Where the Startup Community Meets

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About STEP Match

Step Match is an online program to address the pre-seed and seed funding gap brought to you by Step, the organizers of Step Conference, the leading tech and startup festival for emerging markets. The program is designed to support founders in MENA who are seeking funding and resources to grow through facilitated connection opportunities including curated meetings, events, and 1-on-1 sessions with investors and mentors.

70+

Startups

20+

Funds

430+

Connections

130+

Meetings

In Partnership With

Upcoming Editions

Female Founders x Investors

October 27th, 2021

Fintech Startups x Investors

November 3rd, 2021


Artificial Intelligence Startups x Investors

December 16th, 2021

 

Previous Participating Investors

Alzubi
Mohammed

Nama Ventures

Alzubi
Mohammed

Nama Ventures

I am an engineer turned engineering manager, turned entrepreneur turned tech investor. Failed as an entrepreneur a bunch of times till I was able to build a winner. Made numerous investments in both startups and funds along the years, some failed miserably, some turned out great, two became global unicorns and two are on their way (inshallah) Currently the Managing Partner of Nama Ventures, a Venture Capital fund focused on fueling technology innovation in MENA, particularly in KSA. I am a member of many Angel Networks including Sand Hill Angels in Silicon Valley, Founding board member of Riyadh Angel Investors in Riyadh, and an advisor with Woman Spark in KSA. I cofounded Tech Wadi in Silicon Valley and I’m an advisor to numerous MENA tech incubators, accelerators & startups. I hold an MBA from London Business School and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Brigham Young University. Technical Certs: CCIE, MCSE, CCSP, and MCDBA. Also paid my coding dues with C++ & Java. You can reach me on twitter at @mzu3bi

Laila
Hassan

500 Startups

Laila
Hassan

500 Startups

Laila joined 500 Startups in early 2019 as a Principal to lead our follow on strategy. She brings a wealth of expertise to the team through her experience in investment banking, private equity and venture capital. Her focus is on due diligence and later stage deals, hence she has been the one leading 500 Startups more detailed due diligence efforts for follow on investments. Laila has also been instrumental in expanding our data gathering and analysis efforts from our existing portfolio. Laila was based in the UAE until a few weeks ago, and has just moved to Cairo and will be strengthening our outreach and access in that market, which is already our biggest market in terms of investment and will likely continue to be so. Prior to joining our team, Laila worked with several VC firms across the region, such as MEVP in UAE and Algebra Ventures in Egypt where she led transactions and worked with portfolio companies on fundraising and operational enhancements. Laila was active in the venture capital and startup landscape in Egypt, where she worked as a consultant for several start-up businesses assisting them in developing operational and fundraising schemes. She led investment assessments and provided recommendations to several VCs and family offices in the region. While completing her MBA from London Business School, Laila joined the investment banking division at Morgan Stanley in London as a summer associate, after which she opted to move back to Egypt to pursue a career among the now-thriving startup community. Prior to her postgraduate studies, she worked as an associate at Qalaa Holdings, a regional private equity firm based out of Cairo, where she focused on the alternative energy, oil and gas and glass sectors. She holds a dual undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Law from the American University in Cairo and Cairo University respectively.

Wael
Nafee

Raed Ventures

Wael
Nafee

Raed Ventures

Wael is a Y Combinator alumnus and serial entrepreneur who has co-founded startups in the Silicon Valley and the Middle East. He was one of the early employees of Careem and held roles including VP of Product and Managing Director of Careem's Platform Business Unit, leading Careem's vision to become a Super App company. Wael studied Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo in Canada and has built technology products used by tens of millions of users worldwide. He is currently a Principal at Raed Ventures which invests in early stage startups in the MENA region and is passionate about fostering entrepreneurship in the region.

Saed
Nashef

Raed Ventures

Saed
Nashef

Raed Ventures

Saed Nashef is Founding Partner at Raed Ventures. He is also Founding Partner at Sadara Ventures, one of the first VC firms in MENA. Before Sadara, Saed founded two companies and was a key team member in a third. Before that, he worked at Microsoft in various software engineering and leadership roles. Saed is the first Kauffman Fellow in the Arab Middle East and the recipient of the “Class 14” Jeff Timmons Memorial Award.

