Karim Elias El Helou, Finance Expert in Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Karim Elias El Helou

Verified Expert  in Finance

Finance Expert

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Toptal Member Since
January 26, 2022

Karim is a 15-year experienced university professor with a PhD in entrepreneurial finance. He established a network of incubators from Dubai, Beirut, and Amsterdam to support over 100 startups to achieve their first financing round. Karim is also the founder and owner of an SME in solar energy storage based in Amsterdam and Beirut. He freelances to act as a consultant for entrepreneurs seeking to transform their business ideas into appealing and solid business plans for investors.

Career Highlights

The Battery Experts
Startup Financial Consultant
Freelance Consultant

Education Highlights

Doctorate Degree
International School of Management (ISM)

Case Studies

Work Experience


2020 - PRESENT
The Battery Experts
  • Implemented an innovative and cooperative funding structure, including all employed skills while limiting external funding to short-termed micro-investments. This structure allows founders to maintain full ownership of their startups.
  • Designed financially viable lithium-based solar energy solutions for small businesses and home energy storage to overcome the energy crisis in Lebanon. The solutions were adopted by many NGOs and were implemented in 17 villages.
  • Built a network for DIY enthusiasts about battery recycling and renewable energy connecting battery builders from five countries in the Middle East and the Gulf region.
Focus areas: Business Planning, Energy Storage, Pitch Deck Consultant, Pitch Decks, Entrepreneurship, Small Business Management, Startup Growth Strategy Development, Startup Consulting, Financial Modeling, Revenue & Expense Projections, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Project Finance, Cash Flow Modeling, Fundraising, Forecasting

Head of Entrepreneurship and Business Planning Department

2018 - PRESENT
Saint Joseph University
  • Restructured the course offerings of the entrepreneurship department to include real-life simulations about the different techniques for raising startup funds and choosing the most adequate capital structure.
  • Implemented a program allowing graduating students majoring in entrepreneurship to enhance their pitching techniques for investors. The program matched promising business plans initiated by graduating students with local incubators.
  • Participated in round tables with Lebanese parliamentary committees to raise the impact of financial regulations and public policies on the entrepreneurial ecosystem, presenting case studies from Beirut, Amsterdam, and Dubai.
Focus areas: Startup Consulting, Business Planning, Financial Forecasting, Startups, Pitch Decks, Early-stage Startups, Seed Fundraising, Venture Capital, Business Plan Consulting, Pitch Deck Consultant, Entrepreneurship, Startup Growth Strategy Development, Fundraising

Owner and General Manager

2011 - PRESENT
Helou Trading
  • Expanded the scope of the business in the Middle East and Gulf Region by substantially increasing the company's distributed portfolio of brands, which increased the operational capital by 200% in three years without any injection of external funds.
  • Built an extensive financial model for analyzing sales over a wide variety of products and wholesale partners in different markets.
  • Hired and managed a diverse community of differently skilled individuals operating and serving several markets.
Focus areas: Management, Organization Building, Research, Entrepreneurship, Small Business Management, Financial Modeling, Revenue & Expense Projections, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Project Finance, Cash Flow Modeling

Startup Financial Consultant

2019 - 2023
Freelance Consultant
  • Crafted a business plan outlining the mission, vision, market analysis, competitive advantage, marketing strategies, operational plan, and financial projections. The plan showcased a distinctive approach to culinary excellence and customer experience.
  • Created persuasive presentations and compelling storytelling in our pitch deck and secured investment from diverse investors.
  • Assisted the Fakhry chain of restaurants in securing substantial investment, allowing multiple locations across Dubai to launch and establish a strong foothold in the culinary industry.
Focus areas: Business Plan Consulting, Business Planning, Pitch Deck Consultant, Pitch Decks, Entrepreneurship, Small Business Management, Startup Growth Strategy Development, Startup Consulting, Fundraising, Forecasting

Finance Instructor and Coordinator for Managerial Finance Courses

2007 - 2018
Lebanese American University (LAU)
  • Developed the curriculum and taught classes covering managerial and corporate finance while implementing virtual financial management exercises in academic teaching.
  • Coordinated nine sections of the managerial finance course and established a joint assessment and examination procedure for the finance department.
  • Initiated students to financial modeling for SMEs and coached students who participated in inter-universities competitions.
Focus areas: Financial Management, Research, Financial Modeling, Revenue & Expense Projections, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Project Finance, Cash Flow Modeling
2016 - 2020

Doctorate Degree in Entrepreneurship

International School of Management (ISM) - Paris, France

2002 - 2004

Master's Degree in Finance

American University of Beirut (AUB) - Beirut, Lebanon


Startup Funding, Entrepreneurial Finance, Funding Process, Angel/Seed Funding, Venture Funding, Valuation, DCF Valuation, Seed Fundraising, Financial Modeling, Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Project Finance, Cash Flow Modeling, Fundraising, Financial Management, Revenue & Expense Projections, Forecasting, Data Analysis

Industry Expertise

Early-stage Startups, Venture Capital, Franchises


Startup Consulting, Startup Growth Strategy Development, Financial Forecasting, Business Planning, Entrepreneurship, Business Plan Consulting, Small Business Management, Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SME), SME/SMB Financing, Small Business Consultants, Incubator Management, Angel Investing, Financial Ratios, Financial Analysis, Financial Investment Structuring, Early-stage Venture Capital, Startups, Pitch Deck Consultant, Pitch Decks, Financials, Management, Organization Building, Energy Storage, Research, Data Research, Public Policy

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