10th Step Conference kicks off with over 400 global tech start-ups

10th Step Conference kicks off with over 400 global tech start-ups

Dubai Internet City and Step kicks off 10th edition of the leading tech festival for emerging markets - An event bringing together over 400 global tech start-ups and hundreds of international investors to add to Dubai's profile as the region’s leading hub for talent, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Step Conference, the leading tech festival for emerging markets, kicks off with an action-packed agenda on 23 February at Dubai Internet City. More than 400 global tech start-ups and hundreds of international investors will converge at the 10th edition of the Conference to celebrate a decade of inspiring entrepreneurship, enabling innovation and generating new economic value in the region.

Organised in strategic partnership with Dubai Internet City, the region’s leading technology hub, the 2022 edition will tackle hot-ticket topics like Web3, NFTs, blockchain, fintech and more.

The Conference speaker-lineup features the who’s who of the global industry

Paul Misener, the Vice President of Global Innovation Policy and Communication at Amazon, and Michelle Arrazcaeta, head of Brand Strategy & Collaborations at Polaroid will deliver keynote addresses at the event. Also bringing original insights fresh off a historic milestone is Elie Habib, the founder of the music streaming service Anghami, which earlier this month became the first Arab tech company to be listed on NASDAQ stock exchange.

The partnership between Dubai Internet City and Step brings cutting-edge conversations and industry insights to a comprehensive community of startups, investors, accelerators, corporations and government representatives.

The conference will cover four key tracks, including fintech with an emphasis on payments, crypto and e-commerce; future innovations with a focus on AI, mobility, energy and cloud; digital with media, marketing and content; and wellness deep-diving into health-tech and lifestyle.

Visitors can dive into the future of tech as start-ups exhibit innovative products and services, while looking back at the past decade of nurturing the region’s start-up ecosystem.

Fostering talent and innovation

Leading start-up incubator, in5, also joins Step as a Main Partner for the 'Start' track of the conference. The Start Track explores the complete start-up landscape over insightful keynotes, panels, and debates. Global influencers in the tech and digital space will cover a range of topics, from success stories to fundraising and investment, while start-ups can seek expert advice at the in5 Mentor’s Corner.

in5 was launched at Dubai Internet City as a tech-focused business incubator before rapidly growing and evolving with 3 state-of-the-art centres supporting tech, media and design start-ups. The centres provide launching pads for budding entrepreneurs to develop their businesses with expert mentorship, networking and funding opportunities.  

in5, recently reached a new milestone as its start-ups crossed the AED1.4 billion investment mark, reaffirming Dubai’s leading position as an attractive destination for talent and entrepreneurship. The direct investments came through venture capital and angel investors.

Engaging talks taking place at the main stage on 23 February include:

Reflections on a decade of MENA’s start-up ecosystem, a panel discussion featuring regulators and key stakeholders who are playing a significant role in shaping up the startup ecosystem.

MAGNiTT, a data platform for Emerging Venture Markets, will deliver a keynote featuring the latest data and insights on the region’s start-up landscape. A panel discussion titled World class interest in emerging markets will discuss how global investors are showing great interest in start-ups in emerging markets like MENA and the advantages and challenges they bring.

Another session titled Web3 - a buzzword or a new reality? will see experts discussing whether Web3 will replace the internet and what a future with it might be like.

Later in the day, a session on Fundings and valuations will see experts tackling how determining start-up valuations should really work. In his Keynote address, Eugene Willemsen, CEO Africa, Middle East and South Asia of PepsiCo International, will share key findings while Alex Bouaziz, the Co-Founder & CEO of Deel, will speak about the company’s global payroll solution.

A start-up led panel discussion Scaling and growing beyond funding will address how expanding, scaling and growing is not only about funding. The day will also see a Keynote address by Ali Shabdar, Regional Director MEA of Zoho, a multinational technology company that makes web-based business tools.

Oil worth market will tackle the rise and current state of the MENA gaming industry

Further in the day, a panel discussion titled E-sports:

Roberto Croci, Managing Director of Microsoft for Startups MEA will host a talk titled When corporates and startups come together. Another talk hosted by Bim Ventures titled Venture studio potential in the Middle East will discuss the role accelerators, incubators and venture studios play in the start-up ecosystem.

Towards the end of the day, a conversation titled Y combinator effect on MENA will feature a conversation with Y Combinator start-ups on the effect the model has had on the MENA ecosystem.

The last session of the day is a talk titled Is there room for automation in influencer marketing?, which will explore whether the creator economy and influencer marketing can ride the wave of automation and accelerated digital transformation.

News Source: Dubai Media Office

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