Kiran Sahib is the eLab London Location Manager and has been involved and working in the startup scene for the past 9 years. She's an experienced startup co-founder and has also taken roles in innovation consulting as well as project and program management. She currently coaches and guides all of our participants while on the program as well as getting them connected to important founders and investors in the local startup ecosystem.
The STEP conference is described as ‘the most experiential conference in the Middle East’ and it definitely lives up to that description.
On February 11th, the eLab team made our way to Dubai for a two-day conference and were greeted with a wide variety of start-ups from across the globe that were focused on solving problems using tech. The conference gave us a view of technology in emerging markets featuring the latest innovations and highlighting opportunities in the ecosystem.
CIEE’s eLab sponsored two members of the eLumni team to showcase their businesses and network with possible partners and investors. Krunoslav Weinpart, the Founder of Pointers and Alexsey Zaleskiy, the Founder of SmartPIM.ai each had a booth for the first day of the conference and won the interest of local investors. Krunoslav was handpicked to pitch on the ‘floating pitch boat’, a fun and quirky approach to pitching for sure! He had a private audience of local investors and was given 30 minutes to talk through what Pointers has achieved thus far and where they are headed.
Never one to shy away, we raised our hands to pitch in for some start-up mentoring activities. I was excited to be allocated some talented female founders from the region whose ideas spanned retail to travel. All were in the early stages of starting up and their questions seemed to concern early idea validation activities, which we were able to offer support on. Another key concern that they had was how to approach scaling as each region that makes up the GCC is sparsely populated, so in order to attract investment, start-ups need to make plans to scale to all regions of the GCC.
All in all, the conference was a total success for the eLab team, so we’re looking forward to attending again next year with some new eLumni!
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