GlassQube Startup Weekend FinTech Abu Dhabi

    Thursday, December 8 - 10, 2016

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Sponsors
  7. Organizing Team
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GlassQube Startup Weekend FinTech Abu Dhabi

Thursday, December 8 - 10, 2016

Thursday, December 8 - 10, 2016
Event starts at 6:00 pm

GlassQube Coworking
Sky Tower, 35th Floor, Reem Island
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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Come build your first Unicorn FinTech startup!

What is GlassQube Coworking space all about? 
It is the newest incubator to open in Abu Dhabi and they offer a ton of awesome services. They offer networking opportunities, mentorship, business support services, continuing education, trade license support and even in-house PR & Communication. They are also this years' right-hand support for Startup Weekend Abu Dhabi that are making every second count during this years' competition! 

What is Startup Weekend Fintech? 

The startup movement has accelerated growth in many London and global industries, and fintech is one the most exciting and rapidly developing industries in the world! The time for entrepreneurs and innovators to work and invest in their ideas is now. The industry is more susceptible to ideas now than ever before. Our goal for this event is to connect people who are passionate and want to tackle the tough challenges in the financial and fintech industries, all while learning-by-doing, firsthand, what makes a business and an idea successful.

How does Startup Weekend work:

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekends culminate with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback. 

See what it's all about

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Thursday December 8th

6:00 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

6:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:00 pm
Welcome & Speakers
Review agenda for the weekend and introduce speakers, coaches, and community leaders

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

8:30 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

8:50 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend.

9:30 pm
Begin Work
You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow.

Friday December 9th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

11:00 am
Data & Tools Workshop
[30 Minutes] Join the Innovation Team from Thomson Reuters to learn about the latest and smartest of technologies that will put a world of data at your finger tips. Find out what's possible and what will give your startup and edge to help you win.

12:00 pm
Before-lunch check-in, status reports, call for help

12:30 pm

1:00 pm
Mentors Arrive
Mentors help teams one-on-one. Make sure you book them and ask them questions. They are here to help!

2:30 pm
FinTech Workshop
[30 Minutes] “No knockouts in Fintech! The win-win game explained” – Nihal Abughattas, Head of Marketing MEA at Temenos o Your market (x10) o Various go-to-market models o Why we need each other? The ecosystem explained. o Ways to make a win/win scenario work for you

3:00 pm
Legal Workshop
[30 Minutes] Legal 101 for startups with Chad Fox. How to navigate from an idea to a company and all the pitfalls along the way.

6:30 pm

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

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

Saturday December 10th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

10:30 am
Pitching Workshop
Tiberiu Iacomi from the Improbable Agency will share with you the secrets to a winning pitch. Make sure you come prepared with a basic draft of your final pitch presentation to get the best out of this workshop.

12:30 pm
Mentors Arrive
Mentors arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

1:00 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

4:00 pm
Stop Working!
Hand in your final presentations to your organizers team.

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:00 pm
Judging & Awards

7:15 pm
Winners and Prizes Announced

7:30 pm
Dinner & Networking
Stick behind, relax, have a bite, and celebrate your achievements!

10:00 pm
Go Home!


Omar Al Busaidy
Global Shaper at World Economic Forum, Author, Entrepreneur

Mr. Al Busaidy is a UAE national with over 13 years’ experience in the UAE’s corporate environment and holds a B.Sc. in Marketing from the American University in Dubai. He is currently pursuing his post-graduate studies in Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University.

A published author of ‘Just Read It’, an entrepreneurial guide to self-development, Omar also serves as Managing Partner in his own Gentleman’s Salon enterprise. Since 2010 Omar has been invited to mentor students on entrepreneurship and leadership at several universities across Abu Dhabi and Dubai and has also worked with organisations such as AISEC, Khalifa Fund and Abu Dhabi Council for Economic Development.

He has also appeared as a keynote speaker and panellist at several events and conferences organized by many prestigious organizations including tedXyouthAlAin, 37th World Diamond Congress, Harvard Business Club, DP World and many more.

Omar has worked in both the public and private sector in prestigious organisations such as the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, National Bank of Dubai and serving as commercial attaché at the British Embassy. 

