Deal signed to boost Sharjah as a leading startup hub in the region - GulfToday

Deal signed to boost Sharjah as a leading startup hub in the region


Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh and Najla Al Midfa during the signing ceremony at Saeed Centre in Sharjah.

A new partnership between Sharjah Entrepreneurship centre (Sheraa) and Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah) is poised to take Sharjah’s ecosystem offerings to the next level. The entities have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which paves the way for a series of strategic moves they will be jointly making to accelerate UAE’s post-Covid recovery.

The core objective of the newly formed partnership is to link the high-growth tech startups in Sheraa’s founder community to the emirate’s robust investor pool for collaboration in key, as well as new and emerging sectors.

The MoU, which officially declared Invest in Sharjah as Sheraa’s Strategic Partner, was signed by Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, and Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, CEO, Invest in Sharjah on Tuesday at the Sharjah Investors Services Centre (Saeed) in Al Qasba.

The partnership will establish targeted and joint mechanisms to support startups in the UAE and the region through greater access to market opportunities and venture capital.

As part of the understanding, Sheraa will join Invest in Sharjah’s local and international delegations to promote and attract tech startups to the thriving startup ecosystem in Sharjah. Invest in Sharjah will also offer Sheraa startups discounted Sharjah Investors Services Centre (Saeed) services and Entrepreneur Card benefits.

Elaborating on the agreement, Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said: “We are proud to officially welcome Invest in Sharjah as a Strategic Partner. Together, we will advance our shared vision of supporting the growth of innovative startups as well as establishing Sharjah as a leader on the global entrepreneurship stage.”

She continued: “This partnership builds on our series of initiatives and achievements over the last 5 years, graduating over a hundred startups in the UAE and the region, as well strengthening and elevating UAE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to new heights. With Invest in Sharjah, we will provide our local and regional startups with a strong and promising investors network, as well as pave the way for startups to leverage the benefits of the Sharjah Investors Services Centre (Saeed), which specialises in providing comprehensive and integrated services to businesses and startups.”

Speaking about Invest in Sharjah’s role in supporting startups, the entity’s CEO, Mohamed Juma Al Musharrkh, said: “As an entity committed to driving Sharjah’s position as the preferred investment destination in Mena, Invest in Sharjah is proud to partner with Sheraa, who has been successfully developing a blueprint for nurturing successful startups in the region, paving the way for new promising investment opportunities for entrepreneurs in Sharjah.”

He added: “Our Strategic Partnership with Sheraa further reinforces Sharjah’s commitment to promoting fruitful partnerships that set the foundation for high-impact ventures and contribute to the growth of our economy. This collaboration will serve the best interests of entrepreneurs and foster an ecosystem that encourages their growth.”

Since its inception, Sheraa has successfully supported 114 startups that have gone on to generate over $125 million in revenue, raise over $74 million in investment and create over 1,300 jobs.

The Sharjah Entrepreneurship centre (Sheraa), recently hosted a delegation of founders representing Italy’s leading startups at its headquarters in Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park), as part of its mission to develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the emirate.

During the visit, 11 startup founders from diverse industries and sectors in Italy, were offered an insight into the varied facilities, programmes and initiatives that Sheraa offers to support aspiring and established entrepreneurs in Sharjah, UAE, and across the Mena region.

The Italian startups were also introduced to Sheraa’s recently launched “Sharjah Startup Studio (S3)” programme, the first government-backed startup studio in the UAE which takes a more hands-on approach to venture building. S3, which aims to build enduring businesses to accelerate the region’s digital transformation, will leverage its extensive market access to support startups with customer acquisition and help them integrate into local and global supply chains.

The 11 Italian startups were in the UAE as participants in the second edition of the Global Startup programme, promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and organised by the Italian Trade Agency, for the first time in the UAE. As partner in the Global Startup programme, Sheraa hosted the delegation in Sharjah.

The delegation toured SRTI Park and was briefed on the innovation ecosystem the Park supports through its state-of-the-art facilities and services. During the visit, Al Mahmoudi highlighted the key goals and chief pillars of SRTI Park that are facilitating the growth of the region’s knowledge-intensive businesses and emphasised its collaboration with relevant authorities to build a robust framework to accelerate the adoption of emerging technologies.

Related articles