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Startup Grind hosts the Kabul-Afghanistan startup leaders, players and most awesome startups for an Iftar gathering in honor of Holy Month of Ramadan 2018.
Omar Mansoor Ansari is Afghanistan’s senior entrepreneur and researcher in ICT. He has over fifteen years of experience in building institutions, coalition and technology startups. Omar worked with Microsoft and IDRC, between 2004 and 2008, on software localization and received Microsoft Localization Champion Award. He worked as the Co-founder/ Executive director of Afghan Computer Science Association (ACSA), 1999-2008, and Editor-in-Chief of the Computer Science bimonthly.
Omar was recently appointed as a member of the IGF- Internet Governance Forum's Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG). He served as Kabul director of the Founder Institute, an idea stage accelerator headquartered in Silicon Valley. Omar worked in youth employment, technology, entrepreneurship, public policy, strategic planning, campaigning and PR. His most recent work includes founding TechWomen Afghanistan, a network of Afghan women in tech; TechDera, a community technology center based in Kabul; and TechAfghanistan, a technology information and resource portal, Managing Ibtikaar, a technology business incubator by MCIT-- all platforms for technology development and promotion, business acceleration, education and networking. He served as coordinator of IGF Afghanistan 2017 that brought together around 200 key actors to discuss Internet Governance issues.
Omar is a full time President of TechNation, a Kabul based technology and management consulting company, Chairman of the National ICT Alliance of Afghanistan (NICTAA), the country’s largest consortium of ICT players, Vice Chairman of the Internet Society of Afghanistan, and is elected Board Member of the World IT and Services Alliance (WITSA) and member of ICANN’s Business Constituency. Omar has been advising the Government of Afghanistan, Ministry of Communications and IT, Ministry of Trade and Commerce, USAID and The World Bank projects and programs on various ICT4D issues.
Akbar Arghandiwal an Afghan American entrepreneur who came back to Afghanistan from the US in 2008. Before Synergy Solutions, he managed AFGS LLC and AFTC LLC, Scimitar RMC as its CEO. These ventures went from startup to multi-million dollars enterprises in short time. In the United states where Akbar grew up, he studied computer sciences and worked various companies such as Intuit Software, Oxus International, NF Communication to name a few. He married to his wife Sara and they have 3 children.
Yousef Dawran is a visionary marketing and corporate executive. He is an entrepreneur with established businesses in Afghanistan & India. He is the founder and CEO of Pace Group of Companies in Afghanistan and the Afghan Business Center in India. He has founded Pace Group of companies (a series of communication, event management and marketing firms) in Afghanistan with an initial capital of USD 100. Now six years after its inception, Pace Group owns the Indian based Afghan Business Center (a food distribution venture) with a wide range of product and operational portfolio operating across India.
Mr. Suleman Fatimie earned his MBA from UK with specialization in Human Resource Management. Prior to becoming a Managing Partner at Afghanistan Center for Excellence, he was the CEO of Harakat-Afghanistan Investment Climate Facility (2009-2011). He also worked as the CEO of Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan (EPAA) from 2007 to 2009. He designed exportable offers and advocated for the creation of a business-enabling environment in Afghanistan. EPAA was awarded the Best Trade Promotion Organization from least developed countries by ITC (International Trade Center).
He also served as the Vice President of Afghanistan Investment Support Agency (AISA) from 2003 to 2006, advising and consulting the high commission on investment to remove business barriers and enabling AISA to become a one-stop shop for investors. He is fluent in Pashto, Dari and English.