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Step Conference 2022 to push evolution of ecosystem forward, says Ray Dargham

Ray Dargham, founder and chief executive officer, STEP Group.
Ray Dargham, founder and chief executive officer, STEP Group.

Back in person the conference for the first time this year will be held at Dubai Internet City (DIC) expecting 8,000 international attendees, 400 startups, investors, more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, influential tech leaders and speakers.



by

Sandhya D'Mello

Published: Tue 22 Feb 2022, 5:30 PM

Last updated: Tue 22 Feb 2022, 5:32 PM

Step Conference 2022 is an opportunity to push the evolution of the ecosystem forward with a particular focus on improving overall talent, skillset, and awareness among startup founders in Mena, said Ray Dargham, founder and chief executive officer, STEP Group.

A media and technology entrepreneur, Dargham, started STEP Conference in 2012, right off college, and turned STEP into a fast-growing new media startup in the Middle East with digital content platforms StepFeed.com and YallaFeed.com with the ambition to become the largest and most influential new media company in Mena.

Dargham also founded Spiderfrogs, a next-generation technology provider which helps local and global brands to integrate their business with new technologies. He is a FERD’s List honoree and featured on Forbes cover 30 under 30 issue in 2018.

Dargham is on a mission to support Mena startups to make them global in Silicon Valley and beyond. “Overall, achieving these aims will enable us to support startups with funding and sustainable solutions from across the globe. I am optimistic about the prospect of the ecosystem over the next year,” he said.

Back in person the conference for the first time this year will be held at Dubai Internet City (DIC) expecting 8,000 international attendees, 400 startups, investors, more than 1,000 entrepreneurs, influential tech leaders and speakers.

The conference will have insightful discussions on the MEA ecosystem’s growth in the past 10 years with an overview of the exits, the deals, the launches, and the milestones in the technology and entrepreneurship fields. Workshops, activations, and networking opportunities: Leading brands in the tech and digital space from FMCG brands to automotive companies, banks, media companies, and tech solutions will host first-of-their-kind activities to interact with attendees and startups. The conference will highlight 4 key tracks, tackling 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 finally, wellness deep-diving into healthtech and lifestyle.

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.

Startups from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon have been consistently represented at Step Conferences across the last 10 years. The range of industries represented is equally as diverse with startups, concepts, and participants from software development, fintech, fashion, health and fitness, education, transport, and entertainment.

Dargham said: “In this year’s conference we wanted to focus on the trends that we expect will be growing in 2022. Web3 has been a hot topic throughout the second half of 2021 and is supposed to replace the internet as we know it. We will be looking into the transformative world of the Internet, the Metaverse, and our new digital world. Topics that will be discussed this year will be eye-opening and will assist all of us in understanding the new landscape and our place in it. In our discussions we will look into Web3 and Blockchain. We will also be looking into non-fungible token (NFTs).

— sandhya@khaleejtimes.com    


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