Event Judges

Hobeng Lim
Associate Director, Capital Markets Intermediaries Financial Services Regulatory Authority at ADGM (Abu Dhabi Global Market)

Mr Hobeng Lim joined the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of ADGM as the Associate Director of the Capital Markets intermediaries team. His responsibilities include authorisation and supervision of financial institutions. He is also part of the core Fintech team in ADGM.

Mr Lim began his career as in the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), where his work involved authorisation and supervision of financial institutions. In MAS, his work also included formulating market conduct policy, working with foreign securities regulators in joint projects at IOSCO and other platforms, and reviewing and strengthening standards of Singapore's financial advisory sector.

After MAS, he joined Promontory Financial Group, a US-headquartered global regulatory consulting firm with offices in 19 cities across the world.

As a Principal in Promontory Financial Group, Hobeng provided regulatory and compliance consulting advice and services to financial institutions in Singapore, China, Australia and other parts of Asia.

He holds a Double Degree in Economics and Psychology from Yale University, and is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS).

Bernard Lee
CEO and co-founder of GlassQube

Bernard Lee is the CEO and co-founder of GlassQube, Abu Dhabi's premiere coworking space for SMEs and startups. A former Wall Street investment banker with Deutsche Bank, his experience spans from Canada, Singapore, US to the Middle East. His expertise covers corporate finance, financial models, business planning, risk assesment, investment analysis - and the list can go on.

Tarig El Sheikh
Finance Professional, Entrepreneur, Investor, Board Director, Molecular Biochemist

Tarig is an experienced entrepreneur and finance professional with 15 year track record across emerging markets in building global businesses, technology startups and finance. 

Tarig founded the MENA based advisory group, Istashir in 2011 (exited March 2013), serving as an advisor to numerous leading Private Equity firms and family offices. He sits on the boards of various companies that he has helped successfully launch. 

From Dubai, he co-founded, Aythan (Beneple), an HR & Health management platform that was successfully acquired in August 2015 after only 8 months of operations. Before that he co-founded a global ecommerce custom menswear company, Knot Standard, growing it to international press recognition, thousands of customers and several global offices. 

His on the ground experience in developing business plans, budgets, sales & marketing, corporate & board responsibilities, has successfully lead to numerous million US$ growth capital funding rounds from prominent investors such as Fadi Ghandour (founded Aramex) and Arif Naqvi (Abraaj Capital). 

He brings with him a deep knowledge of finance having served senior Investment Banking roles at Macquarie Capital and Lehman Brothers in London, amassing over $85 bln of transaction experience in advisory and capital raising.

Coaches and Mentors

Nihal Abughattas
Head of Marketing MEA at Temenos

Based in Dubai, Nihal Abughattas is currently the Head of Marketing for Middle East & Africa at Temenos, the market leading financial technology provider serving 38 out of the top 50 banks globally. Prior to Temenos, Nihal joined Fawry – a fresh startup at the time – as their Marketing Manager in 2008. In 2013, Mashable named Fawry among the top 15 startups to watch in Africa. The startup company has been valued at USD 100 million in 2015 and was among the top five acquisitions in the region in the Fintech space. Driving innovation in the regional Fintech scene and being a revenue-generated marketing professional with a passion for everything ‘Fintech’, Nihal is also involved with mentoring early stage startups in Egypt. A Fintech gender diversity report by Innotribe – one of Swift’s initiatives launched in 2009 – recognized Nihal as a Femtechleader in 2015.

Gaurav Dhar
Technology Entrepreneur & Manager at Payments Solution Provider Marshal Equipment

Marshal Equipment is the oldest Verifone partner globally, with 80-100% market share in over 15 countries in the region,  with all  of its IP developed in-house, based out of Dubai for the last 35 years. 

Marshal provides complete payments solution infrastructure - ranging from card payment solutions to government programs, to loyalty, integrations at all levels, to fuel solutions and much much more.

The company looks to cater to, foster and work with payment solution innovators in the region by providing multiple opportunities, which can be in the form of not only collaboration and potential investment, but other forms as well depending on the maturity of the company and technology.

Our experience, having worked with global partners while building in- house solutions and catering to requirements of almost every segment of the payments infrastructure - allows us to review FinTech and its application + scalability in the truest sense.

