Participants of the event.
The Sharjah Entrepreneurship centre (Sheraa) has revealed the first eight startups to be part of the newly launched Sharjah Startup Studio (S3). The eight startups were selected from a pool of over 150 applicants, representing 40 nationalities from around the world.
The startups operate across sectors ranging from the creative economy, travel and tourism, edtech, fintech, social entrepreneurship and sustainability, addressing current industry challenges relevant to Sharjah and the region. The inaugural selection of startups is composed of 75 per cent women-led ventures and over 35 per cent Emirati-led ventures.
Addressing the growing industry of health and wellness needs of women, femtech startup Lizzom offers eco-friendly and sustainable women health products. Travel and tourism is also on the rise as the pandemic restrictions ease, and Mughamer leads the charge with an online travel platform for booking local and international adventures. With an aim to address the global gender employment gap, Made For You offers female leaders global reach, exclusive consultation and a portfolio of services for personal and professional growth.
The last year has seen a growing demand for audio content, and startup Chai Inc caters to this with their audio-based social platform for the anime community, allowing them to engage, share knowledge, review and access personalized content.
As the region strives to adopt a new normal in today’s post-pandemic world, strict hygiene is at the forefront of Mood, an online marketplace app for on-demand home services in the beauty and wellness industry. With the exponential increase in the use of disinfectants, and the shift towards more eco-friendly products, Kyma is a venture that has developed a sustainable and economical surface cleaner in the form dissolvable tablets.
In keeping with Sheraa’s mission of supporting the next generation of changemakers, startups Got U and Savii are setting up platforms with the region’s youth in mind. Got U is a personalised university search platform that provides higher-education guidance and recommendations to students. Savvi will be the first Neobank for GCC teens, empowering them to manage their own money, learn about personal finance management and gain financial independence.
A comprehensive approach to venture-building across vital sectors
To create maximum, long-lasting impact, S3 is designed to address key industry needs across all verticals.
“At Sheraa, we believe in the innate potential of entrepreneurs to revolutionize and lead the future of the UAE’s economic growth and diversification. These eight startups are solving some of the world’s most pressing problems, and we are excited to co-build these impact-driven ventures with them,” said Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa.
“The entrepreneurial landscape is ever-changing, and S3 is designed to mitigate challenges faced by founders, laying the foundation for home-grown entrepreneurial success. The overwhelming response we have received from founders across multiple key sectors has proved that the studio model fulfils a great need in the entrepreneurial journey,” Al Midfa continued.
She added: “Our revenue-share model is deeply inspired by our founder-first ethos, which means that these startups will graduate not just investment-ready, but with their full equity intact. We are tremendously excited to share this journey with our founders, and co-create impactful, high-growth startups that have the potential to transform Sharjah, the UAE, and the world.”
The startups will receive technical and financial resources from the S3 ecosystem to build and launch their products. The deep engagement with the startups will continue beyond graduation, with S3 leveraging its extensive market access to support them with customer acquisition and helping them integrate into local and global supply chains.
S3 graduates will also receive a host of benefits, including business incorporation in Sharjah and access to a state-of-the-art coworking space at the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) and perks valued at USD 250,000 from Sheraa’s partners. Founders will also have opportunities to raise follow-on funding through Sheraa’s investment network, after graduating from the studio.
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