IdeaLab Program

  • Do I need to have a business plan?
    • No. In fact prefer to not have a business plan for several pages. We provided a Startup kit to help the teams to do offline research to validate the idea.

  • I have a great idea, but I haven’t built an MVP. Is the IdeaLab useful?
    • Yes! Any idea is based on assumptions. During the IdeaLab we test assumptions prior, conduct customer interviews and adjust the business model. Important, we don’t need people with Ego, we want people with ideas open for suggestions to grow personally.  We provided a Startup kit to help the teams to do offline research to validate the idea.

  • How much equity does the Sheraa IdeaLab program take?
    • Sheraa don’t take any equity. Amazing! And guess what also no strings attached!

  • What is the fee for participating in the IdeaLab program?
    • We don’t charge teams. As Sheraa is an governmental not-profit organization we can provide a unique value for all teams without any costs.

  • How long is the program and what are the start & end dates?
    • The IdeaLab can last up to 3 months but usually shorter, depends on the teams efforts and stage. There will be quarterly cohorts. Applications are on a rolling basis.

  • Who should apply to the IdeaLab program?
    • • Startups at MVP drafting stage
      • Teams should have finished the Idealab online startup kit (link)
      • Eager to test assumptions and customer interviews on their MCP
      • Fluent in English (the program will be in English)
      • Able to scale regionally if not globally

  • How do I apply to the IdeaLab program? How do you choose who attends the program?
    • Please fill out the application form here: Applications are on a rolling basis.

  • Where is the program based?
    • The Sheraa IdeaLab program takes place at Sharjah entrepreneurship centre at AUS (inside library building). Due of the distance to Sharjah please consider traffic in advance.

  • What Learning Outcomes does the IdeaLab Program provide?
    • The IdeaLab equips you with the tools to understand customer problems, competitors analysis and how to provide value with your idea. Ideal for everyone who still need to test several assumptions in their idea but also keen to grow and open to learn to test assumptions. Program entry is on-going with no set deadline to apply. On a quarterly basis teams in the IdeaLab community have the chance to pitch their Idea for the next stage Pre-Seed to build their Product.

  • Do you offer co-working space?
    • Yes! Teams in our programs are eligible to use our co-working desks for free. This also provides the teams an excellent opportunity to be close to Sheraa team and to network with other teams at different stages.

  • How can I make my application stand out?
    • We created a step by step guide with 4 important topics to be covered in our Startup kit. We expect the teams to go through the startup kit prior to validate already so called “shower ideas”. Important apply only with on

  • Can I apply with multiple ideas?
    • No. We prefer for the teams to follow the step by step guide with 4 important topics to be covered in our Startup kit. This guide helps to eliminate early stage assumptions. If you are still unclear or can’t decide you can book a meeting (see below) with one Sheraa Member to discuss all idea.

  • Do I need to be based in UAE?
    • Yes, we require during the length of the program and beyond to have the teams locally. Accommodation and licenses needs to be organized by the teams individually and are required for a successful entry into the program.

  • Is the program only for emirates?
    • No. Our programs are for all nationalities and founders keen to launch their idea in UAE but also able to scale locally or internationally afterwards. Please note: accommodation and licenses needs to be organized by the teams individually and are required for a successful entry into the program.

  • My team is not based in UAE, can I participate remotely?
    • No. In-person participation is mandatory. Teams can be based abroad, however during the program the team needs to be on-side together with intention to stay in UAE afterwards for the successful launching product period.

  • What is the participant selection process?
    • Teams and their idea will be selected in two phases. Phase 1 is the application form. Pre-Selected applicants will be asked in Phase 2 to meet one of our Sheraa Member to assess the next steps.

  • When will I know if I’m selected?
    • All teams will be informed 1 to 2 weeks after successful filled out the application form.

  • How will I be notified?
    • All notifications will happen by email. Therefore make sure your e-mail is correct at application status.

  • Still have questions?

Pre-Seed Program

  • What is the Pre-seed program?
    • Many development teams get into a “build trap”, building feature after feature rather than testing the most risky assumptions in their products. Are you building a new product or service from scratch and struggling to define your most important assumptions, experiments and your first version? How to test the value of new feature ideas before actually building them?

      Taking an idea from months of research work into a fully functional minimum viable product requires plenty of focus and support. But also knowledge in specific fields like to identify different business models in order to determine which one is more effective for a given product. That’s where the Pre-Seed Program takes place.

      Up to 30 startups will be shortlisted by end September, out of which 20 will be selected to participate in a 3 months long program in October 2018 with mentors from the entrepreneurial ecosystem and Sheraa advisors. All 20 teams will be benefiting from a 3 months week program of training and one-on-one support, aimed at getting them ready for the Seed Program at Sheraa.

      The program consists of customized lectures and interactive workshops on topics such as Project Management, Rapid Prototype testing, financials, pitch rehearsals as well as personal and team strenght trainigns.

