The Leading Online Tech Festival for Emerging Markets

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About STEP Anywhere

STEP started out as a series of workshops and small gatherings, and over 9 years has grown to become the largest tech festival in Dubai. STEP Anywhere will bring together a global audience of startups, investors, digital enthusiasts, brands, and more over 3 days online. STEP Anywhere’s first edition in 2020 will feature 6 tracks of live talks and panels, workshops, various startup programming, exhibition and showcasing opportunities, and live entertainment.

2020 Speaker Line-Up

More speakers to be announced soon

Christine
Tsai

500 Startups

Christine
Tsai

500 Startups

Christine is the CEO and Founding Partner of 500 Startups. Since the firm’s inception in 2010, she grew 500 to over $580M in committed capital, 2,200+ portfolio companies, 5,000 founders, 120+ team members, and a vibrant community of founders spanning more than 75 countries around the world. Christine has spent her entire professional career in Silicon Valley, building tech products and investing in early stage startups. From 2003 to 2010, Christine held product marketing and technical operating roles at Google, focusing primarily on monetization and developer products. Early on at Google, she was part of the team that launched Google AdSense and Google Analytics. Christine also drove marketing for YouTube’s syndication products, including strategic partnerships with major consumer electronics and gaming partners like Sony, Panasonic, Vizio, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft. She also worked on Google’s Developer Tools including App Engine, Google Web Toolkit (GWT), Android, and Google APIs, and led planning for Google I/O, Google’s flagship developer conference. Christine holds a B.A. in Cognitive Science from the University of California at Berkeley and was a National Merit Scholar. Christine also served as a research apprentice through the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program in the Department of Psychology.

Courtney
Powell

500 Startups

Courtney
Powell

500 Startups

Courtney Powell is the COO of 500 Startups. Courtney is tasked with helping 500 scale globally and explore new opportunities across both new and existing markets. She is responsible for driving day-to-day operations across the team to pursue 500’s mission. Courtney was co-founder and CEO of PublikDemand in Batch 4 of 500’s Seed Accelerator. She went on to become CEO of Agent Pronto, one of the largest real estate agent referral services in North America, which was acquired by Fidelity National Title Group. Most recently, Courtney was the Head of Corporate Development at Keller Williams, the largest real estate franchise in the world, with over 170,000 agents doing more than $330 billion dollars in gross sales volume during 2018 alone. During her tenure, she established the company’s first corporate innovation program and worked with Keller Capital to invest and acquire tech companies in the real estate space. Courtney also serves as an Advisory Board Member for the SXSW International Interactive, Film, and Music Festival since 2016, became a member of the Forbes Real Estate Council in 2017 and is a contributing author for Forbes and the Huffington Post. Courtney received the Twilio Doer Award in 2013, was named to the Forbes Top 30 Under 30 CEOs in 2014, and became a Google Business Leader in 2015. Courtney attended the University of Texas at Austin and studied French Language and Corporate Communication.

Ron
Simpson

The Avocado Show

Ron
Simpson

The Avocado Show

As a creative entrepreneur, Ron spends his time transforming his moonshot ideas into real life companies and campaigns that change the game. His visionary marketing concepts for global brands like Red Bull, Nike, Bacardi, Budweiser and SONY showed the world that he could think three steps ahead. But his ability to instantly create strong concepts and solve creative problems on the spot, made him the infamous go to guy for all your favorite brands and companies. After founding agencies like Don’t Say Nothing and 24K Agency, he started his latest adventure with his friends that took the world by storm: The Avocado Show.

Dr.
Graciela
Chichilnisky

Global Thermostat

Dr.
Graciela
Chichilnisky

Global Thermostat

Dr. Graciela Chichilnisky is the CEO and Co-Founder of Global Thermostat. A world-renowned economist and creator of the formal theory of Sustainable Development, she previously acted as Lead US Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which received the Nobel Prize in 2007. She worked extensively on the Kyoto Protocol, creating and designing the carbon market that became international law in 2005, and wrote the wording for the carbon market into the Kyoto Protocol at the COP in Kyoto in December 1997. In February 2019, Global Thermostat was named “10 Breakthrough Technologies” by the MIT Technology Review, curated by Bill Gates. In 2015, Dr. Graciela Chichilnisky was selected ""CEO of the Year"" by International Alternative Investment Review, and Fast Company Magazine selected Global Thermostat as one of the ""World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies"" in energy. Additionally, Graciela Chichilnisky is a professor of Economics and Statistics at Columbia University, a University Senator and the Director of the Columbia Consortium for Risk Management. She is the author of eighteen books and over 300 scientific articles in preeminent academic journals. Dr. Chichilnisky holds two PhD degrees, in Mathematics and Economics from MIT and University of California, Berkeley.

