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Eye of Riyadh
Business & Money | Monday 1 January, 2024 9:30 am |

1 Billion Followers Summit to gather over 100 Industry giants and top CEOs

The 1 Billion Followers Summit, organised by New Media Academy, has revealed an elite roster of CEOs and trailblazers in creative industries, digital media, investment, finance, business, and entrepreneurship, leading a series of illuminating sessions, workshops, talks and keynotes during the second edition set to take place at the Emirates Towers and the Museum of the Future in Dubai on 10th and 11th January 2024.


Gracing the event are more than 100 renowned business personalities with massive followings and immense impact in their fields, including Tom Bilyeu, Elie Habib, Rizwan Sajan, and Vishen Lakhiani, as well as a host of experts in new media and digital investment who will share insights, visions, and their extensive expertise and journeys to inspire and engage with aspiring content creators during the two-day event.


A visionary in the health and fitness industry, Tom Bilyeu, CEO of Impact Theory, is a unicorn entrepreneur who co-founded and built Quest Nutrition from nothing to a billion-dollar business in just 5 years – all without outside funding. Bilyeu has demonstrated the immense potential of social media in business growth. Bilyeu’s journey from studying cinema, law, and economics to developing a globally recognised brand showcases his diverse skill set. Accumulating a net worth of USD 400 million, his journey is a testament to the power of positive messaging and innovative marketing.


Elie Habib, co-founder and CTO of Anghami, has been a dynamic force in the Arab economic sector. As a board member of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, his extensive experience managing technology company platforms, websites, and satellite channels has earned him a spot in Forbes Middle East's "30 Under 30" list for 2021.


An embodiment of entrepreneurial spirit, Rizwan Sajan, Founder and Chairman of the Danube Group, has built one of the largest conglomerates in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Starting in Dubai in 1993 with minimal capital, Sajan’s journey epitomises the power of vision and determination, growing his company to employ over 5,000 employees and achieve annual revenues exceeding AED 5 billion.


An entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker. Vishen Lakhiani, founder of MindValley, exemplifies the impactful use of social media in building a transformative education empire. His company, a leader in personal growth, leverages social media to connect with a global audience, contributing to its nearly US$200 million in revenue. Lakhiani’s approach extends beyond marketing, fostering a loyal community through engaging, insightful content. His journey showcases the power of social media in brand building and generating revenue.


A venerated Egyptian and Arab business leader, Ahmed Abou Hashima is pivotal in the Arab economic landscape. He has made significant contributions to the Egyptian economy and society, including the launch of 35 developmental initiatives, strategic business and industrial projects, and engaging in investment promotion campaigns, fostering economic growth in Egypt, in addition to his role as the Head of the Youth Sports Committee in the Egyptian Senate. He has received numerous national and international awards for his invaluable contributions.


Speakers at the 2-day summit also include Dr. Andrew Jackson, Chief AI Officer of Core42 company, who boasts over 20 years’ experience within artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics; Riyadh Al-Zamil, Saudi businessman, Founder and Chairman of Raz Group, who serves on boards of several commercial, industrial, and investment entities in Saudi Arabia. The summit will also host Fares Ghandour, Partner at Wamda Capital, co-founder and CEO of Tuhoon, who built the MENA Region’s first startup fellowship program, and Khaled Zaatarah, Founder and CEO of VUZ, the pioneer immersive tech company and platform in the world.


The summit will also host a distinguished lineup of global experts in new media. These include creator economy expert Jim Louderback, CEO of VidCon and former editor-in-chief of PC Magazine; Dennis Yu, CEO of BlitzMetrics and author of "The Definitive Guide to TikTok Advertising: How to Access 1 Billion People in 10 Minutes!"; and Ryan Hashemi, founder of Jubilee Media, a platform for creating content that inspires and unifies people, boasting 14 million subscribers and 5 billion views.


Joining them are Dr. Lal Bhatia, Chairman of the Hilshaw Group, with over 35 years of experience in strategic branding; Gurpreet Singh, co-founder of One Digital Entertainment, a full-lifecycle media company known for building some of the biggest digital creators in Asia; and Brandon Baum, founder of Studio B and the biggest VFX creator in the UK, with a combined social following of over 15 million people. On YouTube shorts, his content is amongst the top 10 most viewed videos of all time.


The summit will also host Phil Ranta, CEO of Spree and former COO of We Are Verified, who is at the forefront of digital media evolution. Ranta's early ventures and development of video applications set the stage for his pivotal role in the growth of Multi-Channel Network (MCN) and the transformation of the content creator-driven media model.


This year's summit will build upon the success of its first edition, which featured 75+ speakers, 6,500+ attendees, and 40+ sessions and workshops. The 2024 edition is expected to go even bigger and better, hosting 190+ speakers in expert-led sessions, keynotes and speeches, fireside chats, debates, and workshops.


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