Fintech Ideathon at the Future Skills Forum

CFTE co-founders, Huy Nguyen Trieu and Tram Anh Nguyen, presenting the Fintech  Ideathon at the Future Skills Forum

Dubai, 8th May 2024: The Future Skills Forum, was hosted by the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE) on 8th May in Dubai. This prestigious event, held at the Museum of the Future in Dubai, served as the perfect setting to bring together 800 policymakers, industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and young innovators for a packed day of discussions, networking, and collaboration.

In conversation with Tram Anh,  H.E Noura Alblooshi, General Manager at the Emirates Institute of Finance (EIF) and Dr Allen Baby, Chief Learning Officer EIF 

Future Skills Forum Ideathon in Partnership with EIF

The Future Skills Forum commenced with an ideathon in partnership with EIF’s ETHRAA programme, aimed at fostering innovation among young Emirati graduates. The ideathon was structured around four key themes: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Sustainability, and Fintech.

CFTE’s co-founder Huy Nguyen Trieu, giving an introductory speech

Ideathon at the Future Skills Forum alongside Tram Anh Nguyen and Huy Nguyen Trieu, co-founders CFTE, Saqr Ereiqat and the Key Participants and Mentors

We had an opening remark by CFTE’s co-founder, Tram Anh Nguyen who shared that “We could not dream of a better place to launch it, inside The Museum of The Future with a quote inside it by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum with such an important meaning: “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it”

Together with our esteemed partner the Emirates Institute of Finance (EIF), we co-organised an

to help Ethraa’s professional students to launch an idea of a startup. We know it is so important. Ethraa  is empowering Emirati talent with the skills needed to thrive in the financial sector of tomorrow, and thinking like an entrepreneur is important. One of key successes for young entrepreneurs is the support they can get in their journey to cultivate a mindset of being an innovator with entrepreneurial skills” said Tram Anh Nguyen, co-founder CFTE. 


“Through collaboration, commitment, and future development, we can construct a workforce that is adaptable, resilient, and prepared to thrive in the exciting world that awaits,” said H.E Noura Alblooshi, General Manager at the Emirates Institute of Finance (EIF), emphasising the importance of equipping the workforce with essential skills for success in an AI-driven world.

Host of Ideathon


The ideathon was hosted by Saqr Ereiqat, an industry leader with over thirteen years of experience focusing on the Middle East and Africa regions. He is a partner at the TradeDog Group and CEO of Previously he co-founded Crypto Oasis Ventures and Riddermark, a boutique advisory firm that invests and grows fintech, blockchain, healthtech, and govtech solutions.

Ideathon Host: Saqr Ereiqat (CEO of Trade Dog Market Manager, Co-Founder of Crypto-Oasis Ventures, and Co-founder of Riddermark)

Key Participants and Mentors

The ideathon featured mentors from various global fintech, blockchain, and AI sectors. Their guidance was instrumental in shaping the participants’ ideas. 

Key mentors included:

  • Takeshi Kito, CEO and Co-founder of ELEVANDI Japan
  • Isabela Ududec, Chief Operating Officer of Magnati
  • Akram El Youssi, Founder and CEO of Instaval
  • Nadeem Ladki, VP Commercial – MENA & International, Bitpanda
  • Khalid Al Hosani, Transformation Manager, ADNOC Distribution
  • Sarah Abuagela, Head of Investment and Partner, Ceras Ventures
  • Ibrahim Muhammed, Payments Consultant, Finxplorer Consulting Services
  • Olasupo Ogunsanya, Digital Product Owner, RAKBank
  • Sophie Guibaud, Co-founder and Chief Commercial & Growth Officer, FiatRepublic
  • Sampriti Jain, Innovation Manager, GELLIFY
  • Andrei Afanasiev, Regional Director, Paysend
  • Abdulaziz S. Qurashi, Process Engineering Lead, Siemens
  • Joe Sejean,Mentor and Expert, GLEAC
  • Saed Ereiqat, Ecosystem Manager, Crypto Oasis
  • Soufia Trabelsi, Ecosystem Business Development, Flare Network 

Judges and Evaluation

A panel of seasoned industry experts evaluated the projects based on innovation, scalability, impact, and clarity of presentation. The judges included:

  • Gaurav Dhar, CEO of Marshal and MENA Fintech Association
  • Phil Watson, Managing Director of Platform Development and Innovation at Citi
  • Sarah Abuagela, Head of Investment and Partner at Ceras Ventures

Judges and audience of the ideathon

Winners of the Ideathon: Innovative Solutions for a Digital Future

Winners of the Ideathon 

1. Tawasal (Gold Award)

Team: AHRF

Description: A real-time data-sharing platform that enhances communication between public and private sectors using AI and Blockchain.

Benefits: Time and cost efficiency, real-time data sharing, unified KYC process.

Challenges: Ensuring data privacy and security.

2. (Silver Award)


Description: An AI-driven platform providing personalised banking product recommendations.

Benefits: Simplifies decision-making for customers, saves time and costs, enhances customer satisfaction.

Challenges: Convincing banks to release data, keeping up with dynamic financial information.

3. Kharda (Bronze Award)

Team: #1

Description: A SaaS application for efficient cash management targeting both B2B and B2C sectors in the GCC.

Benefits: Improves cash management, reduces risks, assists banks in managing cash flow.

Challenges: Mitigating theft and business interruptions, building trust with users.


About CFTE

The Centre for Finance, Technology & Entrepreneurship (CFTE) is a global education platform that aims to equip financial professionals and organisations with the necessary skills to remain competitive in a rapidly changing industry. With offices in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi, CFTE partners with Fortune 500 companies to build their knowledge in Financial Technology, whilst simultaneously supporting their digital transformation process. Our leading training programmes, curated by global industry experts, help talent build skills to join the digital transformation of finance.

For further details about the Future Skills Forum and registration information, please contact:

Contact: CFTE MENA Office


Learn the skills of Fintech

Learn the skills of Fintech

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Centre for Finance, Technology & Entrepreneurship (CFTE) is a global education platform that aims to equip financial professionals and organisations with the necessary skills to remain competitive in a rapidly changing industry. Our leading training programmes, curated by global industry experts, help talent build skills to join the digital revolution in finance. CFTE’s courses are globally recognised with accreditations from ACT, IBF, CPD, SkillsFuture and ABS.

At CFTE, our mission resonates with every learner’s goals to rapidly advance in their career, to thrive in their next project or even to lead the disruption in finance with their own venture. To help you do this, CFTE gives you the tools you need to master the right skills in digital finance. We bring exclusive insights from leaders that are steering the developments in the financial sphere from global CEOs to disruptive entrepreneurs. With CFTE you don’t just learn what’s in the books, you live the experience by grasping real-world applications.

If you are looking for rich insights into how the Financial Technology arena is transforming from within, we can help you get the latest knowledge that will stir things up in your career. CFTE offers leading online programmes in digital finance, covering an expanse of topics like – Payments, AI, Open Banking, Platforms, Fintech, Intrapreneurship and more, that will help you conquer the financial technology landscape. With this expertise at your disposal, you will be on track to turbocharge your career.

You will be learning from a curated line-up of industry leaders, experts, and entrepreneurs hailing from Fortune 500 companies and Tech Unicorns, among others. They will each be presenting their knowledge and experience in the field of digital finance. No matter if you are embarking on a new journey or fortifying your role, these lecturers and guest experts will guide you through the perspective of established institutions like – Starling Bank, Wells Fargo, tech giants like – Google, IBM, successful startups such as – Kabbage or Plaid, among many more!