Kalsoom
Lakhani

i2i Ventures

Kalsoom
Lakhani

i2i Ventures

Kalsoom Lakhani is the Founder/CEO of Invest2Innovate, or i2i, which supports startups and the broader entrepreneurship ecosystem in growth markets, focusing mainly on Pakistan and the region. She is also a partner in i2i Ventures, a venture capital fund for Pakistan, which is also the country's first female led institutional fund. Kalsoom has also trained young entrepreneurs, changemakers, and civil society leaders in Nepal, Cambodia, Ireland, Bangladesh, Kosovo, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, and has spoken at numerous venues, including the World Economic Forum, Aspen Ideas Festival, SXSW, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, and the Global Entrepreneurship Congress.

Jonathan
Richenthal

Human Future

Jonathan
Richenthal

Human Future

Dr. Jonathan Reichental is the CEO of Human Future, a global business and technology education, advisory, and investment firm. He is the former Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the City of Palo Alto, and a multiple award-winning technology leader whose 30-year career has spanned both the private and public sectors. In 2017, he was named one of the top 100 CIOs in the world and in 2016 he was named a top influential CIO in the United States. Dr. Reichental is also recognized as a global thought leader on a number of emerging trends including urban innovation and blockchain technology. In 2013 he was recognized as one of the 25 doers, dreamers, and drivers in government in America. He also won a best CIO in Silicon Valley award and a national IT leadership prize. His innovative work in government has also been recognized by the White House. Dr. Reichental is an adjunct professor at several universities including UC Berkeley and the University of San Francisco. He is a popular writer and online host, producing several highly successful online courses with LinkedIn Learning. He co-authored The Apps Challenge Playbook and he is a frequent public speaker on a wide range of technology and business-related topics. He co-hosts the popular podcast, Drinking Wine Talking Tech. He is currently working on his latest book about Smart Cities for Wiley & Co.

Noor
Sweid

Global Ventures

Noor
Sweid

Global Ventures

Noor Sweid is the founder of Global Ventures, a UAE-based, growth-stage venture capital firm focusing on investing in emerging markets. Previously, Noor was the Chief Investment Officer at The Dubai Future Foundation, where she spent time developing the innovation ecosystem in Dubai, and a Managing Partner at Leap Ventures. In 2008, Noor led the IPO for Depa, her family business, on the London Stock Exchange and NASDAQ Dubai, scaling the business tenfold in three years to reach $600M in revenues. Additionally, Noor founded ZenYoga, the first yoga and pilates studio in MENA and largest chain of wellness studios in the region, which she exited in 2014 through sale to a private equity firm. Noor is Chairperson of the Middle East Venture Capital Association, was on the Founding Board of Endeavor UAE, and serves as a Director for MIT Sloan, TechWadi, The Grooming Company, and beyond.Recently, Noor was listed in the World’s Top 50 Women in Tech by Forbes, received the Arab Woman Award for Finance, and was named in the Arabian Business 100 Most Powerful Arab Women list. Noor holds bachelors’ degrees in Finance and Economics from Boston College as well as an MBA from MIT Sloan.

Neil
Yorke-Smith

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Neil
Yorke-Smith

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Neil Yorke-Smith is an Associate Professor of Artificial Intelligence at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. His vision for AI is a tool to help people in socio-technical systems. His previous work includes the technology originally behind Siri (acquired by Apple). Currently his research focuses on agent-based optimization and behavioural factors in data-driven planning. He has consulted in Silicon Valley, Europe, and the Middle East, and is co-chair of the 33rd Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference (IAAI) in 2021. More at: member.acm.org/~nyorke-smith

Alice
Nawfal

Notabene Inc

Alice
Nawfal

Notabene Inc

Alice Nawfal combines a business and policy background, and is passionate about bringing privacy-preserving technologies to market. She is the Cofounder and COO of Notabene, a KYC platform for digital asset businesses. Before Notabene, she was COO of uPort, the decentralized identity platform anchored on Ethereum, where she led sales, marketing and operations. Alice spent her earlier career as a Management Consultant at Bain & Company, and later as a Public Policy Consultant at the Economist Intelligence Unit. She has an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, an MBA from the Wharton School, and Math and Economics degrees from MIT.

