Sharjah is set to host high-profile speakers and promising startups of the region in a first edition of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival. The event is being organized by Sharjah Entrepreneurial Center that is commonly known as Sheraa.
Claimed as the largest largest entrepreneurship festival of UAE, Sharjah EF will take place on 21st and 22nd November at the Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club. It is expected to host over 1,500 attendees and has more than 80 confirmed speakers to take part in different talks and panels. Most of the speakers are from the UAE’s tech scene accompanied by big names like Wamda’s Fadi Ghandour, Abraaj Group’s Arif Naqvi and Mohamed Alabbar from Emaar.
This is the first time Sharjah is hosing any such event. The startup community in the city is smaller in size if you compare it with Dubai or even Abu Dhabi but Sheraa has been making efforts to help Sharjah become the next startup hub of UAE. Sharjah EF is an extension of those efforts.
The festival will feature talks and panels, workshops, a pitch competition for startups to win up to AED 150,000 ($40,000) in prizes, startup town showcasing 60 best startups selected by the Sharjah EF team, and mentoring sessions for participating entrepreneurs and startups.
Najla Al-Midfa, General Manager at Sheraa speaking at a press conference to announce the event, said, “Launching the inaugural edition of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival is just one of the many ways Sharjah’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is coming together to fuel not just established startups but also aspiring entrepreneurs. This 2-day celebration of entrepreneurship aims to inspire new achievements, generate thought-provoking discussions, and rejuvenate the ecosystem’s spirit and passion for building a better future.”
SharjahEF will also introduce The Seffy Awards, a set of nine different awards to recognize the efforts of UAE’s entrepreneurs and startups by a popular community vote. The various categories include the Entrepreneur of the Year award, the Tech Startup of the Year award and the Sheraa Rising Star of the Year award. The Tech Startup of the Year award has 7 winners, from industries including Travel & Tourism, Fintech, Food & Beverage, Creative Economy, Social Enterprise, Cleantech, and Logistics & Transportation.
Najla Al Ansari, Project Lead of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival stated, “Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival will bring together the best and brightest of people in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to celebrate the power of entrepreneurship and inspire further innovation. We look forward to making Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival a milestone event in the UAE entreprenurship landscape.”
The festival is still accepting applications from startups. If selected, they will get to display their products and services at a branded booth, take part in pitch competitions, and attend one-to-one mentorship sessions. The startup package is priced at AED 500 ($136) and comes with two regular tickets.
For those wanting to attend the event as a regular attendee, you can buy the ticket here for AED 200 (~$55) that gives you access to everything at the event.