Startup Weekend Women Dubai 2018

    Thursday, November 15 - 17, 2018

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


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

6:00 pm
Final Presentations

8:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Thea Myhrvold
CEO & Founder |

TeachMeNow is a global marketplace for live one to one learning online. Where anyone can teach and everyone can learn. We are proud to have thousands of tutors, experts and teachers from around the world helping students learn through our website, Our first class happened between a student is Saudi Arabia learning from a professor in Venezuela, and we have seen global connections around the world ever since.

Event Judges

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.

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

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.

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

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

Silver Partner

Ecosystem 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
Head of Partnerships at Urban

Aya Sadder is an active member and speaker within the startup community in the UAE. Currently, Aya is based in Dubai and is the Head of Partnerships for Urban since June 2019. Aya has spoken at TEDx Rome in 2018 in front of 2,500 people with the theme Society 5.0 as well as at TEDx RIT Dubai in 2017 about the role of startups in the experience economy. Prior to Urban, Aya was the Incubator manager of Intelak, the first Aviation, Travel & Tourism Incubator in the MENA region. In this role, Sadder executed the Incubator’s strategy of supporting the UAE's ambitious plans for the future, ensuring that the country sets the highest global standards for services, systems, and experiences innovation in the aviation, travel and tourism industries. Aya graduated from Babson College in Boston and to date serves on the Babson Middle Eastern Alumni club in Dubai. Aya has also worked for over 6 years under the umbrella of Techstars and Google as a globally certified facilitator for Startup Weekend. Today, Aya also serves as an active mentor and speaker on different programs related to the future of tech and Women in STEM. Aya dedicates most of her time to passionately participating in and accelerating the innovation culture for one of the world’s fastest growing hubs in this domain. 

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.

Event Blog

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