Oct 27,2013

Launch Event

October 28, 2013 from 20 Cities at 3:00 PM, GMT

TechWadi and the MIT Arab Startup Competition teamed up to launch this year’s competition with a regional webinar complimenting live-events across twenty Arab cities in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf countries. The entire local ecosystems was engaged in the regional Google+ Hangout, including over 2,000: students, professors, media, business professionals, government entities, established and budding entrepreneurs.

Speakers Include:

Hala Fadel

Founder, MIT Enterprise Forum, Pan-Arab Region

Hala is currently a portfolio manager for European Equities at Comgest, a $16bn fund based in Paris and Dublin. She started and now runs the Shariah fund practice within Comgest as well as the SRI (Socially Responsible) Investment practice there. She started her career as a financial analyst for Merrill Lynch in London in mergers and acquisitions. Hala graduated from HEC in France with a Masters in Financial Economics and Berkeley Haas School of Business, and holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. While at MIt she participated and won the MIT 50K business plan competition. She started Booleo, a telecom software business. Building on this experience, she started the MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition, that now receives thousands of applications from more than 20 Arab countries. She chairs the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Pan-Arab region and is a member of the Global advisory board of the MIT enterprise Forum, as well as a board member of the MIT enterprise Forum of turkey. Hala is also an Angel investor in a few start-up companies in the Middle East.

Mike Cassidy

Project Leader for Project Loon, GoogleX

Mike Cassidy is a Director at Google.  He is currently the Project Leader on GoogleX Project Loon (balloon-powered Internet for everyone).  Prior to joining Google, Mike was the Co-Founder and CEO of four start-ups: Ruba, Xfire, Direct Hit, and Stylus Innovation.  Ruba helped travelers share their favorite places and was acquired by Google.  Xfire helps gamers play online with their friends and was acquired by MTV for $110 million.  Direct Hit was a revolutionary search engine whose customers included MSN, Lycos, AOL, etc. and was acquired by Ask Jeeves for $500 million.  Stylus Innovation’s flagship product was computer telephony software Visual Voice.  Artisoft acquired Stylus for $13M.  Mike has a BS/MS in Aerospace Engineering from MIT.  He graduated from Harvard Business School.

Sandy Herz

Director of Strategic Aliances, Skoll Foundation

Sandy Herz is responsible for managing and expanding the foundation’s network of strategic relationships to drive increased resources for our portfolio of social entrepreneurs and broader market intelligence to accelerate the impact of social entrepreneurs’ innovations.
Sandy joined the foundation in 2004 as Vice President, Marketing and Communications and built its initial “connect and celebrate” programs and initiatives. In 2007, she became Director of Film & Broadcast Partnerships and focused specifically on building the foundation’s portfolio of film and media initiatives, including the flagship Stories of Change partnership with Sundance as well as BBC World, PBS NewsHour, FRONTLINE/World, National Public Radio and Public Radio International.
Sandy started her career in corporate finance in New York City, working on leveraged buyouts and restructurings during the “Bonfire of the Vanities” age before having an early mid-life crisis and discovering social entrepreneurship. Prior to joining the Skoll Foundation, Sandy worked with several innovative grassroots non-profit organizations and spent six years as Executive Director of the Software Development Forum, a leading Silicon Valley industry networking organization with 2000 members and 20 to 30 events each month designed to accelerate the adoption and proliferation of technology innovations.
She received a Bachelor of History and International Relations from Brown University, a Masters in Administration and Policy Analysis from the Stanford University School of Education and a Masters in Business Administration from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Dr. Ossama Hassanein

Chairman, TechWadi

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.

Ford Tamer

President and CEO, Inphi Corporation

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.



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