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Our Story

Step started out as a series of workshops and small gatherings, and over 10 years has grown to become the largest tech festival in Dubai. With 4 main tracks, more than 400 global startups showcasing, hundreds of global investors, and 8000+ global attendees over two days, Step brings the world to Dubai. Step is celebrating its 10 year anniversary with the Step Conference 2022 edition back in-person!

8000+

Attendees

400+

Showcasing Startups

100+

Participating Companies

$1+ Billion

Funding Present

TRACKS

PREVIOUS SPEAKERS

H.E.
Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi

H.E.
Dr.
Ahmad
Belhoul
Al
Falasi

H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi has been named the Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs under the new UAE Government structure approved in July 2020. Under this role, H.E. Dr. Al Falasi is at the fore of designing national initiatives to strengthen the UAE’s small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, one of the engines of the national economy, and promote entrepreneurship in various industries. H.E. is also tasked to set a strategic direction and develop a general national policy for the country’s tourism sector. Before his present position, he was the Minister of State for Higher Education during which he supervised the development of higher education and scientific research in the UAE. He also formulated new policies for the sector as well as streamlined the work of higher education institutions to ensure quality outputs that match the requirements of the labor market. In October 2017, pursuant to the ministerial amendment to the UAE Government, he took on the responsibility of equipping UAE nationals with skills of the future. H.E. is also the former Chairman of the Federal Authority for Human Resources and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the UAE Space Agency. He represented the space sector at the National Committee for Science, Technology and Innovation. Other positions he previously held included CEO of Masdar Company; Executive Director of Strategy and Tourism Sector Development at Dubai Tourism; Vice President of the Mubadala Industry Unit; and Consultant for the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. H.E. Dr. Al Falasi holds a PhD from Monash University, a Master’s degree from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Engineering from Khalifa University in the UAE.

Paul
Misener

Amazon

Paul
Misener

Amazon

Paul, a scientist, and attorney, founded Amazon’s economic development incentives program and Amazon’s global public policy organization. He built and led the team and then took the position of VP. He has delivered hundreds of speeches and media interviews and met countless times with political leaders around the world. He has also successfully negotiated agreements on public policy with hundreds of Representatives and Senators and dozens of US state governors. Paul also discusses innovation principles and methods with dozens of corporate CEOs and their senior leadership teams. In 2013, he acted as Chair of the technical subcommittee of the US Federal Aviation Administration’s advisory committee that recommended allowing commercial airline passengers to use portable electronics during taxi, takeoff, and landing Interestingly, Paul wanted to become an astrophysicist and conducted two projects in Princeton’s Physics Department and is still fascinated by space and time to this day

Sidra
Qasim

Atoms

Sidra
Qasim

Atoms

Sidra Qasim is a co-founder of Atoms, a Brooklyn based brand that makes the ideal everyday shoes and masks. At Atoms, Sidra leads the brand’s product development and operations. Prior to that, Qasim co-founded Markhor, a Y Combinator startup that worked with indigenous craftsmen in Pakistan to make high-end leather products. In response to the COVID-19, Sidra led the Atoms Mask project, designing and developing what WSJ said is the “Best Materials Mask” and donating half a million in the US. The popular blog Humans of New York did an in depth story on Sidra’s personal journey of growing up in rural Pakistan and building her startups. Originally from Okara, Sidra now lives in New York City.

Elie
Habib

Anghami

Elie
Habib

Anghami

Elie is the co-founder of Anghami – the leading music streaming service in the Middle East. Anghami has reached over 40 million users, raised many millions from Venture Capital firms over several rounds and partnered with MBC – the top media group in the region – as well as over 20 mobile operators. At Anghami, Elie runs the operations and product development, spending most of his time working between clouds, streams and pixels.

Tameka
Vasquez

Sidewalk Labs (Alphabet)

Tameka
Vasquez

Sidewalk Labs (Alphabet)

Tameka is a strategist, educator, and futurist, with over a decade of experience working with global technology startups and enterprises. She is currently the Head of Marketing at Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet company focused on urban innovation. Tameka is also a graduate school professor and lecturer who has taught at institutions including Baruch College, St. John’s University, and Stevens Institute of Technology. Tameka has spoken at conferences and events across the globe, sharing her evolving philosophies on future society and social innovation. She has been featured by Udemy for Business, IBM Think Leaders, the Content Marketing Institute, CMSWire, and the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute. Tameka was a 2020 Fortune Magazine Fellow and is an award recipient for work done exploring social impacts of artificial intelligence and other spaces of disruptive innovation. Tameka holds a B.A. in Corporate Communications from Baruch College and a M.S. in Information and Knowledge Strategy from Columbia University.

Saeed
Sharaf

Esports Middle East

Saeed
Sharaf

Esports Middle East

An award winning entrepreneur and angel investor with more than 8 years in the esports and gaming industry, Saeed Sharaf is also regular guest business analyst on SkyNews, CNN and other reputable outlets.

