Decoding Venture Capital – a female perspective
Decoding Venture Capital – A Female Perspective
In this #WebinarWednesdays session we are hosting a panel of inspiring women in the Venture Capital space including: Heather Henyon, Founding Partner of Mindshift Capital, Sonia Weymuller, Founding Partner of VentureSouq and Noor Sweid, Founder & General Partner of Global Ventures, the panel will be moderated by Raja Al Mazrouei, EVP of DIFC FinTech Hive. The panelists will be discussing women in Venture Capital including:
- The value female founders bring to companies
- The perspective females bring to an investment comittee
- What VCs look for in startups
- Investment opportunities in the startup ecosystem
Noor Sweid, Founder, Global Ventures: Noor Sweid is the founder of Global Ventures, a Dubai-based, growth-stage venture capital firm focusing on investing in emerging markets. Previously, Noor was the Chief Investment Officer at The Dubai Future Foundation, where she spent time developing the technology and innovation ecosystem in Dubai, and a Managing Partner at Leap Ventures, a growth-stage venture capital firm based out of Dubai and Beirut.
Noor moved back to Dubai in 2005 after spending time in the US as a biotechnology and pharmaceutical strategy consultant. Once in Dubai, Noor joined her family business, Depa. Implementing best-practice corporate governance and enabling the scaling of the business tenfold in three years to reach US$600 million in revenues, Noor then led the IPO for the company in 2008, on the NASDAQ Dubai and the London Stock Exchange. In her eight year tenure at Depa, Noor’s involvement ranged from the strategic and growth planning and implementation, to application of corporate governance, the execution of a private placement and an IPO, cross-border acquisitions, regulatory compliance, and investor relations.
During this time, Noor also founded ZenYoga, the first yoga and pilates studio in MENA, which grew to become the largest chain of wellness studios in the Middle East, and which she exited ZenYoga in early 2014 through sale to a private equity firm.
Noor is Chairperson of the Middle East Venture Capital Association, was on the Founding Board of Endeavor UAE, and serves as a Director for MIT Sloan, TechWadi, The Grooming Company, the Collegiate American School in Dubai, as well as the portfolio companies of Global Ventures. In 2018, Noor was named as one of the World’s Top 50 Women in Tech by Forbes, and received the Arab Woman Award for Finance. Noor has also been named in the Arabian Business 100 Most Powerful Arab Women list three times, and has been profiled on the covers of Forbes Middle East, Entrepreneur Middle East, and Arabian Business magazines. Noor holds bachelors’ degrees in Finance and Economics from Boston College as well as an MBA from MIT Sloan.
Heather Henyon, Founding Partner, Mindshift Capital, a global venture fund that invests exclusively in early stage women-led technology companies. She is Founder of the Women’s Angel Investor Network (WAIN), the first and largest women’s angel group in the Middle East. An active venture investor with a passion for fintech, Heather has over 100 direct and fund investments in the US, Europe and Middle East. She started her career on Wall Street and has almost 20 years of experience in finance, technology and strategy in emerging markets including as founding CEO of Grameen-Jameel Microfinance Ltd. Heather is a member of the Investment Committee of US-based Next Wave Impact Fund and is a founding member and former Board and Investment Committee member of Dubai Angel Investors. She serves on the Board of Directors and is Chair of the Risk & Audit Committee of the Sekem Holding Group in Egypt and is a Board Member of Little Thinking Minds, QiDZ, NeedsList and Localized. She is a member of the Cartier Women’s Initiative MENA Jury. Heather has been nominated as “Investor of the Year” by Arabian Business in 2016 and 2017. Originally from the US, she has lived in the Middle East for 15 years and speaks Arabic and French. Heather holds an MBA in Finance & Entrepreneurship from the Johnson School at Cornell University where she was a Park Leadership Fellow and a BA in Economics & Political Science from Oberlin College.
Sonia Weymuller, Founding Partner, VentureSouq, an investment platform focused on early-stage, tech-enabled businesses globally. Previously, she headed Advertising Sales for Turner Broadcasting’s portfolio of children’s platforms across MENA. Prior to Turner, Sonia worked with Viacom’s Emerging Markets’ Strategy Group and Microsoft’s Strategy and M&A team in London. She is a Charter Member & Board Director for TiE's Dubai chapter, serves as the UAE Director for the Yale Alumni Schools Committee and is a Board Member and Mentor for e7 Daughters of the Emirates. Sonia holds a B.A. from Yale University, a MSc from the London School of Economics and is a Kauffman Fellow.