Meet our Mentors
TechWadi’s expansive network of mentors and coaches includes accomplished and fast-rising entrepreneurs, professionals, and investors seeking to actively support entrepreneurship and innovation.
Mentors coach entrepreneurs in business practices; counsel on business expansion opportunities; provide access to strategic partners, investors, or clients; and act as a sounding-board for new ideas and challenges. We aim to provide effective mentorship opportunities to over 200 MENA companies in the next 5 years.
TechWadi 100 Charter Members
A network of highly-accomplished entrepreneurs, executives, and investors dedicated to mentoring high-impact entrepreneurs in the MENA region, TechWadi Charter Members pledge to engage “heart and mind” to giving back to the MENA community in an effective and impactful way. Charter Members are also members of the TechWadi Board of Advisors and, as a network of dedicated and passionate high net-worth individuals, are the natural core of the MENA region’s future.
Founder & CEO, Offerna.com
Abdullah is a serial entrepreneur. He founded GlobalTelecom, a telecom infrastructure services company in Egypt. Abdullah also co-founded AMANT Antennas, a wireless design firm. Prior, he worked for Alcatel-Lucent Middle East, where he managed pre-sales activities for mobile wireless carriers across the region. Abdullah is currently pursuing his MBA at Stanford`s Graduate School of Business where he is intimately familiar with the university`s entrepreneurship activities as the President of the Entrepreneurs Club. Abdullah holds a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from Cairo University and Virginia Tech respectively. While a student at Cairo University, he helped co-found the Egypt chapter of the IEEE Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) program. As a result, Abdullah is intimately familiar with the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the MENA region as well as a large sub-section of current entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Partner Architect, Microsoft
Ahmad AbdulKader is a Partner Architect and Development Manager in Microsoft Corporation head ing a center of excellence on Machine Learning and Big-Data. Ahmad has a long career as a Machine Learning practitioner at Microsoft and Google. Before his current role, Ahmad led a number of core teams in Microsoft’s adCenter where he oversaw the transformation of the center to become a viable competitor to Google in the online advertising space. Prior to that, he led several teams in Microsoft Bing and helped it to become a formidable competitor to Google in the search space. At Google, Ahmad worked on Book-Search where he helped build OCR engines for many languages and helped build ML based systems that improve indexing accuracy. Ahmad also built computer vision systems that enabled privacy and navigation of Street-View imagery in Google maps. Earlier in his career, Ahmad also helped built the state of the art Handwriting Recognition technology at Microsoft. This technology is now powering all Microsoft’s touch devices such the Surface and Windows Phone. Ahmad is a renowned industry expert in Machine Learning, Neural Networks and Deep Learning.
Ahmad Al Sari
Malaz Capital, Executive Partner
Ahmad is a Co-Founder and Executive Partner of Malaz Capital, a Riyadh-based private equity and venture capital investment company specializing in knowledge-based companies. His career over the past 40 years parallels the history of IT development in Saudi Arabia. He started as a computer programmer in 1970 at the Information Technology Center (ITC) of King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals and became ITC Director in 1976. In 1979, Ahmad co-founded Al-Khaleej/Al-Falak Group which is now a leading, diversified information technology group offering IT products and services in the Middle East, with around 3500 staff members. A group company, Al-Khaleej Training & Education was taken public in 2007. In 2000, he co-founded Malaz Group, a venture capital group specializing in IT private equity investments worldwide. He graduated with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1970. He is a current or former member of the boards or committees of over 18 companies and non-profit organizations.
Ahmed is a veteran investor and VC from California with over 25 years of experience in top executive and management positions. Ahmed’s investment track record over the last 17 years includes the execution of numerous successful transactions in technology, Internet, healthcare and financial services at various stages of development. He has executed many rewarding exits including several IPO’s on the NASDAQ. He relocated to Egypt in 2006 as the CEO of EFG-Hermes Private Equity. He subsequently founded Sawari Ventures, to which he brings a wealth of experience, superb industry insight and an invaluable international network.
