MENA Private Equity Association

About Us

Our people are volunteers from the PE/VC community who work together to help develop the industry, and they include our members, partners, steering committee, taskforces, project teams and individuals.

Venture Capital Taskforce

The Venture Capital Taskforce is working towards building a collaborative professional venture capital industry. Key targets for 2011 include:
  • Standard Documents: Create standardized documents to facilitate more efficient, cost effective paper work processes to allow easier access to funding for entrepreneurs.
  • Transparency: Work together to provide more data transparency, to benefit both investors and entrepreneurs.
  • Online Deal flow info: Building transparency between VCs and between PE and VC to facilitate deal collaboration and exit opportunities.
  • VC Vision 2017: Develop a blueprint of where the industry wants to be and what needs to be done to get there.

Taskforce Team Members:


Venture Capital Task Force

Ali Arab: Zawya

Ali Arab Ali Arab is the Head of Private Equity Research at Zawya, a division which he helped set up in 2009 and now runs. In addition, Ali is a project manager and a consultant to the MENA PE Association.

Prior to Zawya, Ali worked at the Lebanese American University where he assisted in fund-raising from high net worth individuals, family offices in the development office of the university. Ali holds a Bachelors of Science in Business from the Lebanese American University, where he focused on Banking and Finance.

Venture Capital Task Force

Tarek Kabrit: Riyada Enterprise Development

Tarek Kabrit Tarek is a Principal with Abraaj Group focusing on SME investments. Prior to joining Abraaj Tarek was a Principal and Partner with Siraj Capital. At Siraj, Tarek focused on the UAE, KSA, and Lebanese markets and lead 4 SME investments in the telecom, retail, IT, and F&B space, sitting as board member for each.

Prior to moving into Private Equity Tarek was with Deutsche Bank's Merger and Acquisitions team based out of London and then Dubai. At Deutsche Bank Tarek executed over US$ 2bn worth of M&A deals and advised on the largest MENA IPO to date. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Tarek spent almost 4 years with Booz and Co. principally in Beirut. At Booz and Co., Tarek focused on the telecom, healthcare, and industrial sectors and worked on projects all over the MENA region.

Tarek holds an MBA from Insead, an MSc in Finance and Economics (with merit) from the London School of Economics, a BA in Economics (with distinction) and a BSc in Biology from the American University of Beirut. Tarek is also a CFA level 2 candidate.

Venture Capital Task Force

Feroz Sanaulla

Feroz Sanaulla Feroz Sanaulla is a Director at Intel Capital covering the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region. The objectives of his teamís efforts are to expand, align and accelerate the frontiers of technology via strategic relationships with companies.

Feroz holds an electrical engineering degree from The University of Maryland and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at The University of Michigan.

Venture Capital Task Force

Ghazi Ben Othman: Malaz Capital

Ghazi Ben Othman Ghazi is currently Head of Asset Management and part of the venture investment team at Malaz Capital, the first CMA-licensed Venture Capital firm in Saudi Arabia. Ghazi brings more than 19 years of operational and investment experience in the technology industry. Most recently, he was Sr. Director of Corporate Development at ROVI. Prior to that, he held other investment roles including General Partner at Minah Ventures, Senior Associate Partner at Crosslink Capital and Equity Analyst at Deutsche Bank. On the operating front, Ghazi held business development positions at Dell Computer and Motorola.

In addition to this investor role, Ghazi served as President and co-founder of TechWadi, the leading professional association of Arab ican technology executives. Ghazi also enjoys advising and mentoring emerging Arab entrepreneurs looking to launch their first technology startup. Ghazi received his Masters in Computer Engineering from USC.

Venture Capital Task Force

Walid Hanna: Managing Partner, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP)

Walid Hanna Walid has been active in venture capital and in new venture development for the past 15 years.

