STEP Conference 2017

Tech | Digital | Entertainment
April 5 & 6 | Dubai International Marine Club

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Our Story

Since the event started in 2013, STEP has grown from 300 to more than 4000 attendees in 2016 interacting, engaging and sharing experiences, while the conference has expanded from technology-centric to become the largest gathering for technology, digital and entertainment industries in the MENA region.

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Who Attends

Smart Dubai Office

Aisha Bin Bishr

Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr is the Director General of the Smart Dubai Office, the government entity charged with overseeing Dubai’s citywide smart transformation, engaging with leadership in the public and private sector to make Dubai a global benchmark smart city.

Prior to that, Dr. Aisha worked as Assistant Director General of the Executive Office of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. The Executive Office role is to implement the vision of HH (to make Dubai #1 globally) as well as to be the source of the best futuristic initiatives. Part of her role was leading the Smart Dubai task force team from the time of the announcement of the Smart Dubai initiative in March 2014, to the formation of the Smart Dubai Office.

Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr represents the Smart Dubai Initiative in many communities and conferences such as City Protocol Society, Smart Citiy Expo World Congress as well as at the GSMA Mobile World Congress.

Entrepreneur & Venture Investor

Christopher Schroeder

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.

Dentsu Inc.

Kei Shimada

Kei Shimada is a Japanese American entrepreneur from New York. After working for global companies big and small, he successfully established and ran Infinita, one of Japan’s first multinational mobile strategy firms.

Today Kei is Global Director of Innovation and Business Development of Dentsu Inc., Japan’s largest agency. He is responsible for leading a group wide innovation initiative while supporting the growth around 10 core areas of innovative technologies including artificial intelligence, biometrics, drones, fintech, IoT, locational big data, robots, space, VR/AR and wearables.

Kei also works with government ministries and municipal governments on crisis management infrastructures, going beyond the traditional advertising business to cultivate new and sustainable business opportunities. He leads a project team that created Japan's first smart device based evacuation management platform and evacuation shelter database and holds several related patents. The team is the only team in Japan that has won three government awards (each by a different ministry) in this category. He is also the Chief Lab Officer of dmLab, Dentsu’s media innovation lab in South East Asia.

Kei is one of the world’s most prominent speakers. He has delivered keynote presentations and moderated panels on future tech in more than 20 countries around the globe.

DU

Carlos Domingo

Carlos Domingo is Chief Digital Transformation and Innovation Officer at du where he has a dual role of diversifying du from its core connectivity business through innovative digital services in areas like smart cities, Iot or big data as well as transform its core business through a digital services model and the adoption of digital technologies to interact with its customers and employees.

Before that he was Chief Product and Business Development for Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) where he managed all company product development, digital services, alliances and partnerships and business intelligence and analytic.

Carlos has also spent 8 years at Telefonica where he was the CEO of Telefonica R&D and the CEO for New Business and Innovation for Telefonica Digital.

Carlos holds a MSc in computer science from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, a PhD in computer science from the Polytechnic University in Catalonia and post grad business studies from Stanford Graduate School of Business. With more than 20 years of experience in the IT and telecommunications world, he developed his early career in Japan and USA, being VP of Celartem Technologies and eventually becoming the President & CEO of its subsidiary in Seattle after merging Extensis LizardTech and DiamonSoft.

Wamda Capital

Fadi Ghandour

Fadi Ghandour is Chairman and Managing Partner at Wamda Capital. Founder and Vice Chairman of Aramex, Fadi is also Co-Founder of Mena Venture Investments, the leading seed stage tech investment company, and is a founding investor in Maktoob.com, and sits on the Board of Trustees of the American University of Beirut, and the Advisory Council of the MIT Media Lab, and the Board of Abraaj Group. Fadi is passionate about social entrepreneurship where he founded and chairs, Ruwwad for Development, and entrepreneurs-led youth empowerment organization.

AJ+

Dima Khatib

Dima joined Al Jazeera in 1997 as a broadcast journalist in Al Jazeera's Doha newsroom. She quickly became a news producer, known for managing the coverage of the channel during the Iraq War. She set up bureaus in China and Venezuela for the network and was the first female bureau chief of Al Jazeera's (in Latin America). In 19 years, Dima has reported from over thirty countries, interviewing presidents and people from all walks of life. In 2012 Dima was classified as the most connected woman on Twitter in the Middle East. Dima has also worked for WHO, Swiss Radio International, Radio Qatar (French), AFP and has lectured in journalism at the American University in Dubai. Of Palestinian and Syrian heritage, Dima studied English Literature at Damascus University, holds a Masters' Degree in Translation, Geneva University, Switzerland. She speaks eight languages and writes in four of them. Dima has one published poetry collection in Arabic: Love Refugee.

