the leading tech festival
for emerging markets



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Our Story

STEP started out as a series of workshops and small gatherings, and over 8 years has grown to become the largest tech festival in Dubai. With 4 conferences, more than 250 global startups showcasing, hundreds of global investors, and 8000+ global attendees over two days, STEP brings the world to Dubai.

8000+

Attendees

400+

Showcasing Startups

100+

Participating Companies

$1+ Billion

Funding Present

conferences

1 festival, 4 conferences

STEP 2020 Line-up

More Speakers Will Be Announced Soon

Jeff
Hoffman

Global Entrepreneurship Network

Jeff
Hoffman

Global Entrepreneurship Network

“Jeff Hoffman is a successful entrepreneur, proven CEO, worldwide motivational speaker, bestselling author, Hollywood film producer, a producer of a Grammy winning jazz album, and executive producer of an Emmy Award winning television show. In his career, he has been the founder of multiple startups, he has been the CEO of both public and private companies, and he has served as a senior executive in many capacities. Jeff has been part of a number of well-known successful startups, including Priceline.com/Booking.com, uBid.com and more. Jeff is the Chief Evangelist for the Global Entrepreneurship Network. Jeff serves on the boards of companies in the US, Europe, the Middle East, South America, Africa, and Asia. He supports entrepreneurs and small businesses on a worldwide basis. He has not only built multi-billion dollar global companies, but he has worked with them in many different industries and markets, and he possesses a unique and powerful knowledge of what it takes to achieve exponential growth for entrepreneurs and small business owners everywhere.”

Vinodh
Bhat

JioSaavn

Vinodh
Bhat

JioSaavn

Vinodh (Vin) Bhat is Co-founder, President & Chief Strategy Officer of Saavn. He has over 19 years of experience in the media, entertainment and technology industries and has played a crucial role in defining the Saavn’s purpose and vision, recruiting talented individuals to join the Saavn team, raising capital to finance growth, and developing the company’s revenue streams. He also helps manage the company’s multi-faceted global relationships with Facebook, Google, and Amazon. 

Vin has been speaker at industry conferences around the world. He is also a Founding Partner at New York City-based venture development firm, 212MEDIA. Prior to Saavn and 212MEDIA, he co-founded and served as the VP of Sales & Business Development at Simile, a contextual advertising platform that advised various business units of Time Warner, Cox Media, Scripps and Hearst.

Vin began his career at the investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) and helped advise and raise capital for media & telecom companies such as Voyager, Earthlink, AT&T, @Home, Akamai, and several others. 

Vin graduated from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.

Vijay
Tirathrai

techstars

Vijay
Tirathrai

techstars

Vijay is the ​Managing Director at Techstars. Techstars is the worldwide network that supports entrepreneurs succeed with a network of over 10,000 mentors in 150 cities worldwide. Through its mentorship-driven accelerator programs Techstars has invested in 1,900+ start-ups at seed stage with a portfolio valuation estimated at $22Bn. Currently he is managing the Techstars accelerator in partnership with Hub71 based in Abu Dhabi. Formerly, Vijay was the Global CEO of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) based in Washington D.C. At EO he ​led the growth of 16,000+ leading entrepreneurs with ​the combined revenue of $600Bn, through the expansion of a world class peer-to-peer network present in over 180 cities worldwide. As a serial entrepreneur, Vijay founded several start-ups including manufacturing of safety helmets, association management, event production and a venture fund. Early in his career he served in senior executive roles namely in fashion retail, clothing manufacturing and real estate development. ​ Throughout his career, he has taken up leadership and boards roles on several non-profit entities, such as the Young President Organization (YPO International Board), Richmond University (U.K.), the 16th Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games and as International Chairman of the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Now based in Abu Dhabi, Vijay has previously lived and worked in Dubai, Washington D.C, London, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Hong Kong. He ​is proactive in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem as an investor ​and mentor. During his spare time he is passionately exploring world heritage sites. https://www.linkedin.com/in/vijayktirathrai/

Joel
Ayala

Class 5 Global

Joel
Ayala

Class 5 Global

Joel Ayala is a Managing Partner at Class 5. Prior to co-founding Class 5, Joel was on the founding team at Lumia Capital where he focused on investments in emerging markets, including Careem, Shedul, CargoX and many others. Joel serves on the Management Committee overseeing Lumia Capital Fund 1. Prior to Lumia, Joel worked on operations and corporate development at YuMe (NYSE: YUME). Joel led international expansion in Europe and Latin America and helped take the company public. Joel also co-founded Mingleton, a social discovery platform. He began his career as a banker with Jefferies. Joel graduated from Harvard University with an AB in Economics. He was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2016 and currently serves on the board of Yellow, Meliuz, Shedul, FiscalNote, and EatStreet.

