Meet Our Mentors: Zakaria Belkhoja

Zakaria Belkhoja is the CFO and Strategy Officer at Meninx HOLDING,  a Family controlled investment company managing a diversified portfolio including listed investments (mainly financial institutions), real estate assets as well as a PE portfolio across various sectors.


(Image via BiatFoundation)

Zakaria pursued his studies in l´ecole polytechnique of Paris and at his early career he had several experiences from a manager at Swicorp to an associate at BNP Paribas .
Zakaria also worked in the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation as an advisor of the minister in charge of the management of the Investment Code reform with the technical assistance provided by the IFC and he also helped build strategies aiming to restructure the Tunisian Sugar Industry.

Zakaria has been greatly involved with the Founder Institute in Tunisia, meeting with founders outside of sessions and coaching them as well. He describes the  sessions as his  ´´ weekly oxygen ´´ .


Meet Our Mentors: Mondher Khanfir

Mondher Khanfir is recognized in the field of Strategic Management and Business Consulting. He has led several development projects and processing on behalf of prestigious companies in Europe as well as in the MENA region. He also directed several economic studies for international institutions and the Tunisian government.

In 2014 he worked as the head of cabinet of the Minister of Transport during the transition phase, which enabled it to consolidate its expertise in corporate restructuring and PPP projects.

Mondher Khanfir is, moreover, a committed entrepreneur. He contributed to the creation and launch of several non-governmental structures that support social and economic development through innovation. He has to his credit the creation of a private seed capital and the largest private incubator dedicated to innovative start-ups in Tunisia.


Mondher Khanfir is an engineer, graduated from the School of Arts & Métiers ParisTech in 1990. He received special training in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the US, and holds an Executive MBA from the Mediterranean School of Business Tunis, as well as a trainer of trainers certification in Corporate Governance IFC, World Bank.

Within the Founder Institute Mondher  mentored  Startup legal and IP session.


Meet our mentors: Mohamed Ali Elloumi



The Founder institute is pleased to have Momaed Ali Elloumi in its pole of mentors .  At his early carrer Mohamed taught Digital marketing in IHEC , held the position of a general manager at Live IT a company working in Organizing technology events and worked as a business development manager for

For 2  years ( 2013 – 2015 ) Mohamed was  the president of Get it Tunisia ( )   , the 1st grouping deprived in Tunisia Being an  influence in the ecosystem and the decision-making IT in the country . He is currently  an Executive Director and Board member at and a mentor with the Founder Institute.

During the the first cohort Mohamed helped founders by tracking and evaluating their ideas and their progress in addition to giving them feedback about their digital marketing strategies.

Meet Our Mentors: Khaled Ben Jilani

        Khaled Ben Jilani Helped Mentor Founders through the ideation, bootstrapping and fundraising phases, passing up his expertise in private investments, deal negotiation, structuring and fundraising.

      As an Investment officer with an expertise in private equity investment, Khaled does not hesitate to help and enlarge the sphere of the founders knowledge by giving them a feel of the dynamic investment world which makes him a great asset for Founder Institute Tunisia team.


      Khaled is an expert in equity management with an international experience of over 17 years .throughout his career he worked for several companies in Sub-Saharan Africa seating in the board of several companies like : Cogébanque, a commercial Bank in Rwanda Aquila Capital an asset management and leasing company in Nigeria , Microred Madagascar…

      Khaled is leading over 20 investments in Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa  in various economic sectors.Prior to joining AfricInvest-TunInvest, Khaled was a strategy consultant at Proxicom, VA, USA, a company listed on the Nasdaq,where he led strategy consulting mission. Prior to joining Proxicom, Khaled was an analyst with Barlcays Bank in Paris France.



