International Conference on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development

Keynote Speakers


Anni Sinijärv
CEO & co-founder
European Innovation Academy (EIA)

Anni Sinijärv is a co-founder and CEO of the European Innovation Academy (EIA) where she leads strategic, organizational, and operational processes. Under her guidance, EIA (a premier non-profit educational institution) has become a recognized leader in tech entrepreneurship education, with a mission to reach one million students by 2025.
Anni collaborates with key academic partners including UC Berkeley, the University of Calgary, Michigan University and more. She has extensive leadership and organizational management experience and has launched EIA programs in France, Italy, Portugal, Qatar, and China.
In 2018, EIA was recognized by the Financial Times and Google for being one of the top digital champions in Europe.



Dr. Ali. A. Houshmand
Rowan University
New Jersey, USA

A lifelong believer in the power of education, Dr.  Ali. A. Houshmand holds masters and doctoral degrees in industrial and operations engineering and has applied an entrepreneurial approach to growing the University. His four overarching goals: increasing access, improving quality, ensuring affordability and promoting economic development.
Before joining Academia, Dr. Houshmand worked as a staff analyst for United Airlines, developing large-scale optimization and forecasting models.
Among his most notable achievements during his presidency,  he created a $25,000 bachelor’s degree with partner community colleges, completed $1.5 Billion in new construction projects, and raised his school’s College of Engineering ranking to #19 in the US.
A natural social innovator, Dr. Houshmand invented the successful “Houshmand Hazardous Hot Sauce” which goes entirely to support the Student Emergency Scholarship Fund.


Abdul Karim Mohamed
Investment Manager
Grand Challenges Canada
Ontario, Canada

AbdulKarim Mohamed is a recovering engineer that is passionate about supporting local entrepreneurs, especially African social entrepreneurs.
Abdul has led the direct investment and portfolio management of investments in excess $15 million. Abdul is currently an Investment Manager at Grand Challenges Canada (GCC), responsible for overseeing GCC’s mHealth and humanitarian portfolios and GCC’s work deploying development impact bonds. Prior to joining GCC, Abdul was based in Ghana sourcing early-stage FinTech and AgTech investments.
Abdul holds a Chemical Engineering degree from Ryerson University and a Master of Business Administration from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.