LEAP 2022: Second edition of major tech conference to take place in Riyadh

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The second edition of a major technology conference is taking place in Riyadh next month, with a star-studded lineup of guest speakers.

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More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the LEAP conference in the Saudi capital, including football legend and tech investor Thierry Henry, Dragon’s Den investor and podcaster Steve Bartlett, and the presidents of Nokia and Ericsson Pekka Lundmark and Borje Ekholm.

LEAP will run from February 6 to 9 at the Riyadh Front Exhibition and Conference Center, and will feature more than 700 speakers and 900 exhibitors from major companies.

Representatives from Saudi companies including NEOM, Saudi Aramco, Mobily, STC, and ELM will appear alongside exhibitors from some of the world’s biggest technology corporations including Google, Amazon, Snapchat, Alibaba, Huawei, Microsoft, and IBM.

A parallel artificial intelligence (AI) event – DeepFest – will take place for the first time from February 7 to 9.

It is being organized in partnership with the Saudi Data and AI Authority (SDAIA) with support from the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT).

Subjects to be explored at the conference include smart cities, financial technology, health technology, retail, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), space technology, and the so-called fourth industrial revolution (4IR).

Investors will also take to the LEAP Investor Stage to discuss emerging opportunities in the sector.

There will be a competition between 90 startups over which can deliver the best pitch, competing for a prize pool of more than $1 million.

LEAP has also introduced a mentorship scheme where up to 30 creative startups can connect with global experts.

A host of robots will mingle with the exhibitors and visitors, including humanoids from Japan and Hong Kong, dancing robots from the US, and AI-powered children’s tutors from the American company Roybi.

They will present demonstrations alongside the Magic Keys augmented reality system, which helps budding musicians learn to play instruments; the Stage11 music experience, which combines gaming, mixed reality and digital collectables; Italy’s ‘Mirror’, which customizes PINKO bags and mints them into NFTs; and Interstellar Lab’s advanced farming technologies.

“These are the 21st century inventors who are presenting the world of living and work - but not as we currently know it,” Michael Champion, Regional EVP, MEA at Informa Markets, which organizes LEAP, said in a statement.

“This is an unprecedented and universal exhibitor mix which will send technology advancement into a whole new world-living orbit. LEAP is the window to tomorrow’s world, an event which powers the future and empowers those looking to shape it.”

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