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Riyadh’s Most
Happening Conference

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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 the Middle East. The last edition of STEP Saudi featured 4 content tracks, more than 100 startups, and 1500+ attendees. Riyadh is STEP Saudi’s home of the best entrepreneurs, creatives, and digital enthusiasts.

1500+

Attendees

100

Showcasing Startups

4

Conference Tracks

50+

Companies & Government entities participating

CONTENT Tracks

1 Conference, 4 content tracks

Previous Speakers

Osama
AlRaee

Misk Foundation

Osama
AlRaee

Misk Foundation

Entrepreneurship Growth Director at Misk Innovation. Osama has served as a consultant at some of the world’s biggest firms, including McKinsey & Co., Strategy& and Ernst & Young. He has also worked at Amazon in Seattle. He currently heads Misk Foundation’s Tech accelerator / incubator program focusing on incubating tech and media innovation for the benefit of Saudi youth, creating tailor-made programs that equip them with the necessary skills for the country’s future vision. Osama is a graduate of the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Mineral and holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Strategy from Duke University.

Ahmad
AlZaini

شركة فودكس

Ahmad
AlZaini

شركة فودكس

أحمد الزيني هو مؤسس مشارك ورئيس تنفيذي لشركة فودكس، وهي شركة ناشئة سريعة النمو في مجال تكنولوجيا الغذاء. وكونه رجل أعمال بالفطرة، فإن الزيني من مُحبي التطبيقات ويقوم بتطوير الأعمال التجارية في المملكة العربية السعودية في العديد من المجالات.

Abdallah
Altamami

iNet

Abdallah
Altamami

iNet

With more than 10 years of experience in technology investments, Abdullah serves as Managing Director of Investments for Integrated Networks (iNet), a leading technology firm in Saudi Arabia with more than $30m assets under management in venture capital across the world. He sits on the Board of Directors for Loyyal Corporation (San Francisco, USA – Loyyal.com), HyperPay (Riyadh, KSA – HyperPay.com), and Eco4Pay (Dubai, UAE – Eco4Pay.com). By being an active board member in helping companies execute on partnerships building, revenue growth, and scaling strategies; Abdullah managed to successfully deliver more than 300% Return on Investment (ROI) on iNet investment portfolio for the past four years. Previous to current responsibilities, Abdullah worked with Merrill Lynch Wealth Management (Miami, USA) advising a team of VPs and their clientele on investment strategies, fund selection, and long term financial planning. He also worked with Cisco Capital (Miami, USA) assessing potential investment targets in South America, and Jadwa Investment (Riyadh, KSA) covering major global economies, regional micro and macro economic drivers, and investment selection in public equities market. Academically, Abdullah is a graduate from University of Miami (Florida, USA) with both a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Mathematics, and a Masters degree in Management of Technology. During his studies, he regularly engaged with the entrepreneurial community in Florida, and later in 2009 he founded PlayJoiner; a pro bono online platform for managing sport events and tournaments. Aside from his professional responsibilities, Abdullah advises local (KSA) entrepreneurs on how to attract venture capital and scale businesses, and government entities on building the ecosystem.

Laila
Al-Omran

Jadarah

Laila
Al-Omran

Jadarah

An experienced professional with a track record of involvement in innovative projects in areas of e-commerce, retail, CSR, and travel and tourism. Managed to carve my niche in the e-commerce market with the launch of Chic on Edge in 2015 whilst working with A.H Algosaibi Group to help set up their CSR and Communication department. I then joined Tajawal and Almosafer as part of their strategy team as a project manager handling market expansion, payment solutions, new ventures, change management, and youth development programmes and many other projects and initiatives.

