Past event…

Event Ended

Ramallah, get ready for a Startup Weekend far from typical!
This is war! A slogan not so typical for a Startup Weekend. But who said a Startup Weekend should be peaceful? Is being an entrepreneur ever peaceful? Did you think achieving success would be easy? On the path to success, there is no list of do’s and don’ts… there is just you up against the unknown. Come to this Startup Weekend to show what you’re made of. We will challenge you, bring you down, and then build you up, getting the best out of you!
Enough with the buzzwords. Let’s talk about what you will get when you join us on November 21-23. As you know, Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event where individuals form teams, develop ideas for a startup, and work on their ideas intensively. At the end of the event, you pitch your idea and the winners are announced.

That’s what we are used to. However, this Startup Weekend comes with a few cool twists!
Twist #1: The ideas pitching mechanism is a bit different this time
● Option one: You choose to keep your idea confidential and pitch it during the event just as custome.
● Option two: You can pitch your idea on this facebook group, doing that you need to state clearly one of the following:
○ “I’m participating in startup weekend with this idea: (idea) ”
○ “I’m not participating in startup weekend, but I have an idea anyone is welcome to work on during Startup Weekend: (idea)”
Note1: Please note that if you pitch your idea originally planning to show up but you couldn’t, another team is welcome to claim the idea and work on it.
Note2: Yes there will pitching as usual during the event.

Twist #2: Once we are done with the pitching, late on Thursday, there will be a speed dating between mentors and teams. Each team will get to choose their favorite mentors and be matched with one of them. What happens next? We announce the new team member who was a mentor just the day before!
Wouldn't that make the the experience of a specific mentor exclusive to one team? Absolutely not. There will always be a couple of mentors floating around for everyone! And you can have our word on this, working with some of the names will be a big surprise for all. Hint: a VC and some successful entrepreneurs. There will be some really successful minds whose stories we are all curious to know, from Palestine and the Arab region as a whole.

Twist #3: The top two finalists will be competing against startups from all over the World at aGlobal Startup Weekend competition in the U.S.
This Startup Weekend will take the competition to a whole another level. More surprises are to be revealed soon …. so stay tuned, we have so much in store for you! If you don’t show up, you won’t miss anything… but if you come, you will gain so much.

What might you gain?
Well well well … the twists mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s more! Here is a preview:
1- The two finalists are to compete in Global Startup Battle.
2- Winners will get direct access to the first accelerator in Palestine, Fastforward.
3- More to be revealed soon, stay tuned! :)

Get ready, get your dream out of the closet, and make it as real as it can get!

Schedule

Thursday

Nov 21
  • Registration Starts
  • Welcome and Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Annouce selected ideas
  • 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
  • Late dinner + Speed drafting
  • Teams-mentors matching selection
  • Teams-mentors matching announcement

Friday

Nov 22
  • Simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help

Saturday

Nov 23
  • Simple breakfast & coffee
  • Lunch
  • Preparing for Presentations
  • FINAL PRESENTATIONS
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
Platinum Sponsors
Organized & Powered By
Judges

Mohammed Musleh

Business Development Lead, Palestinian IT Association (PITA)

At PITA, Mohammed is in charge of obtaining resources and managing partners in order to achieve PITA’s goals. Mohammed started his first company, jeeran.com, back in 2000. Jeeran.com grew and has become the Yelp of the Middle East with operations across the Middle East. Mohammed was also involved in the creation of a second leading Middle Eastern Web Portal “d1g.com” and a leading Palestinian portal “Maan Souq ms.ps”.

Mohammed has extensive ICT consulting experience focusing on collaboration platforms and infrastructure related issues. Mohammed has also worked with an array of Palestinian and Jordanian companies in the area of Business Development, product development and marketing.

Mohammed has a Bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems (MIS) from The Marriott School at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Mohammed is currently a fellow in the BYU Management Society.

