Past event…

Event Ended

The American University of Iraq Slemani

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Aug 29
  • Registration and Networking
  • Welcome
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Dinner
  • Go Home and Prepare for Tomorrow!


Aug 30
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Teams formed and setting up workspace for the weekend
  • Lunch
  • Call for needs & skills
  • Coaches help teams one-on-one. They are here to help!
  • Speaker
  • Dinner
  • Mid weekend check-in, status reports, call for help
  • Finished for the day. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Aug 31
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Speaker
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!
Key Partners
Silver Sponsors
Contributing & Media Sponsors

Alan Ali

CEO of AvA Group   |  LinkedIn

Alan Ali is the CEO of AvA Group. He has more than 15 years of experience in telecommunications with diverse range of knowledge such as engineering , finance, marketing and leadership. Exposure to the growth of a company from a small startup business to a big company with multi million customers. Interested in executive potions for multi national companies in Iraq. He was a Technical consultant-Executive Board, Operations Director, Regional Opearations Manger, and Network Subsystem Engineer in Asiacell since 1999 to 2011, He was also a Central Computer Unit Supervisor in Khak Tv for 4 years. In 2009, he studied PLD Program at Harvard Business School. He has BSc. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Slemani and MBA in International Management & Leadership at The American University of Iraq - Slemani.

Ranj Farhad

Founder of RFB investment and co-founder of Pronto Restaurant   |  

Ranj Farhad is an AUIS alumni member who has graduated in Business Administration. As a student, he spent his time running RFB investment in evaluating investment opportunities. Ranj is a co-founder of Pronto Restaurant and currently focuses on his investments in the residual oil industry in the Kurdistan region. He is a young entrepreneur who believes that there is a high potential of business opportunities yet to be filled.

Lana Tahseen

Commercial Director at Kelkan Group

Lana Tahseen is the Commercial Director at Kelkan Group, a local company founded in 2004 to provide oilfield services to international oil companies operating within the KRG. She has a degree in civil engineering and a PGCE in Education, which she put to use as a business and IT college lecturer in the UK for 9 years. Lana also has over 12 years of experience in construction management and business development which has aided Kelkan Group to meet international standards and operate with large scale international companies such as Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Gasprom. As well as being successful in her field of work, Lana is also a wife and mother of two daughters.


Jeremy Courtney

Founder and executive director of the Preemptive Love Coalition (PLC)   |  

Jeremy Courtney is the founder and executive director of the Preemptive Love Coalition (PLC), an international development organization that works across Iraq to eradicate the backlog of children waiting in line for lifesaving heart surgeries. Prior to founding PLC, Jeremy owned and operated a socially conscious hand-made shoe business and experienced the discouragement of several other failed business attempts. Today PLC is one of the most widely engaged medical organizations in Iraq and has grown under Jeremy's leadership to millions of dollars a year in program revenue, hundreds of lives saved, and thousands of hours of training invested into local Iraqi doctors and nurses.

Mohammed Al-Samarrai

Co-Founder / COO at Easy Bites

Dr. Mohammed Al-Samarrai is one of the founders of Easy Bites, acting as Chief Operations Officer. He is a consultant to GIZ / Icon-Institute Private Sector GmbH in the matter of building the National Information Technology Association (NITA) in Erbil, Iraq. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from De Montfort University - United Kingdom.
Although he owns a Kia-Rio, he's a "Petrol Head" :)

Raz Rasool

Regional Director for AIX Global and Director of Atwanim Organization

Raz Rasool is a social activist and startup owner, although electrical engineer by education. The first Kurdish woman to be received by the President of the USA, she has over 15 years of experience in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq. She has worked in the fields of infrastructure, humanitarian relief, women, youth and education, and also has significant consultancy experience in project management, business, and organizational development of government and NGOs. She is currently Regional Director for AIX Global - a medical distribution company, and serves as Volunteer Director of Atwanim Organization for Development and on the Community Service Council for Komar University of Science and Technology. She is married, has two children and is slightly obsessed with Arab Idol.

Dr. Kevin Wheeler

Partner and Entrepreneurship Practice Leader at The Kaizen Company

Dr. Kevin Wheeler Kevin is a Partner and Entrepreneurship Practice Leader at The Kaizen Company, an international development consulting firm that works extensively in Iraq. He is currently designing several startup acceleration programs in the Middle East, founded a cleantech startup, is a partner in a startup investment firm, and runs the Iraq Technology Entrepreneurs Facebook page. Kevin has a PhD from Columbia University and previously worked with the Boston Consulting Group.

Dilshad O. Abubakir

Regional Development Assistant Specialist at USAID/Iraq

Upon receiving a prestigious Fulbright grant in 2007, Dilshad successfully completed a Master’s in public communication from The College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York in May 2009. From September 2009 through April 2012, Dilshad served as public relations officer with the KRG Department of IT. As of May 2012, Dilshad has been working with the USAID/Iraq in Erbil as a Regional Development Assistance Specialist.

Speakers & Facilitator


Kurdish Fashion Designer   |  

Mrs. Nasrin is a Kurdish talented fashion designer. She lives in Milano/Italy. She has received her Bachelor's degree in Fashion Design. She is back to Kurdistan now. She has presented more than 10 Fashion Shows in Milano/Italy. Since her childhood she has been interested in design and fashion and it was her dream to become a fashion designer. She has also worked very hard to introduce Kurdish culture to people in Europe especially Milano/Italy.She has lived in Italy since the mid of 1980's. She has also been chosen and received an award as the most active woman for the year of 2004 in Milano/Italy. Now, what she works on is making "Nasrin" an international brand.

Alistair Shepherd

Co-founder at Saberr & Startup Weekend Facilitator   |  LinkedIn

Besides being a co-founder at Saberr, Alistair is a Global Scholar and Fellow of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a Startup Weekend Facilitator and Research Fellow, an Engineering Researcher and Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Southampton, a guest lecturer at the Universities of Bristol and Southampton and is also the Chairman of the Board for the Student Kitesurfing Association.

Amed L.Omar
Banu Ibrahim Ali
Arsh L.Omar
Mahmood Shawkat Jaff
Hanar Marouf
Azheen Ihsan Fuad

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