Salma
Bader

Microsoft

Salma
Bader

Microsoft

Regional Learning & Development Director for Middle East & Africa at Microsoft where she is responsible for driving readiness for the organization across difference segments including sales, marketing, and business delivery in line with the overall strategic direction set in conjunction with regional and global leadership. Salma has been with Microsoft since 2006 and over the course of her career has gone from her initial technical role, to sales and marketing, before her current position. This exposure gives her strong insight as to the requirements and realities needed by different business segments when preparing and leading learning and development programs for the organization. Salma is a graduate in Computer Engineering and Information Systems from the Kingdom of Bahrain and was the first female Saudi employee to join Microsoft In Saudi Arabia , Her passion is learning and helping other realize their full potential in her own time Salma loves reading & dears every moment she has with her family & kids.

Khalil
Al-Shafei

WA’ED

Khalil
Al-Shafei

WA’ED

The CEO and Managing Director of Saudi Aramco Entrepreneurship Venture Co. “WA’ED.” Prior to joining Wa’ed, Mr. Al-Shafei joined Aramco Services Company (ASC), the U.S. subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, in 2012 as the manager of the ASC Technical Services Department. In this role he oversaw a wide of company activities, including the North America venture capital subsidiary Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, as well as responsibility for engineering, information technology, quality insurance and inspection, environmental stewardship, megaprojects and project support, and technology transfer. Prior to joining ASC, Al-Shafei was appointed as the interim president of the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center. In this role, he oversaw the center’s development and launch, including strategies for research, human capital, information technology, finance, procurement, and public relations; as well as the facility’s construction. He recruited the Center’s executive staff, and led the launch of the Center’s inaugural conference in 2011. Al-Shafei spent more than 30 years with Saudi Aramco, a fully integrated, global petroleum and chemicals enterprise, serving in numerous leadership and professional positions. As the director of the Research and Technology Program, he guided the development of the corporate strategic plan for downstream research and technology programs. Al-Shafei also served as a member of Saudi Aramco’s Corporate Strategic Committee leading the development of the corporate strategies for clean fuel, oil to chemicals, oil to hydrogen, oil by wire, carbon and sulfur management; and he investigated the impact of environmental and legislative policies on oil demand. He also led the development of collaboration strategies within Saudi Arabia and global research institutions in Europe, the United States, China and Russia. Al-Shafei, while serving as the Manager of Materials Planning and System Department, led the development of new programs to optimize the company’s supply chain management to reduce procurement cost and time, and to strategically position the company to take advantage of commodity market conditions. Al-Shafei was the chief editor of the Proceedings on Engineering for Calcareous Sediments and has published several technical papers at industry conferences worldwide. He was also one of the founders of the American Society of Civil Engineers-Saudi Arabia Section and was elected president for two terms. During the course of his career, he has received several technical and leadership awards.

Salah
Sharef

Syarah

Salah
Sharef

Syarah

Salah Sharef is a serial entrepreneur who founded his first startup more than 10 years ago. In 2008 he founded OpenSooq, an Arabic classifieds marketplace which currently attracts more than one billion page views in traffic per month. In 2015, Salah left OpenSooq for his new venture startup, Syarah, an online marketplace for buying and selling cars. Syarah has successfully closed two rounds of investment since it’s launch and currently attracts more than 2 million visits per month. You can find more information about Syarah at the following link:
Saudi startup Syarah raises $2 million for its online car marketplace

Omar
Rebhan

Carriage

Omar
Rebhan

Carriage

Managing Director of Carriage Saudi Arabia; a leading tech company in online delivery in the Middle East. Omar is a business development expert focusing on tech startups and growth. Recently he was involved in the investment attraction, business relations and international trade fields. He previously worked in the renewable energy R&D, food manufacturing and engineering consultation in the US, UK and KSA. He is a Mechanical Engineer by trade with BSc & MSc from California State University and is active in the entrepreneurship and innovation scene in Saudi Arabia through startup advisement and mentorship.

