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Saudi’s MOST HAPPENING CONFERENCE

Our Story

Step Saudi is home to Saudi's best entrepreneurs, investors, creatives, and digital enthusiasts. Step Saudi features 4 content tracks, more than 100 startups, and 1500+ attendees. Step Saudi 2020 takes place virtually across 2 days with Step's renowned program, exhibition, startup activities, and experiences.

1500+

Attendees

100

Showcasing Startups

4

Conference Tracks

50+

Companies & Government entities participating

CONTENT Tracks

1 Conference, 4 Content Tracks

Previous Speakers

Christopher

Schroeder

NEXT BILLION VENTURES

Christopher

Schroeder

NEXT BILLION VENTURES

One of the most interesting questions of our time is what will happen to societies, economies and innovation as almost everyone has a super computer in their pocket — and what it will mean for those who don’t. Now, with access to rapidly changing tech, and with Covid, much is massively accelerated. When I travel — now on zoom, once 250,000 miles a year - I love to see and understand this shift bottom up; to understand differences in culture, history, governance. But I also love to see what is shared as, for all the diversity across borders, problem solvers in rising markets share a ton - more so often than with the West. Tremendous impact and wealth will be created. I am hopeful by nature; love to hike; read much of the time; try to be of-service all of the time - and hopefully share all of it first and foremost with my kids.

HRH
Princess
Reema
Al
Saud

Saudi Ambassador to the U.S.

HRH
Princess
Reema
Al
Saud

Saudi Ambassador to the U.S.

Her Royal Highness Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was appointed Ambassador to the United States on February 23, 2019 by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz. She is the first woman in the country’s history to serve in the role of Ambassador. She presented her credentials to President Donald Trump on July 8, 2019. From 1983 to 2005, Princess Reema lived in Washington, DC, while her father Prince Bandar served as Saudi Ambassador to the United States. She attended George Washington University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Museum Studies. Princess Reema returned to Saudi Arabia, where she focused on private sector initiatives and the empowerment of women in the Kingdom. In 2000, She co-founded Yibreen, a women’s gym. From 2007 until 2015, Princess Reema was the Chief Executive Officer of Alfa International Company Limited - Harvey Nichols Riyadh, a multi-brand luxury retail company, where she collaborated with leading female recruitment agency, Glowork, and commissioned a study on Obstacles for Women in the Workplace, which set the tone for female inclusion in retail, and resulted in opening the first workplace nursery in a retail store, enabling more women to work while caring for children. In 2013, she founded Alf Khair, a social enterprise aimed at elevating the professional capital of Saudi women through a curriculum developed to enable financial self-sufficiency. In 2016, Princess Reema left the private sector to begin a career of public service as Vice President of Women’s Affairs at the Saudi General Sports Authority where she developed policies and programs that benefited women and children throughout Saudi Arabia. After a successful year, she was promoted to Deputy of Development and Planning in January 2018. In October 2018, She was also appointed President of the Mass Participation Federation, making her the first woman to lead a multi-sports federation in the Kingdom, a role that she occupied until her appointment as Saudi Ambassador to the United States. Princess Reema is excited to take her leadership role to the world stage as Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States. As part of her philanthropic work, Princess Reema became a founding member of the Zahra Breast Cancer Awareness Association in 2007, which set a Guinness World Record by forming the World's Largest Human Awareness Ribbon at the Princess Noura University in Riyadh in 2015. Princess Reema has served as a member of the World Bank’s advisory council for the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative since 2017. She has been a member of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee since 2017, and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Women in Sports Commission since 2018. In 2014, Fast Company recognized Princess Reema as the Most Creative Person of the year for Inviting Women into the Workforce. Foreign Policy Magazine recognized her as a Leading Global Thinker for the same year, placing her high up in the “Moguls” category. She was featured on the Forbes lists of the 200 Most Powerful Arab Women and Most Powerful Arab Women in Saudi Arabia lists for 2014.

