Meet our Instructors

At SEIC, we believe that no one can teach entrepreneurship better that experienced entrepreneurs. We have put together a team of instructors who share our passion for imparting valuable skills and insights that can only be gained from experience.


Hisham Algurg

SEED Group CEO

With over 18 years of experience in setting up and running new ventures in the MENA region, Mr. Algurg is a pioneer for his visionary approach, high profile networking, and for concluding and managing large regional projects and investments worth more than $1.06 Billion USD.
Presently he is managing the private investments and strategic partnerships activities of Sheikh Saeed Al
Maktoum. He is also the CEO of Al Fajer Investments & Development, an investment division of Al Fajer
Enterprises, a holding group of companies owned by His Highness Sheikh Hasher Al Maktoum. Both Sheikhs are members of the royal family of Dubai.
As a CEO of SEED Group, he is managing 8 growing companies in 6 diversified industries. SEED Group core activities are Telecom Services, Media Production, Legal Services, Real Estate Investment and Management, General Trading, Business Services, and Interior & Architecture Design.
He is also the UAE sponsor of the Chinese petroleum giant “Sinopec Petroleum”. Sinopec is one of the largest energy corporations in the world, headquartered in Beijing.
Mr. Algurg is also a director at Signature Group, an International Private Equity that focuses on emerging markets such as the Middle East, India, and Africa. Mr. Algurg is a bachelor degree holder from Southwest Texas State University (San Marcos, Texas).


Adel El-Huni

Chief Marketing Officer

Adel is an expatriate Libyan/American that has lived, worked and studied in the Middle East, Europe and North America. He describes himself as a banker by day and Robin Hood by night. Throughout his career he has moved seamlessly between private, public and NGO sectors globally.
Residing in Dubai he concurrently holds positions as Regional Manager with Wells Fargo Bank (#1 bank globally by market cap) covering MENA as well as Strategic Partnerships Director/General Manager with American Refugee Committee. In his recent professional endeavors he has led efforts in socio-economic development initiatives, public policy advocacy, impact investing, strategic philanthropy, human-interaction design and humanitarian/sustainable development throughout the MENA region and beyond. Adel El-Huni was honored with the Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Fellowship in 2010 and received his Masters in Public Affairs magna cum laude from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. He has been frequently requested to lecture on topics related to innovations in banking, social entrepreneurship and public/private/ NGO partnerships.


Kaveh Vessali

Founder & CEO, Safir Group, Smart City Tech Advisory

Kaveh is a Senior Advisor to Dubai Open Data Committee within Smart Dubai Executive Committee. He is a former U.S. Diplomat and a Vice Consul / Deputy Chief for Economic Affairs in Dubai.
He has more than 15 years of experience in Silicon Valley.
Currently he is the global VP for Public Sector Solutions at Salesforce. He also handles product management / marketing for SAP (ERP) and Siebel Systems (CRM).
He has been involved in startups as an early executive for Attensity (NLP Analytics), co-founder for WekeRoad (CRM / BI apps), and co-founder for Persistent Web (eCommerce).


Salma Kayali

SEED CEO
SEED Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center

Passionate about building a regional startup eco-system, Salma joined SEED (SEIC). A business incubator & accelerator program coupled with hands-on training program that turns job seekers into job creators across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in order to promote Entrepreneurship across the UAE and the region. Salma leads SEC through managing and implementing its objectives. She interacted, advised, and judged hundreds of entrepreneurs and startups.
In her prior role as an Executive Director at Young Arab Leaders (YAL) , an NGO that promotes entrepreneurship and community empowerment, Salma managed the overall day to day running of the organization, fund development, recognition and formation of strategic partnerships, overseeing marketing, and development of youth and community programs. Salma successfully relaunched YAL under its new mission and was able to triple membership numbers within the first 14 months.
Salma is a regular judge, mentor, and speaker to entrepreneurs. Her understanding of the youths’ needs and current challenges is no coincidence. Her experience stems from her previous role as Assistant Director of Admission at Carnegie Mellon University’s Doha Campus, where she has conducted extensive research and visits to various educational entities in the region in addition to conducting hundreds of student interviews, which culminated in a strong understanding of youths’ condition in education and the workplace. Salma is the lead organizer of Startup Weekend Dubai, as well as Al Ain and RAK. She believes that in order to build an ecosystem for entrepreneurs, such high impact initiatives are critical.


Jawad Sajwani

mirati Executive Coach & Management Consultant

As an Executive and Entrepreneur Coach Jawad works with individuals who want to create a sustainable focused business or a career.

Passionate to learn, introspective, fascinated and energized by ideas, craves to learn about the latest self development concepts and sharing his knowledge and experience as an Executive for 17 years and with a MBA from Bradford University.

Jawad Sajwani is the co founder of Authenticity Coaching & Consultancy, and is the first Emirati male Coach to obtain Accredited Certified Coach Certification (ACC) from International Coaching Federation (ICF).


Jacquelyn Johnstone

Consultant, Project Management & Research

Jackie has over 15 years in business and project development experience including market research, strategy formulation, sourcing and raising funds, identifying and managing partnership opportunities, conducting evaluation processes and directing results‐based programs for public sector initiatives. She is also set up two companies and served in management roles in start-up departments/entities.

She spent 3.5 years as Deputy Director for MOBY Group, Afghanistan’s largest integrated media company, leading Lapis, their strategic communications agency and serving as Executive Producer for a number of their TV and radio content programs for public sector clients.
As a former U.S. State Department officer, Ms. Johnstone oversaw a $12 million media development program in the Middle East. She also served as lead analyst at U.S. Defense Department for Middle East. Previously, Ms. Johnstone worked for 10 years in U.S. media marketing and advertising, namely as Marketing Director at Wired magazine from 1995 to 2000.
She obtained her Masters in Middle East Studies and International Economics at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Ms. Johnstone lives in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Helen Al Uzaizi

Having spent the last 4 of her 13 years of experience within the entrepreneurship development and mentoring sphere, Helen comes with vast knowledge of the SME eco-system within the MENA region.

Previously the CEO of the UK based mentoring Mowgli Foundation, Helen’s rich knowledge of the challenges entrepreneurs face covers geographies including the UK, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt to Qatar amongst others.
Helen has been featured in Forbes Middle East talking about empowering entrepreneurs and was awarded the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders on behalf of Mowgli as the Best Mentor Network in the Arab World.
Before Mowgli, Helen spent 2.5 years at the Jordan River Foundation, an NGO founded and chaired by HM Queen Rania Al Abdullah working on community development and youth entrepreneurship. Her role included program development, fundraising, impact assessment as well as communications.
Her passion for socio-economic development came after enjoying 9 years in the marketing communications industry at leading agencies WPP (Young & Rubicam and Wunderman) and Saatchi & Saatchi working on global brands such as LG, Porsche, Audi, EMAAR, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Zain Telecom to name a few.
Helen is a Jordanian who grew up in Bahrain and later studied Law & Government at the University of Manchester, UK and is a Certified Marketing Executive (CME). She has completed an Executive Education program at Columbia University.