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Under the kind patronage of H.R.H. Prince Saud Bin Nayef, the governor of the Eastern Province, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) is proud to organize its 5th Entrepreneurship Forum, February 21, 2018. The theme of the forum is: "Collaborative Entrepreneurship, An Imperative for Saudi Vision 2030".
The forum will be held at a time when the Kingdom is witnessing a great development at all levels and an acceleration in the pace of entrepreneurship support system which is urged by the Kingdom vision 2030 in support of the business sector. Due to the university entrepreneurial role as well as its role in the creation and development of innovation system and energy entrepreneurship, Dhahran Technology Valley has been established, which is the largest gathering of energy research and development centers.
The Entrepreneurship Institute would like to take this opportunity to extend to you a very warm welcome to our forum and wish you a joyful stay at KFUPM.

Dr. Wail A. Mousa
Dean, Entrepreneurship Institute


meet our speakers

Mr. Abdulaziz AlBassam

Managing Partner, MABconsult, and Board Member, Oqal Eastern Province

Mr. Abdulaziz Muhammed AlBassam is a Mechanical Engineer (KFUPM) and the Managing Partner of MABconsult. Additionally he is a board Member of Oqal, Eastern Province. Also, he is a member of the Municipal Council of Eastern Province.

Funding Startups in KSA

Mr. Abdulrahman S. Al-Shehri

CEO, Tweetso

Abdulrahman S. Al-Shehri is the founder of Tweetso company, he has B.Sc of Computer Science (with honor) from Taif university, he started his working life when he was a student as freelance programmer, and he wrote a book about Visual Basic programming, he has excellent skills in e-commerce and social media. He worked as Linux system engineer in KACST.
in 2012 he start building IT professional network called Tweetso to help people in social media to recover hacked accounts and assist them in technical issues and they recovered more than 50,000 accounts before he decided to start his own company Tweetso and joining KFUPM Entrepreneurship institute.

The Way forward to Collaborate

Mr. Ahmed Al Jibreen

Investment Manager, 500 Startups, Saudi Arabia

Investment manager in Saudi Arabia for 500 Startups, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund. The 500 Startups Falcons fund invests in seed-stage companies in MENA. Holds an MBA from Cornell University and was the fund manager for the seed-stage venture capital fund at Cornell University.

Funding Startups in KSA

Mr. Esam Al-Thukair

Vice Governor Entrepreneurship, Small & Medium Enterprises General Authority.

Esam Al-Thukair is the Vice Governor Entrepreneurship of Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (SMEA) with more than 15 years’ experience in Entrepreneurship, Governmental, Banking and private sector. In the past, he worked as Chief Investment Officer of family business in the manufacturing and SME industry. He was the Team leader SME sector in Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) and worked in the private Equity team in AlRajhiCapital. Mr. Esam helped on establishing number of startups in Tech, Food and Social. He is a mentor and coach for several universities and incubators. Esam holds a double Master's degree and got his bachelor in Information System from King Fahad University and Minerals (KFUPM).

The Saudi Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Mr. Fahad Al-Hamzi

Managing Director, High Sky Advertising Factory

Graduated from KFUPM ( Electrical Engineering ), Worked in Private Sector in the field of Oil and Gas , Member of Asharqiya Business Youth Council , Classified from Forbes as one of the leaders inspiring kingdom in 2103 and 2014 , Founder of different businesses in the manufacturing , retail and services sectors .

The Way forward to Collaborate

Mr. Fuad Mohammed Mosa

General Manager, Local Content & Business Development Unit, SABIC

Fuad Mosa is the General Manager of Sabic’s Local Content & business development Unit – an arm of the company created to develop local content in the Kingdom according to KSA 2030 Vision. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from KFUPM in Dhahran, a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from KSU in Riyadh and an MBA degree from Thunderbird School of Management in Arizona, USA.
He has over 20 years of experience in multiple fields related to the petrochemical industry. He has been assigned to several roles within Sabic including Operations, Research, Technology and Business. He contribute in more than 30 filed patent through his career. He serves as board member at many companies, Centers and institute. Before appointed to his current role with the Local Content & business development Unit, he was General Manager of Sabic Global Chemical Technologies.

