Startup Weekend Ras Al-Khaimah

    Thursday, November 20 - 22, 2014

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

Event Alerts and Updates

Get the latest on Techstars Startup Weekend, Ras Al Khaimah, and other local events through Techstars Startup Digest.

Oops! Double-check that email address.

Startup Weekend Ras Al-Khaimah

Thursday, November 20 - 22, 2014

Thursday, November 20 - 22, 2014
Event starts at 5:30 pm

Higher Colleges of Technology

RAK, United Arab Emirates

Buy Tickets

Ever wondered what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

The professional and personal challenges, the high and lows, the failures and the success?Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011.

The non-profit organization is headquartered in Seattle, Washington but Startup Weekend organizers and facilitators can be found in over 200 cities around the world. From Mongolia to South Africa to London to Brazil, people around the globe are coming together for weekend long workshops to pitch ideas, form teams, and start companies.

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.

Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a cofounder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups. If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur, register now for the best weekend of your life!


Thursday November 20th

5:30 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 & Begin Work
Teams start forming, discussing ideas and taking 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

10:00 pm
Finished for the day.

Friday November 21st

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

9:00 pm
Finished for the day.

Saturday November 22nd

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!


Youth Coach & Columnist, The National

Khalid Al Ameri is an Emirati opinion writer for The National, a motivator, a social commentator, and a recent graduate from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. With nearly 10,000 Twitter followers, Khalid has built a formidable reputation amongst the UAE’s young and social media savvy generation. His experience ranges from sailing on energy ships around the world, investments for the government sector, starting up a food and beverage company based in Abu Dhabi, to now working with youth and students on career development and life planning. Khalid’s flair for motivational speaking through social media as well as face-to-face events in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has positioned him as one of the most popular and engaging presenters to learn from. UAE students from all cultures and backgrounds attend his career talks, which cover issues such as taking your first job and shaping your career and by drawing on his personal experience from mentors, his advice on life issues for the younger generation is invaluable. Today, his understanding of the country’s youth culture will enable you to better understand the deeper meaning of success and happiness, how it can be measured and how its use in education can open doors of opportunity in your life and that of your students that you never knew existed.

Event Judges

Dubai District Manager, RAK Bank

Fahad Tawhid is an Emirati national with nine years of work experience in the UAE. In his currently role as District Manager of RAKBANK branches, Fahad is in charge of seven of the Bank’s Dubai branches and is very much involved in handling small business customers. He also runs the training and induction program across the entire branch network subdivision. Fahad comes from a family of successful entrepreneurs in the country and is keen to launch his own ventures after the right experience in the banking sphere.  

CEO, SEED Group and the Private Office of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum

Hisham Al Gurg, an Emarati Nationality, has over 18 years of experience in setting up and running new ventures in the MENA region. Mr. He is a pioneer in the region for his visionary approach, high profile networking, and for concluding and managing large regional projects and investments worth more than 1.06 billion USD.   Presently, he is managing the private investments and strategic partnership's activities of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum. He is also the CEO of Al Fajer Investments & Development, an investment division of Al Fajer Enterprises, a holding group of companies owned by His Highness Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum. Both Sheikhs are members of the Royal family of Dubai.   As the CEO of Seed Group, he is managing 8 growing companies in 6 diversified industries with other UAE and international partners. In 2010, Hisham has launched 3 businesses in the Luxury Apparel industry and established Sales and Marketing offices in 5 different countries including New York, London, Paris, Milan, and Hong Kong.   He is also the UAE sponsor of the Chinese petroleum giant "Sinopec Petroleum". Sinopec Petroleum is one of the largest energy corporations in the world, headquartered in Beijing.   Hisham is the Director of Signature Group, an International Private Equity that focuses on emerging markets such as the Middle East, India, and Africa. Signature Group also advises on $1.5 billion worth of investments.   He is a Bachelor’s Degree holder from Southwest Texas State University (San Marcos, Texas). He is also a former fireman and paramedic certified by the State of Texas. 

Founder, Khayarat

Najla Al-Midfa is General Manager of Sheraa - Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center - a government entity that aims to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and provide them with a launchpad for success. She is also Founder of Khayarat, a platform that enables young Emiratis to make informed career choices.   In her previous role, as Senior Manager at Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, Najla led a team of business counselors through the due diligence process of selecting ventures for financing.   Prior to joining Khalifa Fund, Najla was a senior associate at McKinsey and Company‘s New York office. Her experience also includes roles within PricewaterhouseCoopers and Shell. Najla is a board member of United Arab Bank, and Vice-Chairperson of Young Arab Leaders. She holds an MBA from Stanford University, and is a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Middle East Leadership Initiative.

