What Investors Look For When Evaluating Your Pitch: Sami Abou Saab, CEO, Speed@BDD

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We always look for a passionate team with the ability to execute, commitment, and expertise in the area of the startup. For the technology startups we invest in at Speed@BDD, we look for at least one technical co-founder for the startup to totally own its platform and to develop it. We look for an idea that has a sustainable and repeatable business model, and for a scalable idea that goes beyond the initial target geography, and that can scale up worldwide.


We also look for realistic and achievable financial goals in the first two to three years of operation. Some red flags in startups that we see are: non-scalable business models, a business model that has to change in the future for it to remain attractive to customers, business models that have very high customer acquisition cost and that require a lot of initial investment for proving the concept, and business models that are dependent on other players in the ecosystem which have conflicting interests.

Related: What Investors Look For When Evaluating Your Pitch: Omar J. Sati, Co-Founder and Managing Director, DASH Ventures


Sami Abou Saab

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Sami Abou Saab is the CEO of Speed@BDD, and has more than 10 years of experience in technology, both in startups and big tech firms. Prior to Speed@BDD, he worked at Skype and Microsoft Corporation in the US, covering strategy, marketing, and channel modelling. In Silicon Valley, Sami started his own company (MobiLock, aimed at creating a hardware device and mobile application that allows you to unlock your home with your smartphone) that was voted as the best startup in the Berkeley MBA program entrepreneurship class. At Data Consult, Sami led the Systems Department in Lebanon and the Middle East and grew its business 8-fold over the course of 4 years. Sami holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the American University of Beirut and an MBA from Berkeley-Haas and London Business School. He is fluent in Arabic, French, and English.