- Sheraa Accelerator will leverage Sharjah’s role as a leading hub for entrepreneurship and attract innovative startups
- Second edition of Sheraa Accelerator is held in partnership with Air Arabia, Bee’ah and Crescent Enterprises
- Registrations open online, with deadline for application on August 31st 2017
Sharjah, UAE: Sharjah has taken its flagship Sheraa Accelerator program to the international stage by inviting entrepreneurs from within the UAE, and across the globe, to apply for its second cycle. The invitation goes out to innovative, early-stage ventures that wish to use Sharjah as a launchpad to grow and scale their impact.
The second Sheraa Accelerator cycle follows a successful inaugural cohort that witnessed the launch of ten innovative startups across sectors such as the sharing economy, sustainable technology, art and design, Arabic content, education, community development, as well as Industry 4.0 technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, IoT, augmented reality, and virtual reality, amongst others. Sheraa – Sharjah’s official entrepreneurship center – is based at the American University of Sharjah and runs the Emirate’s flagship accelerator program, focusing on scaling innovative, high-growth ventures that drive economic diversification and job creation. The program’s inaugural success attracted support from Air Arabia, Bee’ah and Crescent Enterprises who will partner with Sheraa for the second edition too.
The Sheraa Accelerator program ends with a Demo Day, where startups pitch to experienced investors, partners, and key clients. The first edition of the Demo Day was attended by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
“The second cycle of our Accelerator comes on the heels of the resounding success that we and our startups have enjoyed over the past months,” said Ms. Najla Al-Midfa, General Manager at Sheraa. She added: “Sheraa has empowered over ten startups that are successfully servicing clients. Most notably, our startup ‘Juxtapiece’ has added to its client list entities such as Smart Dubai, Bee’ah, and Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), whereas ‘Tayar’ works with government clients such as the Sharjah Police and the UAE’s Ministry of Health. We also witnessed the milestone seed funding of our startup Yalla Pickup that raised AED 1 million, demonstrating Sheraa’s reputation as the ideal launchpad for innovative early-stage ventures. Our second edition aims to attract pioneering startups from across the world, and in the process, strengthen Sharjah’s reputation as a thriving hub for entrepreneurship. This is in line with UAE’s Vision 2021, which establishes entrepreneurship as a vital enabler of the UAE’s transition to a knowledge-based economy.”
“We look forward to building a competitive second cohort, featuring innovative ventures that are working on solving pressing challenges across all sectors. Sheraa is committed to supporting teams that possess the drive and ambition to scale their disruptive business models, and develop them into success stories with global socio-economic impact,” said Al-Midfa.
The deadline for applications is August 31st, with the 3-month program launching in October this year. The selected startups will be supported with equity-free seed funding of up to USD 10,000, a free Sharjah-based trade license, rent-free office space at Sheraa, expert mentorship, legal assistance, and access to contracts in both the private and government sectors.
Sheraa (Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center):
Sheraa (Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center) was launched in January 2016, under the patronage of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi – Chairperson of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) – to provide a launch pad for aspiring young entrepreneurs in the UAE. Sheraa’s state-of-the-art co-working facility is housed at the American University of Sharjah, and hosts a thriving community of students and ambitious entrepreneurs. Sheraa – ‘Sail’ in Arabic – inspires youth to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams, and empowers them to navigate through the processes of launching a business, transforming them from job seekers to job creators in the United Arab Emirates and the wider region. It runs the country’s first university-based ‘accelerator’ program, offering a mentorship-driven, three-month entrepreneurship boot camp to support teams that demonstrate entrepreneurial spirit and courage. The hands-on accelerator also provides seed-funding, strategic mentorship by industry professionals and a suite of other competitive benefits. It successfully unveiled 10 startups through the inaugural flagship accelerator showcase day, which is conceived in the center’s expansive co-working space where creativity is fostered in an exuberant environment.