Regenerative Agriculture Venture Programme
Transformative journey to develop entrepreneurship skills in the domain of research-based regenerative agriculture solutions.
Mohamed is a CEO and Founder of My Farm, and represents the fifth generation of farmers in his family and has a background in engineering. Mohamed's journey with My Farm has been driven by the convergence of low-tech and new-tech approaches, all aimed at optimizing organic food production safely. The core of Mohamed's mission at My Farm lies in the creation of circular systems, which is believed to be key to achieving the UAE's food security goals.
Mehdi Yann Echchadly is a MENAT Senior Manager in Sustainable Financing at HSBC’s Commercial Banking division. With a master’s degree in politics and economics and a 5-year tenure at the bank, Mehdi has held various roles within Sustainability at HSBC in different geographies. Initially based in Paris covering corporate clients and their sustainable financing projects in Europe, Mehdi has recently joined HSBC MENAT leveraging his European sustainable finance expertise to drive sustainable growth and advise corporate clients in their ESG projects.
Lola is a Senior Associate at VentureSouq, focused on the ClimateTech thesis investing in early-stage technology companies in FoodTech, Carbon Economy, Supply Chain Tech and Climate FinTech. Prior to VentureSouq, Lola worked with the High Yield Debt Capital Markets team at ING Bank N.V. and with KPMG UAE’s Business Performance Services division. Lola holds a B.A. from New York University Abu Dhabi where she is now a guest lecturer on climate and impact investing and is a Terra.do Fellow.
Hussein stands as an accomplished expert in the realms of growth strategy and strategic partnerships, wielding an impressive portfolio of achievements that have spurred growth, innovation, and transformation across various sectors within the Arab world. His leadership across multiple projects has honed his ability to introduce and adeptly manage the implementation of new technologies, prioritizing education to ensure the efficient evolution of organizations. In his role as the MENA Regional Manager at Farm To Plate, the agri-food tech arm of Paramount Software Solutions based in the United States, Hussein brings to bear his wealth of experience by offering unparalleled strategic guidance in the domains of innovation and technology. His influence extends across both public and private sectors throughout MENA countries. Notably, Hussein has played a pivotal role in introducing Farm To Plate's cutting-edge technological solutions to Governments and regional businesses.
Daniele is an AgTech visionary with proven impact, developing a rating system to unlock billions in sustainable ag investments. He currently leads the development and fundraising of LandPrint, a digital agro-environmental rating system for the corporate and financial sectors. Co-funded Adapta, a TA platform for digital technical assistance management and monitoring. Daniele coordinated one of the very first regenerative agriculture program in Brazil focused on small holder farmers in a semi-arid environment.
He is an impact venture builder with strong focus on social impact, environmental assets, climate change adaptation and mitigation; 20+ yrs experience in leading regenerative agriculture projects; nominated and received national international prizes (VEJA-SE; Celso Furtado Prize); Ph.D. in Water and Natural Resources Engineering and collaborations with top academic institutions; consolidated experience in DFIs structures and operations.
Christine is global leader and expert in agrifood and climate tech innovation, with two decades of experience leading creative and collaborative change throughout the industry. She has built Thought For Food, the world's largest and most diverse innovation movement and community that spans 180+ countries; has incubated and accelerated 100+ science-and-technology-based startups which have gone on to raise over $300mm in venture capital; and has worked extensively with organizations that include the United Nations, the Rockefeller Foundation, Cargill, Google, and DHL, among many others.
In her previous roles, Christine led external affairs, public policy, & corporate affairs functions for leading multinationals, unicorn-level startups, think tanks & industry associations. One of the highlights of her career was her work to design and establish the world’s first open-licensing platform for patented vegetable traits while working at Syngenta, which eventually led to a shift in the sharing and use of beneficial intellectual property assets across the entire plant breeding industry.
Christine was appointed to the Advisory Committee for the UN Food Systems Summit, and was selected for the prestigious Acumen/Rockefeller Food Systems Fellowship. Her work has been featured in MIT Tech Review, BBC, and The Economist, and Forbes recently named her as one of the “Top 10 Women in Synthetic Biology.”