Amal
Dhokan

BABSON Global

Amal
Dhokan

BABSON Global

As Director of the Babson Global Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Amal is responsible for the strategic direction, tactical execution and operational oversight of the Center. The BGCEL focuses on expanding the practice of Entrepreneurship at all levels. She has a diverse range of experience in management, teaching, training and marketing related roles, particularly in education. Over the past four years, Amal has played multiple leading roles at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and at the Entrepreneurship Center in particular. She managed the university startup accelerator, which was funded by Saudi British Bank (SABB) and hosted twenty-eight startup teams in its first edition with a variety of technologies including IOT, New Materials, Software and Biotechnology from 13 different universities. Amal managed the program design, sponsor engagement, startup mentorship and other related matters. Amal taught and co-designed a course in Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation that was offered to Masters and Post-Doctoral students. She designed and taught in the executive education programs with a focus on innovation for companies and other institutions either in-house or at KAUST. Amal delivered training sessions in all signature programs designed for the needs of the customers. Prior to that she worked in the KAUST Seed Fund that worked with research startup funding and investments. Previously Amal managed an educational organization where she designed programs and innovative initiatives to be implemented by educators in any available setting. In addition to teaching, Amal ran her own business, which organized mega marketing events and offered commercial consultancy to large organizations. Her clients included several Dubai government departments, the Kaminski hotel ‘Mall of the Emirates, Infiniti Cars and other service providers. She was also involved with a joint venture with a startup in Dubai focused on creating media and production services to a variety of agencies including Starcom Dubai, Yahoo Dubai among many others. Amal taught Services Marketing at Wollongong University and published several business articles focused on services marketing. She has experience in coaching, training and mentoring individuals and teams. Combining seventeen years of working experience in education, strategic marketing, services design, coaching and training has given her an edge in delivering an experience designed to last. She participated in many international and regional events as a speaker and a trainer in innovation and Social Design Thinking such as TEDex, the annual Conference of the Islamic Development Bank in Mozambique and Jeddah, Startup Istanbul and MIT enterprise forum.

Abdulaziz
Aljouf

PAYTABS

Abdulaziz
Aljouf

PAYTABS

A Saudi entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of PayTabs, a ground-breaking payment processing company which he started in Saudi Arabia in 2014. He is a dynamic passionate, focused and a hands-on natural leader, who is dedicated to supporting and mentoring young entrepreneurs. He is a self-confessed risk-taker, always open to opportunities as they arise and making the most of them. He recognises failure not as a failing but as a lesson from which to gain invaluable experience. After studying in the USA, he returned to his native country and started Paytabs when facing problems in finding a suitable payments gateway for one of his own business startups. Paytabs is one of the most exciting and successful new e-commerce businesses in the MENA region. So successful, indeed, that he raised a $20 million investment in 2017. He and his company have regularly been honoured by industry watchers both in the region and internationally.

Nawaf
Alsahhaf

BADIR

Nawaf
Alsahhaf

BADIR

Mr Al Sahhaf has worked in the Badir Program for Technology Incubators owned by King Abdulaziz City for Science Technology (KACST), for the past six years. In 2013, he became the BADIR CEO and restructured the organization to strategically position it to become an internationally recognized world class incubation program and play a major role in improving the effectiveness of the Saudi entrepreneurial and innovation eco-systems. His major achievements as CEO are as follows: -Restructuring of complete Organization to bring in greater business and customer focus. -Establishment of Angel Investor networks in Kingdom. -Geographical expansion to Western & Eastern Regions by opening Incubator Programs in Jeddah, Taif & Dammam. -An association of Incubators under the name of Saudi Business Incubator Network (SBIN). -Launched HR initiatives for rationalization of policies and procedures, better employee orientation, structured training and development programs. -Developed & implemented KPI based evaluation in the organization -Launched CEO Open house, a forum for all employees to communicate their ideas and views to the CEO. In 2012 as BADIR’s Commercialization and Funding Director, he led Badir’s development and establishment of the SIRB (an angel investor) network, an alliance of investors, technology entrepreneurs and innovation supporters in Saudi Arabia. Prior to joining BADIR, for seven years Mr Al Sahhaf was a Senior Consultant with the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) assisting companies in researching and implementing business opportunities in the construction, manufacturing and petrochemicals industry sectors in local, regional and international markets. Al Sahhaf has degrees in International Marketing from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland and in Marketing from King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), Saudi Arabia. He has been a volunteer consultant with the Centennial Fund since 2004, mentoring young Saudis who wish to establish successful businesses.