Prashant Gulati

 Prashant Gulati is an EXPERIENCED TECHNOLOGY ENTREPRENEUR with a track record of growing 7-figure and larger lines of business with expertise in software product management, digital marketing strategy and business development. He is skilled at building teams and delivering projects in both the developed and developing worlds. 

Coaches and Mentors

Asif Khan

A graduate of NUST and  former research fellow at Stanford, Asif Khan is a technopreneur with a knack of running successful startups such as Probist, Anhance, HireNinja and xState. His products have been internationally accepted by millions of people and he is currently working on a digital real estate solution to help progress the real estate industry of Pakistan into the modern world.

Dario De Angelis
Sales Development Representative @ Elastic

Dario is an Aerospace Engineer turned into a Software Sales Specialist. After launching a VC-backed startup, which was incubated by H-farm, and a 4 years experience at Docebo, a Cloud B2B learning management solution, Dario is now working as Sales Development Representative for Elastic, makers of Elastic Search. In his free time Dario enjoys producing music and DJing, playing volleyball and learning new things.

Co-Founder, White Payments

Jean is the Co-Founder of White, making online payments for entrepreneurs and startups in the Middle East ridiculously simple. He previously started four companies in Canada, his first at 14 and his most recent, Glimpse, as part of Canada’s The Next 36 program. He also worked for Booz & Company in Dubai and holds a Bachelor of Engineering from McGill and Stanford University.

Senior Product Manager-Express, Aramex

Karim Jaber is the Senior Product Manager at Aramex, one of the leading global logistics and transportation solutions providers, and the first company from the Arab world to go public on the NASDAQ stock exchange.  The company is currently listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM: ARMX).   Karim has over 14 years of experience in customer support and sales. Since joining in 2003, he has been managing customer relations, sales strategies and products. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Computer Sciences from the Institut Pédagogique National Électronique et Technique (IPNET) in Lebanon. Karim is an avid reader and painter. 

Founding Partner, Astrolabs

Louis Lebbos is the Founding Partner of Astrolabs who is passionate about Entrepreneurship, Startups, Technology, Company Cultures, Economic Development,and Social Enterprise. He is interested in Crowd Behavior, Decision Making, Business Model Analysis, Viral Factors, Systems Thinking, Productivity, White Space Management, Statistical Thinking. Louis is currently growing AstroLabs which focuses on supporting tech entrepreneurs in the MENA region and beyond. He is also the Co-Founder & Managing Director of Namshi & was an Associate at McKinsey & Company. He graduated from Harvard Business School with an MBA in General Management, Strategy & North Carolina State University with Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering. 

Senior IT Manager-UAE, Aramex

Senior Procurement Manager-UAE, Aramex

Mohamed Basiouny is the Head of Procurement and Contracts of Aramex. He was born in Egypt and graduated from Helwan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Trade and Business Administration. He is a Certified International Procurement Professional and Certified Supply Chain Manager.  Mohamed worked with CNBC Arabia TV Chanel from 2003 to 2006 as Regional Purchasing and Logistics Officer then with IBM as Regional Sourcing Specialist from 2006 to 2007.

Operations Manager, Aramex

Mohammed Tarzi is the Operations Manager of Aramex responsible in designing business integrarion between operations, sales, quality and marketing. He developed an effective line of branch operations  leaders. He was involved in setting up branch operations budgets, manpower plans and developing a system to measure KPIs for all operations levels. Mohammed has built 4 major Aramex operations branches and 7 Aramex-UAE government outlets around the UAE. He worked on projects such as Ikea home delivery solutions; Citrus TV logistics, order flow and delivery project; UAE Ministry of Justice courts project where Aramex was able to lift the production from 63% to 97% within 5 years; Air Miles points redemption supply chain; Microsoft Windows 7 distribution project; RAK Government courts distribution project;  Dubai Multi Commodities Centre delivery & pickup project; and Dubai Courts delivery solutions project. Mohammed is a graduate of Ajman University of Science and Technology with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science.

CEO, MENA Commerce

Moustafa Mahmoud is the CEO and Founder of the first pure-play Ecommerce R&D startup in the Middle East, MENA Commerce. He is a serial Ecommerce entrepreneur with 10 years of experience in the UAE and multiple Ecommerce startups with successful exits. Moustafa is the Founder of the "E-Commerce in UAE" community and Member of the Advisory Board at the Canadian University in Dubai. He is a Young Arab Leader  mentor, invited guest speaker, author, and contributor to everything Ecommerce related in the region. Moustafa holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in Ecommerce and Eletronic Commerce from the University of California, Berkeley. 

