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Aug 22
  • Registration Starts
  • Dinner & Networking
  • Welcome & Speakers
  • Pitches Start
  • Attendees vote for the top ideas
  • Teams start forming and discussing ideas
  • Start to formalize teams and take an inventory of skills. Be honest, and direct about what resources and skills are needed for the weekend. You may stay and work as late as the venue will allow


Aug 23
  • 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!
  • 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 24
  • Arrive, simple breakfast & coffee
  • Call for help (this is self motivated, so don’t be shy)
  • Lunch
  • Coaches arrive… ASK QUESTIONS
  • Gut check. Start prepping for presentations
  • Dinner
  • Judging & awards
  • Wrapup
  • Go home!

Botan Osman

Botan Osman is the Country Director Kurdistan & N. Iraq for Restrata   |  LinkedIn

Botan Osman is the Country Director Kurdistan & N. Iraq for Restrata, a global security technology integration company with 22 offices across the globe and a project footprint across 70 countries. Botan is the founder and CEO of Glocal an investment and consulting firm that Thinks Global and Acts Local. Botan is also co-founder and partner at BAMM, a creative management firm.

Botan re-joined the private sector in 2013 after spending 6 years at the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq since 2007 where he served as the Head of the KRG Department of IT and IT Advisor to the Prime Minister. He was appointed to establish the department and lead the organisation. During his tenure he founded and developed the KRG Department of IT from the ground up, which led on a number of important initiatives, including the establishment of a state of the art Regional IT Academy, the KRG Biometric Electronic ID Card System, the design of the cloud based regional data centre and the development of the KRG wide IT Strategy and Blueprint, encouraged major firms such as Microsoft and Cisco to enter Kurdistan, supported Kurdish language in Microsoft products such as Windows 8 and submitted the official KRG application to ICANN for the .KRD internet domain which is due to be launched soon.

Throughout his work for the community he has supported a number of initiatives and events in Kurdistan, including his role as the co-founder and co-organiser of TEDxErbil.

Botan holds a BSC in Software Engineering from Manchester University and has over 14 years of experience in IT and Management. Prior to returning to Kurdistan, he occupied a number of senior management positions in Information Technology and Financial companies mainly in the United Kingdom, primarily focusing on operations across Europe and the Middle East.

Mehabad Sadi Ali

Executive Director/ Quality Assurance Director at Ministry of Planning

Mehabad Sadi Ali is the Director of Quality Assurance and the UN Head of Coordination at KRG's Ministry of Planning who got her Masters degree in Business and Management at University of Kurdistan-Hawler. She has a very impressive background in planning and coordination because of her prior experiences in both the Ministry of Planning and Ministry of Humanitarian Aid and Cooperation. She has worked in both the private and public sectors, and has a lot of experience and skill regarding management and coordination. She is a very ambitious entrepreneur, and is dedicated to putting the potential of business opportunities and charisma existing to work.

Jotiar Ziad

The Capability Development and CSR Leader for WesternZagros Ltd.

Jotiar Ziad is a Kurdish American who currently works and lives in Sulaimani, Kurdistan. He is the Capability Development and CSR Leader for WesternZagros Ltd., a Canadian oil and gas company operating in Kurdistan. During the past four years he has been instrumental in fulfilling WesternZagros' commitment to the local communities, especially in the Garmian region of Kurdistan. The company has implemented corporate responsibility projects to the local citizens by increasing opportunities for local employment and standards of life, including creation of various water, education, health and recreation initiatives. He has partnered with universities of the region to provide staff development programs and internships for their students.
Jotiar has a B.A in Public Affairs and Policy Management from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Jotiar combines a Kurdish heritage with an understanding of Western culture and global oil and gas business practices.


