Sharjah has taken its flagship Sheraa Accelerator programme 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 programme, focusing on scaling innovative, high-growth ventures that drive economic diversification and job creation. The programme’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 programme 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.
Sheraa (Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center) was launched in January 2016, under the patronage of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), to provide a launch pad for aspiring young entrepreneurs in the UAE.
The deadline for applications is August 31st, with the 3-month programme 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. To apply for the Accelerator, teams can register by visiting www.sheraa.ae/accelerator or email Tarek Ahmed at firstname.lastname@example.org