Prior to founding MEVP, he was the CEO of Dubai International Capital's venture arm, the Arab Business Angels Network (ABAN), which manages two regional seed venture funds as well as a Business Angels network. Before ABAN, he was on the investment-management team of Abraaj Capital. Walid has also co-founded, invested in, and led several startups in the MENA region, spanning a range of industries, including technology, consumer finance, and hospitality (Orange Holding). Walid is a member of the Young Arab Leaders, a member of Lebanese Business Angels and a founding board member of the World Business Angels Association. He holds a Bachelor's of Economics from McGill University (Canada), and a Master's in Finance from Hautes ?tudes Commerciales, H.E.C (France).

Venture Capital Task Force

Amer Mardam-Bey : Merchant Edge

Amer Mardam-Bey With 22 plus year chronicle of success driving benchmark-setting growth and expansion for globally focused organizations, Amer has held a number of executive management positions in mature, start-up and turnaround corporate environments, delivering aggressive revenue growth and increased shareholder value.

With extensive international business background in multi-cultural environments, his experience extends to strategic operational planning and implementation, project development management, strategic alliances and marketing communications.

Amer has held a number of senior executive positions with Harris Corporation, AppTek, AEGIS and others, has a documented record of strong, decisive leadership expertise and has actively participated in the planning, development and launching of new enterprises and projects and has developed valued skills in PPM activities, venture capital funding and M & A transactions.

He has also managed several international projects in Germany, Cuba, Moscow, Haiti, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Most recently he was the Senior Program Director for Harris Corporation, on The Iraqi Media Network, a $120 Million Television, Radio and Newspaper network centre. His responsibilities included overall project management including, construction, equipment integration and installation, logistics, security, training and site management for 31 locations throughout Iraq.

Venture Capital Task Force

William Fellows, Lixia Capsia Gestionis, Principal

William Fellows, Lixia Capsia Gestionis, PrincipalMr. Fellows is a founding partner in Lixia Capsia Gestionis, an advisory and investment boutique focused on the Maghreb and Francophone Africa. He is in charge of Lixia Capsia’s venture capital policy advisory activities as well as economic development consulting with entities like USAID, as well as development oriented investment development activities. Mr. Fellows provides clients with a unique combination of Practitioner and policy expertise relative to entrepreneurship and venture financing.Previously William led the Maghreb region activities for Financial Services Volunteer Corps (FSVC) with a primary responsibility for the organization’s eight year Maghreb financial sector advisory program as funded by the US State Department and provided senior level advisory support to Maghreb financial institutions to help them modernize and expand financing to private sector firms, particularly Small & Medium sized Enterprises, to promote stronger economic growth.

Mr. Fellows holds a BA from Vassar College in Diplomatic History, an MA from Indiana University in Islamic History, and an MA in International Economics & Finance from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (JHU - SAIS). He also holds certificates in advanced Arabic studies from UniversitéMoulay Ismail in Morocco and the AmericanUniversity’s CASA program in Cairo, Egypt. He is fluent in Arabic and French.

Venture Capital Task Force

Philip Boigner, Managing Director : Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority

Philip Boigner, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority Mr. Boigner is in charge of technology investments at the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, a government-owned entity mandated to further technology development in the region. He is an investment professional and serial entrepreneur and leads the Authorityís investments into portfolio companies. Prior to Silicon Oasis, he has held positions at the PBI Group, advising institutional investors and closed-end funds; Moravia Capital, a Swiss-based boutique investment bank specializing in alternative assets transactions; LRP Capital, a German mid-market buy-out firm; the transaction services department of KPMG; and other enterprises.

Mr. Boigner holds a Master of Business Administration from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, a Master in Law, Economics, and Business from the Sophia Antipolis University in Nice, France, a Master in Science in Information Systems and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

During his carrier Mr. Boigner was involved with a number of venture capital investments; these include Watermaster, a US/Chinese company developing a technology to efficiently extract pure water from air; Bioni Coating Systems, a German nano-technology firm developing intelligent interior and exterior paints; UAE-based Avicenna, a bio-pharmaceutical company; Wunderwerk, an Austrian enterprise developing sensitive robotic arms; and others.