Mark
Walker

The Fintech Power50

Mark
Walker

The Fintech Power50

An experienced technologist, my early corporate successes led me to form my own enterprise software company, producing and selling to Universities and institutions. A hands-on role, I executed this idea from concept to maturity, while also leading the international sales for an advanced engineering company before its M&A. I'm a former Senior Adviser at UK trade & investment. Managing a team of seven, my role facilitated a good understanding of the London technology environment. I then continued my passion for supporting Start-up and Scale up organisations by joining London & Partners as the tech & urban specialist on the Mayor’s international business programme. Helping London companies internationalise. I've now stepped out of the public sector, to continue supporting ideas, Start-ups and Scale-ups with several of my own ventures, including working with an amazing co-founder on a new style of award, accolade and accelerator programme The Fintech Power50.

Jonathan
Reyes

Tulua

Jonathan
Reyes

Tulua

Jonathan is a cross-cultural impact entrepreneur cultivating solutions that liberate communities and environments through technology. After spending many years working in big data and scalable infrastructures with companies like Activision, he turned his focus towards Aquaponics which is next-gen farming using earth's microbiome to grow produce with higher yields, better quality, greater nutrient density and higher profitability than traditional farming. Jonathan has also dedicated his time to this method of farming to aid in solving the water crisis, environmental regeneration, localization of agriculture, and empowerment of communities. He is the CEO and Co-founder of two social impact enterprises: Aquaponics AI, a US-based aquaponic tech company, and Tulua, a Jordan-based aquaponic system research and design company.

Paul
Blazek

cyLEDGE Media

Paul
Blazek

cyLEDGE Media

Dr. Paul Blazek is a passionate entrepreneur that is driven by the curiosity to research and understand how user needs change the way products and services are developed and sold online. He is founder and CEO of cyLEDGE Media, Europe’s leading customization experience agency, with offices in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. In co-founding and scaling-up eight startups Paul learned many lessons on success and failure drivers and build up a strong network in the entrepreneurial scene. Currently he is also transforming in Vienna the former biggest bread factory of Europe into a co-innovation hub that will celebrate a new innovation culture in bringing young entrepreneurs together with established industries with the goal to solve the challenges of our times. Paul is mentor for the MENA region of the initiative enpact and in several European institutions, teaches customer experience management and business model innovation at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, is affiliated researcher at the RWTH Aachen University, founding member of the International Institute on Mass Customization and Personalization (IIMCP), appointed member of the MIT’s Smart Customization Group and a research fellow of the Peter Pribilla Foundation. Paul studied at the RWTH Aachen University and the University of Vienna and achieved his Ph.D. at the University of Göttingen.

Ross
Veitch

Wego

Ross
Veitch

Wego

"Ross is CEO & Co-Founder at Wego, which is online travel marketplace that provides top ranked mobile apps and websites for users living in the APAC and MENA regions. Wego harnesses powerful technology that simplifies the process of searching, comparing and booking flights and hotels across hundreds of airlines, hotels and online travel agency websites. Wego is has dual-HQs in Singapore and Dubai and is backed by top-tier investors including Tiger Global, Crescent Group, Square Peg Capital and the MBC Group. Ross is a veteran of the Asian internet industry having established Yahoo!s Southeast Asian operations in Singapore back in 1998 and leading product development efforts across the region for 6+ years. He is also Singapore Co-Chair of H2, the premier global leadership network for the digital industry."

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.

WHAT GOES ON

Stages and Tracks

STEP Anywhere will feature a Main Stage and themed tracks of content, running workshops and programming simultaneously covering everything from startups, digital media, fintech, and future tech, to wellness, lifestyle, and entertainment. 

Startup Programming

STEP Anywhere will host multiple online startup programs to facilitate connections with investors, clients, partners. 




Exhibition & Networking

Tech companies and brands across multiple industries will participate to connect with attendees and gather leads, scout for talent, or connect with potential partners online.