Ali is founder and Chief Investment Officer at Caturra Capital. Previously, Ali was Vice President of Product Management at AdMob, responsible for the company’s product strategy, roadmap, and business operations. Prior to joining AdMob, Ali co-founded and launched Ripple TV, the World’s first geo-targeted and Web-enabled out-of-home TV network. Previously, he held senior and executive management positions at Microsoft, where he developed and launched services including MSN Messenger and MSN Mobile, and at Yahoo!, where he led teams behind services including Yahoo! Web Search, Yahoo! Mobile Search, Yahoo! Local Search and Yahoo! Maps. At Yahoo!, Ali was instrumental to the successful completion of several strategic company initiatives, including the Yahoo! Developer Network, the Yahoo! Geo-Tagging Service, the Yahoo! Location Targeting Service and the Yahoo! Search API. Ali was formerly Founder and CEO of BuildPoint.com, the World’s first online marketplace for the building materials and construction industries. He is the author of nearly two dozen papers and patents in the data storage and information retrieval fields. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and an MBA and MPhil from Oxford University.
Chief Technical Officer, Cloudera
Before co-founding Cloudera in 2008, Amr was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Accel Partners. Prior to joining Accel he served as Vice President of Product Intelligence Engineering at Yahoo!, and ran one of the very first organizations to use Hadoop for data analysis and business intelligence. Amr joined Yahoo after they acquired his first startup, VivaSmart, in July of 2000. Amr holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from Cairo University, Egypt, and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
Atef is Chairman of Aurum Capital Management and board member of UC Berkeley International House. He started in academia as a professor at the University of Southern California and later as a research scientist at IBM in San Jose. He is an eminently successful entrepreneur, having co-founded two high technology companies in the data storage industry: Trimedia Corp. and Stormedia Corp. as well as two investment management companies: Aurum Capital Management and Aurum Securities. Atef is active in educational philanthropy through his Eltoukhy Family Foundation. The Foundation has granted fellowships to distinguished Ph.D. students at Cal Berkeley and is currently establishing a K-12 school in Sharkia, Egypt. The Helmy Eltoukhy School will include a library and computer room and will serve local school children of all ages. Atef’s educational background includes BS and MS degrees from Cairo University, an MS degree from the American University in Cairo and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.
Managing Director, Exalt Capital Partners
Ayaz is a Managing Director of Exalt Capital. Previously he was a Managing Director in ePlanet’s Silicon Valley and New Delhi offices. Ayaz focuses principally on the Fund’s expansion and later-stage investments in India and the United States and has represented ePlanet’s investment interests in Clickmarks, Cyanea, Ember, IXI, Karodpati and Techpacific. Prior to joining ePlanet, Ayaz was the Director of M&A at Crosby Financial Holdings in London, where he managed the cross-border corporate finance advisory and investment initiatives of one of the leading Asia-focused specialist investment banks. While at Crosby, Ayaz focused on both M&A and PE investments and worked in London, Singapore and Seoul. Prior, Ayaz was the Associate Director of Corporate Finance at Peregrine Investments, a pan-Asian investment bank, where he was responsible for developing Peregrine’s corporate finance and private equity businesses in the Middle East, and for identifying and evaluating Middle East to Asia investment opportunities. Ayaz was also an associate in the Corporate Finance Group of Bear, Stearns & Co. in New York, where he was responsible for North American and Asian transaction execution. Ayaz is a summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Middlebury College, holding a B.A. in Economics.