Gaurav has been working at Marshal for over 11 years now on covering the day to day business, delivering solutions, building partnerships and ecosystems.

He personally leads the charge on innovation and with a view to the future of payments both locally and globally via his network and clients around the world which including VC's, incubators, accelerators, and start-ups.

Natalia Wiechowski
The Middle East's leading Renaissance Woman. Award-winning, bilingual Speaker, Writer, Coach, Vlogger.

Think Natalia is a Dubai based, award-winning, bilingual Public Speaker, Impression Management Coach and Digital Influencer who radically changed her life(style) and career after a self-imposed sabbatical.  
After studying human behavior for over 13 years and spending almost nine months in isolation to find her purpose, the German social scientist (M.A.) and prospective Dr. phil. came to the conclusion that her mission is to eliminate wrong beliefs around self-marketing and “making it” in life.   This insight encouraged Think Natalia to develop a new, unique training program, which combines the most successful elements out of performance coaching, personal branding and public relations. Besides this, the Edutainer enjoys spreading her message of hope and empowerment on public stages.

Jennifer Warren
AtlasX Ventures, Founder and Managing Partner

With nearly 20 years of experience in investment banking and management consulting, Jennifer provides advisory and investment services to SMEs, start-ups, family offices and global corporates. Jennifer is Founder and Managing Partner of AtlasX Ventures, which sources direct investment and business expansion opportunities for clients and provides advisory services to drive high-growth financial performance and step-change business strategies. Previously, Jennifer worked in New York City, London and UAE for global organisations, including First Gulf Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays Capital, Lehman Brothers, KPMG and Arthur Andersen. Jennifer is a member of WAIN (Women’s Angel Investor Network) and actively involved in advising start-ups and SMEs in the GCC.  

Tiberiu Iacomi
Founder of The Improbable Agency

The Improbable is a brand and PR agency for challengers, underdogs and misfits.

This is an agency for the companies - be them startups, SMEs or large companies - that find themselves in that inflection point where innovation in everything - from product development to operations and up to business strategy and communication - is key to their survival / growth.

The agency works with 12 companies from 3 continents and 6 different industries - ranging from e-commerce to IT and up to digital media and edtech.

Abdul Wahid
Senior UX Emirates

Abdul wahid is a Senior UX  at Emirates who constantly pushes the limit of front end by mixing bleeding edge technologies and proven design concepts. He started his career as a web designer and later worked on several front end technologies. Most of his time spent in designing, writing javascript, fixing problems and breaking things. Prior to JRD group he worked with several companies(including  As a technology lover and open source contributor he co-founded the Designers meetup and enjoys conducting workshops.

Chad Fox
Not-Your-Average Startup Lawyer

Chad is a startup lawyer, advisor and angel investor. He works predominately with high growth companies and their investors throughout the company's life cycle  from incorporation to venture capital financing through to an exit. Chad understands startups and tailors his advice to each individual company by finding new and innovative solutions (including to how a company pays for his services).

Karim Helal
Founder + CEO @ ProTenders, Investor, Mentor

Karim is a life-long entrepreneur, having started dabbling in business when he was just 11, and only breifly interrupted by a stint in the Telecom world in Canada. Since his return in the UAE, he's been very active in the enterpreneurship space, creating his succeful startup, ProTenders, investing in a wide range of early companies and mentoring at different incubators and accelerators. He is passionate about helping others succeed and not do the same hundreds of mistakes he did along the way.

Alberto Perez
Chief Development Officer at Democrance

Alberto is the Chief Development Officer at Democrance. Democrance's mission is to democratize insurance by making it accessible and affordable to the low-income population in the Middle East and North Africa region via their mobile phone.
Former Founder and CEO at UAE based startups from the travel, entertainment and oil industries. More than 4 years leading the expansion of Spanish SMEs into Sub-Saharan Africa, implementing new digital strategies and disrupting mobile services in partnership with top mobile network operators in the region. Former consultant at PwC Spain. MSc in Computer Engineering.

Fraser Matthews
Director - Digital Financial Services at Tori Global

I am a Director of Digital Financial Services at Tori Global in Dubai.  I work with Banks, Financial Institutions and FinTechs to develop leading digital propositions from strategy to implementation.  I have experience in driving business growth, designing applications and platforms, developing products and features, and forming meaningful partnerships.