BuzzFeed News

Sara Yasin

Sara Yasin is a Palestinian-American journalist raised on a steady diet of hummus and fried chicken. When she's not busy making bad jokes on Twitter, she works for BuzzFeed News, leading the News Curation team in New York. She has previously worked at GlobalPost and Mic. She enjoys obsessing how we consume news, and the impact of false stories that go viral about Muslims.

500 Startups

Hasan Haider

Hasan Haider is a Partner at 500 Startups, the most active Venture Capital firm in the world, based in Silicon Valley, with 1,800+ investments in 50+ countries and $330m in AuM. Hasan heads up the firms practice in the MENA region, with the Arabic speaking market being a core area of focus. 500 Startups has invested in close to 40 startups in the region over the course of the last 3 years, including Wuzzuf, Jamalon and fetchr. Hasan is also the CEO and founder of Tenmou, the first business angel’s organization in Bahrain and one of the first in the MENA region, and a founding member of the MENA Angel Investors Network (MAIN), an association of all the active angel investment groups in the region. Hasan’s work in developing angel investment in emerging markets through Tenmou has been picked up as a case study by the World Bank and is taught to Entrepreneurship Policy makers at Babson College.

Careem

Mudassir Sheikha

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.

Anghami

Eddy Maroun

Eddy is the co-founder of Anghami – the leading music streaming service in the Middle East. In late 2012, seizing the opportunity of a lack of proper digital music service, Eddy and his partner Elie Habib launched Anghami (meaning My Tunes in Arabic). Since then, Anghami has reached over 33 million users, streams close to 20 million licensed Arabic & English tracks and is integrated with 20 mobile operators. Anghami successfully raised VC money from MEVP and recently from Samena Capital, it also has 2 telcos on board Mobily-KSA and du-UAE - it partnered with MBC the largest media group in the region.

Cadillac

Nadim Ghrayeb

Nadim Ghrayeb, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager for Cadillac Middle East, is responsible for driving all strategies relating to sales operations across the region and the communication of the brand.

His previous position as the Regional Brand Manager for Cadillac Middle East saw him focusing exclusively on achieving long-term marketing objectives and delivering sustainable brand growth solutions.

His previous position as the Regional Brand Manager for Cadillac Middle East saw him focusing exclusively on achieving long-term marketing objectives and delivering sustainable brand growth solutions.

Ghrayeb first joined GM as a Marketing Manager for Cadillac Middle East, a title that saw him spearhead cross-media communications initiatives for the luxury auto brand – spanning myriad product launches – across key markets.

Ghrayeb holds a Bachelor of Science from Beirut’s Lebanese American University.

UAE’s Ambassador to Russia

Omar Ghobash

Omar Saif Ghobash is the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the Russian Federation. He is also the author of the recently published book Letters to a Young Muslim, which is written as a series of personal letters to his older son and offers a bold and intimate exploration of what it means to be Muslim in the twenty-first century.

Ghobash began his career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a diplomat at the UAE Mission to the United Nations. Prior to his appointment to Moscow in 2008, Ghobash founded the Third Line, Dubai’s first international contemporary art gallery showcasing artists from the Middle East. He is also a founding trustee of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, which runs with the support of the Booker Prize Foundation in London; sponsors the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation in memory of his father, Saif Ghobash, who was the UAE’s first minister of state for foreign affairs; and serves on the acquisition committee of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the advisory body of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King’s College London, and the board of trustees of the Emirates Diplomatic Academy in Abu Dhabi.

Ghobash was born in the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah in 1971 and is of Arab and Russian descent. He studied law at Balliol College, Oxford University, and mathematics at the University of London.

SAP

Fadi Naoum

Fadi Naoum is Development Senior Vice President for Sports and Entertainment, the 25th industry at SAP. His key responsibility is the development of flexible and innovative end-to-end-solutions that help sports and entertainment organizations improve their processes and maximize achievement. Its customers include the German Football Association (DFB), San Jose Sharks, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, SAP Arena, Bayern München and several others. The product portfolio of sports and entertainment comprises e.g. Team Management & Team Performance, Ticketing- & Point of Sale innovations. Mr. Naoum has been in global leading SAP positions for more than 15 years. He began his IT career at Lufthansa AG in 1989, where he was project manager on the implementation of SAP software. Fadi holds a Master degree in Economic Data Processing from the Cologne University, Germany.

