Despite all the turmoil in the background, the Middle Eastern startup and tech scenes are slowly bringing about a paradigm shift that may be the unlikely change agent to pave the way for new social, economical and cultural progress in the region. Success stories such as the acquisition of Maktoob by Yahoo in 2009 and the recent valuation of Souq.com at over $500M have encouraged aspiring entrepreneurs and investors to take the tech industry very, very seriously. Coupled with one of the fastest growing internet penetration rates in the world and an avid digital content consumption, the extent of the untapped potential has become apparent to both global and regional onlookers.
The main sponsor for this nascent ecosystem has been Dubai. Already a regional hub for all news, media and digital agencies, it is now positioning itself as a focal point for innovation and digital technologies. STEP Conference has played a major role, becoming the ultimate meeting place for startups and tech innovators. Attracting the best the region has to offer in influencers, investors and entrepreneurs, the yearly event is rapidly becoming the largest and most influential tech conference in the region, and probably the only one of its kind. It has grown from a modest 200 attendees two years ago, to almost 1,000 in 2014, following a trend of booming tech conferences around the world, from the US, to Ireland, to Finland. Its rapid growth may very likely spark a tech craze in Dubai, the same way the Web Summit did in Dublin.
On March 31st, STEP 2015 is growing even further. It is tripling in size. It is expanding in scope, reach and impact. 2,500+ attendees, 100+ startups, 20+ accelerators, top-tier regional investors, and a speaker line-up bringing together global tech giants like Justin Kan and regional household names like Ronaldo Mouchawar on the main Tech Stage. The conference will also feature a design stage, a gaming stage, a food, art, and music fest, and plenty of interactive activities at the Dubai International Marine Club with a perfect view of the iconic Dubai Marina.
With an eccentric approach, a disruptive mentality, and a grand vision, STEP 2015 is the main tech event of the year for the Middle East. It will be the key showcase of what Dubai, the UAE, and the entire Middle East have to offer to the world of tech and digital innovation, while bringing the most exciting stories from global and regional speakers to the vibrant heart of a promising MENA region.
More about STEP here: www.stepconference.com