Riyadh: The largest tech event in the world is closing its doors, with thousands of people having flocked to the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center in Saudi Arabia’s capital to participate in discussions and witness world debuts in what would be one of many future tech events in the Kingdom.
The second edition of the LEAP23 Conference marked a significant turnout, with entrepreneurs and experts attending talks and browsing the venue’s many booths showcasing the latest tech products at what Michael Champion, regional executive vice president of Informa Markets, described to Arab News as “the fastest-growing tech event in the world.”
He said: “When we first launched LEAP, it was the largest debut tech event in history, so there were 100,000 visits.”
Now, Champion added, the conference has had to “build multiple tents” outside just to be able to accommodate attendees.
“There are hundreds of companies that are on the waiting list, trying to get in. And so, we have plans in the future to solve that, to grow even more,” said Champion.
For four days straight, the center saw an ever-growing crowd trying to make it into the halls where some of the biggest tech companies were stationed.
There were over 250,000 registrations this year — more than double those of last year.
Across the world, technology-based small and medium-sized enterprises are considered drivers of job growth and innovation.
According to Champion, LEAP is one of the best platforms for startups globally to participate in, especially if they want to have access to a serious amount of funding and win record-breaking prize amounts as more than 1,000 investors from all over the world — triple those at last year’s conference — represent companies with assets under management of over $2 trillion.
With Saudi Arabia rapidly emerging as a global hub for startups and entrepreneurs, Champion believes that the Kingdom’s active investor community and its east-meets-west location are ideal for startups looking to build strong bonds with major tech investors from across the region, Europe, the US and the Far East.
On the third day of LEAP23, investment programs worth $2.43 billion were announced following the $9 billion deals revealed by the Kingdom’s Minster of Information Abdullah Al-Swaha.
Emerging and disruptive technologies are increasingly touching all aspects of life, and trends continue to develop and improve with time. LEAP23’s primary focus is to showcase the latest of these technologies.
Champion told Arab News that to keep up with emerging trends, a LEAP Alliance was established where a collective of thought leaders from around the world select some of the most promising trends and “weave them into the theme of the year.”