Our local Ambassador Inji Amr Borai is excited to bring Lean Startup to Cairo! Join us for the first event of this season themed “Staying Lean” where we’ll explore the secrets to staying lean and innovative beyond the creative early days of starting out. It is a constant challenge to stay lean with day-to-day operations eating up so much of your schedule and your headspace, yet our keynote speakers and our panelists will inspire you to remain committed to the practice.
We would like to thank Dr. Dalia Abd-Allah, the Head of Business Innovation at the Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (PSME) Project of GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) for supporting this night and enabling us to provide it free of charge to attendees.
Fady Michel is an Associate Professor of Practice at The American University in Cairo. He currently serves as Scientific Thinking director, with teaching focus on critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, and decision science. He is the founder of ERGO Design, a strategy and innovation consulting firm, tackling business, social and behavioral challenges through human-centered design principles. Fady designs and facilitates experiential learning experiences in Design Thinking, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in academic, startup and corporate settings. His teaching philosophy follows a learner-centered approach, focusing on learner engagement. He is a life-long learning advocate; human-centered design evangelist. Fady is the recipient of NASA JSC Exceptional Software Award, and NASA Space Act Award for Innovative and Creative Development. Fady holds a B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of Southern California, in Space Mission Design and Spacecraft Design, respectively; and a PhD. in Astrodynamics from The University of Texas at Austin.
ERGO is a strategy and innovation consulting firm. We work at the intersection of technology, design and human behavior to identify untapped opportunities, define innovation strategies, and design new user-centered experiences, services and products to help our clients create positive deviance and achieve sustainable growth.
Ahmed has more than 10 years of experience in project management, business consulting, marketing and entrepreneurship. Ahmed worked with both multinationals and startups, and rotated among multiple technical and commercial roles. He worked in Egypt, Singapore, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. As an entrepreneur, Ahmed built, helped building, and consulted for startups in Egypt, Dubai and Canada. Currently the CEO and cofounder of Gameball; a 500 Startups portfolio company.
Launched in 2018, Gameball is a SaaS company (Software As A Service) that helps digital platforms improve their users’ engagement by offering them plugins for instant gamification, engagement tools, and rewards management.
Ahmed Zahran is the CEO and Co-founder of KarmSolar. Inspired by the energy of the Egyptian revolution, Zahran founded the company with a team of three others in 2011.
Zahran has over 15 years of experience in renewable energy and carbon trading. Before founding KarmSolar, he worked at Shell in Tunisia as a financial planning analyst for the company’s gas distribution activities. He also worked with Shell Trading in London as a finance adviser for the European Emissions Trading System.
Zahran’s modus operandi is disruption and KarmSolar was born out of the idea that every problem presents an opportunity. He is obsessed with the belief that entrepreneurship can be its own form of self-expression; a catalyst for innovation, and a powerful means of resistance against unchallenged thought.
For Zahran, KarmSolar is the ultimate vehicle for disruption; a place where young people are empowered to solve some of the most pressing problems facing Egypt. With the company currently occupying the position of the biggest solar energy developer for the private sector, Zahran is focused on redesigning the energy structure business model and is responsible for guiding, co coordinating and overseeing commercial and technical growth strategies for the company.
Zahran is a co-founder and a former board director of Nahdet El Mahrousa, one of the largest youth-run NGOs in Egypt, which works on youth development projects. He also sits on the boards of the Technology Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center (TIEC) and the Arab Development Portal.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the American University in Cairo, an MSc in Economics from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, and diploma in philosophy and literature from the European College of Liberal Arts in Berlin. He is recipient of the American University in Cairo’s ‘Distinguished Alumni Award’ and a Desmond Tutu Fellow at the African Leadership Institute.
KarmSolar Group is a multidisciplinary enterprise that focuses on self-sufficient project development for various types of communities and project developments. Through KarmSolar’s subsidiaries, our portfolio now includes entities in the commercial, industrial, agricultural, touristic and residential sectors in solar power infrastructure, real estate development, and providing innovative environmental & energy efficient development solutions in architecture and construction. We have evolved over the years to fully undertake full-fledged EPC & Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) contracts in house as well as project development fundraising, covering all aspects of project development.
Sandra is an economist and a management consultant with over 7 years of experience in the fields of business consultancy, organization development, HR restructure, marketing, financial inclusion, and public private partnerships. She has worked on several sector studies and is as well informed in various fields including oil and gas, petrochemicals, microfinance, micro-insurance and financial inclusion in Egypt and in several other Arab Countries such as Jordan, Qatar, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories.
Sandra has obtained a masters degree in Middle Eastern Economies which has equipped her with the ability to look deeply and assess different businesses in accordance with the economy.
Acumen Consulting is a boutique management consulting firm specializing in supporting SMEs & the start-up ecosystem. Acumen is built on a mindset of utilizing innovative data analytics and cross disciplinary analysis to empower governments, organizations, incubators, and small and medium enterprises to make better business decisions.
The creation of Acumen Consulting was driven by the void in the market between Western business concepts that do not apply to our Middle Eastern business dynamic and domestic traditional business methods that have failed at keeping up with the pace of global economic change. Hence, we currently find ourselves at a unique point in business history where the business community is actually in need of re-inventing the proverbial wheel.
