Startup Weekend Dubai

    Thursday, December 11 - 13, 2014

  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 Dubai

Thursday, December 11 - 13, 2014

Thursday, December 11 - 13, 2014
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Impact Hub
Saaha Offices Block B, Level 3, Unit #304
Old Town Island, MBR Boulevard, Burj Downtown
Dubai, Dubai

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Startup Weekend is coming back to Dubai!

Hey guys,

We are gearing up for the most exciting and action-packed Startup Weekend yet!

Watch this space for updates

-SW Team


Thursday December 11th

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

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

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

8:00 pm
Optionally line up to give your pitch

9:00 pm
Attendees vote for the top pitches

9:45 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 December 12th

9:00 am
Mama Tani and Hummus House Breakfast
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

11:00 am
First Set of Mentors Arrive
Our first set of mentors will be arriving to meet with and help all the teams

1:00 pm
Mantoushe Lunch

3:00 pm
Second Set of Mentors Arrive
Second set of mentors will be arriving to meet with and help all the teams

7:00 pm
Karek & Harek Dinner

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

Saturday December 13th

9:00 am
Karek & Harek Breakfast
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

11:00 am
Third Set of Mentors Arrive
Third set of mentors will be arriving to meet with and help all the teams

11:00 am
Presentation Coaches Arrive
Get ready with the best of the best for presenting to judges

12:00 pm
Just Falafel Lunch

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

7:00 pm
Russo's Pizzeria Dinner

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

10:00 pm
After Party!


Benjamin de Terssac
Founder & Chief Driver at Carpool Arabia

Ben is a web enthusiast and startup entrepreneur, passionate about the sharing economy. He is the happy founder of The "green project" was kicked-off during Startup Weekend Dubai, in late November 2013 and the team was formed. Six weeks later, was opened for beta users and then, officially, launched on February 18, 2014.Before that Ben was working in Management Consulting for the banking sectors.

Event Judges

Amir Farha
Managing Partner at BECO Capital

Amir is an entrepreneur, angel investor, startup advisor and mentor. He has invested in and co-founded a number of local businesses, including Toolman, a property maintenance business; Purple PR, a boutique PR company of which he successfully exited in 2012; and Tandem Partners, a startup and small business advisory firm in which he helped over 100 companies plan and grow their businesses. He has looked at early stage businesses from every angle, starting with a Swedish VC firm based in London, followed by a stint at what was the first seed capital fund in the MENA region, the Arab Business Angel Network (part of Dubai International Capital), before becoming an entrepreneur himself. 

Rima al Sheikh
Founder & CEO of

A product specialist who has been developing and building online products including mobile, web and other connected devices for many of the biggest brands in the region and globally.

Has worked on a variety of business sizes from startups and SME’s to global size enterprises.

Nabeel al Kady
Director of Industry Strategy at Majid Al Futtaim

Currently the Director of Industry Strategy at Majid Al Futtaim, Nabeel has a passion for entrepreneurship, and continues to invest in and start new ventures.  Today, Nabeel is overseeing the growth of Hooked Media, a one year old start-up in the area of alternative advertising.  In addition, Nabeel mentors various entrepreneurs independently and has helped as one of its mentors as well.  Nabeel has witnessed a myriad of issues within his own businesses and those he has worked with, and enjoys learning from these experiences and applying his background to help entrepreneurs tackle the numerous challenges that start-ups invariably face.

Aman Merchant
CEO at Impact Hub Dubai

A Dubai-based serial entrepreneur wearing many hats, Aman Merchant is CEO and co-founder at Impact Hub Dubai (, a global network of over 9500 impact-driven entrepreneurs & innovators in 80 cities. Passionate about creating better futures through the power of ideas and disruptive thinking & with an entrepreneurial journey that began in 1991 even before he entered university, he brings over two decades of experience to the various ventures he is associated with, having launched nine and led three others in markets across the Middle East and Asia regions.
He holds a 1st Class Masters Degree with Hons from Oxford University and is also an alumni of the Stanford Business School and the London School of Economics. He is a former President of the UAE Chapter of the Entrepreneurs' Organisation and has participated in the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Councils.

Coaches and Mentors

Jonathan Steingiesser
User Experience Designer at New York University Abu Dhabi

Jonathan Steingiesser is User Experience Designer at New York University Abu Dhabi where he leads project teams in UX design and research. An advocate of user-centred design, he has applied this approach to translate complex business and technical requirements into elegant solutions. With over a decade of experience working in private, public and education sectors, Jonathan has fostered a passion for UX innovation and continuous improvement.  In terms of UX community leadership, he founded the UX Abu Dhabi Meetup and UX UAE and is collaborating with the Designers Meetup and other organisations in the Emirates in the hope of growing UX awareness and practice in the UAE and beyond.

