February 13 – 14,2019Dubai

The Most Experiential
Tech Festival in the Middle East

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STEP X

STEP X features the latest in future of transport and autonomous tech, smart cities, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, and more. Telcos, city planners, automotive companies, and startups gather to discuss what life will look like by 2050.

What We Cover

Future transportation

Discussing the evolution of MaaS, autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles, and regulatory framework to encourage new transportation models.

Smart Cities & IoT

Debating building up existing infrastructure versus building out new cities. The shift to connected lifestyles and its level of effectiveness to suit people of all abilities across all nations.

Decision making and Artificial intelligence

Debating decision making through artificial intelligence, how much should humans let AI decide for them, and the socio-economic and socio-political impact of AI.

Regulation & Security

Discussing the excessive need for cyber security in smart cities as our lives transform by the data we generate, and the requirements from stakeholders to enhance security.

 

STEP X Speakers

More Speakers Coming Soon

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.

Ben
Harburg

MSA Capital

Ben
Harburg

MSA Capital

Managing Partner at MSA Capital and brings over 7 years of experience in the industry in China. At MSA, Ben also focuses on investments and business operations. He previously worked for the Boston Consulting Group in Germany and co-founded the Middle East office later on, where he served many of the world’s largest financial institutions. Ben was a Fulbright Scholar at Freie university Berlin and a Neubauer Scholar at Tufts University where he earned his bachelor’s degree in international relations. Ben sits on the Board of Advisors of the School of Arts & Sciences at Tufts University.

Rima
Semaan

Microsoft

Rima
Semaan

Microsoft

A data and AI enthusiast by heart. She has spent her whole career helping various customers in the region getting actionable insights from their data and currently is helping them in their AI journeys.

Omar
Farooqui

Coded Minds

Omar
Farooqui

Coded Minds

A Saudi National, is an entrepreneur, investor and a startup enthusiast. He is the Founder & Chief Innovation Officer of an education technology company Coded Minds and invests and ventures through his investment vehicle F3 Ventures. Omar is a careered finance professional in a previous life. His two previous ventures were Green Sands Equity out of San Francisco and previously CapInvest (latterly CI Holdings) which was a joint initiative with the asset management arm of United Overseas Bank Singapore. He was on the Funds Board of Saudi Fransi Capital for a several years. His corporate life was split between Algebra Capital, Deutsche Bank & NCB Capital out of Saudi Arabia.

Khalifa
Laaksonen

RideHoop Ltd

Khalifa
Laaksonen

RideHoop Ltd

Khalifa is on a mission to transform cities towards a zero-emission future. He's a co-founder, COO and Chairman of the Board of Hoop. Hoop is a micro mobility company focusing on fixing the last-mile problem by bringing shared electric scooters to Dubai and other major cities in the Middle East and Nordics. Khalifa is a close follower of the mobility industry and a true believer of a viable point-to-point mass transportation system. Khalifa is based from Finland and has recently moved to Dubai.

Kester
Wong

Pundi X

Kester
Wong

Pundi X

Kester discovered Bitcoin during his final PhD year, while finalizing his thesis in the area of computational quantum chemistry. Soon after, a relocation from Australia to South Korea allowed him to experience the tremendous difference in how crypto was perceived by the two countries, also placing him closer to the Asian crypto hub, where he witnessed crypto investors flocked from China to South Korea (due to China’s ban on crypto activities), and the rise of the “Kimchi” premium. While working as full time postdoc at a university, Kester spent his free time writing articles for a JFSA-licensed crypto exchange, while keeping close attention to the blockchain industry. The rabbit hole goes only deeper from there, frustrated by the lack of developments in the crypto-payment sector, Kester joined Pundi X to make crypto payments as easy as buying water.

Hassan
Sheikh

Twistar

Hassan
Sheikh

Twistar

A UAE-born Pakistani-Canadian who has experience working in consulting, business development, and marketing in the UK and MENA region. Prior to getting bitten by the start-up bug, Hassan was a Senior Consultant at EY and worked directly with senior leadership on pursuit strategies. His interests in customer experience and technology led him to join Twistar as Head of Growth & Partnerships following the completion of his MSc from Imperial College London.