Taylore Valore

Principal at Sadara Ventures

Taylor is a Principal at Sadara Ventures, Palestine's first venture capital fund, where he supports pipeline development, due diligence and portfolio management. Taylor has more than seven years of experience managing technology and in the Middle East. A passionate technologist specialized in the region, Taylor was Head of Product Development at RavenPack International, a VC-backed startup, where he oversaw the commercialization of the company’s big data analytics portfolio and managed strategic partnerships with Dow Jones and others. His leadership defined RavenPack’s overall strategy and brought in the company’s first sales. Recently, Taylor worked in business intelligence product planning at Microsoft, where he led and authored that company’s market opportunity analysis for big data analytics. In the Middle East, Taylor oversaw numerous large-scale technology implementation projects at the American University in Cairo. He studied Computer Science at Carleton College and holds both an MBA from the Wharton School and an MA in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the recipient of multiple graduate scholarships and studied Arabic.

George Khadder

CMO, Yafa Energy / CMO & Co-founder, PrunuEstate / Co-founder & Board Director, Peeks

George is a seasoned entrepreneur, executive, strategic big-picture thinker, and results-focused Strategy, Product Management, Marketing & Investment professional with +16 years’ experience (+13 in Silicon Valley). His experience covers startups to large multinationals & includes Private Equity, e-commerce, web / enterprise software, EAI, healthcare, & clean tech (alternative/renewable energy & Smart Grid) verticals. For the last 4 years worked in Palestine with private sector, organizations & entrepreneurs. Prior to his current position, George was involved with several ventures, including:
- Co-founded, developed & is a Board Director @ Peeks (Empowering Technology Entrepreneurship)
- CMO, AnaBasalli.com - The Muslim Social Network & Worship Productivity App.
- Sr. Investment Manager / ICT principal @ Siraj Fund Management Company.
- Sr. Product Line Manager @ Trilliant where he was responsible for the management & creation of the world’s 1st Demand Side Management system
- Dir., Product Management & Marketing @ SureCircle where he was responsible for the management & creation of the world’s 1st fully automated self-funded dental benefit system.
- Founder & CEO @ Resource Adapter, Inc., the world’s 1st standard based Enterprise Application Integration product suite.
George holds a BS & MS in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University and course work in Marketing & E-commerce from the University of California at Berkeley.

Radi El Fassed

Co-Founder & director Arabreneur Vice President Business Development MENA Apps

Radi is Co-Founder and Program Director of Arabreneur and Vice President Business Development at MENA Apps. Arabreneur engages young entrepreneurs in their development and provide them with facilities to use their creativity and time to develop start-up companies that will provide them economic and social growth. Radi is responsible for the technical and financial due-diligence of the early stage investments and daily operations.
Additionally, he mentors entrepreneurs on business development, marketing, sales, organization development and leadership as well as supporting entrepreneurs with access to companies and investors. He also manages the partnerships development with regional and international incubators, accelerators, mentor, angel networks and VCs.
Radi has 18 years experience in the international ICT industry where he held various positions in the field of Product Development, Infrastructure Architectures, Business Strategy, Marketing & Business Development. Before joining Arabreneur, Radi worked with major telecom operators like Zain and Paltel Group. At Zain, he held the positions of Business Marketing Director and Data Strategy Director, where he supported Zain’s CEO to transform Zain from a mobile only to integrated operator. In this role he was responsible to develop and market Zain’s products and services, like connectivity, managed security and cloud computing.
At Palestinian Telecom Group, Radi held the position of Marketing Director for both Paltel Group as well as Paltel’s fixed line operations. Outside the iddle East, Radi has held various Product management and Business Development roles at AT&T and Lucent Technologies Europe Middle East and Africa. During his career he was involved in numerous projects where he advised and implemented next generation services transformation strategies for major operators like Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, KPN and Telefonica.
Radi has a MSc. in Applied Physics from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

Iyad K. Qumsieh

Co-Founder PalPay

Iyad K. Qumsieh founded PCNC Solutions Company in Bethlehem in 1997.  The company is now considered one of the leading Palestinian IT enterprises providing banks, companies, and governmental institutions with Electronic Payment, Data Center, and Data Security solutions.  The company has been playing a major role in introducing new technologies to Palestine.
In 2011, through a joint venture between Bank of Palestine and PCNC, Qumsieh co-founded PalPay® Palestine Payments – offering different unique electronic payment solutions using "Made in Palestine" software’s. 
Qumsieh holds a Master's degree in Computer Engineering, in addition to several international certificates in the fields of programming, networking, electronic solutions, consulting, sales, and marketing. Qumsieh is also an Accredited Systems Engineer by several companies, including Compaq and HP.