Sarko Sami

Managing Director at xFm

When he was getting his bachelors degree in Media and Communication at the University of Sulaymaniah, he was evolved in establishing and improving XFM 105.7 which is based in Sulaymaniah. Due to his dedication, innovation and hard work, he was giving the role of Management at the establishment. He has provided many creative, effective and groundbreaking advertisement ideas, which eventually led him to take role in X-Production, which provides advertisement recordings for some leading businesses in the country. He has demonstrated excellence in both fields and proved himself in the community among young and upcoming business oriented individuals that, when one is taking ownership of the job they love, many opportunities can knock on his/her door.

Shalaw Ahmed Qaradaghi

Managing Director at Xpert

After living in the United States of America for thirteen years, he decided to return to a place where he always called home (Kurdistan). His dream has always been to serve and make differences in his community, to connect Western and Eastern cultures, and to familiarize the young community to the Western music. In 2009 along with Dr. Rowan Qaradaghi they exposed the vacuity of what young generation was missing, from there on the idea of an English radio station was born. Since then XFM 105.7 has served the community and provided top chart music, live programs and gifts and prices. XFM is a nonprofit radio station that is not funded by any political parties and has depended on its advertisements, productions and loyal staff members. Once again Shalaw and Dr. Rowan established XPERT a Marketing and Advertisement firm that operates independently to provide media plans and marketing strategy to their clients. Shalaw’s visions, imaginations and passion have led him to achieve his dreams, which he always wished for. He strives to build new establishments to better serve the community and a greater success in future.

Mazin A. Salahaddin

CEO at Delona for Advertising & Designing   |  LinkedIn

Mr Mazin is a computer engineering from Erbil. He is the founder/owner of project, which was one of the best Kurdish websites, and its ranking was on TOP20 in Iraq. Mazin made a conference about UX/UI and Android App at Cyprus in English for more than 400+ student in deferent universities. Not only that, but also he organized and worked in deferent kinds of events and confers like “TEDxErbil “,“Oracle Day – Cyprus “, “ Career days” and attended many other conferences. Being a designer for UI/UX and Graphical Designs, he is following his company’s slogan “Unique Idea, Unique Life.” He is a really hard worker for public services or nonprofit projects since he believes its his duty to serve his nationality “Kurd w Kurdistan” He believes creativity is the key to success and is open to share his ideas among people who want to learn.

Gullan Abdullah

Online Marketing Executive at Podium Solutions   |  

She is a recent graduate from the Olayan School of Business with a bachelor degree in Business Administration - Marketing emphasis at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. During her college years, she completed a semester at Dickinson College successfully. Gulan is also a Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) scholarship and Youth Exchange Student (YES) alumni. Upon her return to Southern Kurdistan, she has been working at a startup company, Podium Solutions as the online marketing executive for one of their first major event, Kurdistan Careers 2013. Previously, she interned at the American University of Iraq (AUIS), Sulaimani in 2012 and later on, at BLC bank and a startup company, White Mountain Technologies as the social media executive. She was also involved with the Lebanese Red Cross Youth Department at AUB for two years.

Ali Al-Hilly

Marketing Manager at AMBRO AB   |  LinkedIn

Ali is an internet marketing specialist. His background varies from Graphic Design (Adobe) Software Engineering (Bachelors) and Business Administration (Masters). He is also specialized in Google AdSense and has given few lectures in the Jordanian universities in association with a team of Google Student Ambassadors. He has a good knowledge in stock analysis as he was the title winner of the CFA stock analysis competition over Jordan in 2012 and Jordan’s representative in the continent level. Currently he is the marketing manager for AMBRO AB a Swedish company. Ali is also founder and activist for Mr.IraQ orphans support team in Iraq as well as some other charity activities in Jordan.

Nuha Serrac

Advisor at KRG Department of Foreign Relations

Nuha Serrac is a Kurdish-American who has returned to Kurdistan from Phoenix, Arizona. She holds a BSc in Political Science and History from Arizona State University. Nuha has been actively involved in organizing several events throughout America that have focused on raising awareness of the Kurdish question. She is one of the head coordinators of the annual Kurdish Youth Festival whose mission is to empower and mobilize young Kurds across America. Nuha is also involved in online activist groups such as the MideastYouth, which is a platform for youth of Middle East backgrounds to engage in political discussions and debates, and the Alliance for Kurdish Rights, an independent digital platform that seeks to collect and disseminate information about human rights violations committed against Kurds throughout the Middle East. Nuha currently resides in Hewlêr and works for the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Department of Foreign Relations.