The Saudi Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Mr. Hamad Almuqbel

Co-founder, Lean Node

Hamad Almuqbel is a technology entrepreneur and a co-founder of Lean Node, a software development company that focuses on startups and aims to optimize software delivery. Hamad has a bachelor in Software Engineering from KFUPM, and since he has been involved in different industries through his work as a technology strategy consultant at Accenture and after at Udacity to manage web courses in MENA. Major geek and coffee addict.

The Way forward to Collaborate

Mr. Jassim Alharoon

Investment Consultant

Jassim Alharoon, MBA. Financial professional with more than 13 years of experience in companies establishing, building and operating. Founding member of Raed Venture.

Funding Startups in KSA

Dr. Joseph Pekny

Head of Global Innovation, Purdue University, and Chairman, Global Advisory Board, KFUPM Entrepreneurship Institute

Joseph F. Pekny is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University and Director of Deliberate Innovation in Discovery Park. Professor Pekny was a founding Director of Discovery Park and the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering. He leads the Cancer Care Engineering Project with Marietta Harrison and Pat Loehrer of IU School of Medicine and is the Principal Investigator on a National Institute of Health project to improve the manufacturing of biologics processes. He founded and advises Advanced Process Combinatorics, Inc. – a Purdue Research Park company. His research interests are in algorithm engineering for combinatorial optimization applications and in devising the best possible system for translating research into practical impact. His work includes applications in energy systems modeling, research pipeline management, manufacturing, and planning and scheduling. Professor Pekny served as the Head of Purdue’s School of Industrial Engineering from 2008-2010. He received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and his Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

The Saudi Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Mr. Khalil Al-Shafei

CEO & Managing Director Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures Co. Ltd.

Khalil A. Al-Shafei is the CEO and Managing Director of Saudi Aramco Enterpreneurship Venture Co. “WA’ED.” Prior to joining Wa’ed, Mr. Al-Shafei joined Aramco Services Company (ASC), the U.S. subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, in 2012 as the manager of the ASC Technical Services Department. In this role he oversaw a wide of company activities, including the North America venture capital subsidiary Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, as well as responsibility for engineering, information technology, quality insurance and inspection, environmental stewardship, megaprojects and project support, and technology transfer.
Prior to joining ASC, Al-Shafei was appointed as the interim president of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center. In this role, he oversaw the center’s development and launch, including strategies for research, human capital, information technology, finance, procurement, and public relations; as well as the facility’s construction. He recruited the Center’s executive staff, and led the launch of the Center’s inaugural conference in 2011.
Al-Shafei spent more than 30 years with Saudi Aramco, a fully integrated, global petroleum and chemicals enterprise, serving in numerous leadership and professional positions. As the director of the Research and Technology Program, he guided the development of the corporate strategic plan for downstream research and technology programs.
Al-Shafei also served as a member of Saudi Aramco’s Corporate Strategic Committee leading the development of the corporate strategies for clean fuel, oil to chemicals, oil to hydrogen, oil by wire, carbon and sulfur management; and he investigated the impact of environmental and legislative policies on oil demand. He also led the development of collaboration strategies within Saudi Arabia and global research institutions in Europe, the United States, China and Russia.
Al-Shafei, while serving as the Manager of Materials Planning and System Department, led the development of new programs to optimize the company’s supply chain management to reduce procurement cost and time, and to strategically position the company to take advantage of commodity market conditions.
Al-Shafei was the chief editor of the Proceedings on Engineering for Calcareous Sediments and has published several technical papers at industry conferences worldwide. He was also one of the founders of the American Society of Civil Engineers-Saudi Arabia Section and was elected president for two terms. During the course of his career, he has received several technical and leadership awards. He is currently the President of the Innovation Society.
Al-Shafei earned an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and a graduate degree in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He completed the Harvard Business School Executive General Management Program; and “Game Change: Decision Making Analysis and Negotiations.” He also completed programs at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Supply Chain Strategic Planning; and Entrepreneurial Strategies for Innovation and Growth at Babson College.