Salman
Jaffrey

Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures

Salman
Jaffrey

Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures

Salman T. Jaffrey is the Chief Investment Officer at Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Ventures (also known as Wa’ed Ventures), a $200 million venture capital fund established by Saudi Aramco. The fund invests in innovative and impactful, early-stage startups with high growth potential, that promote economic development and enhance the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in the Kingdom. Salman has more than 15 years of experience investing and consulting in venture capital and private equity deals. He has led a number of investments across the deal continuum – from originating, evaluating and executing deals to maximizing investment value – and has managed a sizable investment portfolio. Prior to his current role, Salman was the Chief Financial Officer & Head of Portfolio Management at Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, a $500 million corporate venture capital fund that invests globally into early-stage and high growth companies with technologies of strategic importance to Saudi Aramco, to accelerate their development and deployment in the Kingdom. He has previously worked at leading professional advisory and consulting firms, including PwC and Ernst & Young. Salman has completed executive programs on venture capital (UC Berkeley), innovation and entrepreneurship (Stanford), and digital transformation (MIT). He holds a master’s degree in business forensics from the University of Melbourne and a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Bond University, Australia. He is a Certified Public Accountant and has undertaken several leadership programs at Saudi Aramco.

AMAL
DHOKAN

Global Entrepreneurship Network Saudi

AMAL
DHOKAN

Global Entrepreneurship Network Saudi

Amal Dokhan is an innovation driver, a design thinking believer, a startup trainer and an angel investor. Amal currently manages the Global entrepreneurship network connecting different ecosystem players and delivering suitable content to different stake holders in the ecosystem. Previously Amal was the managing director of Babson Global Center at prince Mohammed Bin Salman college teaching entrepreneurship to masters students. She also worked at king Abdulla University of science and technology managing startup accelerators and corporate innovation programs. Alongside that Amal delivers startup boo camps in different countries around the Mena region and Africa.

Ahmad
AlNaimi

STV

Ahmad
AlNaimi

STV

Ahmad is a Partner at STV, a venture capital firm based out of Riyadh with $500m USD under management. He is responsible for end-to-end investment cycle including sourcing of opportunities and board memberships. Prior to STV, Ahmad was part of an early stage company based in Seattle that develops infrastructure software for machine learning. Prior to that, Ahmad led the business incubation function of Aramco Entrepreneurship Center.

Loulwa
Bakr

Global Ventures

Loulwa
Bakr

Global Ventures

Loulwa Bakr lead a notable career in corporate finance and investment banking that spanned 15 years and culminated with heading the investment banking division of Credit Suisse Saudi Arabia. In 2017, she founded Chrome Advisory, an investment advisory firm that supports and enables the venture capital ecosystem. She has participated in various CMA committees that reviewed regulations at the inception of the CMA, and lead some of the landmark transactions in Saudi capital markets. Loulwa has advised and arranged the financing, restructuring, growth through mergers and acquisitions and most significantly, access to capital markets, for top tier corporations. In addition to being recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, she is currently an independent member of the Board of Directors of Reyl Finance (MEA), a member of the audit committee of Budget Rent A Car Saudi Arabia and a member of the advisory board of Columbia University’s Global Centers. Loulwa holds a Master’s degree of Business Administration in Finance and Economics from the Graduate School of Business of Columbia University in the City of New York.

Yousef
Albabtain

SHOROOQ PARTNERS

Yousef
Albabtain

SHOROOQ PARTNERS

Yousef is a Senior Investment Professional at Shorooq Partners, a leading MENA focused venture capital fund based in Abu Dhabi. Previously worked at an internationally renowned advisory firm in Riyadh, working as a Consultant in strategy and financial due diligence. Yousef then moved to lead the business development and growth activities for a portfolio of Saudi-based companies across real estate, logistics and investment sectors. He received his Bachelor’s honor degree in Finance from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

Ali
Abulhasan

Tap Payments

Ali
Abulhasan

Tap Payments

Ali Abulhasan’s interest in payments and technology has grown into a continuous road of discovery for the past 15 years. Throughout his career in the oil, banking, and telecom sectors, he always found himself exposed to payment transaction pain points. So he founded Tap Payments in 2014 to help enable startups and SME’s in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to start accepting online payments easily. Today Tap serves over 50,000 businesses of all sizes, from small home businesses all the way to large corporations across various industries such as retail, food, insurance, airlines, telecom, and many others. Ali Abulhasan also shares an interest in arts, design, and product development.