Mazen
AlDarrab

Zid

Mazen
AlDarrab

Zid

Mazen AlDarrab, specialized in E-commerce, E-marketing and enabling companies to foster their work by maximizing the power of technology and e-business. Practically, Mazen founded and managed : E-Commerce SEA (2009-2012) an e-commerce company specialized in building e-commerce retail in Arabian region. Moreover, he is on the board of several startups and angel investor in several startups in Saudi and in the valley. Currently, Mazen is the founder of Zid Holding for ecommerce (http://zid.sa) Academically, Mazen holds a Master Degree in E-commerce from The University of Western Australian and a Bachelor in computer science from King Saud University in Riyadh.

Hani Enaya

STV

Hani Enaya

STV

An investor with a background in deep tech, Hani Enaya is a partner at STV, MENA’s largest venture capital fund. Hani sources and structures deals with businesses of interest to STV and supports their management after deal close, sitting on the board of many STV portfolio companies.

Maher
Loubieh

HalalaH

Maher
Loubieh

HalalaH

• Co-Founder and Board Member at HalalaH Company, the first Digital Wallet in Saudi Arabia aiming at becoming the first Neo Bank in the country • Founding member at the “MENA FINTECH Association” and Chair Person of “MENA FINTECH Association – Lebanon” • A mentor and coach for startups at AUB – Olayan School of Business, ESA Business School and IM Capital • Visiting Lecturer at multiple Universities in the Region • An investor and investment committee member at Seeders Angel Investing Fund • Has a long track record in investment management and corporate finance advisory specifically dealing with SME’s. • Holds a Master of Business Administration from The University of Manchester.

Mohannad
Abanomy

General Entertainment Authority

Mohannad
Abanomy

General Entertainment Authority

I graduated from KFUPM in Dhahran 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. Worked in STC in the Network planning and design then ventured into Mobily in 2008 as a network optimization executive manager In 2018 I joined the family of GEA as the Infrastructure Development Director in the Sector Development.

Racha
Rteil

MCN MediaBrands

Racha
Rteil

MCN MediaBrands

Rteil is referred to as a one of the youngest and most versatile go getters in the digital, media and innovation space in the MENA. “Rteil is a true child of the digital age. Her passion for all things tech and innovation related is evident in her talks, work and writing. She’s also a Webby honoree and her conviction is reflected in the statement, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” When named 2016’s ‘Women to Watch in the GCC’. Today Rasha oversees organizational capabilities across the group as Regional Director of People Development at MCN MediaBrands. Rteil sets pace for ‘new skills’, spurring enthusiasm, and challenging the current ‘status quo’- a never ending tenacity to make the agency and people fitter to lead the industry changes.

Abdulrahman Albassam

Saudi Payments

Abdulrahman Albassam

Saudi Payments

Passionate about the payment world and it’s new initiatives and innovative solutions. Glad to be part of shaping this sector being part of Saudi Payments Team, and looking forward to more to come with more solutions that will ease, secure, organize and definitely serve the end users from individual to cooperate as well as private and government sectors from all aspects. Most importantly, participating towards achieving the kingdom vision 2030 under this industry.