Eight Inc.

Tim Kobe

Tim Kobe founded the globally recognized strategic and experience design firm Eight Inc. in 1989. Today, Eight Inc. has offices in San Francisco, New York, Honolulu, Tokyo, London, Singapore, and Dubai and across China and is a leader in innovation and branded experience working with companies such as Apple, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Nike, Lincoln and Citibank. Eight Inc.'s projects have received international design awards and have been published across Asia, Europe, and the United States including Fast Company, Harvard Business Review and Bloomberg. Kobe has spoken globally in large-scale public conferences and events, private organizations and colleges and universities. He is also a trustee at Art Center College of Design and currently serving as Chairman of the Academic Affairs Committee. Kobe also serves on the Board of Directors for the Grabhorn Institute in San Francisco California and divides his time between California and Singapore.

Uber

Anthony Le Roux

Anthony joined Uber in December 2013 as General Manager of Cape Town. A year and a half later, he moved to Poland to manage and expand Uber’s Eastern Europe - covering Poland, the Baltics, the Balkans as well as the CIS markets. In mid 2016, he moved back to Cape Town, now overseeing the whole of Uber’s Middle East, Africa and Pakistan (MEA) rides business. In this role, Anthony covers market strategy and operations in the MEA region, and works with expansion teams to identify and manage new market entries.

Having grown up in South Africa, Anthony began his career in investment banking at Standard Bank, providing mergers and acquisitions advice to a broad range of companies in the SSA market. He holds an MBA from INSEAD, an undergraduate degree in Actuarial Science from the University of Cape Town, a Higher Diploma in Taxation Law from the University of the Witwatersrand, and is a CFA Charterholder. Anthony has a passion for technology, entrepreneurship and innovation.

frog

Matteo Penzo

Matteo is an entrepreneur and a technology practice executive at frog, a global design and strategy firm, covering Europe and the Middle East.

With more than 18 years of technology, software design and development experience, Matteo consults top-clients in executing and deploying their product vision across the globe.

In 2005 he founded the internationally successful “Frontiers Conference” event, which brings innovators in business and design together. Most recently, Matteo founded “Talent Garden Milano," the biggest co-working space in Italy, which provides talent, brilliant minds, and startups an environment to connect, grow and blossom.

And he is bald.

Planetary Scientist

Charles Elachi

Dr. Charles Elachi is Professor (Emeritus) of Electrical Engineering and Planetary Science at the California Institute of Technology. From 2001 to 2016 he was the Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Vice President of California Institute of Technology.

He is the Chair of the St. Exupery Innovation Council in Toulouse France, Member of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency International Advisory Council, a member of the Commission on DOE National Laboratories, a member of the Visiting Committee for the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, the past chair and current member of the UCLA Sciences Board of Visitors, a past member of the Huntington Hospital Board of Trustees in Pasadena, the past chair and member of the Lebanese American University Board of Trustees New York and Beirut, a member of the International Advisory Board of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Saudi Arabia, a past member of the International Advisory Council of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and a member of the International Advisory Board of the University Oman. He was a member of the University of Arizona Engineering School Advisory Committee and the Boston University Center of Remote Sensing Advisory Council.

He is a fellow of IEEE and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and a member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).

During his 16-year tenure as JPL Director; JPL launched 24 mission.

In his 40 year career at JPL, Dr. Elachi played the lead role in developing the field of spaceborne imaging radar which led to Seasat, SIR-A, SIR-B, SIR-C, Magellan, SRTM and the Cassini Radar. He received numerous national and international awards for his leadership in this field.

During the late 80's and 90's as the Director of Space and Earth Science programs, Dr. Elachi was responsible for the definition and development of numerous JPL flight instruments and missions for Solar System Exploration, the Origins program, Earth Observation and Astrophysics.

In the mid to late 90’s, Dr. Elachi chaired a number of national and international committees which developed NASA roadmaps for the exploration of neighboring Solar Systems (1995), our Solar System (1997) and Mars (1998).

Dr. Elachi participated in a number of archeological expeditions in the Egyptian Desert, the Arabian Peninsula and the Western Chinese Desert in search of old trading routes and buried cities using satellite data, some of which were featured in National Geographic magazine.

