Founders Day will gather the region's top talent of tech founders and business development experts for an agenda covering the hottest topics in the arena of tech and innovation, delivered by world-class experts


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Shasta Ventures

Rob is a founder of Shasta Ventures and a 22-year veteran of the Silicon Valley venture capital industry. At Shasta Ventures, Rob focuses on investing in emerging platforms – Robotics, Space, and Connected Hardware. His investments include Nest, which was acquired by Google for $3.2 billion. Early in his career, Rob served as an engineer in the Astro Space division of Martin Marietta, where he helped build the first A2100 satellite. Rob earned an MSME degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a BSME degree from the University of Virginia. He also holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

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Co-founder & CEO


Mudassir’s career in tech started with Silicon Valley before moving back to Pakistan where he co-founded DeviceAnywhere that was acquired by Keynote in 2008. He then joined management consulting firm McKinsey & Company in Dubai. In 2012, he left to form a new company with ex-McKinsey colleague Magnus Olsson that would improve lives. This became Careem, the region’s only tech unicorn. Mudassir holds an MS from Stanford University in Computer Science and a BA in economics and computer science from USC.

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Talal is the CEO and co-founder of Bayzat, a UAE- based technology start-up that empowers businesses with smart insurance & HR solutions. After sensing an opportunity in the financial products market, Talal started Bayzat with his school friend and now co-founder Brian Habibi. The duo led Bayzat to where it is today, and is now known widely as the company that provides insurance and smart HR solutions that simplify and empower lives with using world-class technology.

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Founder and Chairman


Donna started the ENTERTAINER in 2001 with the dual aim to make Dubai’s dining and leisure venues more affordable for its residents and drive footfall to the growing number of world-class outlets. The ‘always buy one get one free’ model was designed to be mutually beneficial to both customers and merchants. Now a global brand, the ENTERTAINER has successfully transitioned from a print publication to a data-driven tech company powering offers from over 10,000 merchant partners in 15 countries.

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Chief Finance & Strategy Officer


Ankur is Chief Finance and Strategy Officer at Careem, and is one of Careem's founding investors. Previously, he led investment in India for Acumen, an emerging markets venture fund, was a consultant at McKinsey & Company and helped found, a marketplace for SMEs in the late 90s. Ankur holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University, and a Master of Public Administration in International Development from Harvard's Kennedy School.


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Latham & Watkins

Jim Morrone is a partner in the Silicon Valley office of Latham & Watkins. Mr. Morrone primarily represents technology and life sciences emerging growth companies (public and private) and their funding sources, including venture capital and private equity firms and investment banks. Prior to joining Latham & Watkins, Morrone was a Principal and Senior Counsel at Weston Presidio, a venture capital and private equity firm focused primarily on retail, consumer, and industrial investments.


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VP of People


Ruth Fletcher is the VP of People at Careem. Previously she was the head of HR for Love Crafts, which was recognised by the Financial Times as one of the fastest growing European companies. Prior to this she worked as the head of HR and admin at the global consulting firm Korn Ferry Hay Group, the director of HR at Dubai online retail portal and business and HR director at  Indigo Human Resources. Ruth attained a BA, and then an MA, in History at Oxford University. 

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Fine Hygienic Holding

James is the CEO of Fine Hygienic Holding. Lafferty started his career with humble roots, as a youth track and field coach hired by Procter and Gamble for their “Brand Management” program in his native Cincinnati, Ohio. His 30- year career took him around the world leading fast-moving consumer goods companies, including CEO roles within P&G, Coca-Cola and British American Tobacco. Lafferty is among the leading global experts on business-building, marketing and branding particularly in emerging markets.


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Ronaldo has 15 years of experience in technology and business management. He served as a technical and systems consultant with EDS in the US. In 2000, he spearheaded a consulting company that managed numerous web and e-commerce projects in the Arab world. In 2005, he launched, the first auction site for the Arab world. Today Ronaldo is the co-founder and CEO of; an online marketplace which has grown exponentially and was recently acquired by Amazon. Ronaldo holds a Master's degree in Digital Communications and a Bachelor degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.


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Founder & CEO

Property Finder

Michael is the founder and CEO of Property Finder Group. In 2005 he moved to Dubai from his native Switzerland after completing a Bachelor and MBA in Finance from HEC Lausanne. He identified a gap in the property advertising space and launched the first real estate classified in the Middle East, in print and online. Prior to founding the company, Michael began his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Geneva. As well as running Property Finder Group, Michael also invests in startup technology companies in direct or through Merro, an investment vehicle he co-founded with two partners.

