Tributes paid to Silicon Badia co-founder Emile Cubeisy

Cubeisy, described as an 'early evangelist' of the region's technology scene, died on Sunday in Amman

Tributes have been paid to Emile Cubeisy, the co-founder and managing partner of Jordanian venture capital firm Silicon Badia, who died on Sunday aged 51 in Amman.

Cubeisy was described as one of the "early evangelists" of the Middle East's technology scene and a leading light in the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Jordan. A former managing partner of IV Holdings, he co-founded Silicon Badia in 2012 alongside the company's chairman Fawaz Zu’bi and fellow managing partner Namek Zu’bi.

“Emile was the beating heart of the tech ecosystem in the Middle East, touching and forever bettering the lives of everyone he met with his irresistible positivity, unmatched kindness and infectious passion for life,” Silicon Badia said in a tribute on its social media channels.

"As we try our best to make sense of this tragedy, we shall endeavour to celebrate his life and make certain that his spirit always remain with us and part of us.”

Silicon Badia invested in some of the region's most prominent start-ups and Cubeisy was a board member of health tech company Vezeeta, as well as a board observer at Swvl, the ride sharing app based on bus hire. He was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2006 and became a fellow of the Aspen Institute in 2012.

“Losing him is no ordinary thing, not for his beautiful family, not for me and not for Jordan or the wider regional ecosystem. His loss is tantamount to the loss of a national treasure,” Fawaz Zu'bi, Silicon Badia's co-founder, said.

“He gave strength when one most needed it, hope when the vision dimmed, and imagination where no eyes were open,” said Mr Zu'bi.

Tributes to Cubeisy were paid by many prominent regional venture capitalists, as well as by the UN Development Programme in Jordan, who said he was "instrumental" in advancing financing solutions for achieving the UN's Social Development Goals in the country.

“Mena tech lost one of its earliest evangelists,” Fares Ghandour, partner at Wamda Capital, said on Twitter.

“By the time I entered VC in 2014, he was already on his second fund at Silicon Badia. The ecosystem was small and fringe, but he believed in the Arab entrepreneur and invested in him/her before most of us did,” Mr Ghandour added.

“Jordan and the Middle East lost a great leader and human being. He was a pioneer in the tech start-up ecosystem there … Emile’s was a life of wonder, with an unrelenting hopefulness and dedication to making things better and helping others to actualise their plans of impact,” Christopher Schroeder, an entrepreneur and venture investor, said.

“He gave seeming infinite time to everyone he touched, with little expectation other than somehow whatever they wanted to do or build would be better and could happen.”

“His legacy of contribution to the Mena start-up ecosystem lives on,” Christos Mastoras, founder and managing partner of Dubai-based venture capital firm Iliad Partners, tweeted.

“Sometimes in life you get to meet people that give unconditionally. They make time for you. They are open. Kind. Considerate. Thoughtful. Humble. Emile Cubeisy was just that and more,” Amir Farha, co-founder of Beco Capital, said.

Cubeisy is survived by his wife, Jida, daughters, Tara, Nadine and Maya, and his mother, Leila.

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