Step Conference has announced dates for the 11th Edition of its popular technology festival for emerging markets, which will take place in Dubai’s Internet City. The expo will take place between 22-23 February 2023 in the largest technology hub in the MENA region, which is currently home to Fortune 500 companies, SMEs, and startups.
This year the conference will focus on exploring a “retro future”, where past styles and trends mix with cutting-edge technology. In a first for the popular event, consumer brands will showcase their products to more than 8,000 consumers at a special Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Hub. As well as catching a glimpse of upcoming tech innovation, participants will also be able to enjoy a packed program of events:
- Start Track: Covering the tech startup scene and all things digital.
- Fintech Track: A deep dive into banks, payment gateways, and fintech.
- Future Track: Exploring futuristic transport and autonomous technology.
- Digital Track: Bringing together brand managers and digital influencers.
- Wellness Track: Covering topics and trends on wellbeing and fitness technology.
- Earth Track: Exploring greentech, sustainability, and environmental impact.
“I’m delighted to announce the launch of the 11th Edition of our conference and to provide a platform for the tech industry to come together, discuss and debate the latest and future trends. We wanted to focus on six tracks where we see past trends developing and impacting the future. Exploring retro-futurism and the dynamic between past and future technologies will help to pave the way for what is yet to come,” says Ray Dargham, CEO of Step.
The event host, Dubai Internet City, has been home to a tech community of global and local businesses and startups since 1999, and has helped to put the UAE at the center of global technology innovation. Events like Step create important funding and networking opportunities for startups and entrepreneurs and help to raise the profile (and value) of an already booming digital economy.
If you’re interested in visiting Step Conference 2023, head over to the official booking page to register for tickets.
Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 To Help Climate Technology Startups
The initiative was announced at the COP28 summit and will help selected startups with a $200,000 cash injection and further incentives.
Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global technology system, has launched a new initiative to support climate technology startups backed by several of the UAE’s largest public and private sector organizations.
A total of 342 startups have submitted applications so far, with the top companies being added to a shortlist that will be revealed shortly. Selected startups will receive Dh250,000 ($68,000) in incentives and an upfront cash support package of Dh250,000. In addition, the top performers of Hub71’s new initiative will also receive a top-up of up to Dh250,000 in exchange for additional equity.
Ahmad Alwan, deputy chief executive of Hub71, said: “This initiative aims to bring in different entities that have a shared mission towards climate tech […] Throughout the journey, we will support these companies, not only from being startups to becoming mature companies but also to facilitate their engagement with entities that would support them with access to capital, market, and talent”.
The Hub71+ ClimateTech ecosystem is backed by the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and the National Central Cooling Company, who have each pledged Dh500,000 to the initiative as anchor partners.
They are joined by corporate partners, including Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ, Aldar Properties, sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Masdar City, and Dubai’s Emirates NBD. In addition, Siemens Energy is also onboard as an anchor partner.
So far, Hub71 has helped 260 member startups and created over 1,000 jobs, according to the organization’s website. In addition, it has collectively raised around Dh5 billion since its foundation in 2019.