Sheraa is Sharjah’s official entrepreneurship center that is backed by government. The center has recently announced that it’s accepting applications from all around the world for second cycle of its Accelerator program. Sheraa is looking for early-stage startups that wish to use Sharjah as a launchpad to grow and scale their impact.
The accelerator will support the selected startups with an equity-free funding of up to $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. Its not very common for accelerators in this region to offer equity-free funding and that too without any nationality requirements. It’s a golden opportunity for both regional and international entrepreneurs to validate their ideas and scale their businesses.
Shera Accelerator has graduated ten innovative startups from its first cohort recently. The diverse selection of startups came from different verticals including 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. Based in the American University of Sharjah, 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 12-week long Sheraa Accelerator program will end with a Demo Day, where the graduated startups will 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 program launching in October this year. You may apply for the accelerator here.