Dolly is Founder and President of Middle East Online (MEOL), based in Beirut, Lebanon. In 1995, MEOL pioneered the ushering of the Internet age in the Middle East as the first and only distributor for Netscape products and services. MEOL led the development of a variety of advanced services for ISPs and enterprise customers in billing, load balancing and security. Dolly is also a Director of Mectapharm, Mecattaf Trading and Mecta Offshore, a diversified family holding specialized in pharmaceuticals, consumer products and financial services. Dolly has extensive experience in fundraising and event planning for non-profit organizations. She has served for 9 years on the Board of Trustees of Crystal Springs Uplands School and recently served as President of the Modern Art Council for the San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art (SFMOMA). As a volunteer community leader, she has chaired many successful events for the Junior League of San Francisco (JLSF), SFMOMA, PARCA, Save the Children and the San Francisco Symphony. She has received awards in recognition for her community services, including Volunteer of the Year for JLSF.
Edgar was appointed the CEO and President of Qualtré in 2008. From 2006-2008, Edgar rejoined 3Com, a global data networking leader, as the President and Chief Executive Officer. At 3Com, he led the acquisition of H-3C, the joint venture between 3Com and Huawei and was H-3C’s Chairman. Edgar was a General Partner at Matrix Partners from 2000 to 2006, a leading technology venture capital firm. From 1995 to 1999, he led 3Com’s workgroup business and oversaw this unit’s five-fold growth to over $1 billion in revenue and a leading market share position. Prior to joining 3Com in 1985, Edgar worked in various engineering and management positions at companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500. Edgar holds a Diplome d’Ingenieur from Ecole Centrale de Paris, a M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MBA with distinction from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Fadi is the Founder, President & CEO of Aramex International, a position he has held for the past 28 years. Aramex is one of the leading logistics and transportation companies in the Middle East and South Asia and was the first company from the Arab World to go public on the NASDAQ stock exchange. In 2002, Fadi, in collaboration with Abraaj, took the Company private. Today Aramex is a public company again, trading on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM). Fadi is a Founding Partner in Maktoob.com, the world’s largest Arab online community, recently acquired by Yahoo!. He also serves on the Advisory Board of the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business at the American University of Beirut. Between 2003 and 2005, he was the Middle East and North Africa Area Chairman of the Young Presidents Organization. Fadi is actively involved in community socio-economic development and NGO work in the region. He serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Jordan River Foundation, and Chairman of "National Microfinance Bank" in Jordan, and is founder of the newly formed "Arab Foundation for Sustainable Development."
Ford is an expert in Clean Tech and IT. Most recently, he was a Partner with Silicon Valley-based Khosla Ventures, focusing on breakthroughs in mechanical and electrical efficiency, solar energy and information technology. Ford has led the firm’s investments in EcoMotors, Kaai, PVT, Ramu, Soraa, and Topanga. He sits on the boards of some of these companies, as well as other technology leaders such as Blade Network Technologies. He was previously senior vice president and general manager of the Enterprise Networking Group at Broadcom. Ford co-founded and served as president and CEO of Agere Inc., a semiconductor manufacturer, until it was acquired by Lucent Microelectronics; he later became vice president of the Processing, Aggregation and Switching business unit at Lucent’s Agere Systems. Before founding Agere, he was part of the founding executive team at Dazel Corporation (acquired by Hewlett-Packard) and co-founder of MegaKnowledge (acquired by IntelliCorp). Ford received a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Co-founder and Vice-Chairman, NavLink
George is co-founder, Vice Chairman and Chief Strategy officer of NavLink Inc. Established in 1996, NavLink is the leading provider for data services, managed hosting services, and managed enterprise networking solutions in 17 countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. NavLink serves the global and regional Fortune 100 enterprises and governments through strategic alliances and partnerships with the regional Telcos. Prior to founding NavLink, George was EVP and Director of Niray International U.S.A, an investment vehicle for a multinational corporation. He co-founded CIS, a leading distributor for HP in over 40 MEA countries, and established Data Management as the first Internet Service Provider in the ME. He is a Director of IDM, a leading ME ISP, and of the Chammas Group, which has diversified interests in petroleum, manufacturing and IT. George holds a B. Sc. (Mechanical Engineering) Cum Laude from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He served as president for the French American Chamber of Commerce (FACC) from 1989 to 1993 and currently serves on the advisory board for the Center for Middle East Public Policy of RAND and as a director emeritus for the FACC.
