Startup Weekend Dubai 2015

    Thursday, November 19 - 21, 2015

  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 2015

Thursday, November 19 - 21, 2015

Thursday, November 19 - 21, 2015
Event starts at 6:00 pm

Under the stairs to the right of parking.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

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Entrepreneurs on a mission.

Startup Weekend is a 54 hour startup event that provides the networking, resources, and incentives for individuals and teams to go from idea to launch. Startup Weekend’s motto: Build Community. Start Companies. No Talk. All Action. In conjunction with local facilitators around the world, Startup Weekend is run by two guys out of Seattle, WA. Together, we are our own community of passionate entrepreneurs on a mission to help other entrepreneurs and facilitate innovation.The event is open to anyone interested in the local entrepreneurial community, and it puts them in a setting where anything is possible. In the past 3 years, 550+ startups have started, 22,000+ entrepreneurs have been inspired. Teams have even started to generate revenue during the 54hr event, and others have even gone on to direct angel and VC investment. None of these stats take into account the amazing networking, ongoing professional relationships, and amazing experience that happen at every event.


Thursday November 19th

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

7:20 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 20th

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

2:00 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 21st

9:00 am
Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee

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

12:00 pm

12:30 pm
Coach Meetings
Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS

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

5:00 pm
Final Presentations

7:30 pm
Judging & Awards

8:30 pm

9:00 pm
Go Home!


Stefano Schintu
Executive Creative Director at MarkaVIP

A Creative Thinker & Designer with an acute sensitivity to exemplary quality. Matchmaker between brands and their customers, striving to solve problems and create opportunities through design thinking. From responsive web & mobile platforms to television campaigns and social media, Stefano architected and designed experiences that have served millions of people around the globe producing iconic & innovative work that has been internationally awarded and recognised.

Tena Pick
CEO & Co-Founder

Tena is a social impact consultant passionate about applying her skills to help start-ups in the developing world. She is currently working on projects in Pakistan, Palestine and India. Her main interests include women empowerment and development of rural communities.

Tena is also the Head of Media for C3- Consult and Coach for a Cause, a non-for profit organization that brings together business professionals and social entrepreneurs in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). She handles all media relations for the organization and is the editor of the blog ( ). She also holds various workshops on theory of change and social business basics and has helped organize Social Enterprise Week, the first event of its kind in the Middle East.
Tena holds a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurial economics from VERN’ University of Applied Science and a Masters degree in Social Entrepreneurship from Hult International Business School. During her Master program, she led a multinational team during a waste management project in rural Indonesia. The project was sponsored by HSBC.

Yehia El-Katib
‎Co-Founder & Commercial Director at The Gamifiers

Yehia co-founded The Gamifiers, one of the first gamification digital agencies in the Middle East, in 2013. With a vision to bring this new gamification technology to the region to capitalize on governments’ and corporations’ passion to invest in technology and innovation to better serve their citizens and customers, Yehia was one of the key figures behind most of the Gamification projects launched in the region over the past several years.  This includes working closely with the TRA to gamify, the main gateway to the federal government of the UAE. More recently was the Gamification of The Entertainer Mobile app.   Previously Yehia worked for LinkdotNet as the Regional Manager where he was in charge of its subsidiaries Link Development, LinkOnline and Connect Ads in the GCC Region.        

Younis Maqousi
Analytical Lead - Retail MENA of Google

Younis is a senior analytical lead at Google, with a core focus on business intelligence and big data analysis.
Having started with Goolge in 2008, Younis has worked across different products including; Search, AdSense and Adwords encompassing the entire online ecosystem 
of users, advertisers and publishers. Younis started his career as a software engineer, then shifting his focus to analytical work and big data.

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).

Event Judges

Joshua Rajkumar

oshua is the co-founder of The Sustainability Platform, an innovative social impact consultancy that operates in Dubai, focused on maximizing and measuring social impact for CSR programs, NGOs and SMEs in the Middle East and South Asia. 

He is a development economics specialist with international experience in the for- and non-profit industries, and is passionate about social enterprise project design, implementation, and scalability. Joshua is also the Regional Director of Hult Prize for the Middle East and Africa. Hult Prize is the largest crowd-sourcing platform for social good, with a $1m award for the most scalable and sustainable social enterprise developed to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. Joshua is experienced in high-level diplomacy in both the public and private sector with government leaders and company executives through his time with the Head of State team at the Clinton Global Initiative and currently as a Partner at EMCOP, an engineering services company whose principal is Mitsubishi Electric. 
He is committed to bridging the gap between the organizational efficiency of the private world and the mission of social enterprises, specializing in social impact measurement. 
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Journalism from NYU and a Master’s in Social Entrepreneurship from Hult International Business School, and competed in the Hult Prize 2012 winning the London regional finals in the energy track.