He has lectured and given keynote speeches at numerous international conferences and universities inside and outside the U.S., including Australia, Austria, Brazil, China, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, China, Japan, India, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Monaco, Morocco and Switzerland. He was also a speaker at the Caltech Alumni Day and the Watson Lectures.

Dr. Elachi has received numerous awards, including the most recent as the Aviation Week Lifetime Achievement Award (2016), 2016 RNASA National Space Trophy, 2016 IAF Allen D. Emil Memorial Award, American University of Beirut Honorary Doctorate (2013).

Satirist

Karl Sharro

Karl Sharro is an architect, satirist and commentator on the Middle East. He is a Director at PLP Architecture in London and co-author of Manifesto: Towards a New Humanism in Architecture which was included in 100 Artists’ Manifestos: from the Futurists to the Stuckists, a survey of 100 influential art manifestos from the last 100 years.

Karl has practised architecture in London and Beirut, and taught for five years at the American University of Beirut. He wrote a chapter on Density vs Sprawl in the The Future of Community: Reports of a Death Greatly Exaggerated and a chapter entitled 'The Visionary City' in The Lure of the City: From Slums to Suburbs. He is also the author of Style: In defence of Islamic Architecture. He has been involved in the design of various buildings and master plans in the UK, Europe and the Middle East, as well as theoretical projects that look at how cities could look in the future.

Karl has written for a number of international publications and organisations, such as The Independent, The Sunday Times, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Open Democracy, The Globe and Mail, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Creative Time Reports, New Humanist, Vice, The National, Al-Akhbar English, Now, Jadaliyya, Syria Deeply, Daily News Egypt, World Architecture News, Index on Censorship, Die Presse, Springerin, The Architectural Review, Mark Magazine, Novo, Urban Design, Glass, Blueprint, An-nahar Cultural Supplement, and Culture Wars. He blogs at Karl reMarks, where his satirical writing is published.

He has spoken on a range of issues such as art, architecture, urbanism and politics, at MoMA, the Barbican, Internazionale Ferrara and many others. He appears regularly on the BBC and other media outlets. He presented his argument for open borders in a TedX talk in London in 2011 and an argument for removing planning constraints and allowing people to build whatever they want in BBC Radio 4 'Four Thought' broadcast. He has also taken part in BBC Radio 3 programmes reviewing the Islamic Art gallery at the Louvre Museumin Paris and The Shard in London. His idea for a ‘1000 Mile-City’ along the East Mediterranean coast was broadcast on the BBC’s This Week’s World as part of the ‘Think Again’ strand, exploring radical ideas for the future.

AVENTIO MB

Omer Unsal

Omer started his investment banking career working for Citibank/Salomon Smith Barney and UBS Warburg investment banking divisions in New York City between the years 1999 and 2003. During his tenor in New York, Omer concentrated on M&A and leveraged finance advisory transactions in general industrials, healthcare, and technology industries in the U.S., Europe and Japan. Omer then moved to Istanbul in 2004 where he worked as a Vice President in HC Istanbul Securities’ –an independent investment banking boutique focusing on Turkish M&A advisory services, between the years 2004 and 2005, before founding Odin Financial Advisors in March 2006. Today, Odin Financial Advisors is one of the leading independent investment banking services firms in Turkey having completed US$3.5 bn in transaction volume.

Since 2012, Omer concentrates majority of his time in technology deal making. As a result, Odin Financial Advisors, as of 3Q 2016, became the No. 1 technology investment banking advisory services firm in Turkey. Odin’s success in technology deal making created Aventio MB in December 2016. Aventio MB is the first emerging markets focused technology merchant banking advisory services firm operating with offices in London, Istanbul and Dubai.

Omer spends majority of his time at Aventio today focusing on emerging market technology deal making as well as serving as the Chairman of Odin Financial Advisors. Omer is also a member of Endeavor, the leading high-impact entrepreneurship movement around the world, and part of the Endeavor mentorship program in Istanbul and Dubai. Omer is also an Associate Member of Invest Europe.

Omer has B.A. dual degree in Political Science and Economics from Connecticut College in the U.S. Omer received an award of excellent for his outstanding achievements by the Political Science Association of the U.S. in 1999.