Habib is Chairman of the Board, CEO and Co-Founder of Lahlouh, Inc., a full service marketing, printing and fulfillment house. Building on the lessons Habib and his brothers learned from working for their father in Syria, they built Lahlouh, Inc. into one of the largest companies in the Northwest, employing over 300 professionals. At their state-of-the-art facilities, Lahlouh offers turnkey innovative solutions to Fortune 500, from conceptual design through fulfillment and distribution. Clients are the Who’s Who of Silicon Valley including Yahoo!, Stanford University, Google, Genentech/Roche, Intel and Oracle to name but a few. In addition to the full range of marketing services they offer, Lahlouh, Inc. has dived into software development with a proprietary SaaS model for online ordering and fulfillment. Habib is President and Co-Founder of the Syrian American Association of Northern California as well as a Board Member of Kalima Foundation, a non-profit based in Syria that owns both a hospital and a senior center.
Co-Founder & CEO, Ribbon
Hany is co-founder & CEO at Ribbon - a payments company that makes multi-platform in-stream payments possible. Hany studied Computer Science & Philosophy at The Ohio State University and was part of the youngest team ever accepted into the AngelPad accelerator. Hany built his first business when he was twelve years-old and started programming when he was eleven years-old. He built a large community of game websites during his teenage years, reaching a peak of 500,000 unique users and selling tens of millions of ad unit impressions. An Egyptian, he previously built Kolena (meaning “all of us” in Arabic), an online interactive town-hall using Facebook Connect that helped tens of thousands of Egyptians share their ideas for change during the Egyptian revolution.
Managing Director, Mentor Graphics Egypt
Hazem co-founded Anacad® S.A.R.L. (France), a company specialized in software development and integrated circuits (ICs) design, where he held the position of head of the computer aided design (CAD) department. In 1991, he became responsible for the overall management of Anacad, overseeing software development, ICs design, marketing and sales. In a three-year period, he managed to more than double the volume of business, which reached 50% of the overall revenues of Anacad® Corporate. In 1994, Mentor Graphics Corporation acquired Anacad, and for the following four years, Hazem was the Analog-Mixed Signal (AM/S) engineering director worldwide as well as overseeing management of Anacad in France. In 1995, he co-founded Mentor Graphics Egypt while running French operations, assuming full responsibilities as managing director In 1998 of Mentor Graphics Egypt, the Arab area headquarters. Hazem obtained a Bachelor’s in Engineering from Cairo University, a Master’s degree in the field of electronic design and and a PhD in electronic design automation from the Polytechnic Institute at Grenoble, France.
Kais has a strong history of establishing and expanding successful information management businesses, both domestically and internationally. Prior to founding Delegata, he was the Managing Director of Indus (formerly The Indus Group) and the head of International Operations and Strategic Relations. He was recruited by the Chairman of the Board to set strategic direction for the company and establish and expand international operations. His success in opening new global markets helped make Indus the world’s largest provider of software solutions for enterprise asset management and positioned the company for a successful IPO. Prior to his career at Indus, Kais founded SKAKS Technology, a privately held corporation providing leading-edge imaging systems and integration services to clients in government and industry. Under his direction, SKAKS acquired TERA Corporation, a provider of imaging technology, document management systems, power alternatives, and facilities management. His earlier accomplishments also include the role of Deputy Managing Director of International at CSC, where he managed over $400M in operations and brought over $120M of new business in one year.