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Sonia is a partner of VentureSouq, an investing platform that’s funded tech ventures both regionally and globally. Previously, she headed Advertising for Turner Broadcasting’s portfolio of children’s platforms across MENA. Sonia also worked with Viacom’s Emerging Markets’ Strategy Group and Microsoft’s Strategy and M&A team in London. She is a Charter Member for TiE’s Dubai chapter, serves as UAE Director for the Yale Alumni Schools Committee and is a Committee member and mentor at e7 Daughters of the Emirates.

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Co-founder & CEO



Mohamad is a co-founder and CEO of Kitopi, the world's first managed kitchen as a service platform. Having launched 9 months ago, Kitopi is revolutionizing the on-demand food economy. Currently, the brand’s operations have grown across Dubai and is set to have 100 kitchens over the next 3 years across 5 global cities. Before Founding Kitopi, he co-founded BMB, which is now the largest confectionary business in the Middle East. Mohamad has a double major in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Warwick and a Masters in Management from Imperial College.

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Lumia Capital


Christopher is a Partner at Lumia Capital, a San Francisco based Venture Capital firm investing in US category leaders pursuing international markets and local leaders dominating the fastest growing global markets.  Prior to Lumia, Chris was the co-founder of Nextel Communications which he grew to $13B in sales and 19k employees before being acquired by Sprint for $35 billion.

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Founding Editor-in-chief


Futurist and journalist, David Rowan has taken 120 flights in the past year to investigate the companies and entrepreneurs changing our world, recently spending time with the founders of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google, Spotify, Xiaomi, Nest, Twitter and countless other disruptive startups from Silicon Valley to Shenzhen, and MENA. David is Editor-at-large and founding Editor-in-chief of WIRED magazine (UK edition).

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Founder & CEO


Amir is the Founder & CEO of, the leading digital healthcare platform in MENA that connects patients with healthcare providers and health services. Prior to Vezeeta, Amir was a Management Consultant at McKinsey & Company advising Healthcare and FMCGs across public and private sectors in Europe and MENA. He also led the Strategy Team of AstraZeneca in MENA. Amir holds an MBA from the American University of Cairo, Bachelor of Pharmacy from Ain Shams University and an Executive Education Certificate from Harvard Business School. He is also an Endeavor Entrepreneur and on the Board of Directors of Endeavor Egypt.

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08:30               Start Your Engines: Registration & Breakfast


09:15               BECO Welcomes You

                               Dany Farha, Amir Farha & Yousef Hammad - Managing Partners, BECO


09:20               Introductory Presentation

                               David Rowan - Founding Editor-in-chief, WIRED UK


09:30               From Start to Exit: The Story Behind The Entertainer

                               Donna Benton - Founder, The Entertainer

                               Moderated by: Sonia Weymuller - Partner, VentureSouq


10:15               Making Culture the Core of Your Success

                               Talal Bayaa - CEO & Co-founder, Bayzat

                               Moderated by: Yousef Hammad - Managing Partner, BECO



10:50               Rocket Fuel: Coffee Break



11:05               How to Nail the Soft Skills of Fundraising

                               Ankur Shah - Chief Finance & Strategy Officer, Careem

                               Moderated by: Amir Farha - Managing Partner, BECO


11:50               Pivoting Fast 

                               Mohamad Ballout - Co-founder & CEO, Kitopi

                               Amir Barsoum - Founder & CEO,

                               Moderated by: Dany Farha - Managing Partner, BECO


12:35               Recruiting, Retaining and Nurturing Talent

                               Ruth Fletcher - VP of People, Careem

                               Moderated by:  Talal Bayaa - CEO & Co-founder, Bayzat  



13:10               Pit Stop: Lunch



14:00               Building Brands that Last

                               James Michael Lafferty  - CEO, Fine Hygienic Holding


14:45               Term Sheets: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

                               Jim Morrone - Partner, Latham & Watkins 

                               Michael Lahyani - Founder & CEO, Property Finder

                               Dany Farha - Managing Partner, BECO

                               Moderated by: Christopher T. Rogers, J.D. - Partner, Lumia Capital


15:30               Making the Board Work For You 

                               Rob Coneybeer - Partner, Shasta Ventures

                               Moderated by: Mudassir Sheikha - Co-founder & CEO, Careem


16:15               Scaling Your Operations in Fragmented Markets

                           Mudassir Sheikha - Co-founder & CEO, Careem

                           Ronaldo Mouchawar - CEO,

                           Moderated by: Michael Lahyani - CEO, Property Finder


17:00               BECO Thanks You



17:30               Sunset Drinks & Networking

                           Location: Maiden Shanghai, Five Hotel Palm Jumeirah






Strategic Partner

Troposphere Partners

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