This situation mandates a domestic government framework that is able to respond with great agility to the market changes and strike a balance between its socioeconomic obligations and growth pressures. Acumen Consulting aims to step in to empower the government and the public sector at large to do so; through enhancing decision making ability and providing consulting in policy & strategy design as well as implementation support.
Our success in this mission relies on our core team of seasoned economists with extensive business experience as well as our rapidly growing network of industry-specific professionals. Acumen creates a platform for visionaries, professionals & academia to come together and find novel solutions to complex & multifaceted issues. This skill-set enables us to view the issue from a myriad of perspectives: A holistic high-level economic perspective that drives top-down decision making and drives market implications; in tandem with a business perspective that guides the more micro company & industry interpretations of these strategies and the creation of an enabling environment for success.
Sabrine Assem is the Co-founder and CEO of Untap. Untap works together with organizations to plan, launch, and manage online competitions and platforms that engage partners, startups, customers, researchers, students, and the crowd at large. Untap owns and runs Untap Compete; a competition management software used by organizations to quickly build competition websites and manage competition workflows.
She got her Master’s degree in Digital Innovation and Information Systems from Warwick Business School in the UK in 2018.
Sabrine used to work as an entrepreneurship consultant and researcher at the German-Arab Chamber of Industry & Commerce; working with “MENA Projektpartner e.V.” (the official liaison office of the Egyptian German-Arab Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Germany) on a project sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology whose main purpose is to support the Egyptian entrepreneurship ecosystem. She is also the founder of SolverMine; a former online open innovation intermediary with a primary focuses on the Middle East and Africa. Businesses, nonprofits, and governments published challenges related to their operations, R&D, market research, and business processes on SolverMine. The goal was to generate innovative crowd-sourced solutions from the platform community and award the most innovative ones.
Sabrine is a graduate of the German School in Alexandria and the German University in Cairo (GUC). She majored in Innovation Management and Information Systems and used to work as a Teaching Assistant at the GUC. She has a great passion for open innovation, collaborative problem-solving, design thinking, and social business models.
Untap enables open and collaborative innovation through creating software that makes open innovation more accessible. Untap is mostly passionate about tapping into the collective potential of people. Untap Compete is Untap’s first product; it is used by organizations to discover talent and ideas.
Ahmed is the Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer of Brimore, and E2E (End to End) distribution platform, where local manufacturers can list their products, and a vast interconnected network of women, housewives and employees sell them in their local circles either through creating individual point of sales or by managing local trade shops in their neighborhoods.
Ahmed is working with a network of thousands of individual distributors (Mostly women), with a growth 10X in one year, and tens of local manufacturers listed, Brimore is aiming at transforming the traditional supply chain in Egypt to be more consumer centric, through allocating marketing, sales and distribution cost on people who buy and refer the product, this allows for smooth market access for local manufacturers despite poor infrastructure, and gives women a huge social and economic empowerment opportunity without the need to leave the house.
Ahmed has vast experience in Supply Chain management working in P&G through several regional and local roles, business development and project management experience working with Save the Children and co-founding Umbrella for business development, besides being an activist in youth development sector, founding and working several NGOs, and regularly giving specialized training and workshops for youth especially school students.
Ahmed has BSc. in Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering from Alexandria University, and currently a masters degree candidate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation management in the Royal Institute of Technology KTH in Sweden.
Ahmed Nounou is a garment manufacturer by blood, electrical engineer by education, 10-year management consultant until founding Garment IO.
Garment IO is a smart IoT platform tailored to boost the productivity of the Garment Manufacturing industry. It is a plug and play, software/hardware solution providing garment factory managers and owners a complete overview on manufacturing processes, worker performance and products quality.
Doors Open and Registration6:20 pm
Keynote Speaker – “Staying Lean” – Fady Michel6:40 pm
Panel Discussion 1: moderated by Inji Amr featuring Egyptian entrepreneurs who have succeeded in staying lean even after the first three years of operation.
Panelists: Ahmed Zahran, Ahmed Shiekha, and Ameer Sherif (TBC)7:40 pm
Panel Discussion 2: moderated by Inji featuring Egyptian entrepreneurs who have actively worked on improving innovation in other businesses.
Panelists: Sandra Farid, Sabrine Assem, Ahmed Nounou, and Ahmed Khairy8:40 pm
Pizza and Networking
Inji is a seasoned economist & management consultant with over 16 years of experience in both fields. On the government policy side, Inji has been the project manager for the development of the Egypt Vision 2030 Sustainable Development Strategy, as well as being the lead strategist for several projects undertaken by the Egyptian Ministries of Trade & Industry, Investment, and Planning. On the enterprise development side, Inji has worked across corporations and consulting firms in Egypt and the UAE in order to develop company strategies, launch new products, redesign the organization and re-engineer business processes. In that capacity Inji has worked with the real estate, fintech, food, chemical, plastic, furniture, automotive, engineering and retail sectors.
Inji is a founding partner of Acumen Consulting, a boutique management consulting firm in Egypt which is concerned with improving the business environment for SMEs and ensuring their integration into the global value chains. Inji leads assignments in the fields strategy, innovation, investment and business planning, organization development and design, operational efficiency and marketing and branding for both policy makers and enterprises (predominantly family businesses).
Inji is also a serial mentor and has been the business content partner/trainer for tens of start-ups across various competitions and incubators.
Inji is an economist with an MBA in finance, and a Stanford Graduate School of Business degree in corporate innovation. She is currently enrolled in an MIT supply chain management degree.