for help

8:00 pm

10:00 pm
Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow

Saturday April 4th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:00 am
Coaches arrive. Final opportunity to ask questions

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

2:00 pm

3:00 pm
Presentation Prep & Tech Check
Final hours of worktime should be focused on perfecting your presentation, tech-check for final presentations also takes place

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

6:30 pm
Judging & Awards

7:30 pm

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Ala’ Khalifeh
Assistant Professor at German Jordanian University

Ala’ Khalifeh received the PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Irvine -USA in 2010. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Communication Engineering department at the German Jordanian University. Dr. Khalifeh is the recipient of the Fulbright scholarship (2005-2007) sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State and the University of California Pedagogical fellowship for his excellent teaching and leadership skills. He is currently the IEEE Chair for the communication society in Jordan. His research is in communications technology, signal processing, and networking with particular emphasis on optimal resource allocations for multimedia transmission over wired and wireless networks, VoIP, multimedia for E-health applications, speech, video and audio  signal processing. He has published numerous research papers at national and international journals, conference proceedings as well as chapters of books.

Patrick Mc Namara

Patrick Mc Namara is a management consultant focusing on innovation, leadership development and organizational transformation in the UN system.  He has 20 years experience facilitating innovation and change with international organizations, corporations, NGO’s and government agencies.     Patrick’s work includes an innovation lab for UNDP and a government partner in Mauritius; a UNDP innovation and leadership development programme in Ghana; similar programs in Mexico, Chile, Senegal; a green business incubator in Switzerland; an institutional change process with a 2,500-employee government agency in the US; facilitation, assessment and organizational development work in three UN departments; and, a cross-UN-agency transformational leadership programme for 100 staff from 16 agencies in 26 countries.   Based in Amman, Jordan, he is fluent in English, French and Spanish; has a working knowledge of German; and is learning Arabic. He studied two summers in Germany, at the Universität Stuttgard and at the Göethe Institut, Düsseldorf.  In addition to his Kellogg MBA, Patrick studied Political Science at the University of Strasbourg, France, is active at the Presencing Institute (MIT) and a facilitator in the Interpersonal Dynamics course at Stanford University Graduate School of Business.  

Saed Younes

Saed Younes holds a bachelor degree in Mechatronics Engineering from the German Jordanian University in Amman. His entrepreneurial journey started early in his life, but the first considerable milestone was when he co-established a company during his second year in college.

He is interested in studying success and successful people, and he is always searching for inspiring success stories that motivates us to work and excel. His passion towards entrepreneurship and desire to make positive impact on society led him to launch and host The leading Arab entrepreneurs podcast “Riyadi Min Bilady ريادي من بلادي”.

Event Judges

Anton Mangstl
Vice President, GJU

A specialist in Information and Knowledge Management as well as Agronomy, Anton Mangstl serves since April 2011 as Vice President at the German-Jordanian University.

Prior to this appointment he was, for almost 15 years, Director, Office of Knowledge Exchange, Research and Extension (OEK) for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

 Anton Mangstl was actively involved in the Organization’s endeavour to transform FAO into a Knowledge Organization through the OEK services and products for information and knowledge sharing, e-learning and knowledge networking, multi-lingual cross-media publishing, communication for development, copyright protection and preservation of FAO intellectual property. The office provides support to the development and enhancement of effective and efficient national agricultural research and extension systems, and improving communication processes to facilitate an integrated approach to sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. The Virtual Extension, Research and Communication Network strengthens linkages among rural institutions and farmers, while the Technologies for Agriculture (TECA) platform facilitates the exchange of proven agriculture technologies for small holders. Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development (CIARD) is a global initiative working to make agricultural research information publicly available and more accessible. 

Yasser Rajjal
Assistant to the President for Communication and Public Relations

Yasser Rajjal holds a Ph. D. degree in urban design from the University of Glasgow, UK, with diversified 30 years of experiences in architecture, urban design and planning, architectural conservation, and design and visual communication. His experience covers consultations, design review and evaluation, educational planning and training, management, and public relations. During the past 10 years, he served a number of senior positions at the German Jordanian University (GJU), Amman including: Assistant to the President for Communication and Public Relations, founding Director of Darat Othman Bdier, Assistant to the President for Engineering, and founding Dean of School of Architecture and Built Environment, where he was directly involved in the establishment of the School and its various undergraduate and postgraduate programs in architecture, design and visual communication, spatial planning, and architectural conservation. He was also the Director of The Urban Studies Department in the National Resources Investment and Development Corporation, where he was involved in a number of major real-estate development and investment projects in Jordan including Al-Abdali Urban Regeneration Project. He is a special area consultant in urban design and planning for a number of consulting firms in Jordan and the region.

