February 13 – 14,2019Dubai

The Most Experiential
Tech Festival in the Middle East

Our Story

STEP started out as a series of workshops and small gatherings, and over 7 years has grown to become the largest tech experiential festival in the Middle East. With 4 conferences, more than 250 startups showcasing, and 6000+ attendees over two days, STEP is home to the best entrepreneurs, creatives, and digital enthusiasts.

6000+

Attendees

250 +

Showcasing Startups

1000+

Participating Entrepreneurs

$1 Billion

Funding Present

conferences

1 festival, 4 conferences

Speakers

Amr
Awadallah

Cloudera

Amr
Awadallah

Cloudera

Co-Founder and CTO of Cloudera since it was formed in Oct 2008. Before that he was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Accel Partners for about 3-months. Prior to joining Accel he served as Vice President of Product Intelligence Engineering at Yahoo! and ran one of the very first organizations to use Hadoop for data analysis and business intelligence. Amr joined Yahoo after they acquired his first startup, VivaSmart, in July of 2000. Amr holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from Cairo University, Egypt, and a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

Mustafa
Shamseldin

PepsiCo

Mustafa
Shamseldin

PepsiCo

Vice President – Snacks Category for Middle East & North Africa region at PepsiCo. He has more than 20 years of sales, marketing and general management experience in both small and multi-billion-dollar businesses covering more than 20 countries across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey where he led some of the most valuable global brands and trademarks, launched numerous successful products and innovations, and built new brands from scratch. In his role as Vice President Snacks Category, Middle East & North Africa for PepsiCo, he leads the development of PepsiCo’s snacks portfolio including the largest food brands in the region such as Lays, Doritos, Cheetos and Sunbites. Mustafa has been with PepsiCo since 2008 when he started as the Marketing Director for Pepsi Cola Egypt, before moving to different roles across the region including GCC Marketing Director, General Manager Saudi & Yemen Beverages, and Vice President for Sales & New Business Development. Prior to PepsiCo, Mustafa worked across the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region at different companies including Procter & Gamble, Henkel, and Americana Foods. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the American University in Cairo and has attended several executive education and development programs including ‘Creating and Implementing Strategy for Competitive Advantage’ from the Wharton Business School, and ‘Basics in International Management’ from the Cranfield School of Management. His passions are social and economic development and the support for startups and small businesses, which he has fulfilled through mentorship, judging in major startup competitions, as well as contributing opinion articles to key publications. Mustafa is currently based in Dubai, UAE.

Ali
Jaber

MBC

Ali
Jaber

MBC

Dean, Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Communication at American University of Dubai (AUD) Group TV Director, Middle East Broadcasting Corporation, MBC. Ph.D. (in progress) Arab Satellite Television, King’s College, University of Cambridge, UK M.S. Communications, Syracuse University, USA B.B.A. Business Administration, American University in Beirut, Lebanon Born in Lebanon in 1961, Mr. Jaber completed his Bachelors in Business Administration at the American University of Beirut in 1984 before going on to earn his Master’s degree in Communications at Syracuse University in the US in 1986. Upon returning to Beirut, Ali joined the Fine Arts faculty of Beirut University College. There he helped set up their Broadcasting Department and for eight years taught a range of courses in television production. Concurrently, Ali worked as a Journalist covering the war in Lebanon and Iraq between the years 1987 to 1999, he was the correspondent of New York Times and The Times of London between 1989 and 1994, and Chief Correspondent for Lebanon and Syria for the German Press Agency (DPA) from 1987 to 1999. In 1992 he was approached by then Prime Minister Rafic Hariri and was asked to set up, from the ground up, a privately owned pan-Arab television station. Ali founded and managed what later became Future TV till 2003. While with Future, Ali oversaw the building of Future’s satellite broadcast and also started and managed a youth-oriented sister channel, Zen TV, which he ran for five years. In 2004, he was approached by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and brought in as a consultant to head Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI), to revamp and re-launch its seven national and pan-Arab satellite channels. In 2006, after 2 years in which Ali successfully managed to restructure the channels’ on-air branding and their content as well as re-organize the company’s out of date management structure, Ali was appointed DMI’s managing Editor. Working closely with now UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, DMI’s Board Members and the Chairman of Dubai’s governmental organizations, his responsibilities are wide-ranging and have grown to include the development of the media sector in the UAE. In 2008, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum instructed Ali to set up a Communication School at the American University of Dubai. In July 2008 Ali was named Dean of Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Communication (MBRSC) and this year MBRSC graduates fifty students with degrees in Journalism and Digital Storytelling. One of the unique characteristics of the School is that it teaches all media writing courses in the Arabic language and its curricula focuses on Digital Media and Multi-platform Storytelling. In 2011 Ali was approached by Middle East media leader, MBC Group for a different type of challenge – this time in front of the camera, as a judge for the internationally mega-successful format, “Arabs Got Talent”. The show was a ratings hit, and raised the profile of MBC 4 to the #2 channel in the region. During that same year, and in parallel, Ali closed a deal with MBC to become Group TV Director of MBC’s 20 channels. In that capacity, and as of October 2011, Ali oversees content planning, acquisition, and programming for all the Group’s general entertainment and niche channels. Ali Jaber serves on the Dubai government Council for Design and Fashion, he also helped set up thenon-governmental organization: Young Arab Leaders (YAL) and was on the Advisory Board of American University of Beirut, School of Architecture and Design, in Beirut, Lebanon. Ali currently spearheads the Dubai government initiative the set up the Dubai School of Design in association with Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT) and the New York based Parsons school of design and Fashion. Ali is also the goodwill ambassador for Sanad, the home hospice organization in Lebanon which offers free physical, psychological and spiritual support for terminally ill patients.

