Sheraa’s new initiative aimed at building new digital content and publishing industry ventures, Startup Sharjah, took place from October 31st to November 2nd, 2019 at the Sheraa Hub. In keeping with Sharjah’s goal to further grow the publishing and digital content sector, Sheraa introduced Startup Sharjah, a 3-day intensive bootcamp to build your startup, from conception to prototype.
The bootcamp gave idea owners access to workshops and mentors geared towards validating their idea and building a minimum viable product. The participants also conducted customer interviews at the Sharjah International Book Fair, receiving key insights into the publishing industry problems that they were trying to solve.
Commenting on the occasion, Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said, “In celebration of Sharjah being named UNESCO World Book Capital for 2019, Sheraa launched the Startup Sharjah program, which supports the creation and growth of innovative startups in the digital content and publishing space. Winners will receive up to $100K in cash prizes, a fast track into our Seed program, and business coaching hours aimed to help achieve their growth milestones.”
The event brings together aspiring entrepreneurs with backgrounds in business, design, coding and marketing to rally around great ideas within the digital and publishing sector, racing to bring them to life in 72 hours. Teams go through a crash course of business model creation, programming, designing and market validation. The three days then culminate in a pitch session in front of ecosystem leaders, with the most promising ideas winning an entry into Sheraa’s programs. Cash prizes of AED 100K, AED 50K and AED 25K will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners respectively.
In the finale of the first Startup Sharjah edition, the three winners announced were:
First Place – Pay-Per-Hype – A pay as you go marketplace that helps founders directly connect with journalists to write about their startups.
Second Place – Legacy – Personalised content that promotes culture and preserves your personal history.
Third Place – Bookends – A book exchange app that encourages reading and assists consumers to sell their books and buy books from others.