Daumantas
Dvilinskas

TransferGo Ltd

Daumantas
Dvilinskas

TransferGo Ltd

Daumantas Dvilinskas is a serial entrepreneur and advisor to startup founders, currently co-founder & CEO at TransferGo. Previously he co-founded Pinevio.com and “Green Trends”, of which he was also CEO. He graduated from Business Studies at Lancaster University in 2010. He has always been business-orientated and has had interest in focusing his efforts on creating something new and innovative that would add value to society, and he firmly believes that FinTech fascinatingly enables this. As one of the co-founders of TransferGo, he believes he is finally fulfilling this dream, not only by leading a successful business but also because the business is making a real difference and helping people to enter a middle-class lifestyle.

Daniel
Piehler

Nomad

Daniel
Piehler

Nomad

Dan Piehler is the Chief Product Officer and Co-founder of Nomad, a property technology company in the Middle East. Previously, Dan was a Senior Product Manager at Addepar, a Silicon Valley-based fintech company that provides data aggregation and performance reporting solutions to private wealth management firms. While at Addepar, Dan was responsible for driving the company’s portfolio of third-party integrations, APIs, and developer toolkit. Prior to Addepar, Dan served as the Head of Platform at Lumia Capital, an expansion-stage venture capital firm based in San Francisco. Dan was previously a Product Marketing Manager at ClearMomentum (Acquired by Ipreo) a provider of portfolio analytics software for private equity and venture capital firms. Dan holds an MBA from the Simon Business School and BA/Economics & English from the University of Rochester.

Helen
Chen

Nomad

Helen
Chen

Nomad

Helen Chen is the CEO and Co-founder of Nomad, a property technology company in the Middle East. Prior to founding Nomad, Helen was an investor and worked at several notable companies including Goldman Sachs, China Investment Corporation (CIC), and Blackstone as well as studying at Stanford Business School. Always having had a passion for real estate, the idea for Nomad was conceived whilst Helen was in Silicon Valley, but recognizing the potential in the Middle East she relocated to Dubai and launched the business in September 2019. A strong believer in supporting women both in tech and in the boardroom, Helen is a champion for hiring female talent at Nomad and encouraging a balanced workforce.

Arif
Saiyad

ASA Ventures

Arif
Saiyad

ASA Ventures

Mr. Saiyad is the eponymous founder and CEO of Arif Saiyad & Associados Ventures, more popularly known as ASA Ventures. His foray into entrepreneurship started in his native Portugal, and in the last 15 years has successfully established businesses in the United Kingdom, India and the United Arab Emirates. Throughout his whole career, he has created, seed-funded, and made fruitful exits from over 60 companies across the world.

Jayesh
Patel

Liv. by Emirates NBD

Jayesh
Patel

Liv. by Emirates NBD

As the Head of the fastest growing bank in the Middle East, Mr. Patel was responsible for the set up and launch of Liv. the first digital-only lifestyle bank. The mobile-only lifestyle bank is part of a long term strategy by Emirates NBD (UAE’s largest retail bank) to define the next generation of banking by building a digitally-native bank. Focusing on Zillennials (millennials and Gen Z), Liv. helps in enhancing their finances as well as their lifestyle in one app. With more than 14 years of consumer-centric innovations and changes across various industries, Mr. Patel has a strong regional experience and is currently an active member in the Fintech and Angel investment community in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA.)

Amira
Rashad

BulkWhiz

Amira
Rashad

BulkWhiz

Amira is CEO of BulkWhiz, the first bulk grocery ecommerce platform in the Middle East, powered by home grown artificial intelligence. She has extensive strategy, operations and marketing experience across the technology, media, consumer products and services sectors. She was most recently the regional Head of Brand for Facebook Middle East, North Africa & Pakistan, working closely with leading global and regional companies as well as the startup and VC ecosystem. She has advised Fortune 500 companies as a senior consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, and led teams at PepsiCo, Yahoo, Dun & Bradstreet, and Leo Burnett Advertising, while working in the U.S., Europe, Middle East and Africa. Amira holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and is s a UK Foreign Office Chevening scholar. She is a board member of Tech Wadi in Silicone Valley and The MIT Enterprise Forum Middle East. Amira is a regular speaker at major regional events on ecommerce, artificial intelligence and women’s issues.