Sumit
Chowdhury

Gaia Smart Cities

Sumit
Chowdhury

Gaia Smart Cities

A global thought leader and CXO in the field of Smart Cities, Telecom, Media, Information analytics and an Urban Design enthusiast. He is the Founder and CEO of Gaia Smart Cities. He was the President of Reliance Jio, VP at IBM and CIO of Reliance and a Partner of KPMG in his previous stints over 25 years. His global experience has provided depth and breadth of roles to manage people, processes, finances, projects, technology, relationships, & governance. He is a Visiting Faculty at Carnegie Mellon University (USA). He was the Program Director of Swachh Bharat Mission PMU and an currently serves as an ICT Expert in many Smart Cities across the country. He is a technical advisor for BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council). He is also associated with the Atal Innovation Mission as a Mentor of Change. Sumit is a graduate of IIT Kanpur followed by MS and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University. He has also graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is the author of a bestselling career management book, 'Rules of the Game' published by Bloomsbury India. He is regular speaker on the TEDx platform and represented by 'The Outstanding Speakers Bureau'.

Samar
Singla

Jugnoo

Samar
Singla

Jugnoo

Samar founded Jugnoo in 2014 with the vision to transform the Indian auto-rickshaw sector. Jugnoo is the leading on-demand hyperlocal transport and logistics player of India. Samar is a serial entrepreneur and a physicist by education. He has previously worked as a researcher at IBM and CERN. He is one of the industry's foremost speakers. Samar also founded Click-Labs, a profitable SaaS technology solution provider of Business suit called ‘JungleWorks’. He is an avid traveler and amateur photographer who likes to document the everyday world. Samar's personal website calls him 'Someone somewhere in a garage' which clearly portrays his love and penchant for building new things.

Dr.
Sana
Farid

Munfarid

Dr.
Sana
Farid

Munfarid

Pioneer in Healthtech, X Reality and Artificial Intelligence, Healthcare Futurist, an avid researcher determined to use future tech solutions for societal well-being. Her ongoing research with NGOs seeking to counter malnutrition and neonatal diseases in 3rd world countries, assisting them to develop awareness through immersive technologies and artificial intelligence. Having a background in Surgery, and Simulation training, Dr. Sana Farid has contributions with RCSI, Stanford, and Oxford University. Awarded as leading women worldwide in ARVR, she have had distinguished recognitions from Harvard Business Review and Forbes Middle East.

Mussaad
Al-Razouki

Kuwait Life Sciences Company

Mussaad
Al-Razouki

Kuwait Life Sciences Company

The current Chief Business Development Officer of Kuwait Life Sciences Company (KLSC) where he is part of a team that manages over 100 million dollars in assets under management including local, regional and international investments on behalf of the Kuwait Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of Kuwait. Dr. Razouki is a regional thought leader within the Middle East life sciences industry and has championed the building of strong pillars of the local life sciences ecosystem including the region’s premiere pharmaceutical licensing and distribution platform; NewBridge - a 50 mn USD revenue company operating across all 22 MENA countries including Iraq, Iran and Turkey as well as South Africa, Clinart – the region’s top Clinical Research Organization (CRO) and host of the first ever Phase II Clinical Trial in the history of Kuwait at the Dasman Diabetes Institute, eCore – the region’s top active pharmaceutical ingredients licensor and distributor, the Life Sciences Academy – the region’s first ever training and development company focused on the healthcare and life sciences industry as well as Innomedics – one of Kuwait’s top medical device distribution companies that pioneered the distribution of personalized digital health products in the region. At KLSC, Dr. Razouki and his team have invested and co-invested with some of the world’s top life science venture capital funds including, New Leaf Venture Partners in New York, Wellington Partners in Munich and Kearny Venture Partners and Presidio Partners both of which are based in San Francisco. Notable investment direct and indirect investment include: CRISPR Therapeutics - a leading personalized genomic medicine company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts (NASDAQ: CRSP), iRhythm Technologies, based in San Francisco, which closed 56% above its listed stock price on the first day of its IPO (NASDAQ: IRTC), Quanta Fluid Solutions – one of the world’s first home hemodialysis manufacturers, Median Technologies – a leading global provider of medical imaging solutions, especially in the field of oncology based in France (EPA: ALMDT) and SuperSonic Imagine – a leading global provider of medical ultrasound solutions also based in France (EPA: SSI) Dr. Razouki is also a former advisor to the central Kuwaiti government where he worked with senior government leaders during the administration of HE the Prime Minister, Sheikh Naser Al Mohammad Al Sabah and Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Sheikh Ahmed Al Fahad Al Sabah on both Healthcare, Education and Entrepreneurial reforms as part of Kuwait’s 100 billion dollar Development Plan. Dr. Razouki continues to work closely with the Council of Minister’s of Kuwait and is currently advising the government on the development of the Sabah Al Ahmad National Genome Center together with the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, a National Pharmaceutical Quality Control Laboratory, and the 1 bn USD Jaber Hospital project, a 1,168 facility which will be the largest single healthcare structure in the Middle East.

