Chief Executive Officer

Hassan Ballout is a dynamic entrepreneur and leader, currently serving as the CEO and Co-founder of Limestone Lab, a pioneering Experience Design and Consultancy Firm. In his role, he spearheads a multidisciplinary team of designers, architects, and hospitality experts, revolutionizing the world of hospitality and leisure. Over the past four years, Ballout has unveiled a series of groundbreaking concepts, challenging traditional brick-and-mortar models with a disruptive approach.

As the driving force behind Limestone Lab, Hassan Ballout re-imagines hospitality experiences, bringing together a diverse team to create thoughtfully designed properties in unexpected destinations. Limestone Lab's portfolio includes Peaches & Cream, August, Helipad by Frozen Cherry, and Social Distrikt, showcasing the firm’s commitment to innovative concepts.

In 2023, Hassan furthered his work in the hospitality industry by becoming a founding partner of AAO Consultancy, a full-fledged F&B Consultancy that handles concepts from inception to implementation. Expanding his portfolio, he also established a partnership with the community-centric lifestyle brand, Monkeys Everywhere, marking his first venture in the fashion industry.

Prior to founding Limestone Lab, Hassan served as the Chief Growth Officer for Seven Management, Ballout where he orchestrated the strategic expansion of Beirut's well-loved F&B and hospitality brands across the Middle East.

His understanding of the balance between brand, market, and location fueled the success of Seven Sisters Dubai and Antika Bar Dubai, as well as securing franchising contracts for international concepts including Antika Bar, Super Snack El Kbeer, and Kahwet Beirut in the region. He was also the driving force behind the first international expansion of Beirut's underground super club, B018, which launched in Dubai in 2021. Additionally, he co-created new concepts such as Bar Ville (bar hall experience) and a multitude of new brands.

A true entrepreneur, Hassan Ballout co-founded the digital culinary concept, Leap Nation, in 2016 before transitioning to the role of shareholder in 2019, where he helped co-create 22 virtual restaurant brands. As a global pioneer in the virtual restaurant industry, Leap Nation delivers client-centric cuisine to consumers in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. Leap Nation was recently acquired, resulting in more than a 50x return on Ballout's initial investment.

Ballout was also a seed investor in Kitopi, a leading cloud kitchen platform currently valued at 1.55 billion USD. This platform allows restaurants to expand their delivery reach at minimal expenditure.

Ballout exited at the series A level, which yielded a 20x return on his initial investment. Furthermore, he served as the advisory co-CEO of Kitch-In upon its inception for a period of 6 months. Kitch-In is a collaboration between Accor Group and Dubai Bulldozer Group's Evgny Kuzin and Chef Izu Ani, currently reported to be valued at 80 million USD.

In February 2021, Ballout co-founded Kanzi, an e-commerce shop-to-win platform currently seeking funding at a valuation of 10 million USD.

Hassan Ballout recognizes the importance of a digital presence and the value of online operations.

A business graduate of USJ, an acclaimed business school in Lebanon, Ballout began his career by managing his family's assets and property, gaining valuable business insights from a young age. He is a strategist, master NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and life coach, as well as a BD professional IP franchising consultant, enjoying over a decade of consultancy experience across a multitude of industries for over 500 clients and brands.

Beyond his business ventures, Ballout is also the author of the book "Poetic Bursts of a Half- Awakened Man" and is currently writing his second book, named "The Rise of the Digital Self."