Amit
Chaudhary

Lenskart.com

Amit
Chaudhary

Lenskart.com

Amit Chaudhary, Co-Founder, Lenskart.com is known for deriving innovative ideas and has a deep understanding and interest in Technology, Analytics, Operations along with an expertise in organizational development which has brought in a revolutionary growth in the business. Amit is also responsible for the aggressive offline expansion of Lenskart.com. The Omni Channel brand retails not only through its website also 500 plus stores spread across 100 plus cities at the moment and plans to ramp up the number aggressively making it the fastest retail growth witnessed in India.. Lenskart is India’s first and the only brand to use robotic technique that delivers glasses which are accurate to 3 decimal places. The brand has brought a Technology revolution in eyewear with services like 3D Try On and Home Eye Check Up.

Strategic Partner

Destination Partner

Previous Speakers

Bibop
Gresta

Hyperloop

Bibop
Gresta

Hyperloop

Expert in finance, transportation and media, Bibop G. Gresta has dedicated himself to improving the world. A world-renowned speaker, he has spoken about and discussed the future of transportation and human mobility at many high-level global meetings such as the World Economic Forum and the United Nations. He is a respected activist in Transhumanism and Ethical Entrepreneurship. He founded Bibop S.p.a, a digital content firm; he sold 40% to Telecom Italia for 11bn Italian Lira, creating one of the earliest successes of the Italian New Economy. In 2004, he co-founded the influential startup incubator Digital Magics SPA, responsible for more than 70 companies, and served as venture partner. He entered into the venture capital market in 2011 with two publically- traded companies in the United Kingdom and Germany. In 2014 Bibop partnered with HTT CEO Dirk Ahlborn to become Chairman for Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Inc.

Christopher
Schroeder

Entrepreneur & Venture Investor

Christopher
Schroeder

Entrepreneur & Venture Investor

Christopher M. Schroeder is an American entrepreneur, advisor and investor in interactive technologies and social communications. He is author of the recent best seller, and first book on startups in the Arab World, Startup Rising — The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East. Schroeder was the CEO and Publisher of washingtonpost.newsweek interactive and co-founder of the Silicon Valley venture capital backed startupHealthCentral.com. Schroeder serves on the board of advisers of the American University of Cairo School of Business, American University School of International Service, and the boards of directors of the American University of Beirut, The German Marshall Fund and the American Council on Germany. He is on the Investment Committee of The Wamda Fund, one of the largest venture capital funds in the Middle East. He has co-led the Economic Recovery and Revitalization working group of the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Strategy Task Force. He was named one of LinkedIn’s first 50 Influencers. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Business School.

Patrick
de
Laive

TNW

Patrick
de
Laive

TNW

Patrick de Laive (36) is co-founder of TNW, the most influential tech media entity with a global audience which is not based in the US (The Netherlands actually). He is one of the young leaders under 40 of the European tech scene. Patrick is a frequently asked speaker at international tech events (Slush -Helsinki-, Launch.co -SF-, ARABSmiss -Dubai-, 4YFN – Barcelona, IDCEE -Kiev-, The South Summit -Madrid- and many more), but as he just entered the ‘fatherhood’ he is limiting the number of speaking engagements. In the past year he has been secretly working on a big data project, recently launched as Index.co. Index provides insights in private tech companies by turning unstructured content into structured intelligence on over 100k private tech companies.

Mike
Butcher

TechCrunch

Mike
Butcher

TechCrunch

Mike Butcher (FRSA) is currently Editor of TechCrunch Europe. Mike is also involved in a project to bring European technology entrepreneurs and investors together in a club environment called TechHub (@TechHub), in London initially. A long time journalist, Mike has written for UK national newspapers and magazines including The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The New Statesman. He is a former editor ofNew Media Age magazine, the leading new media weekly in the UK, and the European edition of The Industry Standard magazine. Since 1996 he has launched or re-launched numerous media web sites and in 2000 he was nominated as NetMedia’s European Internet Journalist of the Year. In 2004 he was voted “One of the 100 Innovators of the UK Internet Decade” by GfK NOP, the fourth-largest custom research business in the world. In July 2008 he was put at No. 47 out of the Top 100 people in London’s creative industry by The Independent newspaper and The Hospital Club. In August 2008 TechCrunch Europe was awarded the best “Web 2.0 and business blog” in the UK, by the readers of Computer Weekly magazine. In 2009 it was named as one of the Top 10 blogs out of the UK. Also in 2009 he was named one of the Top 10 bloggers on Twitter in the UK. In October 2009 he was named one of the Top 50 most influential Britons in technology by The Daily Telegraph. In April 2010 he was named as one of Britain’s Top 100 “digital power-brokers” by Wired UK magazine. In April 2010 TechCrunch Europe was shortlisted in the Specialist Digital Publisher category of the prestigious UK-based Association of Online Publishers’ Digital Publishing Awards. In November 2010 he was named as one of London’s most influential people in New Media and “king of dotcom commentators” by The Evening Standard Newspaper. In February he was listed as one of the Top 100 most influential people on Twitter in the UK. He has spoken at the prestigious Monaco Media Forum and Le Web, among many other conferences. Mike is a regular commentator on the technology business, appearing on BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4 and Bloomberg. Mike’s personal blog is mbites, while he Twitters as @mikebutcher.

