SEF 2019

In 2019, SEF guided the attendees on their inner quest, leading them to find their innermost motivations and greatest sources of inspiration in order to achieve peak performance and elevate their entrepreneurial experience.



Grammy Award winning artist and Entrepreneur
Arlan Hamilton
Founder, Backstage Capital
HRH Prince Khaled bin Al Waleed bin Talal Al Saud
Founder and CEO, KBW Ventures, and Founding Chairman, KBW Investments
Chris Gardner
Author, Pursuit of Happyness
Jonas Kjellberg
Co-creator, Skype
CEO, MindValley
Dr. Shefali Tsabary
NYT best-selling author, psychologist and wisdom teacher
Jim Kwik
CEO, Kwik Learning, and founder, SuperheroYou
Muna Al Gurg
Director of Retail, Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group
Ramez T. Shehadi
Managing Director MENA of Facebook
Mouza Al Nasri
CEO of Khalifa Fund
Dia Haykal
Editor-in-Chief, MIT Technology Review Arabia
Kamran Elahian
Innovation catalyst, philanthropist, entrepreneur without borders and a global venture capitalist, Founder and Chairman of Global Innovation Catalyst, Cofounder and Chairman of Global Catalyst Foundation
Svetlana Velikanova
Founder and CEO of Harbour.Space
Anisa Al Sharif
Certified Hand in Hand instructor and Social Entrepreneur, Founder of Tanshia
Yasar Jarrar
Senior Advisor, Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Innovations in Government
Christian Lindener
Global Head of Airbus Bizlabs
Bernhard Schambeck
CEO of the BMW Startup Garage
Asmae Lemniei
Advisor and Managing Director of Lean X Consulting
Hadeel Ayoub
Founder of BrightSign
Hind Hobeika
Founder of Instabeat
Bassel Idriss
Founder of Generics
Michael Lints
Partner at Golden Gate Ventures
G. Nagesh Rao
Startup Ecosystem Architect
Megan Mitchell
Director of Fellowships and Student Programs, MIT Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship
Eric Dawson
CEO and Co-Founder, Peace First
Sonia Weymuller
Founding Partner, VentureSouq
Travis Hunter
Former Prime Minister of Estonia
Hattaf Ansari
Co-founder of Ampliphi Ventures
Majid Al Qasimi
Founder of Finyal Media
Ihab al Fikry
Founder of Al Mentor
Lindsey Miller
Managing Partner of MENA Moonshots
Mishal Kanoo
Chairman, The Kanoo Group
Arieje Al Shakar
Director & Fund Manager
Al Waha Fund of Funds

Areije Al Shakar is the Director & Fund Manager at Al Waha Fund of Funds. She is a senior leader in Bahrain’s financial industry, bringing 19 years of experience in the startup sectors to Al Waha Fund of Funds via her role as Senior Vice President at Bahrain Development Bank.

Areije graduated from the John Molson School of Business with a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and holds a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Today, Areije is recognized as one of Bahrain’s most influential women in Business.

Prior to joining Bahrain Development Bank, Areije worked in banking and advisory roles at BNP Paribas, and Lehman Brothers, contributing to setting up their respective Advisory and Investment Management desks for the wider region. She also worked at Citibank and Investor B.SC..

Shihab al Hammadi
Director of the Sharjah Media City Free Zone Authority (Shams)
Hussien Al Mahmoudi
CEO, American University of Sharjah Enterprises, Sharjah Research & Development Technology and Innovation Park
Jon Karas
President & Co-Founder, Akoin
Rana Nawas
creator and Host, When Women Win podcast
Tarek al Bolbol
Founder of Booklava