Karim Fahmy is Director for Global Business Development at Intel Capital. In 2009, he spearheaded the formation of the Intel Capital Advisory Board. Prior to joining Intel Capital, Karim was Worldwide Marketing Director for Intel, based in Shanghai. Prior to his assignment in Shanghai, Karim was the territory General Manager for MENA where he started up Intel offices in Cairo, Beirut and Casablanca while growing the business by double-digits on a yearly basis. Karim was instrumental in bringing Intel’s increased focus to this emerging region. He also championed the creation of the $50M Intel Capital fund for the Middle East & Turkey. Prior assignments at Intel included roles in software development, operations, manufacturing, and marketing. During his 15 years at Intel, Karim was based in North America, EMEA and Asia. Prior, Karim worked at Schlumberger as an operations engineer in locations across Europe, Asia & Africa. Karim has a BSME from the American University in Cairo and a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from North Carolina State University.
InterWest Partners, Partner
Khaled joined InterWest’s IT group in 2005, focusing on investments in the communications, enterprise and data center infrastructure sectors, including systems, software and semiconductors. Prior to joining InterWest, Khaled invested in IT companies for Alta Partners. Prior to that, Khaled spent 16 years with startups in the networking and telecom industries. He was president and CEO of FlowWise Networks and general manager and VP at Ipsilon. Khaled received his B.A. and M.A. in mathematics and social and political sciences from Cambridge University.
comScore, Founder & CEO
Magid is an entrepreneur and expert on market research, consumer modeling, and information solutions. He co-founded comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) in 1999, an Internet Market Intelligence company where he remains president and CEO. Prior to comScore, Magid was founder and CEO of Paragren Technologies, Inc., which is now part of Siebel Systems. Magid also spent 10 years in various leadership roles at Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), serving as President and COO and later Vice Chairman. Since January 2008, he has been a member of the board of directors of Milo.com, a company founded by his son, Jack Abraham, which enables shoppers to research products online and buy at local stores where the item is available. Magid has authored articles in a variety of academic and industry journals, including the Harvard Business Review, and Journal of Marketing Research. He is a frequent speaker at the marketing industry’s biggest conferences worldwide, discussing Internet industry trends and marketing subjects of vital significance. Magid earned a Ph.D. in Operations Research and an M.B.A. from MIT. He also holds an Engineering degree from the Ecole Polytechnique, France's science and engineering school.
Maha is a technology trend spotter with deep operational experience. She joined Canaan’s Menlo Park office in March 2000 and focuses on digital media, networking and wireless investments. A thought leader with deep insight into which business models will disrupt the status quo and propel companies to market dominance, Maha has won numerous industry awards, including The Silicon Valley Business Journal 40 Under 40 award. Prior to joining Canaan, Maha held numerous executive-level roles at Qwest, including VP of Business Development and VP of eBusiness and Internet Operations. Earlier in her career, Maha was a management consultant with both the Boston Consulting Group and Price Waterhouse. Maha holds a B.A. in Economics and an M.A. in Organizational Behavior from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Economics from MIT. She currently sits on the boards of eBillme, MiNO Wireless, SenSage , Virsto and Watercooler. Maha is an active member of the MIT/ Stanford Venture Lab (VLAB), a non-profit dedicated to promoting the growth and success of high-tech entrepreneurial ventures.
Founder & CTO, RaySpan
Maha brings over 15 years of proven track record in design, development, manufacturing, management and marketing of RF, Microwave, and Optical Communication systems and subsystems. She held key management and technical positions in San Diego Research Center, UlmTech, Optical Access, LightPointe, and Tiernan Communication. Her responsibilities spanned from end-to-end video communication systems over satellite to enabling last mile wireless broadband networks using microwave and optical technologies. Her strong analytical, engineering, and physics skills allowed her to solve challenging problems from channel modeling, coding, and modulation to advanced RF and optical front end optimizations using single and multiple propagating channels. Maha holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and completed the Master Degree Program in Wireless Communication Theory and Systems, at University of California at San Diego (UCSD). She authored over 30 publications in engineering and physics and 70+ granted and pending patent applications .
