Moroccan American Bridges - June 21, 2013

This year's AMPA Moroccan American bridges will revolve around "Entrepreneurship as Morocco's Engine for Growth". The program comprises sessions on building and financing start-ups, identifying cross-Atlantic business opportunities and achieving career growth in Morocco. In addition, seasoned speakers will address newer business models that can be imported and tailored to the Moroccan market. The event will also feature a startup competition, and a career fair for companies looking to hire U.S-based professionals.

AMPA was featured on, Techwadi, L'economiste, Le Reporter etc.


  Keynote Speech
Ahmed Reda Chami
Session 1 The Entrepreneurship Path
  • What to start? Where to start from, and who to go to?
  • Financing your startup and business expansion
  • Building Effective Mentoring Relationships between Morocco and the US
  • Khalil Azzouzi (Dayam Fund)
  • Mohamed Attahri (Greendizer)
  • Fatim Zahra Oukacha (CEED)
  • Omar Chaabi (Ynna Holding)
  • Akram Benmbarek (Social IQ) - Moderator
9:50 - 11:30
Coffee Break 11:30
Session 2 Startup Competition

Four Ambitious Startup finalists will pitch their business plans

  • Ali Benmoussa (Searchub)
  • Akram Benmbarek (Social IQ)
  • Kamal Reggad ( -
  • Hicham Oudghiri (
4 Finalists Bloomingbox Myvle Averty
Kenza Lahlou (Avise Partners) - Moderator
11:45 - 13:15
Lunch 13:15 - 14:30
Session 3 Achieving Career Growth in Morocco
  • Career trends in technical and managerial positions
  • Opportunities for U.S based Moroccans
  • An analysis from different perspectives: HR and ex. U.S based Moroccan execs.
  • Samir Benmakhlouf (Microsoft)
  • Said Abu Sheleih (OCP)
  • Philippe Montant (Rekrute)
  • Dr. Samir Elamrani (Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati) - Moderator
14:30 - 15:25
Session 4 Challenging the Status Quo - New Business Models

Perspectives from successful Moroccan entrepreneurs on how they went about creating. businesses within the "Plan emergence" framework, or using new business models.

Session introduced by Mohamed El Manjra
President of Groupe Kamil Toys and Co-Author of "Surprenants Entrepreneurs Marocains"

  • Hicham Oudghiri (Enigma) Big Data
  • Nabil Saimi (Industry Expert) Green Energy
  • Coffee Break
  • Kamal Reggad ( - E-Commerce
  • Othmane Aqallal (Atlas Olive Oils) Agro-business
15:30 - 17:35


16:05 16:30 16:45
Session 5 Startup Awards / Final Thoughts
All day Career Fair


This year's sponsorship plan features flexible sponsorship package that we hope will meet your company's profile and budget. We are confident that your company will get a positive return on this investment and thank you in advance for your patronage.

If you're interested in sponsoring this year's MAB specifically or AMPA in general, you can access the sponsorship package here.

Speakers Bio's

  • Philippe Montant

    Graduated in 1993 from one of the top Engineer Schools in France, Ecole Centrale, Philippe Montant worked in Paris for 9 years. He started as Senior Auditor at ERNST & YOUNG, then as a Partner and Senior Consultant in strategy, organization and innovation for 3 years at CREARGIE (Consulting Firm).

    Then, Philippe decided to enhance his business skills and became Sales Director at Dell Computer for three years. His French business experience ended up in 2002 when he decided to come back to Morocco. Thereby, Philippe took over the role of Sales Director for SMB business in Casablanca for Microsoft North Africa. After 3 years, Philippe created the first professional job board in Morocco,, with his wife Alexandra. Since then, the company developed to reach 40 employees in Morocco and Tunisia in year 2013.

  • Khalil Azzouzi

    Khalil Azzouzi holds an MBA from l'Ecole des Ponts et Chaussées of Paris (School of Civil Engineering) in International Management, a Master's Degree in International Trade and BA degree from ISCAE. He gave different conferences and speeches on entrepreneurship, strategic management, financial management and Ventures Capital at different universities and business schools. He also, conducted many management consultancies to SMEs.

    He enjoys more than 20 years professional experience in the industrial sector as well as in the financial and venture capital sectors.

