Sharjah Startup Studio

  • What is Sharjah Startup Studio (S3)?
    • S3 is a unique startup studio where we become your co-founder and work with you to test and launch your business idea. Together we will build your MVP for you and launch your business with the right direction in place. S3 is the region’s first government-supported startup studio and is personalised to your needs. We take you from concept to company, idea to impact, in 6 months. You can call us your co-founder or teammate, S3 has all the help you need as a startup.

  • That’s amazing! What do I get out of S3?
    • S3 offers you seed funding, dedicated experts, product development capabilities, business framework creation and setup. Your journey is will be built on the foundation of a strong community of subject matter experts, investors, mentors and founders who will provide strategic advice, introductions and hands-on techniques to help your startup be the best version of itself and grow faster.

      Together we co-create your idea into a tested, built and licensed company with traction and revenue. Most importantly, you will get everything you need tailored especially to you.

  • Do I need a specific idea for apply for S3?
    • Yes. We are looking for ideas that can become breakthrough solutions to significant problems.

      We are open to ideas addressing any industry or problem as long as it makes the lives of the people of UAE and the MENA region considerably better. Your idea should leverage technology and should be digitally scalable to support its growth.

  • What type of founders are you looking for?
    • We are looking for passionate individuals who have resilience and grit. You should be committed to the responsibility you are undertaking with your idea, so we can work together in making this work. We’re in it for the long haul, and we expect you to be too.

  • Do I need prior startup experience?
    • No, first-time founders are welcome to apply. However, we do expect you to have a strong hypothesis of how your idea can help people.

  • Do I need to have a team?
    • No, solo founders are welcome to apply. We will be your teammates!

  • Is S3 a full-time commitment?
    • S3 will require a minimum commitment of 5 hours per week in the first phase.

      However, we do encourage you (or someone from your team) to switch to full-time as your business gets close to launching. Ultimately, running a business is a full-time job.

  • Does S3 provide funding and perks?
    • Yes. If accepted into S3, you will receive

      • $30,000 preseed funding, with opportunities for follow-on investment post-graduation
      • A full team to help you with product management, finance, legal, operations, sales, marketing and HR
      • Trade licensing, banking and business set-up
      • $100,000+ worth of services across 120 platforms and services to build your business
  • Does S3 take equity or charge a fee?
    • No.

      You read that right.

  • Does S3 take a revenue share?
    • To support our funders’ and partners’ investment into you, we incorporate a founder-friendly revenue-share model. You will be providing 5% of your annual revenue, capped to $60,000 (twice the investment in you). The model starts 1 year after your graduation from S3 and we do not take any board seats.

      This model does not dilute your ownership of your company.

  • Do I need to be based in Sharjah?
    • Not at the beginning. Once the business is registered in Sharjah, we do encourage you (or someone from your team) to be in the UAE at least. We provide a holistic incentives-package to make your transition and business growth easy and quick.

  • Sounds great! How do I apply?
    • You can apply here.

  • Is there a deadline to apply for S3?
    • S3 has a rolling admissions model. If you’d like to be part of the next intake, please apply before March 5th, 2021.

  • If accepted into S3, when do I start?
    • S3 will kick off on March 18th, 2021. After this date, we’ll be taking in new founders as more seats open up throughout the year.