Gaelle
Yammine

MEVP

Gaelle
Yammine

MEVP

Prior to joining MEVP, Gaelle held an internship in the private and public equity division of The Olayan Group (OEL), and in the research and investment department of a wealth management firm: Crescendo Group. Gaelle holds a Bachelor in Business Administration (with a concentration in Finance) from the American University of Beirut where she was managing the Suliman S. Olayan School of Business's IMP fund for two years

Fahad
Alfaez

Hambro Perks

Fahad
Alfaez

Hambro Perks

Fahad Alfaez is an Investment Analyst at Hambro Perks based at the Riyadh office. Fahad primarily focuses on due diligence, investments and deaflow. Fahad started his career at the reputable investment company Riyad Capital, working as a trainee on Private Equity and Venture Capital before moving to Hambro Perks. Fahad holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from King Saud University, is a Saudi national and speaks fluent English & Arabic.

Wael
Nafee

Raed Ventures

Wael
Nafee

Raed Ventures

Wael is a Y Combinator alumnus and serial entrepreneur who has co-founded startups in the Silicon Valley and the Middle East. He was one of the early employees of Careem and held roles including VP of Product and Managing Director of Careem's Platform Business Unit, leading Careem's vision to become a Super App company. Wael studied Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo in Canada and has built technology products used by tens of millions of users worldwide. He is currently a Principal at Raed Ventures which invests in early stage startups in the MENA region and is passionate about fostering entrepreneurship in the region.

Antoine
El
Boustany

Saned Equity Partners

Antoine
El
Boustany

Saned Equity Partners

Antoine joined Saned Partners in June 2014 as an Investment Manager of the Fund. Prior to joining Saned Partners, Antoine worked in Investment Banking at BLOMINVEST Bank. Antoine has 18 years of experience of which 6 in Financial Control in Paris. He worked as finance manager in several industries such as consumer goods, pharmaceutical and retail. Antoine is holder of an MBA from ESA / ESCP-EAP and a Bachelor in Business Administration with an emphasis in Banking and Finance from the Lebanese American University.

Rawad
Khalife

MEVP

Rawad
Khalife

MEVP

MEVP is a Middle East-focused venture capital firm that invests in the early and growth stages of innovative technology companies run by talented entrepreneurs in the Middle East Region with a focus on the GCC and Levant countries.

Mostafa
Abolnasr

SEEDRA VENTURES

Mostafa
Abolnasr

SEEDRA VENTURES

Mostafa is a serial entrepreneur with a decade of building and scaling VC-funded tech startups in the Middle East. Mostafa has co-founded and scaled multiple e-commerce and internet-based ventures in the Middle East. Prior to SEEDRA, Mostafa was the General Manager at Holidayme KSA, General Manager at Balleh.com, Director of eCommerce at ITIDA (Gov of Egypt) & Co-founder at Books.com.eg.

Sleem
Hasan

Privity FZ LLE

Sleem
Hasan

Privity FZ LLE

Sleem Hasan is an experienced owner with a demonstrated history of working in venture capital and the Japanese capital markets. He is skilled in investor relations, securities, asset management, investment advisory, and working with technology entrepreneurs. His strong entrepreneur professionalism is with a Part III Mathematical Tripos from Cambridge and a Mathematical degree from Oxford. He’s also the CEO and Founder of Privity, which is an independent Dubai-based Venture advisory firm founded back in 2004

Ali
Qaiser

Hambro Perks

Ali
Qaiser

Hambro Perks

Ali is a General Partner at Hambro Perks (MENA) and focuses on sourcing investment opportunities, executing new investments and portfolio management in the MENA region. Ali started his career in consulting at EY where he worked on complex corporate finance challenges for clients. He is also a former debt capital markets investment banker advising on various landmark conventional and Islamic debt transactions & working with various entities of a Gulf sovereign for transactions of national importance. Ali serves as Hambro Perks’ investor director on the board of Odondo, investor observer on the board of WeVat and has led transaction negotiation and execution for various new and follow-on Hambro Perks investments, including Muzmatch, WeVat and Sarwa. Ali speaks three languages and holds a master’s degree from University College London.