Mazin
AlZaidi

SAGIA

Mazin
AlZaidi

SAGIA

Director of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Sector, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), Saudi Arabia Mazin’s entrepreneurial journey began in 2010 during his postgraduate study in the UK, where he started his own business, which focused on accelerating the development of entrepreneurs connecting them to international startup hubs. Mazin currently leads investment attraction and development for the innovation and entrepreneurship sector at SAGIA, specializing in venture investment development. Key focus of his work is the continuous attraction of startups and VCs to support the development of the startup ecosystem in the Kingdom. He also is a board member of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, Saudi Arabia. Prior to SAGIA, Mazin worked as a consultant at EY Advisory Services in Riyadh. Mazin obtained his bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Jordan. He went on to complete two master degrees in e-Business and Cyber Security. He received his PhD in Cyber Security from the University of Warwick in the UK.

Abdullah
Alassaf

Google

Abdullah
Alassaf

Google

Industry Manager at Google. For the last year and a half, he’s been involved in developing and growing the kingdom’s digital capabilities through multiple projects and initiatives. In addition to that, he is an active member of the local startup’s ecosystem through various platforms. Before joining Google, he worked in management consulting with Marco Strategic Advisors, and information technology with SAP & IBM. Abdullah has a bachelor’s degree in information studies from IMSIU followed by advance strategy studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Shahd
Attar

Accenture

Shahd
Attar

Accenture

Leading Accenture Digital Studio in Saudi Arabia, using a design-thinking approach to help clients develop and deliver digital innovations through smart, connected, products and services. She started her career in technology and communications working for Cisco for 10 years and then for Saudi Telecom Company, where she built and led the Government Relations department. Shahd is passionate about encouraging women in technology and is strong advocate and public speaker about the advancement of women in the workforce. As a local community organizer, she co-founded “CellA+”, a non-profit organization endorsed by the Minister of Labor as an initiative for solving women unemployment in the region. She is also an Eisenhower Fellow, where she focused on women economic enablement.

Elias
Saroufim

Mindshare KSA

Elias
Saroufim

Mindshare KSA

Started his career in media in 2008 where he mainly focused on work related around traditional media. After two years of experience in the Saudi market, he joined Mindshare Saudi Arabia in 2010 as a junior executive within the digital function. Since then, his work revolved around facilitating all digital conversations of Mindshare Saudi clients. Also, bringing the latest in terms of digital trends, ideas and tactics to deploy across different verticals. Elias has been heading the digital function for KSA for 4 years now and he has a curiosity towards mobile & content marketing as well as attribution modelling.

Mohamed
Megahed

Connectads

Mohamed
Megahed

Connectads

Has been leading the lookout for digital expansions and advancements in MENA for over 13 years, helping top brands in LEVANT, GCC, and North Africa build ROI driven digital strategies. In his capacity as a VP Commercial for the leading digital media provider in the region, Megahed is regarded as the go-to expert when it comes to rolling out digital product advancements, and has eliminated the entry barriers for the world’s top digital players like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn North Africa, Tubemogul, Verizon Media and recently Spotify, to extend their digital advertising services and solutions to the MENA region conclusively.

Leena
Khalil

Mumzworld.com

Leena
Khalil

Mumzworld.com

Co-founder of Mumzworld, responsible for the developmental strategy and growth of the business in the GCC. Leena felt compelled to join Mona Ataya, the CEO of Mumzworld, in establishing a comprehensive bilingual online shopping and information portal dedicated to everything mother, baby and child that will empower mothers in the region. Leena, a UK national who relocated to Riyadh in 2009, previously worked for Liberata, a leading business process outsourcer. Leena started her career in investment banking at San Francisco investment bank focused on the technology sector. She brings a wealth of experience to her role, combining strong analytical and financial skills with the ability to develop technology driven processes that increase access, reduce costs and improve quality. Her experience also extends to the listing of a number of Europe’s leading internet and technology firms during her time at Citigroup and Robertson Stephens International. Leena holds a BA in Electrical Engineering from Cambridge University. Leena is also kept busy by running a rich schedule for her children Hana, Ahmad and Jude. For more information visit www.mumzworld.com.