Noah
Raford

Dubai Future Foundation

Noah
Raford

Dubai Future Foundation

Dr. Raford is an advisor at the Prime Minister’s Office and has played a role in the establishment of the UAE’s first national foresight unit, the Dubai Future Foundation and the Museum of the Future. He is also involved in a team that looks into future opportunities, strategic partnerships and initiatives for the Government of Dubai

Noor
Sweid

Global Ventures

Noor
Sweid

Global Ventures

Ex-Chief Investment Officer at the Dubai Future Foundation Founding Partner at Leap Ventures, a growth-stage VC firm based out of Dubai and Beirut Active angel investor Led the IPO of the first company onto the NASDAQ Dubai and the LSE, Depa, where she scaled the company tenfold in three years prior to listing at US$1.1B (April 2008) Founded and scaled ZenYoga, which was later sold to a private equity firm in 2014 Biopharma strategy consultant at Accenture in Boston Director-in-Residence for the Corporate Governance program at INSEAD Founding Board member at Endeavor UAE Bachelors’ degrees in Finance and Economics from Boston College MBA from MIT Sloan

Henrique
Dubugras

BREX

Henrique
Dubugras

BREX

Henrique Dubugras is Co-Founder & CEO of Brex — the first of its kind corporate card for startups. A Brazilian entrepreneur, Henrique built payments company Pagar.me — the Stripe of Brazil — when he was sixteen years old. In just three years, Pagar.me grew to $1.5 billion in volume of transactions processed. In the fall of 2016, Henrique sold Pagar.me and enrolled at Stanford University. After eight months, he left school and founded Brex, which raised $215M in funding across three rounds in its first 18 months and was the fastest U.S. business-to-business company to be valued at over $1bn.

Mudassir
Sheikha

Careem

Mudassir
Sheikha

Careem

CEO and Co-Founder at Careem Mudassir looks after growth and expansion. He spent a geeky decade in Silicon Valley before becoming a management consultant in the region. He aspires to build the Middle East's first corporate institution that will improve people's lives and inspire others. When not traveling, he is hanging out with Captains and giving engineers feedback on user interface. He is an alum of McKinsey, Stanford and USC.

Shawn
Mims

RecordGram

Shawn
Mims

RecordGram

Shawn Mims or professionally know as MIMS is a multi platinum recording artist and entrepreneur who had the biggest record in the world called “This Is Why I’m Hot” in 2007.  MIMS is currently the visionary and CO-Founder behind RecordGram.  RecordGram is a mobile music and video recording studio in the palm of your hand that allows aspiring artists from around the world to instantly collaborate with award winning music producers for under $5.  As a recording artist, MIMS has generated over $14 million in gross sales and was featured in a $9 million Microsoft advertising campaign.  In addition to being an international superstar, MIMS is passionate about new technologies that improve people’s lives.  Please visit http://www.recordgram.com

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.

Monty
Munford

Forbes

Monty
Munford

Forbes

Monty Munford has 15 years’ experience in the mobile, web and digital sectors and is a weekly columnist for Forbes in New York and The Telegraph in London. He also writes regularly on technology for prestigious publications such as The Economist, MIT Tech Review and Wired UK. He also contributes to TechCrunch, Mashable and The Next Web. He speaks on the BBC World Service and is a sought-after speaker around the world in cities such as London, San Francisco, Lagos, Dublin and Oxford University.

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).

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.

Mark
D’Arcy

Facebook

Mark
D’Arcy

Facebook

VP, Chief Creative Officer at Facebook where he leads the company’s creative efforts to make advertising across Facebook and Instagram more relevant for people and more valuable for businesses. Mark joined Facebook in 2011 and today his team, The Creative Shop, operates from more than 40 Facebook offices and last year alone helped produce several thousand projects across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Oculus for an extraordinarily diverse client base including 80% of the world’s top 100 advertisers. The Creative Shop does all this through close partnerships with all the major advertising groups and collaborations with independent creators, influencers, artists, production companies, media companies and technologists. The work these partnerships create is regularly recognized in the press for driving innovation and at leading award shows, including Cannes Lions, where Mark has served on the inaugural Innovation and 2016 Glass Lion juries. Mark helped establish the Facebook Awards to celebrate the best creative work on the platform and in 2012, he founded the Facebook Global Creative Council. Mark is proud to serve on the boards of AD and the IFP, Independent Filmmaker Project.

