The Social Entrepreneurship Forum

Brought to you by the Authority of Social Contribution - Ma'an

About the Social Entrepreneurship Forum

Taking place at startAD Central, the inaugural edition of the Social Entrepreneurship Forum aims to foster a vibrant community where local and international stakeholders in social entrepreneurship will connect. Together, we will explore the challenges and opportunities in the field of social entrepreneurship in the UAE.

The annual Angel Rising investor education symposium is organized jointly by startAD and the GCC-based venture capital firm VentureSouq. Over the last 8 years, it has grown to be a leading voice demystifying and encouraging the cause of technology startup investments in the UAE.

The forum will be an invite-only event in startAD central, New York University Abu Dhabi, on Thursday, November 16th, 2023, from 11:00 am.


by Dr. Sophia Jeong, Head of Business, Organizations and Society at NYUAD

Panel discussions

discussing the pressing challenges of social entrepreneurship in a local and global scale, and the importance of upskilling youth to contribute to the cause

Think Tank

moderated by subject matter experts, university students will engage in roundtable discussions to identify vulnerable communities in the UAE and how to extend their support through entrepreneurship

Ma’an Alumni Exhibition

where startups will showcase their products and services in their exhibition booths



Ma'an Logo


Hong Kong Social Entrepreneurship Competition


11:00 – 11:30 AM


Registration and Exhibition Showcase

Guests to register. Alumni booths from the Authority of Social Contribution – Ma’an, will be open for the duration of the forum.

11:30 – 11:45 AM


Introduction and Welcome Note

Introduction by Dr. Sophia Jeong, NYUAD BOS

11:30 – 12:10 PM


Panel Discussion: Social Enterprises, A Local and Global Perspective

Local and global startups will explore the challenges of operating a social enterprise, offering valuable tools and resources for a successful impact-focused business. A 10-minute Q&A session will follow the panel discussion.

12:10 – 12:30 PM



Coffee break

12:30 – 1:05 PM


Panel Discussion: Youth for Climate Action Panelists

Government entities, university startup founders and ecosystem experts will facilitate a dialogue on how to promote youth in the social impact sphere.

13:05 – 1:50 PM


Looking into the Future – Think Tanks and Idea Generation Roundtable

A roundtable for UAE university students will pinpoint at-risk communities and brainstorm ways social entrepreneurship can enhance their quality of life.

13:50 – 2:00 PM


Closing Remarks

Closing remarks will be delivered by Kevin Au, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

14:00 – 3:00 PM


Lunch and Networking

The event will close with a lunch and networking opportunities for all guests

Adnan Dekedek
Program Lead
startAD at NYUAD
Max Rye
Patricia Bubner
Patricia Bubner
Orbillion Bio
Rodrigo Mallo
General Partner
Outsized Ventures
Katherine Foster
Advisor Social
Alpha Foundation
Fransisco Jardim
Managing Partner
SP Ventures
Ed Marcum
Managing Director
Working Capital Investment Fund
Fahim Al Qasimi
Co Founder
Seafood Souq
Greg Ohanessian
Soma Mater
Nihal Shaikh
Assistant Director of Communications and Strategic Projects
Lola Fernandez
Senior Investment Associate
Hattan Ahmed
Entrepreneurship Director
Muna Abusulayman
Social Impact Investor & Serial Entrepreneur
Andrew Yip
Head of Technology & Innovation
Food, NEOM
Kholoud Almohammadi
Investment Manager, Future Investement
Initiative Institure
Caio Malufe
Head of Strategy
Food & Ag Advisor, Orbillion Bio
Heather Henyon
Founding Partner
Mindshift Capital
Nicole Rogers
Drawdown Foods
Henry Gordon Smith
Justine Dampt
Shake your plants
Anshuman Bapna
, Inc
Majid Al Qassimi
Founder & Partner
Soma Mater
John Tate
John Tate
Tamkeen LLC
Sonia Weymuller
Sonia Weymuller
Partner and Co-Founder

Welcome note to all guests outlining the vision of Angel Rising 2020, thanking partners, sponsors and ecosystem enablers to make all of this possible.

Welcome note to all guests outlining the vision of Angel Rising 2020, thanking partners, sponsors and ecosystem enablers to make all of this possible.


This panel will cover the ways how local and international entrepreneurs are building inclusive, efficient food systems leveraging new technologies and existing infrastructure and practices. We will try to answer questions such as: How do we educate consumers on new technologies and flavors? How do we envision the new future farmer across different geographies? What are the current opportunities and gaps in the market for new products to nurture the next generations?

This panel will discuss the role of smart capital in the Food and AgTech sectors across different growth stages. What’s the spectrum of capital available to companies? Is there a a fundraising canon in the industry? How can new forms of financing based on ESG and impact-focused remits benefit Food & AgTech projects?

Food security has been top of mind in the MENA region, with many initiatives launched in KSA. This panel will discuss the current landscape of the Food & AgTech space in the Kingdom and the future outlook for the tech community regionally.

This panel will discuss the very important topic of traceability, what the current status is and ways to move forward with technologies to empower all stakeholders in building and consuming a sustainable, transparent food produce.

This panel will cover the exciting topic of cellular agriculture, global investors and founders will discuss the recent developments in the space, the road ahead and how consumers are responding to this new product in the market.

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