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Creative Zone and Sharjah Media City (Shams) Free Zone Authority launch StartupX Accelerator Programme

Initiative to witness a positive stride in the UAE start-up ecosystem

Lorenzo Jooris, CEO, Creative Zone and Shihab Alhammadi, Managing Director of Sharjah Media City (Shams)

The initiative to witness a positive stride in the UAE startup ecosystem by inviting entrepreneurs and business owners from across the globe to be incubated and accelerated in their journey for launching a business in the region.

UAE’s largest business set-up consultancy Creative Zone is excited to launch their maiden incubator/accelerator programme StartupX in partnership with Sharjah Media City (Shams) early July.

Every year, this programme will invest in 4 of the UAE’s most promising start-ups or business ideas having a vision of making a difference to the wider community. These start-ups will be given the opportunity to expand their reach through Creative Zone’s support services and partner networks allowing them access to business trade licenses, office spaces, legal advice, media and marketing services, funding options, tax and accounting consultation, and more.

StartupX is spread over three stages, beginning with a one-minute pitch video summarising the business concept and the entrepreneur behind it. Ten entries will be shortlisted against criteria such as feasibility, pitch delivery, financial viability, scalability, and sustainability.

Selected entrepreneurs will be invited for a formal StartupX Demo Day event, where the finalists will compete for the Dh100,000 worth business support services by presenting their businesses to a panel of experts featuring several prominent business leaders from across the UAE, including Shihab Alhammadi, Managing Director of Sharjah Media City (Shams), Muhamed Al Banna, Group CEO and Managing Director, Lead Ventures, Lorenzo Jooris, CEO of Creative Zone, Nadine Halabi, Business Development Manager at Dubai Business Women Council, Reg Athwal, Founder, Chairman and MD of RTS Global, Spencer Lodge, Founder, Make It Happen University, and Andreea Danila, Founding General Partner of Global Millennial Capital.

The programme will also feature a series of comprehensive mentorship and coaching sessions delivered by our committed partner coaches as well as the supporting entities such as Microsoft, Etisalat, Pipeline, DHL, Creative971, Telr, Eureka, Insurance Market, among many others.

Winners will receive a year’s free trade license offered by Sharjah Media City, a year-long mentoring programme with workshops, seminars and training sessions, a year’s office space at My Office, free banking, tax and accounting advice, discounted insurance coverage for the winner, digital marketing and human resources support, as well as access to premium Microsoft products.

“Sharjah Media City has a mission to develop the entrepreneurship landscape and support promising startups in the Emirate of Sharjah and the UAE as a whole. We strive to establish a robust network of investment opportunities and infrastructure, in an effort to offer full support to new companies and ventures, develop all sectors, and build thriving industries rooted in advanced technology,” notes Alhammadi.

“With that in mind, we are excited to be launching this initiative in collaboration with Creative Zone to scout innovative and promising ideas and play a part in turning them into concrete projects. We believe this is only the beginning and look forward to launching many more initiatives in the future.”

“This initiative reinforces the resilience of the regions’ entrepreneurial spirit and provides a platform for all to gain advice, mentorship, and learn as they proceed from one stage to the next. We have already seen an interest with the soft launch early February and look forward to seeing some future business leaders by the close of the programme,” comments Lorenzo Jooris, CEO, Creative Zone.

Promising business plans will receive investment funding through Creative Zone’s Venture Capital division and from other participating partners.

To register for the programme, visit: https://lp.creativezone.ae/startup-x/

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