Bassem
Youssef

Satirist

Bassem
Youssef

Satirist

Bassem Youssef, dubbed the Jon Stewart of the Arab World, was the host of popular TV show AlBernameg – which was the first of its kind political satire show in the Middle East. Originally a 5- minute show on YouTube, AlBernameg became the first online to TV conversion in the Middle East and the most watched show across the region with 30 million viewers every week. AlBernameg received wide acclaim around the world with coverage in some of the biggest media outlets, topping it off with Youssef’s appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart twice in June 2012 and April 2013. In June 2013, Youssef hosted Jon Stewart on AlBernameg in Cairo marking the second season’s peak.

Fadi
Ghandour

WAMDA Group

Fadi
Ghandour

WAMDA Group

The Executive Chairman of Wamda Group, a platform that invests, nurtures and builds entrepreneurship eco-systems across the Middle East and North Africa. Fadi is also the Co-Founder of Aramex, one of the leading global logistics companies. Fadi spent the first 30 years of his work life as CEO of Aramex, building the company, making it the leading emerging market logistics company, employing over 15,000 people working in over 250 offices in 90 countries. He took the company public twice, first on Nasdaq making it the first company from the Arab work to do so, then on Dubai Financial market. He continues to be active on the Aramex board. Fadi is a serial entrepreneur. In his career, he was involved with founding, investing and launching tens of companies and non-profits, from digital tech, hospitality, F&B, fitness & wellness to security. Passionate about impact and social entrepreneurship, Fadi founded and Chairs Ruwwad for Development, a private‐sector led community empowerment platform that helps marginalized communities across several countries in the MENA region, overcome marginalization through activism, civic engagement, education and financial inclusion. He has also co-founded and continues to support one of the leading not-for-profit sports clubs in Jordan. Fadi also served and continues to serve on several global and regional boards of companies, education institutions and non-profits.

Jeremiah
Owyang

Crowd Companies

Jeremiah
Owyang

Crowd Companies

Jeremiah Owyang is the Founder of Crowd Companies, which focuses on how large companies tap the collaborative economy, maker movement, and customer collaboration. Prior, he was a founding partner at Altimeter Group and an industry analyst at Forrester Research covering social computing –the first phase of digital making and sharing. He focuses on how disruptive technologies—such as social media, the collaborative economy, and interactive marketing—impact the relevance of corporations to customers today and in the future. He is well recognized by both the tech industry and the media for his grounded approach to deriving astute insights through rigorous research. His site, “Web Strategy” is one of the premier blogs on how corporations connect with their customers using Web technologies. Jeremiah is frequently quoted in top- tier publications, and currently writes for Fast Company. Previously, Jeremiah was a founding partner at the Altimeter Group, worked at Forrester and at Hitachi, where he launched the company’s first social program. He was featured in the  “Who’s Who” in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, and his Twitter feed was named one of the top feeds by Time.

Ronaldo
Mouchawar

SOUQ.com

Ronaldo
Mouchawar

SOUQ.com

The co-founder and CEO of SOUQ.com, the largest online retail and marketplace platform in the Arab world. Since co-founding SOUQ.com in 2005, Mr Mouchawar has overseen aggressive expansion of the company to become the first choice in online shopping for millions of customers in the Middle East. Mr Mouchawar has more than 15 years of experience in technology and business management. He started his career as a Technical and Systems Consultant with EDS in the US, and before starting SOUQ.com, he spearheaded a consulting company that managed numerous web and e- commerce projects in the Arab world. Mr Mouchawar holds a Master's degree in Digital Communications and a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Mr Mouchawar’s family background is in trading, which combined with his passion for innovation and technology, has led him to start, develop and lead the e-commerce market in this region. As keen to set high goals for himself and his team in his career as he did as a Basketball player, he is an inspiration to young entrepreneurs looking to blaze their own trail and he is passionate about creating jobs for Arabs and like-minded entrepreneurs to join his growing team. In March 2015, Mr Mouchawar received an award from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in recognition of SOUQ.com’s digital influence in the UAE. Recently, Mr Mouchawar was awarded the prestigious Retail Business Leader of the Year & Entrepreneur of the Year Awards by Gulf Business (Motivate Publishing).

Previous Partners

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 ideas of tomorrow are born. As the largest technology business community in the region, it’s a place where innovators and entrepreneurs work, connect and share their vision for a bold new tomorrow.