Iraklis Alexopoulos
Head of Technology at Souqalmal

Technology primarily exists for one main reason; To make our lives easier. And I always try to build products that serve this core principle. I started off as an IT consultant and software developer for billing and rating projects for telecom companies. Moved on to web development and later on designing the architecture and managing large web projects for various startups. I have worked in Athens, Greece, Berlin, Germany and now in Dubai, UAE. Passionate about new technologies, always looking out for new ways and methods of delivering the optimal result. I always try to surround myself with passionate people that I look up. I love SaaS platforms and web products that address and tackle commonly found problems. When I am not in my coding cave or drawing systems on a whiteboard, I am either working on my plan to become a rock star - teaching myself how to play the guitar - or trying to find new ways to work out. Oh, and I also love travelling, discovering new places and cultures, but then again, who doesn’t?

Jose Berengueres
Assistant Professor at UAE University

Dr. Jose Berengueres joined UAE University as Assistant Professor in 2011. He received MEE from Polytechnic University of Catalonia in 1999 and a PhD bio-inspired robotics from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2007. He has authored various books and iBooks on: The Toyota Production System, Design Thinking, HCI+UX, and Business Models innovation. He has given talks, workshops and summer courses on DesignThinking & Business Models in Germany, Mexico, Dubai and California.

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.

Mudassir Sheikha
Co-founder & Managing Director at Careem

Mudassir is the co-founder and Managing Director at Careem, Middle East's leading chauffeur-driven car service. Prior to Careem, Mudassir was an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company where he was part of the high-tech practice advising clients globally on strategy and business-building. Mudassir has a background in technology entrepreneurship from the San Francisco Bay Area where he co-founded DeviceAnywhere, a mobile application platform company acquired by Keynote Systems. He has an academic background in Computer Science and Economics from Stanford and USC. He lives with his wife in Dubai, and their two twin daughters.

Sorusch Amiri
Investment Analyst at BECO Capital

Sorusch Amiri is an Investment Analyst at BECO Capital. Before joining BECO, he was an Analyst at Earlybird Venture Capital in Munich, Germany. Prior to that, Sorusch founded a venture-backed travel tech company in 2011 called Rentudo Inc. Sorusch has also been involved in the startup ecosystem in New York, working as an intern for Union Square Ventures portfolio company, Zemanta Inc., while studying Economics at Columbia University.

Naaz Noor
Founder & Managing Partner at Aseel Group

Naaz is an entrepreneur with 10 years of Banking experience, during which she developed and managed new initiative development within Trust & Estate planning - Private Banking industry. She has since been instrumental in the launch of several new ventures related to Finance, product distribution, marketing, and F&B.
Naaz also partnered in a number of joint ventures that specialise in business consultancy, Multi Family office advisory, Trust and Estate planning advisory, distribution and mentoring start ups.
She is dedicated in assisting businesses in achieving growth through new initiatives and execution of innovative marketing and business development programs.

Mohammad Imran
UX Lead (R&D) at

UX Lead for the R&D department at where I build and work on top secret world changing products. UX Certified by Nielsen Norman Group, a world leader in UX design and research. I identify the right problems to solve and I find solutions to those problems. I enjoy the most when I am working on solving problems that would lead to a greater good for humanity. I am extremely passionate about startups and new ideas that help in making peoples lives easier. 

Victor Kiriakos
Director of innovation program at

Victor is part of the Digital Unit at Intigral he manages the incubation/acceleration program He is involved in all the activities of the program and have been mentoring  multiple start-ups in the region. He is also an advisor to multiple start-ups in the region. Before joining Intigral, Victor was working in a Start-up in Singapore that was voted Top100 most innovative company in 2012 by red Herring Asia he initially started his career as an Institutional Fixed income and currency trader in Canada. 
Victor holds a BA in economics from AUB as well as an MBA from INSEAD. He has been involved in entrepreneurship activities and workshops in Silicon valley, Berlin, Paris and Singapore and is now helping establish

Sajjad Kamal
Co-Founder at Alemhealth

Sajjad is the founder of Inovio Labs, a product development lab at the intersection of design and technology developing cutting edge solutions for entrepreneurs and clients in the UAE and Canada. Inovio Labs has worked in the UAE with organisations such as Mubadala,  Health Authority Abu Dhabi, Cartoon Network and a number of passionate entrepreneurs. Sajjad has previously worked on, a platform that organises classes and courses in Dubai with an ability to live book placements; a white-label platform for restaurants to manage online and on mobile food orders. Sajjad has also previously worked at Apple, Blackberry, Nobel Prize winning - Grameen Bank and other startups. Sajjad holds a double Major in Mathematics( Combinatorics and Optimization) and Business Administration from the University of Waterloo in Canada.  Sajjad loves ideating and has previously won Startup Weekend Abu Dhabi and Angelhack Global Hackathon - World's Largest Hackathon.