Naser Ziadeh
Principal at Henley Associates

Naser is an IT and Business Operations executive with 20-years of international experience in the US, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He shaped and lead major transformations programs with international organizations, building sustainable enterprise capabilities, delivering innovative solutions at a global scale, and professionalizing organizations. Naser held progressive leadership roles at Microsoft, Symantec, McAfee, and Henley Associates and served clients in Retail, Manufacturing, IT, Professional Services, Public Sector, and Telecommunications industries. Naser specializes in Strategic IT planning and roadmap development, Enterprise Readiness, and Management Consulting. Naser holds a BSc from the University of California, Irvine and MS from the University of Cambridge in addition to other industry and vendor certifications.

Abed Shamlawi
Chief Operations Officer at Oasis500

Abed Shamlawi gathers extensive experience in leading ICT sector development and assisting public and private sector entities develop and implement their ICT strategies and envision efficient use of technology in order to increase business efficiency, he also managed large scale public and private ICT related projects and NGOs.

Recently Mr. Shamlawi has been leading Jordan’s ICT and BPO Sector Association – int@j towards being an active champion and a thought leader for the ICT and BPO Sector in Jordan through advocacy, promotion and marketing, research, and capacity building programs to the ICT and BPO sector members and stakeholders.

 During his CEO term at int@j, the ICTES (ICT and ICT Enabled Services-BPO) sector grow to contribute more than 14% to the GDP (10% as direct contribution from the ICT and BPO sectors, and 4% as indirect contribution from using ICT and BPO in other sectors), sector employment grow to more than 80,000 jobs (approximately 16K direct jobs, and 65K indirect and induced jobs), internet penetration exceeded 30%, and females constitute more than 25% of our workforce (one of the highest sectors in Jordan).

Through his vast experience, his academic background, and his wide skills, he initiated and managed strategic collaboration across and among the different sectors and components under the USAID-funded AMIR Program to facilitate the development of critical ICT projects across Jordan such as developing Jordan’s ICT Strategy (REACH Initiative), supporting the Central Bank of Jordan ICT systems modernization, Jordan Customs ICT systems modernization and the development and implementation of the Jordanian Trade and Investment Information

Saeed Omar
CEO @ Arab Startup Consultants

I am an entrepreneur with a conscious towards community and society. I have Founded to help women in the Arab world sell their handmade products. Also founded as a consultancy firm to consult entrepreneurs and organizations that help entrepreneurs. I have helped establish 3 Startup Accelerators in the Middle East one of them is I have also authored the entrepreneurship curriculum 'Company Startup Program' currently being taught at 15+ universities in Jordan. 

Coaches and Mentors

Mohammad Albattikhi
Acceleration Manager at Oasis500

Mohammad Albattikhi is the Acceleration Manager at Oasis500. He is also an entrepreneur, a consultant and a trainer. He guide entrepreneurs by helping them define the scope of their companies and providing them with the tools and contacts necessary to achieve meaningful milestones with their business ventures. 

Prior to joining Oasis500, Mohammad co-founded and directed Western Michigan University’s Business Accelerator, Starting Gate.  He also founded various startups in the technology, creative and social space. 

He is also involved with many global organizations that are fostering the startup ecosystem, such as Startup Blink, Startup Grind, Startup Weekend and Startup Digest. 

Mohammad has an MBA from Western Michigan University, where he worked as a Research and Teaching Assistant at the Marketing and Management departments. He focused his studies and research on entrepreneurship, business modeling and disruptive innovation.

Lana Nimri
Legal Advisor and Policy Reform Specialist at USAID Jordan Competiveness Program

Lana Nimri is an Attorney at Law and Consultant with over 12 years of experience both national and international. Lana is Litigator and Trained Mediator member of the Jordan Bar Association since 2000. In 2011, she became a John Smith Memorial Trust MENA Rule of Law Fellow. Ms. Nimri holds a LL.M in International Law and European Legal Studies from the University of Durham in the UK, where she studies Human Rights among other topics. She is currently undertaking a MBA specialized in Employee Relation (Distance Learning) at the University of Leicester. Currently, Lana holds the position of Legal Advisor and Policy Reform Specialist with the USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program. She is the Founder and President of the Jordan Better Workplace Association a NGO working towards the promotion of democratic values in the workplace. From 2010 to 2012, she served as President of the Jordan Cultural Association for Development Law the 41st International Development Law Organization’s (IDLO) alumni associations. Prior positions include Attorney at Law and Legal Advisor to the EU funded d projects managed by the Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation (JEDCO), EU Affaires Officer at the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation where she was seconded to the Energy Charter Secretariat in Brussels. Lana Nimri is the only Jordanian to have trained with both the European Commission in Brussels and the World Trade Organization in Geneva. Her experience includes consulting services for UNCTAD in Yemen, the International Labor Organization in Jordan, and Adam Smith International for the Palestinian National Authority.