Majed is CEO of Al-Faris group, the owner of the Optimiza network fo companies. An accomplished entrepreneur, Majed has 20 years of extensive experience in starting, leading and managing companies in the field of IT and telecom. Majed established and led several North American companies to success, including CTI Datacom, Application Technologies, and most recently Redline Communications, a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange (AiM) and on the Toronto Stock Exchange. He also founded and continues to serve on the board of Polymore Circuit Technologies. Majed holds a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the Washington College of Law at American University, an MBA degree in Finance from George Washington University and is an active technology Angel investor.
Mohammed is a director at the technology investment group of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), previously Mohammed was a managing partner at Arab Seed Ventures, a venture capital fund focusing on seed stage investments in the Arab region & Silicon Valley. Mohammed was also the founder and CEO of Sulaf Solutions, an IT solutions provider based in Silicon Valley. Mohammed has worked for a wide range of customers, including Cisco, Wilson Sonsini, Sun, American Express, and Excite@Home. Mohammed is an Angel investor, an advisor to VCs on business and technical matters, and an advisor to many entrepreneurs. Mohammed has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Brigham Young University.
Nayla is a Partner and Senior Director at Spencer Stuart, a global leader in executive search. She is a member of the firm's Technology, Communications & Media Practice in North America, the Private Equity Practice and the Business & Professional Services Practice. She is also a leader in the firm's Board Services Practice on the West Coast. Nayla has placed key executives at Fortune 100 through startup companies in the software (both SaaS and on-premise), digital media, communications systems and services, technology systems (including cloud computing), and professional and business services sectors. Before joining the firm in 1995, Nayla served as director of strategic planning and re-engineering at Network Equipment Technologies. She previously served as an engagement manager with McKinsey & Company in New York and began her career as an operations research analyst for Chevron U.S.A. in San Francisco. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; trustee of the World Affairs Council of Northern California; former member of the Pacific Council on International Policy; former board member of the Harvard Business School Alumni Association; and former board chair of the Harvard Business School Club of Northern California, where she remains a board member.
Nicolas is the Director of Berytech Technological Pole, the first and only technology incubator in Lebanon. He joined Berytech since its inception in 2002, and has been since then counseling and assisting Lebanese entrepreneurs in their ventures. He is part of the management team and technical advisor to Berytech Fund, a 6-Million US$ technology seed-fund geared to investing in Lebanese start-ups. He is also Associate Professor at the Faculty of Engineering of University Saint-Joseph in Beirut where he teaches computer networks, as well as entrepreneurship courses to undergraduate engineers. Nicolas has an engineering degree from ESIB (USJ), and a PhD in Networking Systems from Université Pierre et Marie Curie, France. He is also graduate of the INSEAD School of Management, France.
Ossama is an entrepreneur, mentor and venture capitalist. Over the last 35 years, he managed over $1 billion in 14 international technology funds at Berkeley International in San Francisco, Technocom Ventures in Paris, Newbridge Networks Holding in Canada, and Newbury Ventures and the Rising Tide Fund in Silicon Valley. In the 80′s, he spearheaded the mezzanine financing of 80+ IT companies that became notable successes including Oracle, Cirrus Logic, Atmel, PMC-Sierra, Linear Technologies and LSI Logic. In the 90′s, he led or co-founded six successful startups including ACC (acquired by Ericsson), Algety (merged and listed on NASDAQ), HighDeal (acquired by SAP), Highwave Optical (Listed on Euronext), NetCentrex (acquired by Comverse), and nCipher (listed on LSE). He is currently chairman of the boards of BDNA in Mountain View, Echovox in Geneva, Zong in Menlo Park and the Egyptian American Society in Silicon Valley. He served on the Boards of Advisors of Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies, UC San Francisco, and the American University in Cairo (AUC). He is a frequent guest lecturer on international business leadership at AUC, Stanford University, Santa Clara University, UC Berkeley, the University of British Columbia, and the University of San Diego.