    At the beginning of his career, he served as Chief Operating Officer within an agribusiness company" a company that had 540 hectares of agricultural land and an industrial unit of vegetable processing and freezing and floral essences processing.

    He later joined the banking sector where he was area credit officer at Credit du Maroc, a subsidiary of Credit Lyonnais Group; he later joined BMCI, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, where he held different positions including Manager of the Agribusiness Division as well as SMEs Business Development Manager. During these years, he dealt with structured finance and corporate banking as much as the problematic of the small and medium sized enterprise (SME) in Morocco. He carried out several negotiations with international financial institutions (IFC, Proparco, EIB, Grameen Foundation, etc...) for the establishment of financing and guarantee lines for SMEs. He was also part of the think tank and the deployment of the Basel II Accord within the Moroccan Banking Association (GPBM).

    Currently, Mr. Khalil Azzouzi is the Managing Director of the venture capital fund Dayam and Media Network Fund. He is at the same time in charge of Saham Foundation.

    He remains very active in the associative world; he is The President of the Moroccan-Kuwait Council, the former Vice President of the Sectorial strategies commission and the former member of the SMEs commission within CGEM.

  • Fatima Zahra Oukacha

    Fatima Zahra Oukacha is the Director of CEED Morocco (Center for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development) which supports entrepreneurs by providing know-how and networks they need to accelerate the growth of their businesses, to develop new markets and get access to finance. Prior to CEED, Fatima Zahra was a serial entrepreneur. She founded a company called Transworld Protection which offers services to companies in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Fatima Zahra has also launched a training company and press company in Morocco.

    Fatima Zahra has always been passionate about entrepreneurship and working with other entrepreneurs as seen by her work with the Young Business Leaders Organization - Centre des Jeunes Dirigeants d'entreprise (CJD).

  • Kamal Reggad

    Kamal is a Moroccan entrepreneur currently focused on building the ecommerce industry in Morocco with a vision to change the way Moroccans shop. In January 2011, Kamal started the leading Daily-Deal site with a focus on travel. Voted#1 ecommerce site for two consecutive years and the best Moroccan innovating brand for the year of 2012. In June 2012, Kamal launched the first Online Marketplace in Morocco "". He now focuses on building a great and enduring product that provides thousands of merchants the opportunity to connect with millions of consumers throughout the country.

    Kamal started his career at Harvard University where he worked as an Analyst within the Technology research Center, then worked for LEK Consulting, Arrowstreet Capital and later worked for TIBCO Software (TIBX) as a lead Systems Engineer where he was responsible for the company's infrastructure.

    Kamal holds a Marster's degree in Computer Engineering & Management and a BS in Computer Science & Math from Northeastern University.

  • Hicham Oudghiri

    Hicham Oudghiri is a co-founder at, a search and discovery platform for big public data which has recently won Techcrunch's Disrupt Cup in 2013. Hicham is a technologist whose ambition and passion is to change the way we understand the world through data. Enigma is backed by some of the most prestigious venture firms in Silicon Valley and Hedge Funds in New York, as well as by the New York Times Company. Hicham is also the founder of Lixus Ventures, a partnership of angel investors dedicated to providing angel and seed stage investments in Morocco.

    Prior to Enigma, Hicham was establishing a large private sustainable finance program at BMCE Bank in partnership with the World Bank Group.

    In addition to spearheading project finance initiatives and creating energy models for large scale sustainable energy projects, Hicham developed a rating system and software for environmental and social risk management across the bank's entire commercial loan portfolio. Hicham holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Columbia University.

