Startup Weekend UNI Sharjah

    Thursday, February 9 - 11, 2017

  1. Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers
  4. Judges
  5. Coaches and Mentors
  6. Organizing Team
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Startup Weekend UNI Sharjah

Thursday, February 9 - 11, 2017

Thursday, February 9 - 11, 2017
Event starts at 4:00 pm

Sheraa Hub
Library Building
American University of Sharjah
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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Are you ready for the 3-day startup crash course?

Startup Weekend is a 54 hour event that brings together designers, developers, entrepreneurs, and experts from all domains to do amazing things.

All Startup Weekend events follow the same basic model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and embark on a three-day frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders with another opportunity for critical feedback!

If you want to put yourself in the shoes of an entrepreneur and contribute to a more sustainable world, be part of Startup Weekend Sharjah.

Seats are limited, so buy your tickets now!

See what it's all about

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Thursday February 9th

4:00 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 February 10th

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 February 11th

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!


Monty Adams
Founder and CEO of Jibber Jabber

Event Judges

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.

Najla Al Midfa
General Manager - Sheraa

Najla Al-Midfa is an MBA Graduate from Stanford University, in 2012 joined the board of United Arab Bank, being the first ever female Emirati woman to join an Arab bank. Najla has worked in several world renowned firms such as PWC, Shell & McKinsey.

Further in 2014 went on to found her own startup Khayarat dedicated to bridging companies and high potential Emirati talent, where she dedicates in further talent identification. In 2016, Najla went on to join as the general manager of Sheraa to help nurture young startups in UAE and encourage entrepreneurship in Sharjah. Najla has been a  key in the driving force in Sheraa where several startups have seen to succeed their way.

Prashant K Gulati
Founder of The Assembly

Prashant K. Gulati (PK), is a technology innovator, angel investor, mentor, idea accelerator, and commentator with interests in innovation, startups, entrepreneurship, technology, mobility, wireless, intelligent buildings, online media and more.

Coaches and Mentors

Natalia Wiechowski
The Middle East's leading Renaissance Woman. Award-winning, bilingual Speaker, Writer, Coach, Vlogger.

Think Natalia is a Dubai based, award-winning, bilingual Public Speaker, Impression Management Coach and Digital Influencer who radically changed her life(style) and career after a self-imposed sabbatical.  
After studying human behavior for over 13 years and spending almost nine months in isolation to find her purpose, the German social scientist (M.A.) and prospective Dr. phil. came to the conclusion that her mission is to eliminate wrong beliefs around self-marketing and “making it” in life.   This insight encouraged Think Natalia to develop a new, unique training program, which combines the most successful elements out of performance coaching, personal branding and public relations. Besides this, the Edutainer enjoys spreading her message of hope and empowerment on public stages.

Gaurav Dhar
Technology Entrepreneur & Manager at Payments Solution Provider Marshal Equipment

Marshal Equipment is the oldest Verifone partner globally, with 80-100% market share in over 15 countries in the region,  with all  of its IP developed in-house, based out of Dubai for the last 35 years. 

Marshal provides complete payments solution infrastructure - ranging from card payment solutions to government programs, to loyalty, integrations at all levels, to fuel solutions and much much more.

The company looks to cater to, foster and work with payment solution innovators in the region by providing multiple opportunities, which can be in the form of not only collaboration and potential investment, but other forms as well depending on the maturity of the company and technology.

Our experience, having worked with global partners while building in- house solutions and catering to requirements of almost every segment of the payments infrastructure - allows us to review FinTech and its application + scalability in the truest sense.

Gaurav has been working at Marshal for over 11 years now on covering the day to day business, delivering solutions, building partnerships and ecosystems.

He personally leads the charge on innovation and with a view to the future of payments both locally and globally via his network and clients around the world which including VC's, incubators, accelerators, and start-ups.

Tiberiu Iacomi
Founder of The Improbable Agency

The Improbable is a brand and PR agency for challengers, underdogs and misfits.

This is an agency for the companies - be them startups, SMEs or large companies - that find themselves in that inflection point where innovation in everything - from product development to operations and up to business strategy and communication - is key to their survival / growth.

The agency works with 12 companies from 3 continents and 6 different industries - ranging from e-commerce to IT and up to digital media and edtech.

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.

Sana Rahim
Strategic Marketing and Brand Development Consultant

Sana Rahim previous worked in Apple with an extensive experience of more than 9 years in sales, marketing and event management within UAE. With a background in International Business & Marketing Communications, and a passion for consumer psychology as well as brand experience, I have worked on a diverse range of projects that caters to Electronics, Retail, Healthcare, Food & Beverage, Hospitality, Non-profit organisations and now Media and Entrepreneurship sectors.Currently I am practicing as a Strategic Marketing and Brand Development Consultant, which involves designing blue prints under this category at a strategic level for renowned organisations like Al Tayer Group, Landmark Group as well as SMEs.I am also a practicing researcher having successfully shared my research in UK and UAE. Furthermore, I am also an acting mentor for startups and budding entrepreneurs in this region across various panels (Abu Dhabi Global Market, Google for Entrepreneurs, Middlesex University)

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 .

Zaen Hamid

Works at Astrolabs

Ibrahim Tadros
Director of Special Projects at Wamda

Mahbod Azadian
Co-founder and CTO at Mosaikx

Petar Stojanov
Co-founder at Ebtikar

Dr. Petar has navigated multiple careers across three continents, from academic research scientist and lecturer in Australia, to corporate technical consultant in Germany, before settling in the UAE as a management consultant and entrepreneur.

In 2016, Petar founded Ebtikaar, a boutique innovation advisory. In less than a year, Ebtikaar has executed a portfolio of successful projects across the UAE, including the region’s first academically supported entrepreneurship accelerator mentorship program, as well as building entrepreneurship and innovation competencies in the Dubai Government under the highly acclaimed EXPO and Dubai 10X initiatives, as well as developing innovation competencies with the UAE Ministry of Education. Nominated for the 2017 Arabian Business Mentor of the Year award, Petar is a contributing writer for Entrepreneur ME, Arabian Business and Inc. Arabia and regularly speaks on his favoured topic; the
Science of Disruptive Innovation.

Amal Amine
IBM Cloud Developers Ecosystem & Startups

Monica Morcos
IBM Cloud Developers Ecosystem & Startups

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.

Organizing Team

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

  • Muhammad
  • Sali
    El Agab
  • Lubna
  • Ahmed
  • Najla
    Al Ansari
  • Sana
  • Naser
    Al Sughaiyer


Nadine Saadi
Product Manager

Nadine Saadi is an ambitious and well-rounded technology development and delivery professional with 5 years of progressive experience in a highly competitive, entrepreneurial and innovation-driven environment. Nadine started as a software developer at the commercialization arm at Flinders University in South Australia. She later spun out the company, leading the product development and taking it from a minimum viable status to a scalable award-winning enterprise SaaS platform through strategic planning, working with stakeholders at every level, proactively engaging and servicing users, and representing the company in boardrooms and international conferences in Australia, Canada and Malaysia. Nadine brings a natural ability for process and product optimization, achieving organizational targets, and effective communication. 

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