Sheraa, the Sharjah-based entrepreneurship center that is backed by the government had recently opened applications for the second cycle of its accelerator. It had accelerated some really cool startups in its first cycle including Yalla Pickup that went on to raise $272K after graduating from the program.
Sheraa received hundreds of applications for its 12-week-long acceleration program which offers startups with $10,000 in equity-free funding, a Sharjah-based trade license, cool office space, mentorship and a lot more. The accelerator selected ten startups from these applications who have already joined the program. Here’s a look at all of them.
Co-founded by an expat couple, Padmini Gupta and her husband Milind Singh, Rise is a social startup that aims to help migrant workers manage their finances and learn new skills. It had started as a platform for domestic workers only but now seems to have expanded beyond that. For employers, Rise acts as an employee management tool helping them assess their hire and manage the salaries.
Slices is a UAE-based food and beverage company that provides healthy, nutritious meals to students in schools across the country. The startup that was founded in 2012 prepares the meals directly from schools’ kitchen. Founded by Hamad Al Shurafa & Faisal Al Hammadi, Slices’ vision is to positively influence the eating habits for next generation. To make this vision a reality, it also runs different initiatives and programs that teach kids about the benefits of wholesome eating in order to lead healthy lives.
Savarin is another startup fro F&B industry in this cycle of Sheraa’s accelerator program. It supplies tailor-made desserts to high-volume market segments including restaurants, cafes, events, and travel catering. The startup is founded by Jan Bijsterbosch, who worked as a Senior Vice President with Emirates Flight Catering in Dubai. Savarin prides itself on using only the finest ingredients, everything made from scratch and with less refined sugars.
The Modist is an online fashion platform that sells luxurious modest clothing, shoes, and accessories for women. The startup delivers to over 100 countries with same-day delivery for Dubai, Abu Dhabi & Sharjah through its in-house fleet. Founded by Ghizlan Guenez, The Modist has offices in London & Dubai.
Founded by Faraz Khan, a McKinsey alumnus, SouKare is a Dubai-based HealthTech startup that sells fitness products and contact lenses through its online platform. The startup claims to deliver these products anywhere in Dubai within 90 minutes. They seem to have started the platform with corrective and contact lenses and added fitness products to its product line at a later stage.
Airscope Unmanned Systems is an incubator for drone-based businesses, run by a group of certified drone pilots and engineers. For now, that’s all we know about them as there’s not much information available about them online apart from their LinkedIn company page.
Co-founded by Nour Attia, Hana Abdulla & Ahmed Yasser, Asm3ni is an online platform that sells Arabic audiobooks. Launched very recent the platform that’s still in beta allows emerging authors to publish their audiobooks which are review by Asm3ni team before they make it to the website. The audiobooks currently available on the platform are priced between $4 to $28.
Meet the Locals
Meet the Locals, a startup co-founded by Abdullah Al Matar & Khadija Behzad connects expats and tourists in UAE with the locals through different events and services. The events help expats and tourists experience the Emirati culture, interact and have conversations with nationals, and learn more about the country. The team of Meet The Locals consists of local Emirati volunteers and certified tour guides who are passionate about sharing their culture with visitors and expats through curated events, tours and packages.
Founded by Etienne van den Peereboom, Monda Gallery sells Middle Eastern and Asian artwork in different mediums including paintings, photographs, digital prints through its online platform. The artwork on the platform is available at a wide range of price points, starting from as less as ~$50 and going up to $2,000 for a piece. Monda Gallery charges a flat rate of $10 for shipping within Dubai and $15 for rest of UAE.
ProTenders is a Dubai-based B2B platform where different stakeholders from construction industry including contractors and developers can find partners, acquire new deals, learn about different projects and showcase their own, and manager their bidding activities. According to publicly available data, ProTenders has already raised $3.25 million in funding.
This is perhaps the most diversified accelerator cycle we have ever come across, with startups from F&B industry to those that help drone-based businesses. Not only in terms of industry, but the sizes of startups are also absolutely different. There are startups like ProTenders that have already raised more than $3 million in funding and then there are startups like Asm3ni that are still in beta. We don’t know if it’s a good idea to put these startups together in the same cycle but one thing is for sure, they’ll have a lot to learn from each other.