Startup Weekend Women Dubai 2018

    Thursday, November 15 - 17, 2018

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Judges
  4. Coaches and Mentors
  5. Sponsors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend Women Dubai 2018

Thursday, November 15 - 17, 2018

Thursday, November 15 - 17, 2018
Event starts at 6:30 pm

Technohub 1,2, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, Near Premier Inn Hotel، Dubai Silicon Oasis
Dubai, Dubai

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Techstars Global Startup Weekend Women Dubai 2018

About Startup Weekend:   
Techstars ,powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, encourages local entrepreneurs to conduct 54-hour Startup  where simple solutions to perplexing problems of humanity are discussed, molded and given a launchpad to become fully-funded startups over a weekend. Every November, new waves of  entrepreneurship are felt in cities across the world at the same time, and DXB is all geared up to welcome the Wonder Women of Middle East between 13-15 November. This is the best chance to  experience the thrill of  of networking,business development, prototype modelling and negotiation from the 'captaniahs'' in business. Yes, she drives change. Join us as a participant, mentor, judge or simply contribute to support her! Your pioneering ideas have the power to  win seed grants, mentorship and incubation. Whether you are a stalwart in business wanting to make your weekend productive, a novice looking for feedback/ a co-founder/  skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment to take  first steps towards launching your own startup, yes, just over 54 hrs!  Are you  ready to Think Startup, Think Global and Think Purple?

See what it's all about

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Thursday November 15th

6:30 pm
Arrive at the venue and get checked in

7:00 pm
Dinner & Networking
Eat food, share ideas, practice pitches, get to know fellow participants

7:20 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

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:15 pm
Form Teams
Teams start forming and discussing ideas

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 November 16th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm

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

1:00 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!

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 November 17th

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

9:30 am
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

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

12:00 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

6:00 pm
Final Presentations

8:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!

Event Judges

Asma Al Qaseer
VC industry expert | Sovereign Wealth Fund

Asma currently works at a sovereign wealth fund based in Abu Dhabi as an Investment Associate and is managing their strategic assets portfolio. Through her role, Asma is responsible for monitoring the value and performance of their investments in strategic sectors. Additionally, she is also responsible for valuing potential new investment opportunities.

Prior to joining the sovereign wealth fund Asma worked at twofour54 for over 2 years as an Investment Analyst and lead the Investments and Strategic Partnerships Department. Asma worked with and guided entrepreneurs and start-up companies that specialize in technology and content creation by offering advice and support as these businesses grew across the media and entertainment sector in the region.

Prior to that, Asma held a position for two years as a Coverage Associate at BNP Paribas where she gained tremendous knowledge about large family conglomerates. During her time at BNP Paribas, Asma guided corporate bankers through credit processes, calculating risks and identifying business and marketing opportunities.

She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Management and Operations from the American University of Sharjah.

Karin Gabriel
Project Lead - Programming | Area2071 and Dubai Future Accelerators

Karin Gabriel has completed her studies of Business and Economics at the Johannes Kepler University in Austria with exchange programs at Copenhagen Business School and Indian Institute of Planning and Management.

She started her career at Microsoft in Vienna where she focused on POS marketing and training programs for sales executives in Microsoft’s partner retail shops. Karin then joined a French company in Bangalore, India as project manager focused on conferences for C-level executives in emerging markets. In November 2012, she accepted the offer of her company to join their headquarters in Dubai, where she expanded her role to Division Head.   Since September 2018, she has had the honour of working for Dubai Future Foundation. As the Team Lead of Dubai Future Accelerators, she and her team are striving towards accelerating innovation within the government by connecting public sector organizations with start-ups from around the world.   Her passion lies in building bridging between cultures and putting an emphasis on the human factor and gender-parity with regards to innovation overall and emerging technology in particular

Hans Henrik Christensen
Vice President Dtec | Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority

As the Vice President of Dtec, Hans is leading a team that with him has built the largest and most economically impactful tech eco-system in MENA hosting more than 800+ start-ups from 70 nationalities. The objective of Dtec is to create a sustainable impactful entrepreneurial ecosystem of tech companies that drives innovation in the UAE. Apart from partnering with international partners like IBM, Microsoft, SAP, du, Volkswagen, Thomson Reuters, Visa, Smart Dubai and many more, Dtec hosts the aviation and travel-tech Intelak incubator run by Emirates Airlines together with GE and Etisalat, the Intel IOT ignition lab and the Dubai Smart City Accelerator powered by Startupbootcamp. DTEC also acts as a start-up investor, currently has an active portfolio of 21 successful well-known start-ups: Yalla Compare, Shortpoint, The Luxury Closet, Wrappup, STEP, 360MEA etc.

