Habib Haddad

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Habib Haddad
Habib Haddad.png
Born1980 (age 38–39)
EducationBS American University in Beirut, MS, University of Southern California,
OccupationE14Fund (President and Managing Director)
Known forWamda, Yamli,
Awards2009 Young Global Leader,[1] 2011 Top Innovator under 35,[2]

Habib Haddad (born 1980) is a serial entrepreneur and early stage investor. He is currently the President and Managing Director of the E14Fund that invests in spin-offs from MIT.[3] Haddad has founded a number of tech companies including Wamda, Yamli (Yahoo! licensed the technology in 2012),[4] YallaStartup,[5] and others.[6][7]

He has been named by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2009 and as a top innovator under 35 (TR35) by the MIT Technology Review. Haddad's work in the MENA region is credited with playing a key role in strengthening its entrepreneurship ecosystem.[8][9][10][11][12]


Haddad holds a Bachelor of Computer and Communication Engineering from the American University in Beirut and a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California.


Haddad is currently the President and Managing Director of the E14Fund that invests in spin-offs from MIT such as Formlabs, Affectiva, Soofa, TulipSystems and others.[13]

In 2004, Haddad was a founding engineer at an image based modeling software company Mok3 (now Everyscape) as a venture backed spinoff from MIT CSAIL, where he served until 2005 and joined ATI as a senior software engineer.

In 2006, he founded Relief Lebanon to support relief efforts during the 2006 war in Lebanon. The grass root effort was featured by the "101 Stories to Tell" initiative by the UNDP in February 2009.[14]

In 2007, Haddad founded Yamli, the leading Arabic transliteration and smart search engine (Patent issued on Method and system for adaptive transliteration US 20090144049 A1).[15][16] In 2012, Yahoo! acquired a license to Yamli's technologies.[4] Yamli has been praised for empowering and re-energizing the Arabic language online.[17][18][19]

In 2009, Haddad along with two other Middle East technology entrepreneurs, founded, YallaStartup, an NGO that aims to foster early stage entrepreneurship and startup creation.[20][21] It was one of the first support organizations for MENA Entrepreneurs.[22]

In 2011 he co-created Alive.in, a website that brought 1000 volunteers to transcribe and translate voicemails from the Egyptian protesters after the government shutdown of the internet.[23] He started the company when Google and Twitter launched a project to allow people to leave a voice mail that will be then put on Twitter, Haddad came up with an idea to crowd source translation of those voices in real time from Arabic to other languages.[24][25][26][27]

From 2012 to 2016, he was the founding CEO of Wamda, a platform of programs and networks that aims to accelerate entrepreneurship ecosystems across the MENA region.[28][29][30] He also served as a venture partner of Wamda Capital, a growth capital VC fund, with investments in startups like taxi-hailing app Careem and LittleBits[31][32]



  • Member of the Technology Pioneers selection committee of the World Economic Forum (2013–present)
  • Co-Chair World Economic Forum Summit on the Middle East & North Africa (2011)[39]
  • Vice Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Entrepreneurship (2013), Member of to the Global Agenda Council on Innovation (2014-2015) - World Economic Forum
  • Member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Systems and Platforms (2016–present)[40]
  • Academy Member, Global Teacher Prize
  • Advisory Board Member, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, American University of Beirut