Hyder Mumtaz
Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) - Monami Tech

Technology entrepeneur. Involved in early stage / growth companies. Built out an e-commerce platform in MENA and achieved run rate of $12mn EUR within 6 months. Scaled out to 5 countries in MENA. Developed an alternative payments platform under Monami that works with 6 banks in Pakistan. Grew up in Lahore, Pakistan and studied at University of Pennsylvania / Wharton.

Maarid Fazili
Risk Manager at PAYFORT

Maarid specializes in eCommerce fraud prevention.

He started his career with Amazon Payments in the Globally renowned Transaction Risk Monitoring Service Unit protecting hundreds of small U.S based Amazon merchants from potential fraud attacks worth millions of dollars.

In an attempt to diversify his skills, he quit his comfortable position at Amazon & made the move to multicultural Dubai and was immediately deployed to take up the new payments department in Rocket Internet’s – Middle east’s biggest online fashion store. During his tenure at Namshi, he spearheaded the creation of SOP’s for payment monitoring, Chargeback process, managing dealings with Payment Gateway and over saw improvement in multiple micro projects.

After Joining PayFort, one of the first steps Maarid took was to completely revamp the way the Risk team operates introducing new SLA’s, KPI’s & SOP’s for various processes, reducing manual effort at each step. Now, managing over 1000 clients risk profiles & fraud prevention strategies, delivering training from startups to enterprises and initiating projects on a regular basis, Maarid likes to give himself leeway to explore exiting new opportunities.

Arunas Pigaga
Sales and Relationship Manager MENA at

Having experienced entrepreneurial life of e-commerce scene both in Denmark and UAE, I am well aware how important it is to make strategic decisions right from the start and to think long term in order to not impede business growth and its scalability. That is why I am currently helping startups and established businesses with taking the right decisions when it comes to online payment processing and digitalision of their services

Genny Ghanimeh
Pi Slice Founder & CEO

Following her passions for the MicroFinance & the Online industries, and after a life-altering trek in Kilimanjaro, Genny founded Pi Slice in March 2012 and negotiated a partnership agreement with MicroWorld from the Group PlanetFinance to build and administer the first crowd-lending platform for microfinance in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Genny is a recognized voice, and a dedicated Author and Contributor in different outlets like Entrepreneur Magazine, Executive Magazine, Philanthropy Age and Pi Slice Blog, writing about Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, Impact Investing, CSR and Microfinance. She is currently a Lecturer at London Business School, Hult Business School and Dubai Women Business Council; and a Founding Mentor at EMIR Program at London Business School and other Incubators like Afkar ME, Flat6Labs and UK-Lebanon Tech Hub. Genny also organized and launched CEO Talks interviews in partnership with Impact Hub and In5 Dubai, where she interviewed top Dubai CEOs. She is a regular Professional Speaker at events like CSR Summit, Global CSR Congress, SME Advisor Events, Bold Talks, WEF.

Issa Fakhouri
e-Commerce Manager at Majid Al Futtaim Finance

Possess rich web and mobile products experience in the fields of digital media, e-wallets , mobile payments , content ,news portals, social networking , search engines, e-commerce and classifieds. Have more than 14 years of experience of working for big internet, telecom players in the region such as Yahoo!, maktoob ,DU and group just to name few.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The GlassQube Startup Weekend FinTech Abu Dhabi 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.

Signature Sponsors





Organizing Team

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

  • Nadine
  • Tiberiu
  • Abdul
  • Sana


Aya Sadder
Incubator Manager at Intelak

Aya Sadder is the Incubator manager of Intelak, the first Travel & Aviation Incubator in the MENA region; a partnership between The Emirates Group, GE and Etisalat. Sadder is also part of the Emirates management team for the Dubai Future Accelerators program. Both of these programs serve to support the UAE's ambitious plans for the future, to ensure that the country sets the highest global standards for services, systems, and experiences in aviation. Sadder has also delivered a TEDx on The Role of Startups in the Experience economy and serves on the host committee of Babson College, the #1 entrepreneurship school globally. 

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