Wamda Capital

Khaled Talhouni

Khaled is Managing Partner at Wamda Capital, a Venture Capital fund investing in technology-enabled companies in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. He started his career at Dubai International Capital where he supported the development of the MENA region’s first seed capital fund. Since then Khaled assumed a number of venture capital and startup roles including heading investments and strategy at twofour54 in Abu Dhabi. Khaled has centered his career around identifying and investing in disruptive businesses that displace incumbent inefficiencies in traditional sectors of the economy. His areas of interest include ecommerce, Fintech, marketplaces, digital content and enterprise solutions. Through out his career Khaled has focused on building lasting partnerships with the entrepreneurs delivering the region’s digital economy.

Khaled has invested in and managed over 60 early stage transactions including Careem, Littlebits, Mumzworld, Insider, Modanisa and Luxury Closet and Step Group.

Khaled attended Duke University and graduated with a BA in Economics.

Fetchr

Idriss Al Rifai

Idriss Al Rifai is an entrepreneur passionate about disrupting the Middle East retail market with technologies and customer-centric services that enable the growth of e-commerce in the region. Idriss has developed and optimized a last mile delivery solution specifically for the e-commerce needs and requirements in the Middle East.

In 2012, Idriss founded Fetchr, formerly MENA360, which has evolved to become a full end-to-end logistic solution, backed by technology, for e-commerce companies, regional players, social media sellers as well as SMBs in the MENA region. Fetchr is also the first company in MENA to raise $11M in Series A funding, led by a top Silicon Valley VC, New Enterprise Associates.

Previously Idriss worked for MarkaVIP, a leading ecommerce player in the MENA region, where we headed the operations and built an in-house logistics department for the company to expedite deliveries. Prior to this he worked as a consultant at Boston Consulting Group.

Idriss holds degrees from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Paris (Sciences Po) and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. He is also a Rath and Fulbright scholar and Endeavor entrepreneur.

Mindshare MENA

Ravi Rao

Ravi has a track record of having been in marketing, account management and media.

A management graduate with a career of 25+ years in advertising & media for Unilever, PepsiCo, P&G, Henkel, Mars, Wrigley, FedEx, Dubai Holding, he comes back for a second stint in the MENA region. He was earlier with Mindshare India managing South Asia and is now the CEO for Mindshare MENA.

He loves to paint, yearns to be an archaeologist in the far future, but continues to be fascinated with developments in new media.

UM MENA

Antoine de Trogoff

Antoine de Trogoff; Head of Content at UM MENA setup the regions edition of UM’s global content division in 2014. UM Studios is the branded content division that works with all of UM MENA’s clients and supports them with content strategy, creation and distribution. Along with the launch of this division, he has been spearheading all the commercial and creative aspects of client projects by deploying content creation partnerships and fusing marketing strategies to content distribution.

New to Dubai, Antoine moved from Mediacom International in the UK where he ran two major global accounts: Shell and Dassault Systemes and also headed up the Content Partnership division. With over 10 years of experience in the advertising industry, Antoine actually studied Marketing & Finance in Paris and New York and after his first working experience in France; he soon realized that the UK was leading the industry with new and innovative thinking and decided to move to London where he spent the last 7 years.

In addition to his role as head of content, Antoine has been quite active with speaking sessions and contribution of thought leadership pieces. He was a panelist at the inaugural Festival of Media MENA in Dubai and has also been nominated as a thought leadership brand ambassador to represent UM in the MENA region.

BBC

Lorna Blount

Lorna Blount is a world-renowned social media expert with more than a decade of experience in some of the world's most influential media organisations across the globe. Previously at Sky News and Asia, she currently works at BBC World News in London as a multi platform producer and journalist, focusing on using social media as a tool for both newsgathering and audience building. Passionate about technology, she covers social media trends and developments in the industry, in addition to overall social and mobile strategy for the channel.

BBC

Kim Ghattas

Kim Ghattas covers international affairs for the BBC from her base in Washington D.C. She also covered the 2016 American presidential campaign. She writes a regular column for Foreign Policy magazine. She was the BBC's State Department correspondent from 2008 until 2013, travelling around the world with three secretaries of state. She wrote a NYT best seller The Secretary- a Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power. Before moving to DC, she covered the Middle East for a decade, for the BBC and the Financial Times among others, from her base in Beirut, where she was born and raised. In 2006, she was part of an Emmy-Award-winning BBC team covering the Lebanon-Israel conflict. She has covered Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran extensively. Her work has also been published by the Daily Beast, TIME magazine, and the Washington Post. She appears regularly on NPR and American television shows to discuss foreign policy.