Meet our Chapter Lead Director : Emna Ghariani

Emna Ghariani stands at the forefront of one of the most challenging industries of the modern world : Entrepreneurship. She spent the last couple of years working in several companies wearing many hats from Project and Event Manager  to Product Manager and has helped position The Founder Institute Tunisia as a leader in the startup launching Business as its Chapter lead Director with an experience with entrepreneurs from all over the world .

emna_ghariani      A calculated risk-taker with deep tech industry knowledge, Emna  has been closely working with startups in the Silicon Valley helping them through all the the steps of establishing a business ´´She’s been there to help when I could barely form a pitch, to now where I am looking for as much feedback & exposure I can get. It would be impossible to calculate how valuable her feedback has been for my team and I. At every milestone we hit, she has provided guidance and advice. ´´ said Paul M. Geoffrion a  Co-Founder at .

At a very young age Emna was able to stand out by making a balance between academic , social and professional success, she had her BA in business management from the University of Carthage and Masters from the University of Arkansas  with a focus on Operations Management and Supervision. As a student Emna was the External Relations and Sponsorship Responsible in AIESEC and was selected as Middle East Partnership Initiative ( MEPI )  student leader  and  NESA UGRAD Scholar, two exchange programs funded by the US Departement of State .

As a Startup Consultant and Advisor based in the Silicon Valley with a deep knowledge  and expertise in  lean management, pitch and go to market strategies , Emna Ghariani is working on encouraging the under-tapped forces of Tunisian entrepreneurs  that can rekindle the economic expansion in Tunisia.


Are you the unicorn we are looking for?


Are you interested in startups and entrepreneurship ? The Founder Institute Tunisia is offering a unique internship that offers unparalleled access and opportunity. This is a great opportunity to learn and expand your skill set while working with the world’s largest accelerator firm!


The Founder Institute Tunisia is looking for  intern for an unpaid internship. We are seeking someone who will assist in the marketing of the Founder Institute semester and events, including performing market research, listing events on various websites, reaching out to local groups and media, and more. This person will assist in the operation of the Founder Institute’s recruitment events and training courses, including venue setup, general event administration, and recording video of each event and uploading to our online tools.


  • The ideal candidate is an organized, very well-written and spoken individual, who speaks    English
  • Must be a go-getter that is comfortable both on the phone and in social situations, with a    passion to one day build a company of your own.
  • We are looking for a social media guru who has basic Photoshop skills and Adobe     premiere.
  • Must be a passionate person about technology,and entrepreneurship in and around Tunis.

The selected intern will assist the Founder Institute’s local Tunis semester launch and operation, having the opportunity to attend the program’s entrepreneurial training sessions, learn from top startup CEOs, meet interesting new companies, and interact with various participants in the startup ecosystem.

 If you are the rockstar we are looking for, email us with your resume and LinkedIn profile link at

DEADLINE to apply : March 23rd , 2016 

How Does the Founder Institute impact the Tunisian Entrepreneurial Ecosystem?

The startup ecosystem in Tunisia has been subjected to multiple changes that are mostly positive and encouraging as the investment landscape is getting better everyday and today is the time or never to build on it and develop entrepreneurs who could save our economy.

 The Issue

When exploring the entrepreneurial ecosystem and interviewing several entrepreneurs but also different actors of the entrepreneurial scene such as the different accelerators and incubators, we concluded that a major in-between component, that is of the utmost importance to the entire process of launching a successful startup, is missing. On one side, we have a lot of training institutions that teach the basics of entrepreneurship without any follow up, and on the other side there seems to be an abundance of incubators and investment funds that are willing to invest. So to sum it up, in theory, there seems to be a solid support system around any willing entrepreneur. However, it seems that people hit a dead end sometime after getting the knowledge and fail to go further. They are able to work on projects, develop ideas yet their execution somehow fails to show the potential of their concepts which makes it hard for them to reach the funds available especially since investors mainly target people who already have MVPs (Minimum Viable Products) and business plans. Continue reading “How Does the Founder Institute impact the Tunisian Entrepreneurial Ecosystem?”