Christine is the author of “The Change-makers Guide to Feeding the Planet,” the producer of 2 docu-films about next-gen agri-food-tech solutions, and has spearheaded global events on five continents that have earned awards for sustainability and impact from the United Nations Environment Programme and Fast Company.
Tamer has over 25 years of investment, entrepreneurial and innovation experience in Africa, Middle East, USA and Europe. As the MD of ARAF; a $58MM impact VC fund that invests in Agri startups with business models that help farmers adapt to climate change, he led the team that invested in 12 companies which impacted more than One Million farmers in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria and Ghana. Prior to joining ARAF, he led responsAbility AG (rA) Agriculture PE in Africa and Cargill’s growth strategy and investment activities in Africa. He received an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business, a PhD in Materials Engineering from Drexel University and a B.Sc. in Metallurgical Engineering from Cairo University.
Mariam is an investment professional with 15+ years of experience working across a wide range of the capital markets spectrum, from publicly listed companies to legacy family businesses, to her current and more active role, advising and investing in early-stage tech startups. Mariam began her career in Investment Banking advising mid- and large-cap companies in connection with corporate restructuring, equity- and debt- financing, mergers and acquisitions, and equity capital markets transactions, predominantly Initial Public Offerings.
She then provided Investor Relations advisory for a number of publicly-listed companies and family conglomerates. Mariam co-founded FLOW, a wellness center, whose operations spanned multiple locations. She leads AUC Angels, the first alumni-based angel investor network in the MENA region, and is a board member of Tiye Angels, a network of female angel investors guided by a gender lens investment thesis in Egypt. Mariam is a Partner at LoftyInc’s Alpha Fund, a pan-African fund investing in early-stage tech startups across multiple sectors.
Ewa has many years of experience in working with innovations and solutions for sustainable development gained in Poland, Austria and Dubai. She worked with the first Polish fund of funds supporting VC funds as well as with public funds provided by EU, Switzerland, Norway. She also worked as a consultant and a partnership/business development manager in the private sector. She was one of the founding members of an NGO focused on sustainable and ethical consumption. At EIT Food, she collaborates with the agrifood industry, startups, and other innovators to accelerate innovations in the Central Easter-Europe and Nordic countries. She is convinced that a transformation to a more sustainable, equitable, and just food system is possible
Fadi Mujahid is a seasoned professional with a strong background in digital transformation and entrepreneurship, particularly in the field of regenerative agriculture. With a Bachelor's in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Texas, Arlington, and further studies in Software Project Management at Carnegie Mellon University, Fadi brings a robust technical and managerial skill set to his roles. His experience spans various significant positions, including a Digital Agriculture Expert for the FAO Project and roles within the United Nations, where he focused on information systems and digital initiatives.
As the founder and former CEO of Game Power 7, Fadi demonstrated his entrepreneurial acumen by establishing the first online game publisher in the Arab region. He also has a track record of supporting startups and serving as a jury member in entrepreneurship contests across several organizations, highlighting his commitment to nurturing new talent and innovation.
Fadi’s expertise extends to organic horticulture and permaculture, underlined by his certifications in these areas. His combination of IT skills, entrepreneurial experience, and passion for sustainable agriculture practices makes him a valuable mentor for those looking to venture into the realm of regenerative agriculture. His role as a mentor will focus on guiding startups in leveraging digital technologies and sustainable practices to drive innovation and success in the agricultural sector.
Thera works for Priva, a family-owned multinational corporation in Westland (the Netherlands) that develops innovative and sustainable solutions to complex problems related to climate control and process management and is with this expertise unquestionably world market leader in (greenhouse) horticulture while also leading the way in automated climate and process control in commercial, public and industrial buildings.
In 2011 she joined the company to develop the market for horticulture solutions in Asia. Soon after that, she moved to live in Beijing where she served as General Manager Asia, focusing on the rapidly developing horticulture market in China and consolidating Priva’s position as market leader in Asia. Since 2019, Thera is responsible for managing the Sustainable Urban Delta foundation, an initiative that emphasizes that an integrated approach is the key to creating food producing cities: cities that embrace food production in their Green Belts, producing healthy, fresh and nutritious food for their citizens.