UberEats

Damien Drap

Damien holds a MS in Industrial Engineering from École Centrale de Paris. He started his career in strategy consulting, spending a few years at Oliver Wyman where he advised leaders of the largest Retail and CPG actors in Europe and the US.

Damien joined Uber in its early days in France in 2013, where he started as one of the first Operations Managers, building what is one of the largest markets for the company today. In 2015, he moved to a regional role, serving as Strategy & Planning manager for Western Europe, before moving to Amsterdam in 2016 to lead the S&P team for the entire EMEA region in 2016.

Since December 2016, Damien leads the UberEATS business in the United Arab Emirates.

Publicis Communication

Samer Shoueiry

With 18+ years of academic and professional experience across business, design and innovation, I currently act as Publicis Communication MEA's Executive Head of Digital and Social Marketing, evolving the new capabilities we and our clients need to succeed in the Connected Age. Over 6 years at Leo Burnett MENA, I established the LB MENA network Social and Digital design practice, founded and championed our Social Content Lab, Experience Design and Experience Strategy disciplines, expanded our regional and global client portfolio as Regional Digital Director, and cultivated native digital design thinking to generate groundbreaking brand experiences as the first Digital Director for Innovation and Strategy. With Publicis Communications MEA, I have a new regional remit across Leo Burnett, Saatchi and Publicis, driving the development and integration of offices and capabilities all-through MENA, especially at the intersection of Business Transformation and Innovation. In addition to working with some of the world’s largest and most innovative companies, I have the privilege to mentor agile Internet of Things (IoT) start-ups via the Publicis 90 Accelerator.

Deliveroo

Anis Harb

Anis is Deliveroo's General Manager in the G.C.C. He is focused on scaling Deliveroo's presence in the region.

Anis has spent 5+ years in B2C technology businesses, most recently as a Category Manager at Amazon UK. Prior to this, he was an Investment Banker at J.P. Morgan New York.

Anis earned a B.A. in Economics from Northwestern University, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.

Earlybird Venture Capital

Cem Sertoglu

Cem Sertoglu is an entrepreneur and venture capital investor, focused on technology ventures in Turkey and CEE since 2006. He is currently a Partner at Earlybird Digital East Fund in Istanbul. His investment highlights include YemekSepeti and GittiGidiyor, the two largest exits in Turkish internet, as well as, Hazelcast, PropertyFinder, and Wikimart.

Previously, Cem was the Founder & CEO of SelectMinds (now a part of Oracle) in New York, the global leader in social talent management software. One of the social software pioneers, the company’s solutions enable the human capital management programs at some of the world’s largest companies. Prior to founding SelectMinds in 1999, Cem worked as a Strategy Consultant in New York for six years.

Cem holds a BA in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin.

SnapChat

Virginia Salas Kastilio

Virginia Salas Kastilio is the world’s #1 Female Snapchat Business Influencer (Inc. Mag) who is known for growing her biggest social following on Snapchat itself, which is something only a few people in the world so far have achieved. After 5 years of working in Corporate IT at Apple and Oracle, she has dedicated herself fully to being a Snapchat Strategist and Speaker. Virginia is currently launching the BBC's Snapchat channel in London. Her other clients include Nasdaq, Heroics and Soulpancake to name just a few. She’s uncannily good at chicken impressions and enjoys contemporary dancing.

More to be announced soon

Super Partners

Conference

What Goes On?

The crowd tunes in to big-name speakers and influencers as they engage in talks and discussions on our tech, digital and entertainment stages.

Talks & Panels

STEP attendees get access to numerous workshops about industry trends and best practices held by regional and international experts from the tech, digital and entertainment industries.

Workshops & Activities

400 startups will be showcasing their products & services in STEP2017 to a room filled with investors, industry experts, and fellow entrepreneurs.

Startup Basecamp

Startups pitch to an audience of fellow entrepreneurs, VCs, investors, and other professionals with prizes presented by our partners.

Pitch Competition

Startups and attendees get their very own 1-on-1 sessions with influential mentors.

Mentor’s Corner

Meet the hottest companies from tech, digital and entertainment industries, watch their latest innovations in display and find out about what they're up to next at STEP Exhibition Square.

Exhibition Square

Main Conference Partners

Conference Partners

STEP

Startup Basecamp

STEP2017 Startup Basecamp will feature 400 startups from all around the world exhibiting their products & Services in the largest startup showcase in MENA.

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