Using a revenue-sharing model, the studio aims to help entrepreneurs get their startups on their feet, through pre-seed funding, expert mentorship and other perks - all the while retaining ownership.
In an effort to contribute to digital transformation and commercialise local innovation Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) has announced the launch of the Sharjah Startup Studio (S3) - the first government backed startup studio in UAE. Offering a hands-on approach to venture building, S3 is set to become the first startup studio in MENA to operate under a revenue-sharing model, meaning founders will retain full ownership of their business.
Said founders will be provided with $30,000 in pre-seed funding, with which they would be expected to develop a high-quality product, scalability and profitability. The studio will also have an in-house team of experts, dedicated to helping entrepreneurs in the early stages of their venture, while S3’s corporate and government partners will also have their say in evaluating proposals.
Chosen startups will also become eligible for business incorporation in Sharjah as an Emirate, as well as access to the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation park co-working space. Upon graduating, startups will also be able to pursue follow-on funding through Sheraa's investment partners.
For CEO of Sheraa, Najla Al Midfa, the launch of S3 could be a critical moment in the evolution of Sharjah's ecosystem. “The launch of Sharjah Startup Studio is a watershed moment not just for Sheraa, but for the ecosystem as a whole,” Al Midfa said. “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. 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.”