The Saudi Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Mr. Mohammad Al-Malki

Vice Governor, Funding Sector, SME Authority

Mohammed has more than 25 years of diverse expertise in financial sector in both semi-government and private sectors. Prior to joining the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority, he held senior positions with leading organizations i.e. KASB Capital, Capital Market Authority, Samba Financial Group and Riyad Bank. His expertise includes Capital Markets and Banking products & services, regulatory oversight, governance, auditing, compliance, etc. Mohammed holds an MBA from Alfaisal University.

Funding Startups in KSA

Mr. Mohammed Al-Mutawaa

Co-Founder and CEO of inergy

Mechanical engineering student at King Fahd university of Petroleum & Minerals. Co-Founder and CEO of “Inergy”. Part time energy & martial researcher at KFUPM research center.

The Way forward to Collaborate

Mr. Muath Bin Hussain

General Manager, GOODAT

General Manager and founder of GOODAT consulting company specialized in strategy and planning. Holds two master degrees in business administration; Executive MBA from Jack Welch Management Institute and MBA from KFUPM. Co-founded Olou, a Saudi company for entrepreneurship and career development. Worked with Saudi Aramco for 4 years and was involved in the strategic transformation program.

The Way forward to Collaborate

Dr. Robert Strom

Director of Research & Policy, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Robert Strom directs the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s commissioned research, working with the nation’s top scholars to advance knowledge in entrepreneurship. Strom also has served on the collegiate and youth entrepreneurship teams during his tenure at the Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, he was a visiting professor at the Bloch School of Business at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and vice president of the National Council on Economic Education. Strom also has been assistant vice president for public affairs at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, president of the Missouri Council on Economic Education, a professor of economics at the University of Missouri at Columbia, and a member of the economics department at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Strom has written extensively on topics related to entrepreneurship in academic and professional publications. He is co-editor of three books on entrepreneurship and economic growth, and regularly speaks on entrepreneurship to professional and academic audiences. Strom holds a PhD in economics from the University of Cincinnati.

The Saudi Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Mr. Saleh Al-Rasheed

Governor, Small & Medium Enterprises General Authority

Saleh Al-Rasheed is the Governor Of the Small & Medium Enterprises Authority since February 2018. He was the Chief Executive Officer Riyadh Airports Company (RAC) since April 2017 until February 2018. He is leading the company through a major transformation in its structure and services transferring the government-owned and run body into a privately managed entity. He introduced a series of services in planning, strategy, digitalization focusing on enhancing passenger journey and increasing revenues from services and greater returns on capitals. Eng. Rasheed leads The Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON) during the period between 2012 till 2017, supervising programs and projects for the development, rehabilitation, and operation of the industrial cities with a portfolio expenditure exceeding 15 Billion Saudi Riyals (4 Billion USD). It resulted in erecting more than 35 fully functioning industrial cities all over the Kingdom covering more than 180 MSM of developed industrial and serviced lands. He led a series of initiatives and projects resulted in more than 600 factories serving SME’s which contributed increased industrial incubating initiatives fostering further economic diversity.