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.

Cécile
Cremer

Wandering the Future

Cécile
Cremer

Wandering the Future

The ambitious founder of Wandering the Future. Cécile is a little obsessed with the Future and she aspires to be the voice of the ever-changing needs of the intercultural consumer by being a creative innovator supporting brands, meeting these future demands. Her speciality is not to inspire people regarding the future, but to make them understand the underlying needs and the value shifts that drive change and hand them the tools to translate these findings into actions.

Gunay
Aliyeva

First Medicine

Gunay
Aliyeva

First Medicine

Co-founder and Chief of Business Development of First Medicine, she leverages her expertise in international business development to form strong relationships with partners overseas. She has worked with New Generation Power and Seaspire Advisors, building relationships for global projects in the healthcare, agriculture, and renewable energy sectors. `

Hicham
Wifaq

IBM

Hicham
Wifaq

IBM

At IBM, work is more than a job - it's a calling: To build. To design. To code. To consult. To think along with clients and sell. To make markets. To invent. To collaborate. Not just to do something better, but to attempt things you've never thought possible. To lead in this new era of technology and solve some of the world's most challenging problems. My mission is to creatively articulate technology, streamline processes and build effective teams to attract, select and hire talented and diverse candidates for IBM in the Middle-East and Africa. Reporting to IBM Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition, I’m accountable for the overall MEA TA strategy, budget and execution in 70 countries, operating across 5 time-zones.

Muneer
Zuhdi

Nokia

Muneer
Zuhdi

Nokia

Joined Nokia in 2015 and is currently Head of Global Smart City Solution in the Global Digital Economy Practice. In his role, he leads the Smart City E2E Solution based on existing and emerging technologies such as IoT, 5G, AI, and Blockchain. Dr. Zuhdi has worked globally for telecom vendors and operators. He led functions such as Technology Strategy, Network & Digital Transformation, Smart City Solutions, and global R&D while working for Etisalat, Tellabs, and Ericsson. Dr. Zuhdi has a Ph.D., MSEE, MBA, and over 20 American patents, and he is an adjunct professor in entrepreneurship and innovation management.

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.

Asma
Shabab

IBM Watson IoT

Asma
Shabab

IBM Watson IoT

Marketing & Communications Leader for Watson Internet of Things at IBM Middle East, Africa and Turkey where she explores how artificial intelligence is making ‘things’ smarter. She is passionate about how IoT and AI is progressing citizen convenience and as a marketing leader, tries to investigate its impact on communications. Asma was previously the Territory Marketing Leader for the Enterprise and MidMarket portfolio at IBM Middle East. Before joining IBM, Asma was engaged in B2C and B2B communications as Director, Account Management and Business Development, at Corporate & Marketing Communications, CMC (an affiliate of Ketchum) one of the largest PR firms in Pakistan where she focused on public policy and corporate communications. During her tenure, CM expanded into digital communications services and successfully executed campaigns for blue chip companies including P&G, Nestle and Microsoft. Asma is a Fulbright Scholar and received her Master’s in Strategic Public Relations from the University of Southern California, USA. She has another Master’s in Business Administration from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA). Asma sits on the board of the CMO Council Middle East and the College of Media and Mass Communications at the American University in the Emirates. She is also a Co-Founder of Afterwork Dubai, a community initiative that provides a platform to UAE expats to network. She is also a public speaker on topics including Marketing & Communication trends, IoT and gender equality.

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.

STEP X Partners