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Faisal Kasem, M.E.E.I. '13

An Entrepreneurial Vision

A passion for building businesses drew Faisal Kasem to the Master of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MEEI) program.

He’d earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Yanbu Industrial College in Saudi Arabia and had worked for a number of that country’s leading engineering firms, as well as for Thales Optronics in United Kingdom.

However, the business world called. “I always wanted to develop and push my own entrepreneurial thoughts to the market,” says Kasem.

And since graduating from the MEEI program in 2013, he has established, grown and sold a number of successful startups.

“I think it is important to invest in people rather than just products or businesses,” says Kasem, who is currently working as the CEO of his latest startup Atam Riada, a firm providing professional entrepreneurship consulting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. “I'm a great believer that it is people who create a successful business through their passion and conviction.”

With an interest in food and beverages, he has also been involved in developing models for specialty coffee industries in Saudi Arabia while working as an operations and logistics manager at Hunger Station, a leading food delivery organization. He has also co-founded another startup in logistics and operations, Shuhna, which is in the works with an expected launch in January 2019.

As well, Kasem has been involved in helping future entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. He trained applicants competing for the Taif Startup in the 2018 Okaz Entrepreneurship competition. He has also provided “Transforming Engineers into Entrepreneurs” training to graduate students of Yanbu industrial college.

While he encourages young people to be passionate risk-takers, he adds that it takes time to see projects become successful.

“Try to be self motivated because there are a lot of disappointments and challenges you face, especially at the early stages of development.”