Abdulrahman
Mutrib

Al Tayyar Travel Group

Abdulrahman
Mutrib

Al Tayyar Travel Group

Joined the group in 2014 to oversee its technology functions. He is the Group CTO and the CEO of TaqniaTech, the information technology company of Al Tayyar Travel Group of companies. He is responsible for the group’s strategic planning for information technology and project management services. During his 28 years in the ICT sector, he has worked on many large-scale, billion-dollar projects in telecommunications and information technology.

Muhannad
Ebwini

HyperPay

Muhannad
Ebwini

HyperPay

Co-founder and CEO of HyperPay. Muhnnad has led the business to its current position as a one of the Middleeast’s fastest growing and successful online payment businesses. It is regarded as highly innovative and is seen as one of the new generation payment service providers.The company has offices in Amman, Dubai, Riyadh and Cairo soon. In 2017, Muhannad was appointed as board member of GatetoPay, a leading card issuing company to issue prepaid MasterCard, Visa and UnionPay card and cards soluation in Middleast region. Muhannad is a certified eCommerce Consultant “CEC” and Project Manager eBusiness (PME), and holds an MBA in Management and International Business from NYIT and a Bsc in Computer Software Engineering from Pricess Sumayya University in Amman, Jordan.

Ali
Bailoun

VISA

Ali
Bailoun

VISA

The General Manager for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He is responsible for overall strategy in KSA, including business development, resource optimization, and building long-term partnerships with Visa’s clients, government, regulators and other key stakeholders to drive the adoption of cashless payments and digital transformation in the kingdom. Ali joined Visa in 2012 to manage the company’s lead accounts. Following which, he successfully led Visa’s Saudi business development team, continuing to grow Visa’s market share through higher yielding partnership deals in the country. Ali’s career spans across various industries including telecom, advertising and consulting, in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. Before joining Visa, Ali was the Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Riyad Bank where he successfully developed and executed their brand strategy to support the retail bank’s business goals. Prior to that, from 2006 to 2010, Ali was the Head of Marketing and Research at Saudi Hollandi Bank/ABN AMRO, where he worked in segmentation and product development. During his time at Saudi Hollandi Bank/ABN AMRO, he led the launch of a number of innovative firsts in the retail banking space. He was also a representative of the Saudi Central Bank Marketing Payments Committee. Ali holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Marketing from the Lebanese American University and completed several leadership, strategy and decision-making programs at Harvard University and MIT Sloan Management.

Omar
Al-Shabaan

The Space

Omar
Al-Shabaan

The Space

An Entrepreneur, Business Developer, and a Consultant with over 15 years of work experience, he is the co founder and CEO of The Space .he was the Partnership director at Misk Innovation, a subsidiary of Misk Foundation ,as well as serving as a short term consultant with The World Bank group on Innovation and Entrepreneurship , and was an Advisor for the National Digitization Unit in the Saudi Government, Omar has an MBA from IE business school in Madrid, and an Executive Master in Corporate Communication from the same school.

Previous Partners

WHAT GOES ON

TALKS AND WORKSHOPS

STEP Saudi hosts panels and fireside chats with 4 content tracks; runs workshops and programming simultaneously covering startups, digital media, fintech, and future tech.

STARTUP PROGRAMMING

With 100+ startups showcasing and 50+ companies and government entities, STEP Saudi hosts multiple programs to facilitate connections with investors, clients, partners.

SATELLITE EVENTS & MEET-UPS

STEP Saudi 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 will participate at STEP Saudi 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 activities to interact with attendees and startups.

ENTERTAINMENT

STEP’s Saudi festival creates engaging networking opportunities beyond conference programming with outdoor activities such as food trucks, music performances, and pop-up vendors across the event areas.

 

Seven Moons

Seven Moons is a trendy and modern space in the north of Riyadh located next to Riyadh Park. Seven Moons consists of seven domes, which makes it feel like a colony on Mars and that’s why we love it.