Venture Capital Task Force

Ahmad Takatkah, Managing Partner - Sinbad Ventures

Ahmad Takatkah, Managing Partner - Sinbad Ventures Ahmad Takatkah is the Managing Partner of Sinbad Ventures . He is a board member and an advisor in several Arab web startups, a judge at MIT Arab Business Plan competition, and a mentor at Queen Rania Business Plan competition. Ahmad launched his 1st web venture at the age of 24. At 28, he was among the youngest Arabs to start a VC career. He holds an MBA from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT), and a B.Sc. in Electronics Engineering from Princess Sumaya University for Technology (PUST).

Venture Capital Task Force

Salam Saadeh, Active M, Y+Ventues

Salam Saadeh, Judge - KAUST Seed Fund

Salam is a strong believer of making a difference, an entrepreneur, angel investor, board member of multiple start-ups, mentor and coach. She is currently acting as a judge on KAUST Seed Fund, ArabNet ideathon and Startups Demo, and MIT Business Plan Competition. She is also a mentor and a member of the angel investor network of Seed Startup, Oasis 500, and I360 incubators.

She founded Active-M in 2009 as a Start-ups enabler firm focusing on the MENA Region, where she helped incubate and mentor more than 10 startups within the UAE during the last 2 years. Most recently, her focus has been on investments with visionary entrepreneurs in Levant and GCC, especially youth and women who are building agile, socially impactful, early stage companies in the Digital and Mobile Space.

Prior to 2009, Salam was the Managing Director of the Investment Banking Division of SHUAA Capital, an active member of the Management team that grew SHUAA Capital from small investment company to the leading investment company to the leading investment bank in the MENA region.

With over 17 years experience in the Arab Capital Markets within Lebanon Invest, MECG and SHUAA Capital, Salam helped raise more than $7 billion for some of the most prominent regional names including Aramex, Arabtec, Air Arabia, Dubai Ports, HIKMA Pharmaceutical and Petrofac.

Salam has a BSc in Computer Science with Honors from American University of Beirut in Lebanon and finished top of Class in her MBA courses.

Venture Capital Task Force

Shadi Qishta, N2V CFO

Shadi Qishta, N2V CFO Shadi Qishta is the CFO of N2V. Shadi has more than ten years of experience in auditing, accounting and business executive leadership with many technology-based companies such as Arthur Andersen, Ernst & Young, and the European Commission in Brussels. Immediately prior to joining N2V, Shadi was the acting CFO of VTEL Holdings. Shadi has a degree in Accounting and a M.Sc. in Corporate Finance from Manchester, UK.

Venture Capital Task Force

Issa Aghabi, Head N2V's Business Development and M&A activities

Issa currently Head N2V's Business Development and M&A activities. Prior to joining N2V his career predominately focused on the regional Venture Capital space. He was one of the founding members of IV Holdings, wholly-owned subsidiary of Accelerator Technology Holdings targeting early-stage technology investments in the Online Services and Digital Media. He was also part of the founding team at twofour54 ibtikar, a leading government backed venture capital initiative targeting the Arabic Media and Content space. In addition to the previously mentioned, he also supported the Yahoo! Maktoob's Business Development team in Dubai by shaping their strategic partnerships, M&A and corporate ventures across the MENA region.

Venture Capital Task Force

Muhammad Arrabi, CTO and Head of Marketing

Muhammad Arrabi, N2V Executive Team Chief of Staff Muhammad is the CTO and Head of Marketing at N2V. Muhammad has over 10 years of experience with global and startup companies. He worked as a Program Manager and Technology Evangelist at Microsoft both in Redmond, USA and the Middle East. He worked for 5 years at startups in the technology field in California silicon valley. Muhammad holds a Masters in Computer Science from Colorado State University and graduated with honors from University of Arkansas, USA.

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