Walid Albasheer
Founder & CEO at Stationery Inc

Walied is an entrepreneur, started in 1995 when he was advised by a colleague to check the internet. He then co-founded City Cyber Cafe in Pune, India in 1996. In 1998 he joined the founders of which was the first listing directory in GCC. In 2000 he then joined the team for online initiative to promote commerce & tourism in UAE; he was also a founding member of committee to establish In 2003 he joined of the team for Emirates Investment Group a group turned 8 billion dirham multi activities business. In 2004 he Founded Techoz Ltd, providing business solutions for SME’s. In 2006 he co-founded Formula World Sport as the first sport marketing agency in the region, taking it to global success by acquiring the exclusive world promoter-ship for UIM F2 World Cup Powerboats championship. In 2007 he co-found (now an Interactive Data Company) proving real time market data feed from stock exchanges.  In 2008 he joined the advisory board for Emirates Investment Group providing business intelligence & performance management advice to subsidiaries such as Enshaa PJSC, Capital Club, Palazzo Versace, and Emirates Financial Tower. In 2011 he founded Inbound LLC in Dubai to bring latest innovation in digital sphere to the region, Inbound is providing service such as M2M, GPS Tracking, In-vehicle  Infotainment, Cloud Computing to clients such as Government Summit, ARMS Group, Qatar Post. In 2013 he founded Stationery, Inc as the first and largest school & Office Supplies eStore, as a pure play ecommerce Stationery, Inc is bringing efficiency, availability & value to clients in the region through partnership with top tier suppliers.

Ahmed Zedan
VP of Marketing at MarkaVIP

Ahmed is a serial entrepreneur & VP of Marketing at MarkaVIP, an eCommerce startup based in Dubai, UAE. He has been a Consultant and Digital Marketer managing fast growing startups in Chicago and working with Fortune 500 companies such as GM, Walmart, P&G, Nintendo and other organizations. A Marketing Technologist for the last 10 years, Ahmed is always fascinated by the intersection of human and tech and on the lookout for the next big idea!

Hazem Khaled
Co-Founder at Eshtery

Software engineer with 11+ years of experience building web and mobile applications for different scale of customers, from Startups to Governments, Start his 1st startup when 18 years old, Last startup "eshtery" m-commerce startup, last investment round by Vodafone Xone.

Alessandro Casuccio
Head of Business Intelligence at

Alessandro joined Namshi in Dubai in 2012, and is currently leading the BI & Data Science practice. Before moving to the U.A.E., he worked one year in Australia for Rocket Internet contributing to creation and launch of several successful startups (among others, and Alessandro has experience in business intelligence & predictive analytics, online marketing, business planning and financial reporting within early stage ventures and fast growing ecommerce companies. Prior to Namshi and Rocket Internet, Alessandro was full time analyst at Unicredit Corporate & Investment Bank. He obtained a MSc in Finance and a Bachelor in International Economics & Management from Bocconi University in Milan. He served as board member and Head of Careers for Green Light for Business. Alessandro is an active member at the Arabian peninsula’s Bocconi Alumni chapter as well as author at YoungsDay. He joined as StartupWeekend mentor in Dubai 2013’s edition and Denver 2014’s one.

Eddy Farhat
Sales & Ecosystem Development, DoubleClick at Google

Eddy is responsible for Sales & Ecosystem Development, DoubleClick at Google for the MENA region. 

Event Sponsors, and Partners

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

  • Tina
  • Massimiliano
  • Sally
  • Rehan
    Syed Muhammad
  • Omar
  • Giorgio
  • Sherif
  • Emanuele
  • Sandi
  • Baghdad
  • Rami


Ahmed Siddiqui

Ahmed Siddiqui recently moved to Dubai from San Francisco. He is the General Manager for a Financial Technology startup called Marqeta. Prior to this he worked in venture capital, and was a core team member at Startup Weekend, heading up the San Francisco office. 4 years ago, Ahmed attended a Startup Weekend event, built a children's educational app over the weekend and won the first prize. He then quit his corporate job to focus full time on his app called "Go Go Mongo!", which was featured numerous times by Apple. As a hobby, Ahmed facilitates Startup Weekend events around the world, and enjoys inspiring people to become tech entrepreneurs.

Event Blog

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