Ivo
Detelinov

Hambro Perks

Ivo
Detelinov

Hambro Perks

Ivo is a General Partner at Hambro Perks (MENA) and focuses on sourcing investment opportunities, executing new investments and portfolio management in the MENA region. Previously, he was at Riyad Capital for 7 years as a Senior Portfolio Manager dedicated to early stage VC fund Riyad TAQNIA Fund (RTF). Prior to moving to the Middle East in late 2013, Mr. Detelinov worked in the Technology Equity Research department at Merrill Lynch where he covered Enterprise Software companies and at MWI & Partners, a growth PE fund associated with Merrill Lynch. Following the completion of an MBA degree (Finance) from New York University’s Stern School of Business in 2003, Mr. Detelinov joined the Financial Sponsors Group of Merrill Lynch, where he assisted in origination, diligence and deal execution global PE and VC firms in New York and in London. He is a CFA Charterholder

Abdullah
Alonaideel

Squad Partners

Abdullah
Alonaideel

Squad Partners

Passionate in building entrepreneurship ecosystem and creating more opportunities for entrepreneurs

Tina
Daher

Shorooq Partners

Tina
Daher

Shorooq Partners

As an Investment Professional with Shorooq Partners, Tina harnesses her passion for creating an impact by meeting with A+ founders who will change the future as we know it. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the American University of Beirut, after which she completed her Master’s degree in International Political Economy (Finance Focus) at The London School of Economics and Political Science. Tina started her career in Private Equity, after she had interned in a wide array of sectors, mainly Investment Banking, Law, and Insurtech. When she is not looking into strategic investments, Tina recharges by practicing yoga, dancing, and spending time with family and friends.

Abdulelah
Alhasan

Impact46

Abdulelah
Alhasan

Impact46

Investment Associate at Impact46

Tarad
Alhasan

Impact 46

Tarad
Alhasan

Impact 46

Interested in investing in Fin-tech

Lola
Fernandez

VentureSouq

Lola
Fernandez

VentureSouq

Maria is an Investment Analyst at VentureSouq, an investment platform focused on global early-stage technology businesses based in Dubai. Prior to this role she interned at ING Bank N.V. with the High Yield Debt Capital Markets team and at a social enterprise in Abu Dhabi. Maria holds a B.A. in Economics and Finance from New York University Abu Dhabi.

Turk
Aljoaib

Rua Growth Fund

Turk
Aljoaib

Rua Growth Fund

Mr. Aljoaib is a member of the investment team of the Fund. He graduated with a bachelor’s in civil & Environmental engineering and a minor in construction management from USC in 2014, a masters in renewable energy engineering (Green Technology) from USC and a graduate certificate in tech commercialization from USC Marshall Business School in 2019. In 2016, Mr. Aljoaib co-founded and was the Managing Director of two startups, Desert Agriculture - an agtech startup - and Sun Capture - a solar and energy services company. Both startups are operating under Aljoaib Holdings, an engineering family business with a diverse portfolio of companies in various sectors such as energy, construction, and agriculture. As Director of Aljoaib Holdings, Mr. Aljoaib developed relationships through USC’s network with top tier VC fund managers in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Khaldoon
Tabaza