  • Samir Benmakhlouf

    After completing his studies, Samir Benmakhlouf worked in the Consulting Business in the Industrial Information Technology Field (SCADA, Manufacturing Execution Systems, and ERP) in Indianapolis Indiana, then Rochester, New York in leading companies such as Cummins Engines, United Technologies, Bausch and Lomb, and Toshiba. Samir has 20 years of experience in ICT and Franchising across many countries, having first joined Microsoft Morocco in 1998 as OEM Manager North and West Africa covering 23 Countries, he was later promoted to be Partners and Small Business Manager in North Africa. Samir then moved to leadership roles as Country Manager of Microsoft Algeria in 2001, then Country Manager of Microsoft Bahrain in 2002. Samir's true passion for technology has made him an excellent leader across different countries and roles and was recipient of Microsoft CEO Sales Award in 2000 and 2002. During his tenure in Bahrain, he was elected President of the American Chamber of Commerce and contributed to the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and the Kingdom of Bahrain. As Country Manager of Microsoft Bahrain, Samir drove many initiatives around e-government services, e-banking and the development of national education initiative. Early 2006, Samir embarked in the Franchising and Entrepreneurship and introduced Century 21 franchise in Morocco, the world's leading real estate brokerage and opened 23 branches covering 9 different cities of the Kingdom. In 2010, Samir established Morocco's prestigious "Arsenal Soccer School" in Casablanca training young footballers and creating a new approach to Football and Professionalism in this National Sport. In 2011, Samir re-joined Microsoft as Country Manager in Morocco. In the past 20 months, Samir lead the effort to include the Amazigh language (Tiffinagh Script) in Windows 8, and signed many partnerships in the education sector, most notably, with the Vocational Training where 60.000 unemployed trainees will receive Microsoft training and certifications.

    CGEM Commission of Ethics and Compliance, American Chamber of Commerce, Start-Up Weekend, Board Member of APEBI (IT Association in Morocco)

    Samir loves soccer which led him to create Arsenal Soccer School in Morocco. He is very passionate about team work and developing people's careers and talents, especially young talent.

    Samir Benmakhlouf Holds a Bachelor of Science (1990) and a Master's of Science (1992) in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems from the University of South Florida and a Ph.D. in Technology and Management (1996) from North Carolina State University.

  • Mohamed Elmanjra

    Mohamed Elmanjra has lived and worked in the USA, Canada & England. He presently resides in Morocco. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering (Ohio State University) and an MBA in Finance (Suffolk University, Boston). He has started and currently owns several businesses in the fields of personal growth and retail (toy and do-it-yourself stores distribution).

    In the field of human performance, he studied Neuro-Lingusitic Programming (NLP) with its founder Richard Bandler and holds Practionner and Master Practitioner diplomas in NLP. He also studied personal transformation with Tony Robbins and nutrition with John Berardi for which he holds a Sports Nutrition Specialist degree. He is also a certified Strategic Intervention Coach from the Madanes-Robbins Institute in San-Diego, California. As a personal transformation specialist for people and businesses, he conducts, consults and coaches people from all walks of life, from CEO of big corporations to students and future entrepreneurs.

    He has published several articles in leading business magazines like Entrepreneur Magazine (USA) and PME (Canada). In addition, he conducts public seminars and has taught at leading universities like Dawson College and McGill Universities in Montreal and L'ESCA Ecole de Management in Morocco. The themes tackled deal with the growth of businesses, the improvement of their performance and with personal growth and motivation of the individual.

    Recently he co-authored with Karim Amor, a best-selling, now out in its second-edition, entitled "Surprenants Entrepreneurs Marocains" which analyzes the mindset of 27 highly successful people in Morocco in different fields like business, arts, sports, medicine, real estate, publishing and others.

    M. Elmanjra has participated in several sports competitions and has fully completed the Montreal Marathon.

AMPA Entrepreneurship Award

AMPA Entrepreneurship Award

AMPA Entrepreneurship Award is is an annual business plan competition to encourage young Moroccan entrepreneurs to start their own business in the US and Morocco. AMPA Entrepreneurship Award project aims to foster the spirit of enterprise by offering help in funding, coaching and networking to promising Moroccan-American entrepreneurs.

To apply download your application and submit it by June 8th 2013 to

For AMPA Entrepreneurship Award Official Contest Rules Click here

MAB 2013 Career Fair

MAB 2013 Career Fair

This year's Moroccan American Bridges will have prestigious companies participating in its career fair. These Moroccan employers are seeking U.S-based professionals with expertise in the fields of finance, information technology and engineering. In addition, a resume workshop will be set up to give members the opportunity to review their resumes with experienced professionals. A limited number of job interviews will be scheduled on a first-come first-served basis.
To be considered for an interview, please send your resume to,ith the subject line "MAB 2013 Job interview". Note that your resume will solely be used for the purposes of the MAB2013 job interviews and will be subsequently deleted from our records.

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The Moroccan American Bridges will take place inside Palace d'Anfa - Casablanca.

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