The STEP Conference is one of the biggest entrepreneur-focused events in the Middle East, welcoming tech innovators and industry experts of all kinds. From STEP Money to STEP Digital, the conference features numerous events throughout the year that focus on the various needs of entrepreneurs.
In March 2018, STEP Conference held its annual STEP Start event in the Dubai Internet City free zone in the UAE. This gathering is specifically designed for aspiring entrepreneurs and those who are just embarking on their startup journeys, offering access to mentorship, educational sessions, pitch competitions, and more. The 2018 STEP Start conference also highlighted the work of more than 250 startups from across the regional technology industry.
Here are some of the most interesting startups that took part in the 2018 STEP Start conference:
Delivering intelligent management solutions for schools, ReportCard helps educators create more personalized learning experiences for students. From grade schools to universities, institutions of all kinds are using the platform to streamline classroom management and school operations.
Using one convenient online portal, educators can view and share class schedules and lesson plans. They can also manage profiles of individual students to ensure that they are attending their classes and completing their assignments. School administrators can use ReportCard to handle staff payroll and to automate invoicing.
ReportCard also provides key insights into school facilities, staff, and financials. With these reports, institutions can make more informed decisions.
WNNA leverages artificial intelligence to offer recommendations to users looking for things to do in their local area. Through either its website or mobile application, users can find new activities to try, places to eat, and even travel opportunities. They can even randomize their choices to discover even more exciting places and experiences. Over time, the platform will tailor the suggestions users see based on their previous decisions.
Eat Clean ME (UAE)
Headquartered in Dubai, Eat Clean ME is making healthy eating more accessible for city residents. The startup has collected the area’s healthy eateries on one site, allowing users to search for restaurants based on location and dietary requirements and order meals for delivery. Whether someone is looking for a restaurant with vegan options or a café that serves gluten-free fare, they can find the healthy option they’re looking for on Eat Clean ME. The startup also leverages the expertise of nutritionists to provide users with curated meal suggestions each week.
To help Dubai locals eat even healthier, Eat Clean ME has also developed its own Healthy Handbook. This manual focuses on a number of important health and wellness topics, such as food allergies, key nutrition terminology, and different types of diets.
Built for Android smartphones, Rafiq provides users with a virtual assistant that facilitates more interactions with their mobile devices. The platform makes it easier for phones to recognize voice commands in various Arabic dialects. Rafiq began with only the Egyptian dialect, but has plans to expand to others in the future.
The winner of the Unbound Bahrain startup competition, Rafiq helps users get more out of their smartphones. For example, they can use voice recognition to conduct searches on Google, make phone calls, or open apps. However, Rafiq is also known for its focus on third-party services. Through the platform, users can arrange a ride with Careem and find new products on Souq. Soon, the startup hopes to implement food delivery and hotel reservation services into the app as well.
Weytr is making it easier for restaurants, clubs, and hotels to take guest’s food and beverage orders while also enhancing the overall customer experience. Through this smartphone- and tablet-enabled app, users can browse the menus at their favorite establishments by inputting its designated Weytr code. Once they make their selections, they can place and pay for their orders within seconds. The app alerts the establishment’s staff, who prepare and serve the order. Weytr is available in five different languages, and it can convert menu prices to any currency in the world.
Weytr benefits more than just customers, however. By giving businesses more control over their food and beverage ordering systems, Weytr helps them maximize their revenue and serve customers faster. For example, Weytr alerts staff of incoming orders before clients even finish paying, which reduces the time spent fulfilling each order. And by providing an easy-to-use interface for orders, Weytr aims to increase customer spending by 20%. Businesses can also use the app to create promotions for specific customers or products.
An innovative “shared parking marketplace” in Dubai, Nester helps drivers find places to park throughout the city. Using the startup’s mobile app, users can scour their destinations for Nester-friendly buildings in the area. They can view how many spaces are available, how much they cost, and what ratings other drivers have left. Once they find a building, they can book a space for as little as a few hours or as much as an entire month. This solution is helping alleviate parking issues in Dubai one space at a time.
Nester also allows parking spot owners to list their own spaces on the app, which can help them earn extra money each month. They can adjust the space’s availability, so they can still park when they need to.