Ray has extensive industry leadership experience and a proven ability to build alliances across market segments and within the investment community. In addition to his role as Chairman and Director at AdvancedIO, he also holds the position of Chief Technology Officer for the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority. Previously, he served as VP and General Manager of the Motorola Software Group. Prior to Motorola, he held several Executive and Senior Management roles at Nokia, Cisco Systems, Extreme Networks, AFC (Tellabs), and AT&T. At Nokia, he was responsible for the Platforms team in the Security and Mobile Connectivity Group under Enterprise Solutions. While at Cisco Systems, Ray was responsible for the Network Management Group. He also held senior management roles in Cisco’s High-end Routing Group (GSR 12000) as well as their Broadband Business Unit. He has served as the Chairman of the Computer Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE). He is on the board of several US-based start-ups and is a member of the Board at COE College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Ray holds a BSEE degree from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Saeed is the President and CEO of the Plug and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley. He is a serial entrepreneur and a seasoned executive with over 20 years of experience in founding, operating, and growing successful companies. In 1996 he co-founded Amidzad Partners, a seed and early-stage investment firm focused on investing in emerging growth companies. He has been closely involved with more than twenty new emerging growth companies including PayPal and Preview Systems. Saeed co-founded the Amidi Group in 1980, a conglomerate of privately-held business enterprises consisting of several domestic and international entities with significant manufacturing, distribution, trading, retail, and real estate holdings. For the past 23 years, he has chaired and spearheaded the operations and management of a number of the Amidi Group entities, growing the aggregate value of its assets under management to over $250M. Saeed is an active member of the technology community and a frequent contributor to numerous charitable foundations. He is also an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), a world-class network of Fortune 500 CEOs, accomplished serial entrepreneurs, and veteran financial executives.
Essam has over thirty-five years of executive business experience in sales, marketing, finance and general management in both the United States and Europe. He is the founding President of MEB International, a private investment and management consulting company. MEB International clients included EgyNet, the first private data communication carrier in Egypt, for which Essam served as CEO. Previously Essam was Managing General Partner of Equity Venture Management, an organization that managed two venture capital funds focused on high technology semiconductor and communication companies. Essam was also founding President of DAVID Systems, Inc. Prior to the above involvements Essam spent twelve years with National Semiconductor Corp. in both the US and Europe, where he held a variety of highly successful business executive management positions. Essam graduated with honors from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt with a BS in Electrical Engineering. He taught at his alma mater for three years, and completed course work for an MS degree in Electrical Engineering at San Jose State in California.
In 2000, Samih founded and became CEO of Maktoob.com, the world’s first Arabic email service and largest Arab online community with over 16 million users. Following the acquisition of Maktoob.com by Yahoo!, Samih became the Chairman and CEO of Jabbar Internet Group, which includes several leading Internet companies. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of London and a Master’s in management and international business from HEC University in France. He has several years of experience with Andersen Consulting in technology consulting, systems development, and Internet services, and co-founded Business Optimization Consultants in 1994. Samih was awarded the Al Hussein Medal for Distinguished Performance of the First Order from His Majesty King Abdullah II in 2009 in recognition of his contribution to the IT and Telecommunications sector in Jordan and the region.
Samir has over 25 years of executive responsibilities in product development, business development and consulting in the information technology and telecommunications sectors, at startups and multi-national corporations such as Xerox, IBM, HP and Cisco. He is currently the chairman of Ascendiente of Business and Technology Consulting. He also served as the Program Director of the Atos International Management Consulting consortium for ITIDA Egypt's Grow-IT capacity building program. He has played a key role in expanding HP’s telecom business 40% annually from $400M to $4B; developed new businesses through introducing vertical products and focusing on total solutions and services. Samir also served in academia where he established and chaired the Computer Science department at the University of Michigan Flint campus. Samir holds a Ph.D. in computer Science from Michigan State University, an MS in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and a BS with Honors in Electrical Engineering from Cairo University.