Kais Salhut

Founding partner and chief executive officer of 2i Software

Kais Salhut is the founding partner and chief executive officer of 2i Software. During the time spent in Palestine, Kais was active in promoting technology entrepreneurship at the grassroots level. Kais currently resides in Chicago where he is actively promoting the Palestinian tech sector to communities and organizations across the United States.

Coaches

Saed Nashef

Founding Partner at Sadara Ventures

Saed Nashef is Founding Partner at Sadara Ventures, the first early-stage venture capital firm in Palestine investing in Internet, mobile, and software startups. He currently serves on the boards of Yamsafer and Souktel.

As an entrepreneur, Saed founded and was managing director of Equiom-MENA (now IConnectTech), a company based in Ramallah, Palestine

Faris Zaher

Co-Founder and CEO at Yamsafer

Faris is Co-Founder and CEO at Yamsafer, a venture-backed online travel startup. Prior to founding Yamsafer, Faris worked with a number of companies in the online derivative trading space. He holds a Bsc Management (WBS) and a Msc Finance (HKU). Faris is a Global Shaper and a Country Curator with the World Economic Forum, Ramallah Hub. He also never says no to pizza.

Ayman Saleem

Project Manager - Microsoft R&D Project   |   LinkedIn

Ayman is a software engineering manager with about 20 years’ experience in software development, outsourcing, and IT project management. He has been in the IT industry since the early 1990s where he worked for local startups, then moved to providing development, QA, and research services through local outsourcing firms to multiple startups and public companies in the United States in a variety of business domains including semiconductor yield management, real-estate, healthcare, multimedia, web, mobile, and cloud computing.

Since May 2010, Ayman has been managing Microsoft R&D Project and leading the innovation unit that works towards establishing a Microsoft Research and Development center in Palestine, and contributes to shaping the future of new frameworks/products in Microsoft's Applications and Services Group.

Ayman holds a BSc in computer science from Al-Quds University (Abu Dies) and MSc in IT/Software Engineering from the University of Liverpool

Ayman Arandi

Local Director at PALinnO Private Investment

Ayman is an Engineer with 5 years of experience in technology and entrepreneurship. He established Iris Interactive Solutions in 2010 which is specialized in interactive touch technology and sensory rooms for children with disabilities and autism. He is also member of the Global Shapers community, founding member of NEWPal org, and board member of PS4L org. Currently, Ayman is directing a private seed-investment program - PALinnO - for early stage start-ups in the ICT sector. Ayman holds BSc in Computer Engineering from An-Najah University, and MSc in Management, Information Systems and Innovation from London School of Economics and Political Science.

Mustafa Al-Tamim

Senior Software Engineer

Mustafa Al-Tamim is VP engineering & IT at gSoft Technology Solutions, software development company worked on many products and startup ideas. Before that, Mustafa worked as Web Application Senior Developer, then Project Manager and Director for many business applications and projects. He holds MSc in computer science.

Iliana Montauk

Digital Economy Program Manager for Mercy Corps

Iliana Montauk is the Digital Economy Program Manager for Mercy Corps. She manages the first startup accelerator in Gaza, Gaza Sky Geeks. Previously, she worked at Wamda in Jordan, Google, Monitor Group (now Deloitte Consulting), a health analytics startup, and a San Francisco-based microfinance organization. She also runs her own small business as a career and life coach for people in their 20s and 30s who want more meaning in their careers and more balance in their lives. She graduated from Harvard with a degree in the History and Literature of France and the Middle East. She is originally from Silicon Valley. In her spare time, she can be found playing with her nephews, riding her bike, or trekking in nature.

