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About STEP Next

Step Next is MENA’s exclusive tech talent platform designed to match the best talent with the top tech companies and startups. The 2019 edition had more than 30 participating companies and recruiters, 300 attendees, including over 150 talent profiles. Step Next's January 2021 virtual edition will bring talent interested in working at early and growth stage startups to meet for potential opportunities.

300+

Attendees

10+

Participating Tech Companies

20+

Participating Startups

100+

Opportunities

Previous Participants

Tania
Mykhailiuk

Bayzat

Tania
Mykhailiuk

Bayzat

"Born and raised in Ukraine, Tania embarked on her professional journey with the world’s largest youth-run organization AIESEC. She worked alongside hundreds of thousands of millennials to make the world a better place. After 7 years of successful projects and various roles across the globe, Tania was elected as the Global President of AIESEC International. This journey brought her to over 50 countries empowering young leaders to become change agents in their society. After AIESEC, Tania wanted to embed herself in the business side of corporations. She took on various roles in sales, operations & business transformation. These experiences gave her great exposure and understanding of how companies are run. In her previous role as a transformation manager, her biggest project was to facilitate the merger between two drastically different companies. Tania was challenged with the task of connecting two companies from different industries, cultures & processes into one company. She greatly enjoyed the challenge and after completion, she took on the role as SVP of Organizational Development & Culture at Bayzat – a technology company which provides insurance and HR solutions. Tania's expertise lies in empowering diverse teams to recognize and maximize their potential as members of the organization. She is passionate about personal development, training, cross-cultural management. "

Fodhil
Benturquia

Okadoc

Fodhil
Benturquia

Okadoc

"I have spent much of my career in executive and entrepreneurial positions, championing the cause of digital innovation in MENA. As the Founder and CEO of Okadoc, along with a team of an equally passionate team, we are in a mission to improve the Healthcare Experience for All. I started my e-commerce journey by co-founding MarkaVIP.com, which became one of the largest private online shopping platforms. I then moved on to Souq, where I held multiple leadership roles, helping drive the company from a fledgling startup to a scaled-up e-commerce platform which attracted the attention of the world’s biggest e-commerce player and that was eventually acquired by Amazon.com for US$600million. In 2015, I accepted an offer to become the Group CEO of Noon.com. The US$1bn joint venture involving key Dubai captains of industry and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund where we managed to take the company from cradle to one of the largest regional e-commerce players. "

Tarek
Kabrit

Seez app

Tarek
Kabrit

Seez app

Following an international career in investment management, private equity and M&A, at Deutsche Bank, Abraaj Capital, Wamda, and Booz & Co, Tarek co-founded and became CEO of Seez, an AI-powered car shopping app. He is also a Venture Partner with Al Faisaliah Group in KSA focusing on their VC activities. Tarek holds an MBA from INSEAD and an MsC in Finance and Economics from the London School of Economics.

Lia
Wadih

SE Factory

Lia
Wadih

SE Factory

"Lia Wadih, Product Lead and Business Development Specialist at SE Factory (SEF), primarily focuses on driving SE Factory’s mission to help talented youth access training and good jobs while helping companies hire more efficiently. Lia leads on the outreach strategy of SE Factory mainly by building partnerships with companies in Lebanon, the Middle East and beyond while ensuring and maintaining successful hiring process. With overall accountability for SE Factory’s clients, Lia supports in driving profitability, quality and growth to SEF’s programs by identifying and nurturing a portfolio of key organizational relationships and leading on new product developments to leverage existing resources and offerings according to the needs of custom clients. Lia’s experience has been accrued in different multinational initiatives in the entrepreneurship sector such as Elevate Impact Accelerator (funded by UNICEF), Seedstars, and several startups, handling partnerships and strategic alliances, product development, content creation, logistics and events management, and process mapping and improvement. Lia holds a BEng in Industrial Engineering and a minor in Business from the Lebanese American University."

Yusuf
Saber

Bulkwhiz

Yusuf
Saber

Bulkwhiz

Co-founder and CTO at Bulkwhiz

Akram
Assaf

Bayt.com

Akram
Assaf

Bayt.com

Akram Assaf, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Akram is responsible for directing technology strategy, software development, and product delivery at Bayt.com. Akram has extensive experience in managing technology development and innovation for a wide range of industries and business applications. Akram comes to Bayt.com from Oracle where he was responsible for a variety of consulting engagements serving large institutional customers. Akram started his career in Andersen Consulting where he consulted Middle Eastern governments and leading corporations on technology implementation in the fields of Finance and HR Systems. Akram is a graduate of Jordan University with a BSc in Computer Science.