The role of the SME Authority in Supporting the Saudi Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Mr Salman T. Jaffrey

Chief Investment Officer at Wa'ed Ventures

Salman T. Jaffrey is the Chief Investment Officer at Wa’ed Ventures, a $200 million venture capital fund established by Saudi Aramco to invest in Kingdom-based startups and small and medium-sized enterprises that promote economic development and enhance the Saudi entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem. He is also an investment committee member for the ‘StartUp Lab’, a technology and innovation-driven incubator/accelerator and seed fund at the Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Centre.
Salman has more than 13 years of experience consulting and investing in venture capital and private equity deals. He has led a number of investments across the deal continuum – from originating, evaluating and executing deals to maximizing investment value – and managed a sizable investment portfolio. As an investment specialist, Salman has focused on business valuation and financial due diligence across a diverse range of sectors including technology, healthcare, hospitality, retail, and energy. He has consulted on venture capital and private equity investments, mergers and acquisitions, buy and sell-side mandates, strategic planning, market entry, carve-outs, and divestitures. Prior to his current role, Salman was the Chief Financial Officer at Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, a $500 million corporate venture capital fund that invests globally into early-stage and high growth technology companies. He has previously worked at leading professional advisory and consulting firms, including PwC and Ernst & Young. Salman holds a master’s degree in business forensics from the University of Melbourne, and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). He has also completed an Innovation & Entrepreneurship program from Stanford University.

Funding Startups in KSA

Mr. Theodore Goede lll

Investment Director, Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures Co. Ltd.

Theodore L. ("Trey") Goede III is currently Head of Portfolio Management for Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures, a $200MM venture fund launched by Saudi Aramco in 2013 to diversify the Kingdom’s economy and create high quality Saudi jobs. After participating in fund formation, Mr. Goede helped lead the fund through its first 22 approved transactions in 4.5 years. Mr. Goede also currently sits on the Board of Directors of four Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures portfolio companies, PayTabs, an online payment services company, SafeRoad, a GPS vehicle tracking company, Geophysical Equipment Factory Limited, an oil and gas exploration and geophysical equipment manufacturing company, and Virtual Vision, an ICT services company specializing in cloud solutions. Mr. Goede is also a member of the Investment Committee for the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals’ Entrepreneurship Institute funding program, and an Advisory Board Member for the College of Engineering at Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University. Recently, Mr. Goede helped to create and launch a Professional Certification in Innovation for Saudi Aramco as an Instructor, where the class is now being offered on a quarterly basis. Lastly, Mr. Goede helped launch the registered Innovation Ecosystem Society as a co-founder and he serves on the Board of Directors.
Previously, Mr. Goede was Chief Executive Officer of Affinity Wind, LLC, a wind energy development company, which he founded in 2007. After raising $1.5MM from individual investors and a major university, and then forming a strategic joint venture with turbine manufacturer Suzlon Corporation for an additional $3MM of funding, Affinity developed a portfolio of wind projects located in the United States.
He was formerly Executive Vice President of River City Internet Group, LLC, a privately-held investment and holding company focused on developing, owning and operating businesses primarily in the Information Communication Technology (“ICT”) sector. While at River City Internet Group, Mr. Goede started several businesses related to technology and telecommunications, including Electric Internet, a Broadband over Power Line joint venture with a United States public utility, Ameren Corporation. Previously in 1998, he was Vice President of Primary Network, which Mr. Goede helped develop into one of the nation's largest regional ISPs before raising over $50 million to fund its growth to offer local and long-distance telephone and DSL services. In 1999, Primary Network was recognized as the fastest growing technology company in the St. Louis area, and the thirteenth fastest in the United States.
Mr. Goede was recognized by Fast Forward/St. Louis Business Journal as one of the publication's “30 under 30” business people, twice recognized as one of the Most Influential St. Louisans (2011 and 2012), along with Who’s Who in Energy honors in 2012. Mr. Goede served on Missouri Governor Bob Holden's Information Technology Roundtable Committee and contributed to a Battelle Memorial Institute study related to technology. Mr. Goede has served on a number of Boards including Affinity Wind, Ameren Pure Power, FinServe Tech Angels, Boston College Energy and Environment Alumni Network, Missouri Department of Economic Development-Energy Sector, Missouri Association of PACE Professionals, Cultivation Capital (Entrepreneur In Residence) and River City Internet Group.
Mr. Goede was an adjunct professor in the Business School’s Entrepreneur Department at St. Louis University from 2004-2012, the 7th best Entrepreneur program in the United States. Mr. Goede holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Business Operations and Strategic Management, both from Boston College.

