Ahmed Siddiqui is a tech entrepreneur with a passion for using technology and games to educate.
For the Teach the World Foundation, Ahmed is responsible for identifying applications and games that can be used to educate children. Some key criteria he looks for in apps include, outstanding visuals and sound, great gameplay mechanics, and a way for the student to progress and “level up” independently. For the Teach the World Foundation’s key mission to educate, it is critical to create engaging and fun experiences for children such that they want to keep learning and do this in a very independent manner.
For his day job, he currently is a product manager at a FinTech company called Marqeta. He is responsible for developing the systems that create delightful onboarding experiences for Marqeta’s customers. In addition to this, the systems help internal operating teams deliver consistent messaging and service to customers and partners. Prior to this, Ahmed developed the reporting infrastructure for customers and partners at Marqeta. In 2014, Ahmed was the general manager for Marqeta’s Middle East office when he first started with the company.
Prior to Marqeta, Ahmed worked in venture capital for a seed stage fund called Signalfire. Here, he developed algorithms that scored an engineer’s skillset as well as aptitude to working in early stage startups. For younger engineers, he developed a set of games, puzzles, and scavenger hunts that would help score their coding skillset. “Gamified testing”, was very enjoyable to engineers and also provided a great way for Signalfire to identify the top engineers.
Before Signalfire, Ahmed worked for a non-profit called Startup Weekend. Here, he was the Bay Area leader, creating amazing experiences for engineers, designers, and product managers. In a span of 54 hours, teams would start and build businesses, and present to a panel of judges. Each event had a theme and subject matter experts were brought in for each theme. For example, there was a Startup Weekend: Health, where Doctors were brought in to pitch tech ideas that could solve their problems, or for the Startup Weekend: Edu event, Teachers were able to pitch ideas and see those ideas realized by the end of the weekend. These themed events were piloted in the Bay Area and then expanded globally. Ahmed also coordinated the Global Startup Battle, where over 150 Startup Weekend events happened on the same 2 weekends all over the world. The winners of each event would then compete to become the global champion.
In 2010, Ahmed built an educational tech startup called GoGoMongo! This was a series of iOS childrens games that helped children eat healthier. At the time of this game development, Ahmed realized that a vast majority of children’s apps were essentially digitized flashcards. Most parents would download these apps for their children, but the children would not use them, and while the parents weren’t looking they would switch apps to Angry Birds. Ahmed’s first game, GoGoMongo! Was designed with this in mind, with engaging visuals and gameplay. Apple featured the app numerous times for its unique blend of gaming, education, and use of new technology features.
Prior to 2010, Ahmed worked for IBM Global Business Services as a managing consultant. Here he implemented data and analytics solutions for Fortune 500 companies. Towards the end of his journey at IBM, Ahmed got the itch to get into startups, and more specifically, use technology to transform education. At this point, he moved to San Francisco to start his entrepreneurial journey.
Ahmed has an MBA from Babson College, with a focus on Entrepreneurship, and a Bachelors in Science from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, with a focus on Management Information Systems.