Customer Service Manager-UAE, Aramex

Muneer Ahmed is the Senior UAE Customer Service Manager at Aramex, one of the leading global logistics and transportation solutions providers, and the first company from the Arab world to go public on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The company is currently listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM: ARMX)   Muneer has a 9 years of experience in customer support. Since joining in 2005 . From past 4 years he has been managing customer experience, setting stations customer service strategies and supporting product after sales. He is also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and a certified coach. 

Founder & CEO, Elevision Media

Niall is the Founder & CEO of Elevision Media & former Managing Director of Logix Group in Canada. As a long time entrepreneur, Niall has been establishing and operating businesses in Canada and abroad for over 15 years. In his current role at Elevision Media, Niall has built one of the regions fastest growing media companies, quickly becoming the regional leader in Digital Out of Home Media. With a proven ability to identify opportunities and to create and execute on strategy, Niall's strengths and interests are focused on business development, deal making and brand building. He is a graduate of Marion Graham Collegiate. 

Trainer/Consultant, The International Training Center of the ILO

Sadaf Abid is a certified development and entrepreneurship expert, trainer, consultant, and a writer. She specializes in youth and women entrepreneurship, development of education sector, gender mainstreaming and human resource strategy of development organizations. The areas of her academic and professional interest are Know About Business (KAB) ToTs, reform of the institutional governance architecture, civil paths to peace and policy planning. Presently, she is working for GIZ as a short-term expert to develop policy for TVET teachers all over Pakistan. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation) or GIZ which is an international enterprise owned by the German Federal Government, operating in many fields across more than 130 countries. It primarily works with states, state agencies, and the private sector. Its headquarters are located in Bonn and Eschborn, Germany. Earlier, she has worked in South Asia, Middle East, and Europe with the organizations such as the ILO (International Labor Organization) and ITC-ILO (International Training Centre of the ILO-Turin) and the Government of Pakistan. She has also worked as an editor, script writer, TV show anchor and likes generating ideas for fiction writing and documentary movies. 

Senior Supply Chain Manager, Aramex

Sezen Sayoglu
Country Development Manager at Shedd

Sezen is a marketing professional with leadership experience in e-commerce and technology industries in emerging markets. She is a technology enthusiast who is curious to learn about new trends, platforms, and tools which change the way people communicate, consume and reach information. As a quick learner and self-starter, she had the chance to contribute in growth of several start-ups and manage multi-functional international teams.

Director of Marketing & Digital, Aimia Middle East

Tarik Qahawish is the Director of Marketing and Digital at Aimia Middle East, a global leader in loyalty management that also runs Air Miles Middle East. Tarik has over 15 years of experience in the digital field starting with one of the first eCommerce food startups in Canada,, back in 1997. He then joined Netvention, a search and text-mining startup in 2000 that targeted telcos & database firms which was later acquired by Dow Jones in 2008. Tarik joins the region after a 7 year stint at Aeroplan Canada where he launched several eCommerce products including an online affiliate shopping mall and since 2010 he has been primarily focused on defining and setting up the digital strategy and building up the internal digital communication capabilities for the program.

GM-MENA, GE Water and Process Technologies

Walid brings 15 years of wide experience in Water Treatment Industry sales and leadership within the Middle East and Africa. He started his career in Nalco in Kuwait then moved to GE in 2005 where he held multiple roles across functions and geographies. He is currently the General Manager for GE Water & Process Technologies for the Middle East and North Africa commuting between Dubai in UAE and Dammam in Saudi Arabia. He has a Master’s Degree in Management from Harvard University, a Master’s Degree in Water Sciences, and a Bachelor Degree of Water & Environment Engineering from St. Joseph University. He has earned a wide range of awards related to Water Treatment studies from the Ministry of Environment & the United Nations Development Program, and in his time with GE, he was the recipient of the Sales Excellence Eagle Award for 2009, Management Award in 2008 and Diamond Award in 2007.

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 .

Senior Contact Center Manager-GCC, Aramex

Zishan Badshah is the Senior Contact Center  Manager for the GCC region at Aramex, one of the leading global logistics and transportation solutions providers, and the first company from the Arab world to go public on the NASDAQ stock exchange. The company is currently listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM: ARMX).   Zishan has  9 years of experience in the Contact Center. His managerial expertise involves strategic planning, decision-making, and team leadership with a vast experience in contact center solutions. Zishan manages both the captive and non-captive segment where Aramex provides outsourced contact center services to customers. He holds Bachelor’s Degree in  Information Technology along with a Master’s in International Business. He is also a Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (CLSSGB) and a Workplace Coach.   

Event Sponsors, and Partners

The Startup Weekend Ras Al-Khaimah 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 Ras Al Khaimah is 100% led by volunteer community leaders.
Learn how to get involved here

  • Salma
  • Jennifer
  • Aisha
    Al Zahmi
  • Shaima


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

See Full Blog