Hans has decades of business experience, building departments in MNCs and startups around the world. In his several positions as founder and CEO of start-ups, he attracted millions of dollars from both private and venture capital investors. He built up the first Siemens ICN nCubator in 2000, a captive incubator and one of the first incubators in Europe at the time. Its most successful venture (Garderos) was successfully spun-off in 2001 under Hans’ leadership attracting VC funds from SAP, Siemens Ventures, and Wellington Partner. Hans held international positions with Macquarie Technology Investments and Deutsche Leasing AG and joined DSOA in 2012.

Hana Barakat
Program Manager | startAD

Hana is a dynamic and highly driven individual who has worn many hats in her 14 years of academic and professional experience as a scientist, psychologist, coach and program manager. However, the last four years were particularly focused on the Tech scene where she worked closely with  Entrepreneurs and C-Level professionals at the UK Lebanon Tech Hub - an International Accelerator - as well as built and managed a research commercialization program focused on turning applied research into innovative marketable products.

As a Program Manager at startAD, she scouts for the best startups to plug them into the program and help them grow by providing the adequate stakeholders ecosystem and support.
She’s been a jury member on many local and international competitions including Seedstars, Pitch@Palace, Startup Sauna and Ibtikari. Hana holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial and  behavioral Psychology from Mid Sweden University and has worked in various countries such as Spain, Sweden, Lebanon and the UAE. She always strives to nurture relationships that lead to impactful long-term collaborations.

Christina Andreassen
Womentum Accelerator Manager | WOMENA

Christina Andreassen is the Womentum Accelerator manager, responsible for the launch and management of MENA’s first accelerator focused on tech startups with at least one female founder. Womentum is an initiative of Womena, an investment and media platform focused on increasing diversity, female representation and equity in MENA’s tech ecosystem. Prior to WOMENA, Christina managed a number of social enterprises in Bangkok, Beirut and Dubai, focusing on entrepreneurship and youth empowerment.   Christina holds an MA in Entrepreneurship Education from UCL London, a BA in International Development from Middlesex University and speaks English, Thai and Norwegian.

Coaches and Mentors

Naiyarah Hussain
Developer Experience Leader, UAE | IBM

Naiyarah Hussain is a web & mobile developer, and the Developer Experience leader for IBM in the UAE. She mainly develops in JavaScript or Python, but also works with PHP, Java & C#. Specialising in AI & Machine Learning, Naiyarah works with developers from startups, education, enterprise or open source communities to build their applications using IBM Cloud. On the weekends, you might even find her attending tech meetup or a hackathon as a mentor or participant.

Mashal Waqar
CTO & Co-founder | The Tempest

Mashal Waqar is the co-founder and CTO of The Tempest, the fastest growing online media company for diverse women in the world. She is a fierce advocate of accessibility, diversity, and inclusion, and has been awarded the "Young Leader of the Year" at the 19th WIL Economic Forum and the the 2017 President’s Cup for her work. She previously worked on Deaf accessibility initiatives at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Dubai campus, and is currently leading the accessibility pivot at The Tempest. The Tempest has been awarded by Forbes for media this year, and is quickly growing to become a household name, by building a loyal audience with over 3 million monthly readers. Waqar strongly believes in empowering women and bringing their voices to the forefront; her prior work experience comes from transitioning in roles in cyber security, digital marketing, and tech while working for various startups. Waqar graduated from RIT with a degree in Computing Security and minors in International Business & NSSA. 

Laura Toma
CEO & Founder | Grey Matter

Laura Toma has over 9 years of experience as education and communication consultant in several countries across two continents. She has facilitated educational experiences through mentoring, training and complex learning programs for the full spectrum of organization, from NGOs to government entities, from startups to SMEs, from schools to universities.

Irina Heaver
Senior Business Lawyer | Partner - Ficht & Co

Irina is Partner and Head of Commercial & Technology at Fichte & Co. With over 14 years of experience, she specializes in the broad spectrum of commercial and corporate work including M&A, disposals, corporate restructurings and governance issues, regulatory framework, funding matters, as well as complex joint ventures and strategic alliances. 