Serene Duwayri
Manager at iPark

Serene Duwayri was educated in Jordan, Italy, USA and UK. She has a Masters of Business Administration from Lancaster University (UK) and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Jordan (Jordan). Serene has solid professional experience and in-depth knowledge in the fields of entrepreneurship, innovation, financial advisory, management and strategy consulting, and business development. Her work experience covers private, public and third sectors, on local, regional and international arenas. 

Ms. Duwayri has advised financial investors and strategic decision makers in domestic and cross-border alliances and operations in a range of industries including technology, high-value added, financial, defense, manufacturing and service industries. Additionally, she has led the development and implementation of several projects for national and multinational companies covering various disciplines including organizational development, cultural transformation, business strategies, supply chain, and operational development. Recently, Serene has been undertaking financial and consulting advisory roles with various corporate and consulting firms in Jordan. Today, she is managing a business incubation and angel investment program in Jordan.

Nisreen Qaqish

Nisreen Qaqish studied English and German Language at University of Jordan; she had worked with Jordan Ahli Bank for more than 5 years where she held several positions in recruitment, Oracle HRMS implementation, Succession Planning and Internal communications. Being so passionate about Human Resources Nisreen has established AZAR Human Resource Solutions in 2010, and now AZAR HRS is one of the leading companies in Jordan.Nisreen is genuinely interested in sharing her knowledge and experience with entrepreneurs and HR specialist.

Ibrahim Farouk
Excutive Manager at Ideal station for biodeisel

Dr.Ibrahim had his Bachelor of Pharmacy and pharmaceutical manufacturing in 2001. He worked as a researcher and Director of the research projects of the Egyptian Ministry of Health and the League of Arab States. He completed his Master of Management and Marketing in the American University in Cairo. And worked as the Director of development, and the Rehabilitation Project funded by the medical team of US aid to Egypt. Dr, Ibrahim is an Expert in Business Development: and oversaw the establishment of more than forty projects. He is also an expert in "project guidance" in the forsa project;in collaboration with the British Embassy in Amman. Holds an international marketer licence (IMC). Specializes in alternative and renewable energy - Green Marketing - sociology, philosophy and media. His five years achievement was the establishment of renewable energy plants in a number of Arab countries - to help a number of investors to engage in successful investments in addition to help a number of entrepreneurs

Omar Shubailat
Professor at GJU

Omar Shubailat (Dr. S): is an entrepreneur, consultant, university professor, manufacturing professional, trainer and volunteer. Moved back to Jordan from United States of America after 14 years of business experience and three degrees during his tenure in the states. Dr. S received his M.Sc. in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering from Wayne State University and worked in Michigan for the automotive Industry. Lead teams through startups, new product launches and Six Sigma related projects. Dr. S received his MBA with concentration in leadership from Aurora University-Illinois while working as an advanced quality assurance director. Also he received his Ph.D. in Engineering from Mississippi State University. Dr. S has earned several honor and awards during his studies and career. He worked on an extended project for Nissan North America in the research center for advanced vehicular systems-Mississippi; the focus of his research was to utilize robust design processes to minimize noise and vibration related to driveline imbalance issues. Dr. Shubailat also worked as a lead consultant to improve health clinics quality assurance systems in Elkhorn-Wisconsin; in the same capacity, as a consultant, Dr. Shubailat also established quality management system and improved processes for Dubai Statistics Center (DSC)Dr. Shubailat Founded and invested in a company in pursuit of business ventures with innovative ideas and concepts; even though the pilot and model business did not succeed due to emerging technologies, though he benefited immensely from the experience of being an entrepreneur. Dr. Shubailat also was an adjunct professor at Central Michigan University (CMU) before he joined German Jordanian University in which he is an assistant professor teaches at School of Management and Logistics Sciences (SMLS) focusing on Leadership & Emotional Intelligence, Entrepreneurship, Project Management, Quality assurance in the MENA region. 

Firas Bakri
Orthopedic Surgeon at Fuhais Emergency Clinic

I have a particular interest in innovative technology, and it's application , medical and none medical, It gives me pleasure to share with you my ambition, to be more specific , I focus on : 1- photogrammeric/stereotactic computer aided Bone fracture reduction and stabilization system , the idea also addresses( decrease) operative time and x ray exposure , with high accuracy and reproducible . 2- Additive Manufacturing applications in Fracture stabilization & implants , metal & none metal material options , the area of polymer and filament innovation for rapid prototyping , in two strategic directions, # biological scaffolding and cellular impregnation,#biological polymers or nutrients in filament /polymer form . 3 -Vacuum Assisted ClosureDevices (pump+canister) , integrated in or with an offloading orthosis/shoe (walking&healing)

Sarah Sharif
Creative Digital Media Executive at Bidaya Corporate Communications

Sarah Sharif, 24, majored in Graphic Design at Petra University and graduated in 2012. She has been working since 2006 in different fields starting as a clown face painter at one of the local malls and ended up being the Creative Digital Media Executive at Bidaya Corporate Communications currently. She has been the social media savvy in town since 2012 and bloomed into one of the top influencers in town. She has over 12K followers today and tends to continue to inspire people with her positivity and happy thoughts. She also has passion for portrait photography and film making. She has participated in different events like the Marathons in Jordan, TEDxAmman and organized TEDxPetraUniversity. 