Amro
Rashad

iMile

Amro
Rashad

iMile

Amro is a seasoned senior Human Resources executive with over 2 decades of insightful experience within technology, telecom, and business services conglomerates. He has shaped high-performing cultures at major growth brands with technical business acumen, prolific communication, and robust learning & development programs. Works in partnership with senior management to orchestrate cultural development and organization change initiatives that address corporate goals and strategies Develops executable resourcing strategies and award-winning leadership development programs which motivate teams to exceed corporate objectives through various cycles. For the past 15 years, through various roles across the Middle East, Africa and the GCC , Amro has been providing oversight and leadership of Human Resources functions that include restructuring and rebuilding HR Functions, service delivery, operational effectiveness, business process review, continuous improvement activities, technology strategy and Learning & Development. Amro’s experience has been accrued in different multinational companies; he started his career in P&G in the finance department. Amro moved to Xerox as a sales executive, DHL as a Sales manager and Aramex as the HR Manager- Egypt in 2000. Ali Bin Ali Group as the Group Training & Employee Development Manager in 2003, then became the Group Human Resources & Training manager in 2005 . In 2008 he joined Vodafone as the Head of Resourcing & Learning. He then re-joined Aramex in 2010 as the Regional HR Manager-Africa,Global Training Director in 2015 , and became the HR Director for the GCC region in 2016. Amro is now the CHRO for iMile Delivery services

Nadine
Mezher

Sarwa

Nadine
Mezher

Sarwa

Nadine Mezher is the Co-founder and CMO of Sarwa, the first automated investment advisory platform in the region. Nadine co-founded Sarwa after years of consultancy in retail strategy and activations with a track record of successful projects delivered for clients ranging from government entities such as the Office of HH the Crown Prince of Dubai and large-scale companies such as OSN, Nestle... Prior to that, she worked for Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Government of Dubai in retail strategy and strategic alliances, as well as festivals development, where she led the management and development of citywide festivals and worked on the Dubai Retail Strategy. Nadine holds a Bachelor of Business Administration/Marketing from the American University of Beirut, as well as a degree in design from Esmod Paris.

Issam
AlNajm

MATIC Services

Issam
AlNajm

MATIC Services

He began his journey in startups more than 9 years ago in Dubai, he occupied different tech roles in startups and in different stages starting from ideas to a platform handling million of transactions. Issam is the CTO of MATIC Services, a free SaaS-enabled marketplace for home cleaning services, he joined the team when it was just an idea and managed to build the apps and tech team and expand rapidly in the past 3 years. Before Matic Issam was the Head of Technology in iMENA where he helped building SellAnyCar, OpenSooq, ReserveOut, Okaz and other startups, and worked before in Logta Mall startup and MTN.

Maher
Loubieh

Parity Finance

Maher
Loubieh

Parity Finance

• Co-founder, board member and Chief Strategy Officer at HalalaH Company, one of the fastest growing Fintech companies in Saudi Arabia aiming at becoming the first regional Neo-bank • Chairman of the Lebanese Chapter and a Co-lead of the Payment Vertical at the MENA FINTECH Association • Co-founder and board member at Parity Finance, the first ISA-based student education funding program in the region • A mentor for startups at the American University of Beirut (AUB), ESA Business School and IM Capital • An advisor to the AUB’s Growth Readiness Program, a leading program aiming at scaling regional SME’s • An investor in Seeders Angel Investing Fund • A visiting lecturer at multiple regional universities • Has 15 years of Investment Banking and Investment Management Experience and has a Capital Markets Certification from the Saudi Arabian Capital Market Authority • Holds an MBA from the University of Manchester in UK.

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 Startups

Talent Pool

IT/Development
  • Product Manager
  • Developer
  • UI/UX Designer
Data & Research
  • Analyst
  • Research Scientist
  • Data Admin
Media & Marketing
  • Growth Hacker
  • Digital Marketer
  • Branding & PR
Operations & BD
  • Strategy
  • Finance
  • Sales & Partnerships
 

WHAT GOES ON

Hosted Startup Lounges

Hiring Startups will be hosting lounges where multiple participants will join to discuss life at a startup, career growth, learning opportunities, and hear from the experience of different colleagues.

EXHIBITION ZONES

The Exhibition Zone at Step Next will include tech startups represented by founders and hiring managers looking to attract strong talent to join their companies.

Career Mentorship

Take part in 1-on-1 mentorship opportunities on your next steps in your career or current professional and personal growth.

Matchmaking

Hiring startups will get the opportunity to get matched with relevant profiles and talent based on roles and needs.

SPEED NETWORKING

Step Next will feature Speed Networking where talent will be be randomly matched with hiring managers from participating startups.

Group Networking

There will be opportunities for like-minded individuals to meet and network through virtual group discussions at Step Next.

 

Participate as Talent

If you are a job seeker looking to work at a startup, Step Next will give you the opportunity to meet companies that are currently hiring for specific roles in their organization. If you are a working professional, we have curated several opportunities to help you further your career like the Mentor's Corner and the Hosted Lounges.

Participate as a Hiring Startup

Step Next will connect you with ideal candidates for current job openings you have in your company and talent for future roles. We use tech tools to vet and curate quality attendance and participation from the talent pool. Hiring startups have the opportunity to host lounges, participate in networking, and receive curated profiles to connect with talent at Step Next.