iMENA Group

Khaldoon
Tabaza

iMENA Group

Dr. Khaldoon is the Founder & Managing Director of iMENA Group. In the last 25 years, he has pioneered the development of the regional technology venture capital ecosystem in the MENA region as a founder, investor, and advisor. Khaldoon was a founder at Arabia.com (first venture backed online business in MENA), Arab Advisors Group, NetAdvantage, OneCard, Riyada Ventures, and Impact MENA. Key funds that he managed include IDEAVELOPERS (first regulated regional VC fund), Riyada, and iMENA, while companies that he invested in include OpenSooq, SellAnyCar, Jeeny, ReserveOut, Telr, JRD, Hellofood, Akhtaboot, IdealRatings, and Rufoof. As an ecosystem builder, he has participated in the development of iPark, ABAN, Oasis500, PICTI, and Wamda. Khaldoon was recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader. He is also a Kauffman Venture Capital Fellow and a member of the Young Presidents Organization. He holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from The University of Jordan and has completed the Young Global Leaders Leadership and Policy education program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, and the YPO programs at Harvard Business School, Stanford, and London Business School.

Simon
Sharp

Global Ventures

Simon
Sharp

Global Ventures

Simon joined Global Ventures as a Principal in early 2020, and has over five years of investment experience across venture capital and corporate finance. Before joining Global Ventures, Simon worked in the investment team at Committed Capital, a venture capital fund based in London which focused on early stage technology investments. Simon is a Chartered Accountant with the ICAEW, a Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments and holds a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Warwick.

Rayan
Dawud

Outliers

Rayan
Dawud

Outliers

Rayan is a Partner at Outliers with seven years of experience working with startups in the MENA tech ecosystem. Most recently, Rayan was a Senior Manager with Careem’s Corporate Development Team which was responsible for the closing of Uber’s $3.1B acquisition of Careem as well as the acquisition and launch of Careem Bikes. He also served as the Assistant General Manager of the UAE and was responsible for building and launching new products. Prior to Careem, Rayan worked as a member of the Investment Team at Wamda Capital, investing in deals across Jordan, Egypt, and the GCC.

Vijay
Tirathrai

Techstars

Vijay
Tirathrai

Techstars

Vijay Tirathrai is the Managing Director at Techstars Hub71 based in Abu Dhabi. He is an active investor with investments in over 30 early stage tech companies. As a serial entrepreneur, Vijay founded several companies including manufacturing of safety helmets, association management, event production and a VC fund in S.E. Asia. Vijay built his early career in senior executive roles namely in fashion retail, clothing manufacturing and real estate development. Prior to his current role, he was the Global CEO and Chairman of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) based in Washington D.C. Throughout his career, he has taken up leadership and board roles such as the Young President Organization (International), Richmond University (London, U.K.), and the 16th Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games.

Hana
Besbes

Mindshift Capital

Hana
Besbes

Mindshift Capital

Investor, mentor and advisor for tech startups, actively involved in shaping the startup ecosystem in MENA, in her capacity as Venture Partner with Mindshift Capital investing in women-led tech startups in EdTech, FinTech, FoodTech and HealthTech, Investment Committee member with Dubai Angel Investors (DAI), and previously member of the Investment Team of Women Angel Investor Network (WAIN). Hana invested in 30+ startups (directly and syndicated). As a former top-tier strategy consultant who brought a bankrupt company back on the road to success, Hana knows how to build winning strategies and business models, and shape young startups into real companies.

Daniel
dos
Reis

Wamda

Daniel
dos
Reis

Wamda

Daniel is the Investment Director at Wamda. He is part of MENA startup ecosystem since 2012. Previously he managed Dtec Ventures and before that Daniel was the Director at Etihad Etisalat in KSA responsible for Mobily Ventures. He started his professional career Management Consultant in the Telecom, Media and Technology industry in 2004. Daniel earned a Diploma degree in Business Administration from the University of Hamburg.

Lewa
Abukhait

DAAL

Lewa
Abukhait

DAAL

Chief Investment Officer at DAAL; venture capital fund in Saudi Arabia responsible for identifying promising startups and evaluating the investment opportunity within. Lewa also Provides mentorship and business development insights for portfolio companies to guide and nurture their Growth on the international stage. Working previously in prominent companies within MENA region such as Orange Jordan, MBC Group and BlackBerry enabled Lewa to acquire solid understanding in realizing the scalability in technology solutions and sustainability in business models.

