STEP Conference 2017, to be held on April 5-6, 2017 at the Dubai International Marine Club, is back, and it is once again bringing together entrepreneurs, investors and key industry leaders from the MENA region and around the world. With a focus on technology, entrepreneurship and digital and entertainment sectors, the conference’s agenda features interactive panel discussions, mentorship and networking opportunities, and its notable STEP Startup Basecamp showcasing over 200 startups, as well as the STEP startup pitch competition which will feature entrepreneurs pitching their concepts to a panel of regional ecosystem leaders and investors.
From AI, to education, and service oriented startups at various funding stages, this year’s Startup Basecamp features an array of startups. Here are a few of our picks in terms of MENA startups worth taking a look at STEP (and beyond) this year.
Founded by two female entrepreneurs from Saudi Arabia, the startup aims to be the prime choice in KSA to offer technology solutions for smart devices and networks. As it grows its team of Saudi female technicians, it’s still in early stage, although Fixtag has already gained traction and portfolio of clients such as Cisco, Doroob, Colleges of Excellence, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, among others.
Launched in October 2016, Trukker features a tech-enabled network to offer transporting services with three verticals of moving homes, goods and hiring trucks, along with instant quote tractions and real-time tracking. The tech startup wants to provide an alternative solution of connecting service providers dynamically in the logistics space.
3. el Grocer
An on-demand grocery delivery app where users can browse and buy a range of products, and have it delivered homes or office, connecting 75 stores and more than 30 communities in Dubai. In 2016, el Grocer acquired Quickshop.ae as part of its scaling efforts.
A graduate from Sheraa’s inaugural showcased startups, Hamza utilizes findings in natural language processing to generate high-quality Arabic content. The writing enhancement platform edits grammatical errors and offers stylizations suggestions.
Previously known as RigBasket, ThroughPut generates insights for your enterprise’s supply chain data with its software. With its SaaS, it seeks to eliminate hurdles and reduce costs in logistics, storage and inventory quantity to improve profit margins.
Active in Bahrain, Kuwait and some areas of Saudi Arabia, users can use the app to find and book venues, create teams, join a match, challenge others and more. Though started with soccer venues as its niche focus, Malaeb plans to introduce more sports and cities in its network.
Legal Advice Middle East is an online marketplace connecting lawyers and consumers across UAE and the region to seek legal help. It aims to provide a seamless and affordable way to offer legal services, with its revenue model based on subscription fees paid by law firms. Prospective users can view a lawyer’s ratings and advice to previous clients and their testimonials, and more.
Fabric buyers often face issues with time consumption and sales negotiation. E-commerce website Santex wants to provide an easier solution to the textile industry by providing delivery of fabrics at any location in UAE within two days.
Drivers who have experienced vehicles breaking down on the road can attest to the difficulties of looking for roadside assistance. With Morni, the app can help users choose nearby service providers with a particular task such as towing and battery service and replacement, and dispatch him to your location.
10. Escape Reality
Escape Reality is an immersive "escape room" experience attraction with various themes for teams to choose from. Already established in Dubai, it is also set to open sites across UK, USA and India.