Jenny
Zeng

MSA Capital

Jenny
Zeng

MSA Capital

Managing Partner at MSA Capital and brings over 18 years of experience in the Chinese VC industry. At MSA, Jenny leads investments. Jenny (Yu) Zeng was the founding Executive Director of the China Venture Capital Association in 2002. In 2004, She founded one of the first Financial Advisory firms in China (Maple Valley), and led many landmark deals in the industry. She also organized the first series of Angel Investing events which pioneered the concept of angel investing in China. She graduated from Beijing Information Science and Technology University. She is one of the founders of the Harvard Innovation Lab (iLab).

Zeynab
El-Helw

Fashion Pirate

Zeynab
El-Helw

Fashion Pirate

A well-known Fashion, Lifestyle, Travel influencer and Entrepreneur. She has graduated from Central Saint Martins University of the Arts, with an honors degree in Fashion, specializing in costume and theatre. She then earned a master’s degree in marketing and a second in international business management. For the past year, Zeynab has been an inspiration for young women. She married her best friend in a magical wedding in Barcelona, transitioned from a corporate job at a luxury fashion brand to become a successful full-time digital marketeer and social media personality.

Ramez
Youssef

Tayarah

Ramez
Youssef

Tayarah

His inspiring career was launched upon his graduation with high honors as an Architectural Engineer. After his experience with the military, he discovered his flair for standup comedy, only one of his many talents along with hosting events and creating digital content. It also sparked his passion for communication with his fans, which led him to the very beginning of Tayarah’s rapid growth, as the presenter of Disalata’s famous “Mish Impossible” YouTube-based show for three seasons. In parallel, Ramez was actively working on developing his career as a lighting designer in charge of the Middle East and Africa at Philips for seven years, surprisingly paving the way for his newfound talent. Co-founded by Ramez and his partner Mohamed El Bassiouni, the next phase of his career saw Disalata transform into Tayarah to become what it is today. Instantly, Tayarah started booming with accomplishments that reflected Ramez’ creativity. It was time for Ramez to solely dedicate his passion and talent to this field in his professional life. Today, Ramez’ responsibilities at Tayarah include heading the creative department, developing the business, and constantly motivating the team to look out for the next big thing.

Sirish
Kumar

Telr

Sirish
Kumar

Telr

The CEO and Co-founder of Telr, an international e-payment solution that enables merchants to accept payments from local and international buyers, in multiple countries and in multiple currencies, with one simple integration. Prior to co-founding Telr in 2014, Sirish was the CFO for PayPal in ASEAN and India, where he led the growth strategy, geographic expansion, financial planning and analytics, acquisitions and new ventures. He also has been an angel investor and has led social entrepreneurship initiatives in Singapore and the Philippines. A Chartered Accountant by profession, Sirish has an MBA in General Management from INSEAD.

Daniel
Diemers

PwC

Daniel
Diemers

PwC

Studied economics at the University of St. Gallen HSG and has a Ph.D. in Virtual Communities. In 1997 he won the European Honeywell Futurist Award and his book Virtual Triad: Cyberspace, Cyborgs and Artificial Intelligence was published in 2002. As an entrepreneur and founder, he worked in the field of internet-based early warning systems. Since 2005, he has been advising banks, corporates and regulators across Europe and Middle East on strategy, digitisation, fintech and distributed ledger technology. He also acts as the PwC Head of Blockchain EMEA and works closely on topics such as blockchain, crypto and tokenization. Daniel is co-founder of Swiss Finance + Technology Association and Crypto Valley Association, member of fintechrockers.com, angel investor and closely associated with the international fintech and blockchain community.

