Omar ChristidisFounder & CEO at Arabnet
Omar is an entrepreneur and ecosystem builder, who saw the transformative impact of technology and innovation at a very nascent stage, and drove forward a vision to help build the digital industry in MENA.
As one of the earliest leaders in the MENA tech industry, Omar has built deep expertise on digital disruption across sectors and currently holds multiple positions. He is the Founder & CEO of ArabNet, which produces leading events, insights and innovation programs focused on the technology and innovation industry in the MENA region. He is a Partner and Board Member at Lebanon Seed Fund, a $20 million early stage fund aimed at supporting 100 Lebanese startups, having already invested in 33 startups to date.
Omar is actively involved in advising government leaders on digital innovation: he is a Founding Board Member of IDEAS, a non-profit association supported by the Prime Minister of Lebanon, that focuses on developing public-private partnerships to enable the innovation ecosystem in Lebanon; he also serves on the private sector advisory group for the Lebanese Minister of Technology and Investment.
Driven by Omar’s vision, Arabnet was launched in 2009, and has been integral in building the startup ecosystems across the MENA region, as well as supporting governments and corporations digitize. To date Arabnet has organized over 30 tech conferences, featuring more than 2,000 global experts, supported over 650 startups, and has issued over a dozen original research reports.
Before founding ArabNet, Omar worked in private wealth management at a family office in New York on a small team managing $1B in diverse assets. Prior to that, he was a Consultant at Booz & Co. in the MENA, and worked on varied projects across industries, including energy, technology / media, and public sector.
Omar holds a BA and MBA from Yale University and is the Co-Founder of the Yale Arab Alumni Association. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the American Community School, and the Board of Director of the Lebanese Exhibitions and Conferences Association, where he leads government relations.