Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) has launched the Sharjah Startup Studio (S3), the first government-backed startup studio in the UAE, which offers a hands-on approach to venture building.
S3 is the first startup studio in the region to use a revenue-sharing model, as founders will retain full ownership of their businesses. It will provide founders with $30,000 in pre-seed funding, enabling them to focus on building a high-quality product, scalability and profitability.
"The launch of Sharjah Startup Studio is a watershed moment not just for Sheraa, but for the ecosystem as a whole. It represents a turning point in the role accelerators must play to support startups, not only ensuring they provide founders with the best possible foundation to launch their business, but also build it alongside them,” said Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa.
The studio aims to contribute to the region’s digital transformation and the growth of the non-oil economy in the UAE by helping to commercialise home-grown startup ideas.
S3 will dedicate a team of experienced experts to work alongside founders in the co-creation of their startups from the earliest stages, helping them to validate their idea and determine whether to take it to market. This will include the participation and feedback of S3 corporate and government partners to evaluate proposed solutions.
Startups in S3 will be eligible for business incorporation in Sharjah and access to the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park’s (SRTIP) coworking space. Founders will also have opportunities to raise follow-on funding, through Sheraa's investment partners, after graduating from the studio.
“By taking all the lessons we have learned over the last five years, including the turbulent challenges of the pandemic last year, S3 is the answer to how a founder can finally harness the full opportunity of becoming a key stakeholder to UAE’s economic growth and diversification. 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," added Al Midfa.