Mahmoud Kaiyal

Founder & CEO WebTeb

Mahmoud is the founder and CEO of WebTeb, a venture backed by Siraj Palestine fund.
webteb.com is a leading comprehensive medical Internet portal in Arabic, bringing its users (more than 3 million monthly) and the medical community professional and high-quality information about health and lifestyle.
Prior to WebTeb, Dr. Kaiyal founded myquicker.com, an online accounts management venture. Dr. Kaiyal studied
and practiced Medicine as a family doctor for nine years. He is a serial lecturer in several international conference, include the Arab Doctor's Union In Europe, medical tourism conferences and was was chosen as the medical tourism person for 2012-2103 by the World Medical Tourism Congress.

Laith Kassis

Vice President MENA Network of Incubators   |   LinkedInGoogle+

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, USA and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.
he is the Founder and Managing Partner of EnterVentures providing consultancy, mentoring and capacity building to entrepreneurial ventures while validating a business model for a soft-turret phone technology app.
Prior to that, his relevant experience was in managing the Palestine IT Association (PITA) of companies and the PICTI incubator. His leadership had a direct impact on developing the entrepreneurial sector. promote start-up companies and culture. He also contributed to the growth of the ICT sector through promoting multinational R&D projects, outsourcing and investments. He is an early supporter for the development of seed and venture capital creation in Palestine. His customized technology entrepreneurship education material is widely used by local and regional accelerators in the MENA region.
Regionally, Laith has participated in the formation of the MENA Network of Incubators as its Vice President and is currently consulting with the World Bank infoDev program to promote high-growth entrepreneurship eco-systems in the MENA region.

Omar Omran

Faculty member Birzeit University's College of Business and Economics

Omar Omran is currently a faculty member Birzeit University's College of Business and Economics, and teaches business administration and marketing courses. In addition to teaching and research, he is also part of the core team at Agility Management and Financial Consulting, focusing mainly on market research, business development, and feasibility studies among other topics.
Omar holds an MBA with concentrations in strategic management and finance from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Birzeit University. He has worked with businesses locally and in the US in a variety of capacities, helping them achieve sustainable and manageable growth, and has started several ventures, in the US.

Rasha Ali

Co-Founder of feeKash

Rasha is the co-founder of feeKash, a cash payment gateway for the MENA region. Rasha is experienced in Business Development of startups through working in Leaders Organization with various Palestinian early-stage startups from the ground level. She is also an INK Fellow, in association with TED.com and is dedicated to building a healthy ecosystem for Palestinian entrepreneurs. Rasha holds a B.S. in Business Management and Economics from the U.S.

Mohammed Amleh

Co-Founder of feeKash   |   LinkedInGoogle+

Mohammed Amleh brings over 7 years of technology experience in various sectors such as Education, SaaS, and Banking. Mohammed served as a Principal Architect for a software company in Silicon Valley (TIBCO Loyalty Lab) and also was part the Wholesale team in Wells Fargo Bank that was responsible for the integration between Wells Fargo and Wachovia Bank. Currently, Mohammed is the co-founder of a Palestinian startup named feeKash

Chris Zaknoun

CEO THINKING Consultancy Firm.

A graduate in Economics & International Affairs from France, Chris Zaknoun began working as a consultant with Accenture Consulting and later for KPMG in Europe where he developed his on-the- ground experience in management consulting skills. From this background, he acquired the methodologies and know-how needed in understanding various international markets with the ability to identify and promote new business opportunities.
In January 2011, Chris decided to return to Palestine and founded THINKING Consultancy Firm.
He has a multicultural background, speaks six languages with a strong cultural sensitivity. Given these characteristics, he has been successful in collaborating in projects situated in countries with enormous cultural diversity, i.e. from Brazil to Ukraine. Last year, he by chance participated in Startup week end and did not expect to participate again in November. However, the CALL OF WAR launched by certain mentors made him decide to come back guns blazing. He had participated in the Peeks General Assembly only once, yet was elected as member of Peek Rehabilitation group and to this day he still hasn’t understood how.

Talal Jabari,

Co-Founder of Capture Productions

Talal Jabari, co-founder of Capture Productions, an award-winning producer of factual programming, and founder of Fariqak.com, the First European-League Fantasy Football Site in Arabic.

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