Amanj A. Ali

Co-Founder - CCO at Avesta Group   |  LinkedIn

Amanj’s responsibility is to establish the sales strategy, and his strong ability in overseeing the market add an important value to the company. He identifies new products and market opportunities, and utilizes research to determine feasibility. Also, he evaluates the market trends and competition strategies. He manages marketing companies by setting plans and objectives. Ali is also the company’s Principal Designer. His close analysis of all web application aspects assures the company’s values meet customers’ satisfaction. As an IT expert for Iraq team, Amanj took part in Hurilab competition held in Armenia. His team's project, Amedia Watch, won the first prize among 8 other projects from 7 countries in the region. He has worked at the Kurdish Heritage Institute as their CTO for 5 years. Amanj is Certified in Internet Web Professional by CIW web design specialist. He also has a certification in Web Design from Cavendish College in England, besides being a Member of International Webmasters Association and National Information Technology Association.

Godar J. Ibrahim

CEO at Awrosoft ICT Solutions   |  LinkedIn

He is the Co-Founder/Owner of Awrosoft ICT solutions in 2006 and is the designer and developer of first Trilingual (English-Kurdish-Arabic) Dictionary (AwroDic) in Kurdistan. He has over 9 years of working experience in different Telecom, IT and computing, starting from working at Korek Telecom as Data Service Director and Technical Board Member, to 7Netlayers (Wego) as Technical Manager and Acting General Manager, and now managing Co-founded ICT Companies (Awrosoft and Awro Products (AP, the subsidiary company of Awrosoft)). Besides he is a Steering Committee Member of National Information Technology Association (NITA). He joined University of Salahaddin in 2013, as a Lecturer. Godar received his M.S. and B.S. in Software Engineering from University of Salahaddin-Hawler.

Rezan Allwandy

Lead Software Development Engineer at Centric Software Consultancy   |  LinkedIn

Rezan is a professional IT Consultant and Lead Software Development Engineer in the Netherlands. His Experience extends to more than 8 years hands-on experience with Agile Software Development working on diverse Business-driven IT projects.
Building a bridge between IT and Business in complex project environments is a daily responsibility and practice to Rezan, by translating Business needs and requirements to Technology, and adapt to changes to these requirements by applying Agile Software Development Processes and help the business to be forward thinking.
Rezan holds a Bachelor degree in Computer Science and Software Engineering. He is the Founder and General Manager of iErbil and several other commercial IT-projects.

David Saka

Real Estate Specialist/Market Entry Advisor at Erbil Manpower   |  LinkedIn

David Saka is a young talented and multilingual person with six years of professional experience in various capacities ranging from warehouse management to sales, office management and real estate consultancy. Born and educated in Erbil, Saka is expecting a B.A in Business Management by mid-2014. Saka has many distinguishing skills and expertise including multilingualism, computer and IT skills, customer service, and public relations as well as sales and marketing skills. David Saka possesses a very strong personality and a sense of humor to strike a balance between the professional and social aspects of business.


Project Manager at Podium Solutions Erbil

Banaz has lived since the age of seven in the Netherlands and has recently returned to Erbil. Her strong interest in the social and political developments in Kurdistan and the Middle East, and being one of the writers/editors at -the first Kurdish-Dutch online news magazine- always kept her in touch with her Kurdish roots. Banaz holds a Msc. in International & European Law. She is now the project manager of Kurdistan Careers, which is going to be held on the 4th and 5th of September in the Saad Conference Center, Erbil. Aim of Kurdistan Careers is to encourage job seekers to develop their skills and use the many opportunities Kurdistan Region's current employment sector offers.

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