Irina regularly represents emerging technology business such as IT infrastructure and Cloud services, software and tech development companies, cryptocurrency enterprises, e-commerce and online marketplaces; as well as heavy industrial players, such as engineering, chemicals, industrial manufacturing, energy, oil&gas and defence companies. 
Irina is an Australian qualified lawyer and holds Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degrees from Monash University. 

Natalie Sleiman
Head of UAE | She Loves Tech

Natalie Sleiman is currently the Head of She Loves Tech UAE, a global initiative
showcasing the convergence of the latest trends in technology, entrepreneurship,
innovation and the opportunities it creates for women. She Loves Tech is the world’s
largest startup competition, boot camp and international conference series focused on
women and technology.
With over 13 years of experience working regionally across a variety of industries
including financial services, manufacturing and automotive, Natalie has experience
across a variety of disciplines including marketing, strategic planning, business
development, product and program management. She formerly set up and led the
captive insurance business for Volkswagen Group brands across the Middle East.
Natalie holds an Executive MBA from INSEAD and is part of the executive committee of
INSEAD’s National Alumni Association in the UAE, the business school’s second largest
alumni group globally. Natalie is passionate about empowering women in tech and keen
to encourage entrepreneurial potential through the use of technology and exploring
innovative business models to build capacity and sustainability.

Randah Taher
Founder & Master Facilitator | Sajory

Randah Taher’s work is grounded in the design facilitation of innovation systems & tools; Service & Design Thinking, Creative Problem Solving, & Biomimicry, within the Cultures of Innovation arena. In addition to her Management & Education degrees, she earned a Masters of Science in Creativity, Innovation and Change Leadership from State University of New York. 
A certified consultant in the FourSight Thinking Styles Assessment, she manages multi-disciplinary teams in projects that require flexibility of both experimenting and implementing innovative programs. Highlights of her work include the design and execution of the “Creative Institute of Toronto’s Young Leaders (CITY Leaders), the Montreal-based storytelling powerhouse of “My Arabic Story”, her entertaining style of bringing edu-tainment curriculum to a financial literacy program and designing a strategy treasure hunt for executives. 
Her design consultancy "Sajory" thrives on nurturing cultures of innovation in the workspace; offering programs and experiments to support people, processes and products on their creative journey. In addition, she curates items in the monthly subscription package “Imaginess by sajory" to help spark creative thinking habits via innovation tools, curiosities & inspiration that transforms people’s desks and thinking space

Katarina Uherova
Founder | Enrupt, Vice-President | Alliance for Rural Electrification

Katarina is Founder of Enrupt, open innovation platform for energy sector. Katarina has 15 years of professional experience in energy from government & consulting in Europe, Middle East & South-East Asia. She founded Enrupt to support the ongoing transformation of the energy sector to be closer to the customer, using cleaner, renewable sources, and leveraging digital technologies. She is driving this transformation by building partnerships between young, innovative startups and corporations.  Katarina is Vice President on the Board of the Alliance for Rural Electrification (Industry association, HQ in Belgium). She is always looking out for opportunities to support energy sector transformation and champion gender equality.

Enrupt is an open innovation company with the vision to build energy companies of the future based on clean, decentralised and digital solutions. Enrupt is on a mission to create partnerships between startups and corporations where new ideas thrive and get executed.

Hiba Balfaqih
Founder & SHEO | The Startup Factory UAE

Hiba Balfaqih is a psychologist, seriel entreprenaur & mindset coach. She has over a decade of building employee engagement, transforming corporate culture, and most importantly, real-life, in-the-trenches business and entrepreneurial experience. Hiba's mission is to ignite mindsets and help people fulfil their dreams.

Hiba is referred to as the “People Whisperer" for her ability to stir up a group and for her coaching skill that bring out the best in people. She is known for her witty, no-B.S., practical, street-savvy style.

Hiba’s fusion of real-life stories and her conversational techniques allows her to connect with her audience at an intimate, intense and individual level.

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Women Dubai 2018 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.

Venue Partner

Support Partner

Media Partner

Organizing Team

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

  • Nouran
  • Sidra
  • Tarun
  • Misbah
  • Mohamed Nawaz
  • Labeeba
  • Ikram


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. 

Dulce Lada
Marketing Manager

Dulce Rose Lada is the Marketing Manager at Womena, a startup ecosystem enabler that empowers, educates and advocates diversity and inclusion in the Middle East and North Africa region. She is passionate about community building, fostering entrepreneurship and a good cup of tea.

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