Sultan Shalakhti
Senior Visual Designer at ihorizons

Strategic, multidisciplinary designer & user experience expert. Pixel perfection with an eye for innovation. He have worked the gamut of clients (Newspaper mobile app,,, Think Arabia, Jeeran, Cakelicious group, Nestle, Reef chicken & Hayat fm to name a few). Sultan have had multitude of experience with mobile apps, web design, smart TV apps and Branding.


George Khoury
Co-Founder and CEO SIMPLEx

A Computer Science student at GJU, class of 2016. He love mathematics, programming and hacking. and also really interested in the field of cybersecurity. George started programming when he was 13, and started teaching CS at 17 in collaboration with HUJI and MIT. In the summer of 2013, He taught iOS programming at MIT. As a part of the GJU IT Club, George has taught various workshops, organised, and led entirely by the student body. The minions from the Despicable Me movies are among his favorite characters. In his free time, he works on projects that aim to help improve education in the world. 

Technical Background 

Experienced Java developer, enthusiastic teacher and project leader with six years of experience training and leading development teams to build Object Oriented Internet/Intranet applications using JEE, Google App Engine, no-SQL databases. Now seeking next challenging and rewarding position in a high-tech company.

Khaled Daoudieh
Google Student Ambassodor

Khaled is the Google Student Ambassodor and a Computer Science student at GJU. He is also a programmer ,Robotics Geek , a Designer ,Gamer  and he’s known as book worm in addition that he’s an Otaku and he loves anime and manga ,  he started by creating mods for Games and Portable devices and old games such as PSP’s and Nintendo Games in High School and was into Networks at an early age . His experience was focused in robotics building and programming , he got the third position on the MENA region in the Sumo Robotics Competition and he was also a teacher for his the team that got the second place , the best Design and program among all robots in the FLL competition , he’s currently running the GJU Google Club and also cooperating with Google Developers group for developing new softwares for the Android wear , Android Devices and his running project stock android for samsung other devices than Nexus . 

Sawsan Basem
Co-Founder @ Markabaty

Sawsan is Co-Founder of Markabaty; a specialized application for cars services. She has Master degree in Computer Science. She is mobile and web engineer. She has the passion for supporting the Arabic Language. She proposed a system for recognizing offline Arabic handwritten texts using genetic algorithm and she is also working on a big system for Arabic Mathematical Expressions Recognition.   Sawsan won the award for best graduation project in 2010 in the university of Jordan. The project was in the robotics and image processing fields.  

Muayyad Saleh
Technical manager at Vision Advanced Systems

From a major in math to an opensource figure who contributed to many projects like PackageKit, nginx, fedora. A wide spectrum of knowledge ranging from fine details of front-end and CSS3 to managing large private cloud cluster (Certified OpenStack Administrator). Worked as Chief Engineer in and managed to get both front-end, back-end and android app (all with the help of their good team) to what they are now. Currently working as technical manager at Vision Advances System. Looking forward to help you in Algorithms, Planning, and Implementation (of Android Apps or Back-ends)

Abdullah Al-Faqeir
Software Engineer at AccuSolutions, Ltd.

#CS student at #ASU,playing with codes since I was 15,mostly alone,always seen smiling,I sing!#WebDeveloper #TEDx-er #Amman#php #TeamMjaddara #فلسطين #Libra

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend GJU team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.



Organizing Team

Techstars Startup Weekend Amman is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Omar
  • Jamil
  • Britta
  • Omar
  • Sara
  • maa'n
  • Zahra
  • Ali


Mujtaba Al-Tamimi

"One for all and all for one" is Mujtaba's Motto. He dropped out of college to cofound Zenzic, a crowdsourcing platform for educational illustrations. He is also the co-founder of Fikra Space - Baghdad's first Hackerspace and the co-organizer of Startup Weekend Baghdad. His favorite hacks are programming Android apps after midnight and using Arduino to automate the world. His dream is to see students go to school wearing shorts and sandals. When he's not busy plotting the best plan to fix the education system in Iraq, you can find him playing Frisbee or inline skating with his little brother who he loves more than anything in this world.

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