Sherif is CEO of PartsRiver, Inc., a Silicon Valley company specialized in spend control through data quality, with blue chip customers such as FedEx, Pepsi, and PG&E. He is founder of Saqqara Systems, which was bought by PartsRiver in 2006. Saqqara created a patented product search technology currently used by most comparison shopping sites and hundreds of major online retailers. Sherif brings extensive experience in managing multi-cultural operations with facilities in the USA, Europe, and the Middle East. He started his career at the scientific center of IBM France as a research engineer then as account manager before founding his first consulting company in Paris in 1979. Sherif holds a PhD degree from the University of Paris and a B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from Cairo University. He is fluent in English, French, and Arabic. He holds several US patents and is the author of the book “Building Database-driven Web Catalogs”, McGraw Hill 1998.
Taher served as chief scientist at Netscape Communications from 1995 to 1998 where he was recognized as the “inventor of SSL”, the foundation layer of security throughout the online industry. Taher invented several industry and government standards in data security including the DSS government standard for digital signatures. Several thousand publications have been written in the space referred to as "the Elgamal Cryptography". He also was the director of engineering at RSA Security Inc. before founding Securify in 1998 and becoming their CEO (now part of McAfee). In October 2006 he joined Tumbleweed Communications as CTO (acquired by Axway). He is an advisor to Onset Ventures, glenbrook partners, PGP corporation, Arcot Systems, Finjan, Facetime, Simplified, and Zetta, sits on the boards of Vindicia and SignaCert, Inc., and serves as Chief Security Officer of Axway, Inc. Taher has a BS degree from Cairo University as well as MS and PhD degrees from Stanford University. In April 2009, Taher was awarded the RSA Conference Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the information technology (IT) security field and, in particular, for his work on SSL.
Tarek is Managing Partner of Ideavelopers. Prior to joining Ideavelopers, he was General Manager of CID Consulting where he led the company’s aggressive growth and establishment as one of the leading consulting firms in Egypt. Tarek’s consulting work focused on strategic management issues for clients in the IT, Telecom and government sectors. Tarek started his career in Silicon Valley where he worked in technology development and later in management consulting. He holds a BSc in Electronics Engineering from Ain Shams University and an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Usama is CEO of Open Insights, LLC, a data strategy, technology and consulting firm. Previously, he was Yahoo!’s chief data officer and executive vice president of Research & Strategic Data Solutions Usama also founded and managed the Yahoo! Research organization. Prior to Yahoo!, Fayyad co-founded and led the DMX Group, a data mining and data strategy consulting and technology company, acquired by Yahoo! in 2004. Previously he co-founded and served as CEO of Revenue Scien (digiMine) and worked in leadership roles at Microsoft Research, Microsoft server division, and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Usama earned his Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and holds BSE’s in both electrical and computer engineering and Masters degrees in computer science and engineering as well as mathematics. He has published over 100 technical articles, edited two influential books, and launched and served as editor-in-chief of both the primary scientific journal and the primary newsletter in the fields of data mining.
Newbury Ventures, General Partner
Youssri brings over 25 years of experience in engineering, product management, marketing, and business development in a wide range of technologies to Newbury Ventures. He is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully cofounded, operated and exited several startups globally. Youssri is an angel investor and advisor to several startup companies. Prior to Newbury, Youssri cofounded and served as Chairman of IdealRatings, a global financial information provider for socially responsible investors. Prior to IdealRatings, Youssri co-founded and served as CEO and Chairman of ITWorx, growing it to become the largest software services provider in the Middle East with 800+ professionals. ITWorx was acquired in 2007 by a private equity consortium. While at ITWorx, Youssri led the acquisition, scaling, and successful exits of Otlob.com and El3ab.com. Youssri was also co-founder and CTO of Swan Labs. As the original inventor, Youssri capitalized on the then nascent network optimization segment, leading Swan to acquisition by F5 Networks for $43 million, doubling investors’ money in less than 12 months. Youssri received his B.Sc. in electrical engineering from Cairo University and sits on the Boards of TechWadi and Endeavor Egypt.