  1. ^ a b "Yamli.com Founder Habib Haddad on World Economic Forum`s 2009 Young Global Leader List". Reuters. 2009-02-25. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  2. ^ a b "MIT Technology Review: Innovators Under 35 Pan Arab". www.mitefarab.org. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  3. ^ "Under the Patronage of HRH Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Bahrain Award for Entrepreneurship Reveals Names of Jury Committee Members". Highbeam. 2017-03-18. Archived from the original on 2017-11-07.
  4. ^ a b Butcher, Mike. "Yahoo! Licenses Platform To Reach Out To The Arab Web". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  5. ^ "MENA ICT ForumAO 2010 puts regional ICT Ecosystem into perspective". Highbeam. 2010-10-04. Archived from the original on 2017-11-07.
  6. ^ WAM (2016-09-26). "Dubai Expo 2020 project: Progress so far". GulfNews. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  7. ^ "'Start small and think big' call to young entrepreneurs". Highbeam. 2012-03-06. Archived from the original on 2017-11-07.
  8. ^ "Lebanese Entrepreneurs Are Coming Home, and Bringing Billions". Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  9. ^ "WAMDA: Inspiring, Empowering and Connecting Entrepreneurs in the MENA Region | NextBillion". nextbillion.net. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  10. ^ Schroeder, Christopher M. (2013-08-13). Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 9781137356710.
  11. ^ Anderson, Brooke (2011-02-14). "Inspiring Entrepreneurs in the Mideast". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  12. ^ "United Arab Emirates : Du announces Wamda as Knowledge Partner for 'The Entrepreneur'". Highbeam. 2012-04-11. Archived from the original on 2018-02-19.
  13. ^ "Portfolio".
  14. ^ "Yamli's Habib Haddad: Young People in the Middle East Are Ready to Innovate - Knowledge@Wharton". Knowledge@Wharton. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  15. ^ "Habib Haddad - Co-founder @ Yamli | CrunchBase". www.crunchbase.com. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  16. ^ "SMALL BEGINNINGS.(Interview)". Highbeam. Gulf Business. 2012-03-20. Archived from the original on 2018-02-18.
  17. ^ "Lebanese launch Arabic search engine.(Company overview)". Highbeam. The Daily Star (Lebanon). 2008-01-12. Archived from the original on 2018-02-18.
  18. ^ "Search Engine Helps Users Connect In Arabic". NPR.org. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  19. ^ Butcher, Mike. "Yahoo! Licenses Platform To Reach Out To The Arab Web". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  20. ^ "A boost for entrepreneurs | The National". Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  21. ^ "Start-up support network launched | The National". Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  22. ^ Robehmed, Natalie. "Yalla Startup - pg.10".
  23. ^ "Interview with NBC on Egypt internet shutdown". pioneers.themarknews.com. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  24. ^ "KEYNOTE SPEAKER: HABIB HADDAD | Hamad Bin Khalifa University". www.hbku.edu.qa. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  25. ^ Share Conference (2013-12-18), SHAREBeirut 2012 - Habib Haddad: Yamli, retrieved 2017-04-15
  26. ^ World Economic Forum (2011-10-26), Jordan 2011 - Addressing the Employment Challenge / Introducing the Global Shapers, retrieved 2017-04-15
  27. ^ "Friend of Wael Ghonim, missing Google exec, calls for volunteers in Cairo to search for him". LA Times Blogs - Technology. 2011-02-01. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  28. ^ "Habib Haddad". Highbeam. The Middle East. 2011-10-01. Archived from the original on 2018-08-02.
  29. ^ "Technology- the Rise of the 'Big Vc'". Highbeam. Gulf Business. 2014-07-13. Archived from the original on 2018-08-02.
  30. ^ "Too Few Women in Business: Experts". Highbeam. The Daily Star (Lebanon). 2015-02-27. Archived from the original on 2018-08-02.
  31. ^ "Wamda Capital".
  32. ^ "Wamda Capital Launches $75 Million Growth Stage Venture Fund". Highbeam. CPI Financial. 2015-07-05. Archived from the original on 2017-10-29.
  33. ^ "30 Under 30". Arabian Business. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  34. ^ "Habib HADDAD - European Forum Alpbach". European Forum Alpbach. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  35. ^ "Conference Supporters" (PDF).
  36. ^ "AUB - 2013 - Eight outstanding alumni honored by Faculty of Engineering and Architecture". www.aub.edu.lb. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  37. ^ "Revealed: 100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40". Arabian Business. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  38. ^ "History Makers". 150.aub.edu.lb. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  39. ^ "World Economic Forum urges action for growth, jobs in Middle East". Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  40. ^ "The Future of Platforms and Systems". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 2017-04-15.