Eugene
Willemsen

PepsiCo International

Eugene
Willemsen

PepsiCo International

Eugene Willemsen is Chief Executive Officer, Africa, Middle East, South Asia. PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $70 billion in net revenue in 2020, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, PepsiCola, Quaker, Tropicana and SodaStream. PepsiCo’s product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales. Over the past two decades, Eugene has earned a reputation as a transformative leader who can harness the power of diverse teams to create high-performing businesses and some of the world’s most resonate brands. Most recently, Eugene served as Chief Executive Officer, Sub-Saharan Africa in 2019 and as Executive Vice President of Global Categories & Franchise Management from 2015 to 2019, where he was responsible for the strategic direction of PepsiCo’s global categories and brands as well as PepsiCo’s global commercial functions, during which he oversaw a period of strong growth. Prior to that, Eugene led the company’s global tea joint venture with Unilever, which operates in roughly 120 countries worldwide, following more than a decade leading PepsiCo businesses in Europe. He has served as Senior Vice President, General Manager for PepsiCo’s South East Europe business, overseeing our operations in 17 countries, including Turkey; Senior Vice President and General Manager, Commercial for PepsiCo Europe, heading up the Marketing & Sales functions across Europe for all lines of business; Senior Vice President, General Manager for PepsiCo’s Northern Europe business; and General Manager of PepsiCo’s snack business in the Benelux and Belgium. Eugene joined PepsiCo from Friesland-Campina in 1995. Eugene holds a BBA from Nijenrode University in the Netherlands, a MSc in Economics from the ‘VU University’ in Amsterdam and an Executive MBA from INSEAD. He previously served as a board member of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the AdCouncil and the Dutch Grocery Manufacturers Association, where he served as its Chairman. In 2017, he was named one of the “25 Most Influential People in the Netherlands at 50.

Rami
Kadi

Rami Kadi Maison de Couture

Rami
Kadi

Rami Kadi Maison de Couture

Rami Kadi, the international Lebanese-American fashion designer and Creative Director of Rami Kadi Maison de Couture, has recently embarked on a journey down the path of digital fashion and the metaverse. Kadi has gained international recognition in the fashion world by working with and establishing long-term ties with many important stars and celebrities, in addition to taking over numerous international red carpets and leading fashion shows in Paris. However, it has been an inseparable part of Rami Kadi’s journey to be a pioneer of technology and sustainability in fashion. From being the first in the Middle East to conduct a cyber-fashion show and design a glow-in-the dark collection, to creating an environmentally-conscious couture piece made of recycled sea plastic, Rami Kadi is the first designer in the region to launch his first NFT collection, ‘Lucid Algorithms’, as the first designer on the Cardano blockchain. The NFT collection is made up of 120 tokens that for the first time reveal a couture computed human-machine collaboration of this scale in the fashion world.

Amal
Dokhan

500 Global

Amal
Dokhan

500 Global

Amal is a seasoned professional with experience in startup investments, corporate innovation, and consulting in the MENA region. Previous to joining 500 Global, Ms. Dokhan was the Managing Director of Babson Global for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Previously, she was the Manager of Learning and Design at the Entrepreneurship Center at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology where she led the New Ventures Acceleration and Corporate Innovation programs. Prior to that engagement she worked in the KAUST Seed Fund developing marketing and events, while also providing a range of services to startup clients. Ms. Dokhan sits on the board of several organizations such as Wayakit Company, Cranfield University UK, King Abdulaziz University. She contributes to a monthly column at Leaders Magazine on Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and has been a speaker at Davos World Economic Forum, TEDx at Kaust, the Annual Conference of the Islamic Development Bank, among others. Ms. Dokhan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, English Language & Literature from the King Abdul Aziz University, and a Masters of Strategic Marketing and Marketing Management from the University of Wollongong.

Mohannad
Ali

Hotjar

Mohannad
Ali

Hotjar

Mohannad Ali is the CEO of Hotjar, the Product Experience Insights software of choice for small and medium businesses. Mohannad has over a decade of leadership experience and before joining Hotjar in 2019, he was VP of Engineering at HelloFresh.

GV
Ravishankar

Sequoia Capital

GV
Ravishankar

Sequoia Capital

At Sequoia, GV Ravishankar advises on both technology as well as non-technology investments. He’s deeply interested in technology’s role in helping to drive efficiencies, reduce costs and improve access in consumer and healthcare markets. He currently serves on the boards of BYJUs, Capital Float, Eruditus Learning, Faces Cosmetics, Five Star finance, Finova Capital, HomeLane, India Shelter Finance Corporation, Indigo Paints, K12 Technoservices, Prataap Snacks (NSE: DIAMONDYD), Rebel Foods, Rupeek, Suburban Diagnostics and Turtlemint. I have also served as board member/observer of companies like Via (sold to NASDAQ: EBIX ), Manappuram (NSE: MANAPPURAM) and Equitas (NSE: EQUITAS). Prior to this, GV worked at McKinsey & Company, where he advised senior management of top Indian companies on a variety of issues including business building, channel management and leadership development. He also had a prior stint with Wipro Technologies in their Embedded and Internet Access division. GV is the recipient of the Midas Touch award by Economic Times Startup Awards 2020 and IIM Ahmedabad’s Young Alumni Achiever’s Award, 2019-20 in the Corporate Leadership category. He has an MBA from IIM A and holds a BE in Computer Science and Engineering from NIT Trichy.

WHAT GOES ON

TALKS AND WORKSHOPS

Step hosts 4 stages of content, and running workshops and programming simultaneously covering everything startups, digital media, fintech, and future tech.

STARTUP PROGRAMMING

With over 400 startups showcasing and more than 1000 entrepreneurs attending, Step hosts multiple programs to facilitate connections with investors, clients, partners.

SATELLITE EVENTS & MEET-UPS

Step curates focused networking opportunities and meet-ups across industries, job levels, and interests hosted by VCs, incubators, digital agencies, and other partners. 

EXHIBITION AREAS

Tech companies and brands across multiple industries participate at Step so startups and attendees get a chance to connect with their next partner, client and learn about what’s new in the market.

BRAND ACTIVATIONS

Leading brands in the tech and digital space from FMCG brands to automotive companies, banks, media companies, and tech solutions, host first-of-their-kind activities to interact with attendees and startups. 

ENTERTAINMENT

Step’s festival format creates engaging networking opportunities beyond conference programming with outdoor activities with food trucks, music performances, and pop-up vendors all across the event areas.