Feb 28,2017
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TechWadi hosted its 7th Annual Forum at the end of January. In addition to celebrating TechWadi’s champions during the first ever awards ceremony, the weekend took place at a timely moment in US history at the height of Trump’s proposed immigration ban, which sparked a series of relevant conversations among conference speakers with investments and ties to the region including 500 Startups Dave McClure’s opening keynote.

Friday, January 27: Annual Forum Gala Dinner

On Friday, January 27, TechWadi celebrated its decade-long anniversary when it kicked off its 7th Annual Forum. The evening was MC’d by American entrepreneur and author of Startup Rising Christopher Schroeder, who discussed TechWadi’s longstanding history and impact of the organization on the diaspora community in the Silicon Valley. Attendees also heard from Alaraby TV Network’s Abdullah Mussa, TechWadi team and board members and the Aswat Ensemble. 

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TechWadi’s 2017 Gala Award Winners 

Christopher Schroeder and TechWadi team ended its first ever Annual Forum Gala Dinner with an awards ceremony, which celebrated seven champions in the Silicon Valley and MENA ecosystems including:

  1. TechWadi Entrepreneur of the Year Jamalon’s Ala’ Al Sallal 
  2. TechWadi CEO of the Year Souq.com‘s Ronaldo Mouchawar
  3. TechWadi’s Startup of the Year Careem 
  4. TechWadi’s Ecosystem Player of the Year RiseUp
  5. TechWadi’s Mentor of the Year Yasmeen Turayhi 
  6. TechWadi’s VC Firm of the Year Wamda Capital 
  7. TechWadi Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Dr. Ossama Hassanein 

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Saturday, January 28: Annual Forum Conference

On Saturday, January 28, the Annual Forum Conference welcomed over 50 speakers on topics ranging from social innovation and commerce to HealthTech and FinTech. The conference day included: three keynotes by Dave McClure, QSTP’s Dr. Maher Hakim and Wamda Capital’s Fadi Ghandour in addition to Ted Talks and nine breakout sessions. TechWadi also welcomed nine community exhibitors as well as entrepreneurs and innovators from across the US and MENA region. 

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Coverage of the 2017 Annual Forum

Annual Forum and TechWadi mentions were plentiful with news outlets and publications in both the Bay Area and MENA region covering the weekend. View a snapshot of the coverage below:

  1. Tech leaders, workers condemn Trump’s immigration ban (SF Chronicle, January 29)
  2. MENA startup culture shows signs of early Silicon Valley (Wamda, January 30)
  3. A Muslim Entrepreneur Reacts to Trump’s Immigration Ban (Inc., January 30)
  4. US Tech Companies Criticize Trump’s Immigration Order (Voice of America, January 29) 
  5. TechWadi Annual Forum 2017 (iTech Alhurra, February 24)
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