Iyad
Aldalooj

Penny Software

Iyad
Aldalooj

Penny Software

Co-Founder and CEO of Penny Software. A Procurement and Spend-Management Software.

Jessy
El
Murr

Jessy Trends

Jessy
El
Murr

Jessy Trends

Jessy El Murr is a multilingual, independent digital journalist and certified media consultant with over 18 years of international news experience. A seasoned field journalist and former BBC and Sky News Arabia correspondent, El Murr has acquired and executed several media consulting and training projects for government and private entities across GCC countries including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates and the State of Kuwait.

Previous Step Speakers

Robert
Scoble

Infinite Retina

Robert
Scoble

Infinite Retina

Transformation Group Partner, Former UpLoad VR Entrepreneur in Residence and Futurist for Rackspace, Blogger, and Author Robert Scoble is among the world’s best-known tech journalists and futurists. He is also a keynote speaker and most passionate about Virtual and Augmented Reality and how they will change and disrupt business. Futurist Based on his many meetings with tech pioneers and thinkers, he is always looking for early changes in patterns that foretell lasting trends. Three such trends have resulted in his three books with Israel. Siri was launched in his house. He did the first live video from inside the first Tesla (Elon Musk gave him a ride before he gave his best friend a ride). He has the first video of a Google self driving car up on YouTube. He was first to show the world many companies and technologies, like those, and Flipboard, Pandora, Instagram, and thousands of others. Technology Expert Scoble is best known for his blog, Scobleizer, which came to prominence during his tenure as a technology evangelist at Microsoft. He later worked for Fast Company as a video blogger, and then Rackspace and the Rackspace sponsored community site Building 43 promoting breakthrough technology and startups. He worked for Upload VR  — a new media site covering virtual and augmented reality — as its entrepreneur in residence, where he developed new shows, events, with other entrepreneurs in the Upload Collective, a co-working space for virtual reality-focused startups. Transformation Group, LLC Founded by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel in March 2017, Transformation Group, LLC, is the first consulting firm dedicated to helping big brands develop and implement Mixed Reality (MR) strategies, a trend just now starting that will soon transform businesses as profoundly as the smartphone did a decade ago. They believe that a decade from today the center of digital commerce and life will have migrated from today's handsets to tomorrow's VR and AR headsets--or smart glasses, as they will be called. Robert wants to help brands understand, plan and implement strategies to make this vital transformation. Books Robert has interviewed thousands of tech company founders, and his three books, written with Forbes author Shel Israel, have predicted three decade-long trends Naked Conversations predicted how businesses would use Social Media before Facebook was released. Age of Context predicted how wearable and mobile technology would bring new kinds of software. His newest book, The Fourth Transformation, predicts how augmented and virtual reality will change every business. Keynote Speaker As a globally in demand keynote speaker Robert delivers a rocket ride through the future of technology, and shows you how your business is about to be disrupted by mixed reality, which will bring a new user interface onto smart cities, IoT devices, self-driving cars, robots, and drones. He gives businesses an insight into how other businesses, like Sephora, Disney, and Ford, are already using augmented reality and how your business will need to change to get ready for consumers and workers who will be wearing augmented reality (or what we call mixed reality) glasses while interacting with their business.  

Jeremiah
Owyang

Kaleido Insights

Jeremiah
Owyang

Kaleido Insights

Jeremiah is a technology analyst who forecasts how technology will impact business, society and our lives, based in Silicon Valley.