Chantalle Dumonceaux
Co-Founder of WOMENA

Co-founder of WOMENA, a Dubai-based angel group for women, where I oversee
operations, strategy, and investments. We help Gulf-based high-net-worth
women get involved in angel investing while benefiting from a supportive
network and ongoing guidance.
I believe that entrepreneurship is a key force behind economic progress and that
women will drive this force more and more in the 21st century. I've worked in
startups and angel groups in New York and Zurich and have seen firsthand the
impact and rewards of angel investing best practices and I want to bring these to
the Middle East while adapting them to the local culture.
I've lived, in sequential order, in Los Angeles, Paris, Zurich, New York, and now
between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I travel a lot, I like tinkering with things, and I'm
learning to DJ.

Muhammed Mekki
Co-Founder of Astrolabs

Muhammed is a Founding Partner at AstroLabs, a startup hub and training academy for tech entrepreneurs scaling up in the Middle East.  As an Iraqi-American, he has always been interested in bridging ideas and people between the US and the MENA region.Muhammed caught the entrepreneurial bug while studying for his MBA at Stanford University and working with the founding team of a Silicon Valley tech startup. In 2011, he co-founded Dubai-based Namshi and helped grow the startup from 1 to 150 employees, raise over $20 million in venture capital, and establish a seasoned senior management team. He developed domain expertise in e-commerce.Muhammed is a former McKinsey & Company consultant with clients across the GCC. He studied economics at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is a Fulbright Scholar with expertise in Islamic Finance. Muhammed is an avid traveler, having visited over 60 countries and is always looking for his next adventure.

Herve Collignon
Founder of HOOKS Strategy & Innovation

Hervé Collignon founded HOOKS Strategy & Innovation in 2013, a consulting firm expert in innovation process and brand strategy management. Designer by
education, he has also a certificate in marketing from the Manchester Chartered Institute and a diploma from the IBM Global Sales School. After
his design school and 6 years in graphic and industrial design agencies in Paris and in New York, Hervé moved his career towards design management
responsibilities in large corporations. With over 16 years of design management experience as Design Manager for IBM and P&G, Hervé has become an
expert in Design Thinking for his clients. He recently received his Design Thinking certification from the University.

Today, HOOKS advises clients such as Kelloggs, Air Liquide, Tarkett International, Frederic Beausoleil, Carpool Arabia, The Welcomist, Norev, etc… While in France, Hervé gave lectures at EM Lyon for the innovation entrepreneur IDEA program.

Emad Ghanem
Regional Manager – Middle East and Gulf Region

Regional Manager – Middle East and Gulf Region With over 10 years of experience in the field of IT and technology, Emad has developed a solid background and knowledge in Enterprise Mobility, taking care of regional and international brands locally as well as across the region. Emad’s prime focus is to support the different entities in the region to adapt new technologies and intelligent solutions that enhance their productivity through Enterprise Mobility systems. He works closely with both private and governmental sectors and organizations managing various bundles of innovative solutions, which not only support them in utilizing maximum resources and develop their entire service levels, but also reflect positively on their ROIs and overall future expectations. Emad carries a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Pebble Hills, USA.

Coaches and Mentors

Ramzy Ismail
Program Director at Techstars Dubai

Ramzy Ismail is the Program Director at Techstars Dubai Manager. Prior to relocating to the UAE, Ramzy worked as project manager at Flat6Lab, worked with EnterBridge Mobility, a SaaS product company based out of the U.S. as the Director of Business Development. Concurrently, Ramzy served as the Co-founder and CEO of, a mobile and web-based unique venues marketplace that was accelerated through Lighthouse Lab RVA (GAN accelerator) in 2013. Before becoming a founder Ramzy was an Associate in Genworth Financial’s Leadership Development Program where he rotated through M&A and expense analytics roles. His experience also includes corporate strategy and product development internships with VeriSign, Capital One, and the CFO of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). He graduated from VCU in 2012 with dual degrees Finance and Entrepreneurship.

Ghassan Kara
Associate at Strategy&

Management consultant at Strategy& (Formerly Booz & Company) in the Middle East, based out of the Dubai office. Prior to joining Strategy&, I attended Boston University where I studied Biomedical Engineering and Energy Technologies. Beyond strategy consulting, my interests lie in tech and internet startups, healthcare, and education.

Mohamed Mehanna
Strategy Consultant at Roland Berger

A strategy consultant in the TMT & Digital practice at Roland Berger Middle East where he advised several telecom operators, media companies, OTT apps and e-commerce players across the Middle East and Far East in various strategic topics including market entry strategies, business plans development, M&A due diligences and partnership negotiations. Prior to that, Mohamed worked as a software engineering intern at NEC Electronics Tokyo. Mohamed holds a BE in Computer and Communications Engineering from the American Univeristy of Beirut.

Will Hutson
Chief Executive Officer at LMTD

Experienced in growth companies with focus in industry specific applied technologies and integrated marketing. Worked within, Entertainment, Media, Research, Tech, and Advertising industries. 

