Where the Startup Community Meets

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About STEP Match

Step Match is a series of online networking events brought to you by Step, the organizers of Step Conference, the leading tech and startup festival for emerging markets. The last edition, themed Founders X Investors with a focus on seed/early stage startups and investors, had 58 startups and 17 funds participate with hundreds of connections made through networking, booked meetings, and group discussions.

50+

Startups

20

Funds

300+

Connections

40+

Meetings

Participating Investors

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.

Issa
Aghabi

IFC

Issa
Aghabi

IFC

Issa has been in the finance and investments industry for 15+ years with a focus on Venture Capital. He has executed 50+ direct and indirect investment deals (from $100K to $25M per transaction), managed over $150m in MENA Venture funds. In 2015, he led the exit of twofour54's largest three investments, and more recently in , led the exit souq.com and Vezeeta for IFC. He also led on the creation and launch of a leading accelerator in the MENA region. He currently heads IFC Middle East, North Africa, Parisian and Europe's venture investments both from a Direct and Indirect (accelerators and fund of fund) perspective.

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.

Christos
Mastoras

Iliad Partners

Christos
Mastoras

Iliad Partners

Christos is the Founder and Managing Partner of Iliad Partners, a venture capital firm that invests in early stage tech startups in MENA. He is an investor and former entrepreneur and operating executive with 20+ years of experience in tech in the US, Europe and MENA. Based in Dubai for the last 12 years, he was previously the Director of Business Development of Yahoo Maktoob and a management consultant with Booz & Company. Christos was previously an angel investor and earlier an entrepreneur as a founder and/or a senior executive at startups including Glambox, Upstream and govWorks. He serves on a number startup Boards and was a founding member of the Board of Advisors of MAGNiTT. He is a mentor with Endeavor, MITEF and Techstars. Christos holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a B.S. in International Relations from Georgetown University.

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 runs the Flat6Labs international accelerator program based in Bahrain, he has scouted and mentored startups from different ecosystems across the globe over the past three years and is a Stanford VCU alumni.. Previously he has launched and managed large scale projects for leading corporations in the logistics, commercial real estate and telecom verticals.

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.

Participating Startups

WHAT GOES ON

Matchmaking

This Step Match event will focus on seed stage startups seeking seed stage funding from seed stage investors.

1-on-1 Investor Meetings

Startups will be able to connect with investors in 1-on-1 online meetings and pitch their startups for investment.




Group Investor Meetings

Startups will be able to participate in group meetings with investors and other startups to ask general questions and receive advice.