Kat
Cole

Focus Brands

Kat
Cole

Focus Brands

Kat Cole is an inspiring leader and operator with a track record of turning around companies and building brands, teams and high-growth businesses over two decades. As COO and President of Focus Brands, the owner, franchisor and operator of global limited-service food brands, doing billions in product sales in over 50 countries, she leads the company's 7 brands: Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s, Moe's, Schlotzsky's, McAlister's, Carvel and Jamba with 6500 operations globally, and leads the multi-brand licensing and CPG business. She is formerly president of Cinnabon Inc. and past Group President Focus Brands. She has led the evolution of several brands through product and technology innovation, organizational structure changes and building customer-centered cultures. Kat is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a member of the Milk Bar Board of Directors, an advisor to high-growth businesses, and mom of two. Kat is a past member of the United Nations Global Entrepreneurs Council, was featured on CBS Undercover Boss, and was named one of Fortune’s 40 under 40. She is past chair of the board of the Women's Foodservice Forum, past Silver Plate winner from IFMA, named most admired leader by QSR magazine and named Elliot Leadership Motivator of the year. She is a college dropout, yet has her MBA in International Business. Her journey from restaurant hostess at 17, executive by 26, president by 31, and investor by 35 is often shared as an example of the American and entrepreneurial dream. Outside of the foodservice industry, Kat is an angel investor and advisor to early-stage consumer products and Direct-to-Consumer companies and an outspoken advocate for women’s issues and the broader role of business in democratizing access to education and opportunity.

Allen
Blue

LinkedIn

Allen
Blue

LinkedIn

Allen Blue is vice president of product management and cofounder of LinkedIn, the online professional network. At LinkedIn, he is responsible for LinkedIn’s overall product strategy. He also sponsors LinkedIn’s work and education products within the economic graph team, including the products and platforms supporting Skillful.com (a joint effort to close the middle skills gap in the United States between LinkedIn and the Markle Foundation.) He advises several startups in Silicon Valley, most focused on improving health and education. He sat on the U.S. Commerce Department’s Data Advisory Council, helping guide the department’s efforts to make its data broadly available to American businesses. Blue serves on the boards of the Hope Street Group, a non-profit which focuses on bringing economic opportunity to Americans through a combination of policy and practice, and Change.org, an online destination for making grassroots-driven change easier. Before LinkedIn, Blue cofounded SocialNet.com, an online dating service, and graduated from Stanford University.

Charles
Schreger

NYU

Charles
Schreger

NYU

Former president of HBO Enterprises, currently marketing professor at NYU Stern School of Business, visiting professor at American University in Dubai and former staff writer at the Los Angeles Times.

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.

Christopher

Schroeder

NEXT BILLION VENTURES

Christopher

Schroeder

NEXT BILLION VENTURES

One of the most interesting questions of our time is what will happen to societies, economies and innovation as almost everyone has a super computer in their pocket — and what it will mean for those who don’t. Now, with access to rapidly changing tech, and with Covid, much is massively accelerated. When I travel — now on zoom, once 250,000 miles a year - I love to see and understand this shift bottom up; to understand differences in culture, history, governance. But I also love to see what is shared as, for all the diversity across borders, problem solvers in rising markets share a ton - more so often than with the West. Tremendous impact and wealth will be created. I am hopeful by nature; love to hike; read much of the time; try to be of-service all of the time - and hopefully share all of it first and foremost with my kids.

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.

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).

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.

Previous Partners

WHAT GOES ON

TALKS AND WORKSHOPS

The agenda will feature virtual talks, panels, fireside chats; technical workshops and more covering startups, funding, digital media, fintech, and future tech.

STARTUP PROGRAMMING

With 100+ startups showcasing virtually, Step Saudi hosts multiple programs and opportunities to facilitate connections with investors, clients, partners virtually.

SATELLITE EVENTS & MEET-UPS

Step Saudi curates focused virtually 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 will participate at Step Saudi 2020 virtually where startups and attendees get the chance to connect with the best in their industry and learn what’s new in the market.

BRAND ACTIVATIONS

Leading brands in the tech and digital space from FMCG brands to automotive companies, banks, media, and tech solutions, host first-of-their-kind virtual activities to interact with attendees and startups.

ENTERTAINMENT

Step Saudi 2020 will feature experiences including virtual music performances, and other entertainment and activities across the 2 days of the event.