Scaled service and software operations across multiple markets and in both emerging and frontier markets.

Previous or current clients: Disney, Verizon, Disney/Pixar, Miramax, Walt Disney Studios, Coca-Cola, Walgreens, Jaguar, Red Bull, Ford, VICE

Eddy Farhat
Sales & Ecosystem Development, DoubleClick at Google

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

Alborz Toofani
Founder & CEO

"A dedicated entrepreneur with the passion of starting projects in the online as well as the offline space. Alborz was born and raised in Germany and that is where he started his entrepreneurial journey at an early age. He founded a real-estate business before moving to Dubai to start SnappCard – a consumer engagement and customer loyalty platform that is tailored to Food & Beverage sector. His passion is everything startup and food related."

Katral Neda Hassan
Founder of In2 Consulting FZ LLC

As a user experience specialist I have dedicated the last 10 years of my life to learning and developing optimal user experiences. Working within an agency setting, I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of different UX projects, strategy engagements and clients. Most specifically I have been involved in the planning and managing of large-scale web initiatives. My main responsibilities included strategic IA analysis and IA development; user experience design and usability auditing; usability testing; accessibility auditing; and web analytics.

Specialties: Keywords which describe what I do best: user centred design, interaction design, information architecture, usability and user research, taxonomy development, wireframe development, web site navigation, management information systems, business and market analysis and web analytics.

Dario De Angelis
Program Manager Growth Hacking - Foodics

Dario is an Aerospace Engineer, Digital Marketing expert, Growth Hacker, Software as a Service sales master. 

With an Aerospace Engineer background, Dario is a Digital Marketing expert, a Cloud SaaS master and a curious growth hacker. Thanks to his heterogeneous background, Dario has helped tech companies and startups to quickly validate, launch and scale new projects and ideas both as an employee and a mentor. He is currently the Program Manager for Growth Hacking at Foodics, the number one POS in the Middle East and has a wide variety of interests including music, movies and sports. 

Zahra Nasrallah
Social Media consultant at Social Addicts

Zahra Nasralla brings forward years of Marketing experience, having worked as a consultant aiding companies harness Social Media Solutions to grow their business. She is the Founder of Social Addicts, a company designed to generate market share and develop leads through the use of tailored Social Media Strategies for any size enterprise

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.

Anmar Georges
Field Marketing Manager – MENA at SOTI

Anmar has an extensive experience in product management and business development. He brings forward a 5 years of experience having worked as marketing specialist in multinational companies like Nokia, Microsoft, Lenovo and now with SOTI. Specialized in product marketing and GTM plans execution in different markets heading all marketing activities, planning and budgeting as well as a rich experience building the country marketing business strategy from scratch and drive execution strategies on a country localized level.  

Rami Alajrami
Regional Director MENA - SOTI Inc.

Rami is the Regional Director of SOTI in the Middle East and North Africa,SOTI INC. is a leader in Enterprise Mobility Solutions, Rami helped growing the team of SOTI Globally from 80 to +400 employees, and established SOTI Dubai branch to manage MENA sales and marketing operations, during the last 4 years SOTI operations in MENA expanded to reach local presence in Morocco, Egypt, UAE, and Istanbul.Rami is introducing SOTI as an incubator of B2B Startups and working actively with many government\private entities, OEMs, and Operators to bring to life a library of localized B2B apps that supports various industries such as education, healthcare, retail and hospitality. To help our community adopt most advanced and innovative technologies applied globally.Using those localized B2B Apps, He aims to have a digitalized databases and contents that can reflect more of a realistic reflection of our current applied systems and help improving the level of provided services in different sectors supporting different verticals. Rami holds master’s degree in computer engineering and worked as a teacher assistant in the Near East University in Cyprus. 

Walied Albasheer
Founder & CEO, Stationery Inc.

Walied is an Intrapreneur turned entrepreneur after years of experience in E-business innovation, corporate strategy & startup management . He has significant exposure in Product Development, E-Business, Digital Media, Enterprise Architecture, Technology Transformation, Project Management, Enterprise Performance Management, Management Information System & Customer Relationship Management. Walied have worked in UAE, GCC, Middle East, Europe & Far east, with industries such as government, tourism, hospitality, real estate, sports, events, finance, aviation, marketing agency .

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Dubai 2015 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

  • Giorgio
  • Aya
  • Abdul
  • Omar
  • Rami
  • Emanuele
  • Ahmad


Tina Yazdi

Tina an ex-market launcher at Uber challenger (and Middle East's latest unicorn) - Careem! She also has +3 years of experience working with and coaching early-mid stage startups on their business and operation models in the MENA region. She has a background in advertising as a Strategic Planner with Leo Burnett MENA. Talk to her if you want to know about scaling up, expanding to new markets, operations and the Middle East!

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