Ranjit
Rajan

IDC

Ranjit
Rajan

IDC

A technology industry thought leader, researcher and CxO advisor. During his 18+ years of experience in the ICT industry (over 10 of them with IDC), he has extensive experience advising technology firms, national ICT development agencies, regulators, and telecommunication providers. Currently, as the head of IDC’s research practice in this region, Ranjit is responsible for driving the growth of IDC’s research products and services business, and shaping IDC’s thought leadership. Ranjit leads a team of over 40 market analysts based in IDC offices across the region and spearhead IDC’s thought leadership by directing and shaping IDC’s industry-leading research trackers, guides, reports and subscription products, and supporting consulting projects on the entire spectrum of information and communication technologies. Ranjit has been involved in advising telecommunication providers and technology firms on growth & transformation strategies, market entry, competitive positioning, portfolio strategy and marketing & communication strategies. In addition, he has also been an advisor to governments, regulators and national ICT development agencies on topics such as knowledge economies and innovation ecosystems, developing local ICT industries, skills development strategies, foreign direct investment, technology-led innovation, research & development and entrepreneurship. From a technology standpoint, his areas of expertise include Cloud, Mobility, Big Data Analytics, Managed Services, Datacenter Services, Social Business, Internet of Things, AI/Cognitive Systems, Cyber Security, and paradigms such as Digital Transformation and Smart City developments. Ranjit frequently speaks at industry forums and conferences, and is often quoted in the media, providing opinion and analysis on technology trends and strategies in global and emerging markets. Prior to joining IDC in 2008, Ranjit spent over nine years in the IT industry, in roles spanning product management, marketing, channel and business development, and resource management at prominent global IT companies such as Epicor, 3i Infotech and NIIT Technologies. Ranjit has a management degree from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Kolkata, India and a bachelor of technology degree from Cochin University of Science and Technology, India.

Kaj
Pyyhtiä

MaaS Global Ltd.

Kaj
Pyyhtiä

MaaS Global Ltd.

The co-founder of MaaS Global and Whim app, the world’s first mobility as a service solution. Kaj has a background in digital business from past 17 years, having worked in advertising, service creation and consultancies. Kaj has a Master’s in BA and international business.

Marta
Piekarska

Hyperledger

Marta
Piekarska

Hyperledger

The Director of Ecosystem at Hyperledger. Marta obtained her BSc in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Warsaw University of Technology and a double Master from Computer Science and Informatics at Technical University of Berlin and Warsaw University of Technology. Marta received PhD in User-Informed Design of Privacy Tools while working at one of the hottest startups in Silicon Valley – Blockstream. Marta also taught at Technical University of Berlin as a Post-doc. As part of her role in Hyperledger Marta evangelizes the technology and Open Source at conferences around the world and helps enterprises with applying permissioned Blockchains to their use-cases. Marta is passionate about how Blockchain can help in non traditional spaces, such as identity, last mile aid and education delivery and sustainability. She leads the public speaking and outreach at Hyperledger, has given numerous interviews, both written and in visual media. Marta also formed the W3C Blockchain community Group and is a valued member of the technical advisory to ID2020, DIF and participated in Rebooting Web of Trust on regular basis.

Karim
Banna

ICONIQ Motors

Karim
Banna

ICONIQ Motors

Began his automotive career with W Motors as the Head of Business Development in 2014. The team always had a vision to create a new electric vehicle brand in China and founded ICONIQ Motors in early 2016. Karim then became the Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder of ICONIQ. The company aims to be the first passenger-focused electric vehicle to offer industry leading comfort, entertainment and productive technologies. ICONIQ’s strategic partnership with Microsoft will enable a truly unique in-vehicle digital user experience.

Peter
DeBenedictis

Microsoft

Peter
DeBenedictis

Microsoft

Leads the marketing function for Microsoft in the Middle East and Africa region, a role he assumed in March 2017. His team takes an integrated marketing and communications approach, using digital marketing and traditional channels to both build the Microsoft brand and also engage customers and partners on their purchase journey. Peter’s has lived and worked in the Middle East region for over 30 years and has deep experience of growing business in diverse Emerging Markets. Prior to joining Microsoft, he has had a distinguished career leading the marketing function in several of the world’s leading brands, including General Electric, Philips, and FedEx, where he has led multiple growth and investment programs to drive top line growth. He has built multiple public private partnerships with large government organizations to drive regional technology development, local software and engineering skills , and entrepreneurship. Peter has been a regular speaker at Marketing conferences across the region and is a member of several industry organizations. He is a past President of the Alumni Association of Dubai College, one of the top non-profit British schools in the region, and is also a member of their Board of Governors. Peter is based in Dubai with his wife and two children aged 10 and 4.

Anis
Sahbani

Enova Robotics

Anis
Sahbani

Enova Robotics

An Associate Professor of Robotics and Computer Science at Sorbonne University – France since 2004. He received his Ph.D. in 2003 in Robotics and Computer Science from Paul Sabatier University. His main current research interests are in the fields of human-centered robotics. He has been the principal investigator/partner of several European projects. In 2014, Anis Sahbani founded Enova ROBOTICS, the first company in Africa that manufactures its own-brand robots. Enova Robotics won several international awards such as: two gold medals from the World Intellectual Property Organization, gold medal of the International Invention Fair in Middle East, and the gold medal of the International Exhibition of Inventions at Geneva. Anis Sahbani is also the winner of the Best Young Leader award. Enova Robotics has raised $1.6-million Tunis-based investment firm Capsa Capital.

Super Partners

Strategic Partner

Transportation Partner

STEP Start Main Partner

STEP X Main Partner

STEP Start Partners

STEP Digital Partners

STEP X Partner

STEP Money Partner

Academic Partner

Content Partners

PR Partner

Media Partners

Event Technology Partner

Structures Partner

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 250 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. 

 

Dubai Internet City



Dubai Internet City is the region’s leading hub where the top innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, tech companies, and leading media agencies are all based.