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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

2022 Speaker Line-Up

More Speakers to be Announced Soon

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.

Robbie
Douek

BLAST

Robbie
Douek

BLAST

Robbie is CEO of BLAST, the global esports media network delivering world class entertainment experiences. From broadcast studio shows, arena events, digital platforms or top-class multi-platform content, BLAST create’s the most exciting, exhilarating and euphoric moments in esports. Prior to BLAST, Robbie was Vice President Digital, EMEA, running digital partnerships for The Walt Disney Company. Robbie joined Disney in April 2015 as Managing Director, EMEA for Maker Studios (acquired by Disney), where he oversaw all business operations for Maker EMEA. Before joining Disney, Robbie worked at Google based in Paris and London, where he occupied three different positions – Head of Branding & YouTube Solutions across SEEMEA; Head of Mobile, SEEMEA and Head of Mobile France during his four and a half year tenure. Robbie joined Google in July 2010 through Google’s acquisition of AdMob. From 2007-2009, he headed Digital Sales for Euronews. Robbie is a graduate of French and Politics from Leeds University and has a Certification from Stanford in Advanced Project Management.

Michelle
Arrazcaeta

Polaroid

Michelle
Arrazcaeta

Polaroid

Michelle Arrazcaeta is inspired most by brave ideas and brands, compassionate people, and loud laughter. She currently works at Polaroid in Amsterdam leading brand strategy and collaborations. She’s a social innovator, creative strategist, career coach, and speaker. She turns insights into ideas and innovation for impact-driven brands whether they are her own side projects or big brands like Nike, Hewlett Packard, Crocs, and Sprite. Past jobs over the last 10 years include working at Wieden + Kennedy, The Future Company, and freelancing for Sylvain, SYPartners, TripTK, and Bionic. Side projects include a digital talk show around businesses creating social change and a travel service giving girls the guts to travel solo. Michelle balances her creative pursuits with holistic wellness, traveling and hiking, and dancing hip hop & salsa.

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.

Morgan
Nayomi
Matthews

Peloton

Morgan
Nayomi
Matthews

Peloton

Morgan Matthews is a Cornell University Certified Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leader. Beginning the early parts of her career in accounting she understands the importance of your company’s ROI with DEI. She has been a panelist and keynote speaker on a variety of stages around DEI subjects such as antiracism and inclusion. She has worked with brands such as JetBlue, Away, Peloton, Banza, and Facebook. She is committed to unleashing the authenticity of employees to reshape what leadership looks like and empowering them to see beyond the ceiling.

Bei
Wang

Straight Fire

Bei
Wang

Straight Fire

Co-founder & Chief Marketing Officer, Straight Fire. After working as campaign officer at Greenpeace, Bei was Editor-in-Chief and Head of the Chinese Department at Dutch broadcaster RNW Media. She then launched the digital China department at RNW and represented the Netherlands in China during the International cultural & media exchanges. Bei co-founded with Christiaan FIVE group, is a frequent guest speaker on cultural communication and has developed the Digital China minor at the Utrecht University of Applied Sciences. Bei is cofounder and Board Member of Pan Asian Connections (PAC), an aspiring Dutch broadcaster, is on the jury of the Mobius Advertising Awards and keynote speaker at Advertising Week Europe.

Tanya
Ponomareva

Boomerang. Part of Publicis Groupe

Tanya
Ponomareva

Boomerang. Part of Publicis Groupe

Tanya Ponomareva is a Creative Director based in Amsterdam. In her work, she’s focused on delivering smart, human-centric concepts that can contribute to positive change in the world. She is on a mission to transform the advertising industry into a better, more inclusive, equal, mindful and diverse place. She helps to build sustainable brands on a genuine foundation, giving a new generation of consumers a real communication value. As a leader, she encourages creatives to develop ideas that bring more common sense to the industry, as well as purpose-driven work to the world. She works with strategists, creatives, designers and producers to deliver the best quality on every project, establishing trust-based, long term relationships with her clients. Having worked at agencies across the globe, she is a true global citizen. She has launched creative unicorns across seven different countries, and has worked with a wide range of high-end brands. She has also won numerous prestigious international, regional and local awards including Cannes Lions, D&AD, Epica Awards, Eurobest, New York Festival et al.

Katarina
Uherova
Hasbani

Enrupt

Katarina
Uherova
Hasbani

Enrupt

Katarina created Enrupt to build companies of the future based on zero carbon, decentralised and digital energy solutions. Enrupt is a ecommunity of energy innovators and industry professionals. Insights generated through Enrupt research and community activities help us stay up to date with new ideas from across the globe. Katarina has 18 years of professional experience in energy from government & consulting in Europe, Middle East & South-East Asia. Over the past 4 years, I managed 6+ Million USD of energy transition projects for clients in Europe, South East Asia and Middle East spanning across strategy, innovation, research and project implementation. Katarina is currently Member of the Board for Insead Alumni Global Energy Club. Her past roles include Board Member and Vice President of the Alliance for Rural Electrification (Industry association, HQ in Belgium), Female Founders (Non-profit, HQ in Singapore) and Global Committee of Insead Alumni Women in Business.

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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.