Himag
Vaidya

Shorooq Partners

Himag
Vaidya

Shorooq Partners

As an Investment Professional with Shorooq, Himag can put his passion for technology market trends and entrepreneurship into play on a daily basis. He received his Dual Bachelor’s degree in Economics (Finance Track) and Music Practice from NYU Abu Dhabi, after which he has worked with a startup and a law firm in New York, as well as top consulting firms in the UAE and in India, while contributing to research projects with the European Union. Himag has a strong interest for social impact and moving forward he hopes to serve the entrepreneurial aspirations of the low-income immigrant population in the region. When he’s not analyzing a new market, Himag enjoys writing poetry and composing music.

Saleh
Abbas

Flat6Labs Bahrain

Saleh
Abbas

Flat6Labs Bahrain

Saleh Abbas is the Senior Program Manager at Flat6Labs Bahrain where he oversees the accelerator program as well as the marketing and outreach. Saleh has travelled globally to startup related events to scout innovative businesses securing investment in 44 startups to date. He also works on creating strategic partnerships and consolidating a VC network for follow on funding for the Bahrain portfolio. He has previously worked in logistics, marketing, and more, at well-reputed firms and corporates such as JWT, Zain, and BMMI.

Khaled
Talhouni

Nuwa Capital

Khaled
Talhouni

Nuwa Capital

Khaled is Managing Partner at Nuwa Capital. Prior to launching Nuwa Capital, Khaled was Managing Partner at Wamda Capital, the region’s first institutionalized Venture Capital fund investing in technology-enabled companies in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. Khaled has assumed a number of venture capital and startup roles and has invested in and managed over 150 early stage transactions including Careem, Mumzworld and Insider.

Stephanie
Nour
Prince

Nuwa Capital

Stephanie
Nour
Prince

Nuwa Capital

Stephanie is Partner at Nuwa Capital where she leads on network engagements and operations. She was most recently Wamda’s Director of Communications and Outreach, working on outreach and partnerships with multiple stakeholders in the MENA startup ecosystem. At Wamda, she focused on building the brand and community since joining in 2012, and led on projects such as the MIT Media Lab workshop Dubai, the American University of Beirut’s Reboot Beirut Hackathon, and the Crown Prince Court’s Minds on a Mission Design Thinking workshop.

Sarah
Abu
Risheh

Nuwa Capital

Sarah
Abu
Risheh

Nuwa Capital

Sarah is Partner at Nuwa Capital. Previously, she was Principal at Wamda Capital where she led and managed deals of over 20 companies across different funding stages and geographies. Sarah also ran the second cohort of Wamda X, a grant-based fellowship program supporting early stage founders building new companies across various technology sectors. She previously worked for Ernst and Young in Transaction Advisory Services.

Sajjad
Kamal

Global Ventures

Sajjad
Kamal

Global Ventures

Sajjad most recently has been the co-founder and CTO for YC backed AlemHealth. Prior to that, he co-founded Beneple as the CTO and exited successfully. Sajjad has been part of numerous digital health initiatives including being a Healthcare Transformer at StartupHealth. He holds a BMath in CS from the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Zeina
Mandour

Cairo Angels

Zeina
Mandour

Cairo Angels

Zeina Mandour is the General Manager of Cairo Angels, handling strategic and day-to-day operations at the network. Zeina started her career in financial consulting at the Egyptian Ministry of Transport , then joined Logic Management Consulting as Senior Business Analyst for over two years. She then moved to Ironwood Investments, a boutique private equity firm based in Cairo as Senior Associate. Zeina received her Bachelor in Business Administration with concentration in Finance from the American University in Cairo 2014.

WHAT GOES ON

Matchmaking

The upcoming Step Match edition will focus on startups across different stages startups seeking funding from investors.

1-on-1 Investor Meetings

Investors will select startups to connect through 1-on-1 online meetings and listen to startups pitch.


Investor Lounges & Networking

Startups will be able to participate in themed group networking lounges with investors and other startups, and participate in speed networking.