Funding Startups in KSA

Mr. Wessam Maghrabi

Lawyer & Legal Adviser

Litigation Lawyer and Legal advisor, for over twenty years serving local and international companies and individuals including entrepreneurs and business startups. Served briefly with the royal embassy in Washington DC as a legal outreach officer. Had the honor of becoming a faculty member of the bachelors and masters programs of UBT and Sunderland University. Licensed as a legal adviser by the Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Industry since the year 2000 to 2006 and thereafter to practice law by the Saudi Ministry of Justice since 2006 to date. Advising local and international companies. Serving family owned and operated corporations and companies differing in scale from small to medium and large size companies.

The Saudi Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Mr. ZainAlabdin Tawfiq

Founder & CEO, Sarahah

ZainAlabdin Tawfiq was born and raised in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. He worked as a technical consultant for WIPRO before joining Saudi Aramco as a business system analyst. In Aramco, Zain did financial and manpower planning and helped prepare the company for the IPO. In his spare time, he developed the Sarahah platform which topped the Apple AppStore charts in more than 30 countries.

Sarahah Story

Forum Schedule

09:00 AM

Registration and Networking Coffee

09:45 AM

Opening Ceremony and Welcome Address

H.E. Dr. Khaled S. Al-Sultan, KFUPM Rector address

Diamond Sponsor address

H.R.H. Prince Saud Bin Nayef, Governor, Eastern Province address

10:30 AM

Keynote 1 | The role of the SME Authority in Supporting the Saudi Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Mr. Saleh Al-Rasheed
Governor Small & Medium Enterprises General Authority

11:00 AM

Panel Discussion 1 : The Saudi Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Moderated by Dr. Robert Strom
Director of Research & Policy Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

  • Dr. Joseph Pekny, Head of Global Innovation, Purdue University, and Chairman, Global Advisory Board, KFUPM Entrepreneurship Institute
  • Mr. Esam Al-Thukair, Vice Governor Entrepreneurship, Small & Medium Enterprises General Authority.
  • Mr. Khalil Al-Shafei, CEO & Managing Director Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures Co. Ltd.
  • Mr. Fuad Mohammed Mosa, General Manager, Local Content & Business Development Unit, SABIC
  • Mr. Wessam Maghrabi, Lawyer & Legal Adviser

12:00 PM

Dhuhr Prayer and Lunch | EI Student Poster Session

All students teams participated in the Institute activities

01:30 PM

Panel Discussion 2 : Funding Startups in KSA
Moderated by Mr. Trey Goede
Investment Director, Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures Co. Ltd.

  • Mr. Mohammad Al-Malki, Vice Governor, Funding Sector, SME Authority
  • Mr. Ahmed Al-Jibreen, Investment Manager, 500 Startups, Saudi Arabia
  • Mr. Abdulaziz AlBassam, Managing Partner, MABconsult, and Board Member, Oqal Eastern Province.
  • Mr Salman T. Jaffrey, Chief Investment Officer at Wa'ed Ventures
  • Mr. Jassim Alharoon, Investment Consultant

03:00 PM

Asr Prayer and Coffee Break

03:30 PM

Keynote 2 | Sarahah Story
Mr. ZainAlabdin Tawfiq
Founder & CEO Sarahah

04:00 PM

Panel Discussion 3 : The Way forward to Collaborate
Moderated by Mr. Mohammad Almotawa
CEO, Ienergy

  • Mr. Fahad Al-Hamzi, Managing Director, High Sky Advertising Factory
  • Mr. Muath Bin Hussain, Vice President, Goodat
  • Mr. ZainAlabdin Tawfiq, Founder & CEO, Sarahah.
  • Mr. Hamad Almuqbel, CO-founder, Lean Node
  • Mr. Abdulrahman Alshehri, CEO, Tweetso

05:30 PM

Concluding Remarks and End of the Forum


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