Step Saudi Kicks off at The Arena Riyadh

22

“What makes Saudi Arabia a hub for venture capitalists? What industries appeal to international VCs the most?” These are just some of the topics that will be explored at Step Saudi 2022.

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA: In the first half of 2022 alone, VC funding in Saudi Arabia grew more than threefold, outshining the whole of 2021, according to a report released by startup data platform Magnitt. This buoyant VC market provides an excellent backdrop for hosting Saudi Arabia’s largest tech startup event. Step Saudi 2022 (www.saudi.StepConference.com) kicked off on 12 December at The Arena Riyadh with an inspiring mix of startups, investors, digital enthusiasts, brands and government representatives.

Panel sessions including “Hotbed for Global VCs”; “FinTech’s Compliance with Changing Regulations”; “Web3 in Saudi Arabia: How will Web3 be integrated into the systems?”, and “Podcasting Pool”, will look at ongoing themes that the region´s startup ecosystem will face as it is set to steadily increase in size moving forward.

Top speakers include Mohammed Alsuhaim, Assistant Deputy Minister for Future Skills & Digital Knowledge & CEO at Saudi Digital Academy, H.E. Dr. Nabeel Koshak, the CEO and Board Member of Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC), Muna AbuSulayman, Media Icon and Social Impact Leader, Nayef Al-Athel, Chief of Listing at the Saudi Exchange, scientist-turned-entrepreneur HRH Fahad Bandar Al Saud, former investment banker Khadija Khartit, and 500 Global´s Amal Dokhan.

The event, which is sponsored by the leading Saudi Venture Studio BIM Ventures, will host some of the most exciting emerging tech talent as they meet with early-stage investors to showcase ideas covering everything from fintech -particularly payments and crypto- to AI, e-commerce, energy and cloud.

“Our role as a venture builder is critical in bringing bold ideas and early-stage startups to light and co-building with them to reach to financial sustainability and growth. We strongly believe in the potential growth of Saudi startups and are committed to supporting and consolidating the early-stage startup ecosystem in the region.” Rayan Alsharif, Partner at BIM Ventures commented

The Vision 2030 project, which was launched in 2016, hails tech innovation and entrepreneurship as paramount pillars in helping the next generation of Saudis thrive in the global marketplace. Vision 2030 also includes Neom, a $500bn futuristic city specifically built to promote tech and innovation.

Ray Dargham, CEO of Step said: “With the rapid growth of Saudi Arabia´s venture capital ecosystem, Step Saudi has a vital part to play in its development.”

He added: “The most important aspects for achieving further growth are already there. Step Saudi will play a crucial role in supporting this vision. We’re expecting important announcements at Step Saudi from VCs and startups participating this year, and I believe this will continue on a growth trajectory. We are pleased to facilitate introductions between global decision-makers and local Saudi startups. The VC ecosystem needs a thriving platform for the innovation of high tech and e-commerce, together with other sectors across the MENA region”

About Step

Step is a new media company with a suite of virtual and in-person events, podcasts, and newsletters for the tech savvy cross-generational audience in MENA and emerging markets. Step is most known for hosting the largest tech and startup conference in Dubai and MENA.

Step has a decade of expertise and network building in MENA’s tech and digital ecosystem.

  • Hosted more than 200 events and programs in the areas of tech, startups, and digital.

Step’s landmark conference in Dubai attracts over 7,000 global attendees.

  • More than 2,000 startups from MENA and beyond have participated in a Step event or program in the last 10 years
  • Many startups have launched at Step, made connections which led to follow-on meetings to pitch for investment, and graduated from the startup programs to become thought leaders in their space.
  • Over 10,000 facilitated connections through Step’s investor meeting and mentorship programs