      During this 3 months Sheraa Pre-Seed program, entrepreneurs learn to navigate the product cycle, from evaluating user segments over competitor analysis to creating an fully functional MVP. By the end of this program, entrepreneurs will learn to

      • Create wireframes and basic prototypes in order to test assumptions
      • Effectively determine key risks and assumptions of customer problems
      • Identify Personal and Team communication techniques and strength
      • Use effectively Project Management techniques to minimize costs and maximize time resources
      • Gain hands-on practice with user story mapping
      • Apply rapid user testing on your MVP

       

      Once successfully graduated from the Build Phase, up to 10 teams can enter the Launch Phase (6 weeks). To qualify for the launch program you need to go through the Sheraa Pre-Seed Build Program – there is no direct entry! Selected Teams are entitled to a $15K grant to use during the program. This 6 weeks Launch Program equip teams with Customer Acquisition techniques as well as Digital & Social Media Marketing Tools. By the end of this program teams learn

      • What metrics (OMTM) are relevant for their business model
      • Gain practice on defining and using your user conversion funnel
      • Practice how to prioritize your product backlog using metrics-based value
      • Learn what is the difference between vanity and actionable metrics
      • Create product KPIs and link them to your roadmap
      • Learn how to tie in Measure-Learn into your agile development sprints
  • How much equity does the Sheraa Pre-Seed program take?
    • Sheraa don’t take any equity. Amazing! And guess what also no strings attached!

  • What is the fee for participating in the pre-seed program?
    • We don’t charge teams. As Sheraa is an governmental not-profit organization we can provide a unique value for all teams without any costs.

  • Who should apply to the Pre-Seed program?
    • • Startups at MVP drafting stage
      • Teams should have finished the Idea Lab Startup Toolkit
      • Eager to test assumptions and customer interviews on their mvp
      • Fluent in english (the program will be in english)
      • Able to scale regionally if not globally

  • How do I apply to the Pre-Seed program? How do you choose who attends the program?
    • Please fill out the application here

      You only need to submit one application per company. We review applications on a rolling basis & email interview invitations. Pre-selected teams will be informed after the application deadline.  We will notify all those not accepted by the start of the program.

  • Where is the program based?
    • The Sheraa Pre-Seed program takes place at Sharjah entrepreneurship centre at AUS (inside library building). Due of the distance to Sharjah please consider traffic in advance.

  • What Learning Outcomes does the Pre-Seed Program provide?
    • During this 3 months Sheraa Pre-Seed program, entrepreneurs learn to navigate the product cycle, from evaluating user segments over competitor analysis to creating an fully functional MVP. By the end of this program, entrepreneurs will learn to

      • Create wireframes and basic prototypes in order to test assumptions
      • Effectively determine key risks and assumptions of customer problems
      • Identify Personal and Team communication techniques and strength
      • Use effectively Project Management techniques to minimize costs and maximize time resources
      • Gain hands-on practice with user story mapping
      • Apply rapid user testing on your MVP

      In the end of the 3 month Program Teams will be equipped with an MVP ready to launch together with a Draft Shareholder Agreement and Legal / Bank Setup.

  • Do you offer co-working space?
    • Yes! Teams in our programs are eligible to use our co-working desks for free. This also provides the teams an excellent opportunity to be close to Sheraa team and to network with other teams at different stages.

  • How can I make my application stand out?
    • We created an step by step guide with 4 important topics to be covered in our startup kit. (link from Lubna) We expect from each team to include in their pitch deck the following topics:

      Problem, Solution, Market Size, Business Model/Revenue Model, Competitor Analysis, Marketing Plan, Team, Milestone Plan.

  • We’ve received funding prior at competitions, are we still qualified to apply?
    • Yes! In fact even prior building the MVP we encourage the teams to research additional funding opportunities in the market. The success of competitions are also a good indicator of the idea, it’s requirements and give you important feedback.

  • Do I need to be based in UAE?
    • Yes, we require during the length of the program and beyond to have the teams locally. Accommodation and licenses needs to be organized by the teams individually and are required for a successful entry into the program

  • Is the program only for emirates?
    • No. Our programs are for all nationalities and founders keen to launch their idea in UAE but also able to scale locally or internationally afterwards. Please note: accommodation and licenses needs to be organized by the teams individually and are required for a successful entry into the program.

  • My team is not based in UAE, can I participate remotely?
    • No. In-person participation is mandatory. Teams can be based abroad, however during the program the team needs to be on-side together with intention to stay in UAE afterwards for the successful launching product period.

  • What is the participant selection process?
    • Teams and their idea will be selected in two phases. Phase 1 is the application form. Pre-Selected applicants will be asked in Phase 2 to send a Pitch Deck for a Pre-Pitch in-person at Sheraa. Participants are selected in a 2-step process.

  • How will I be notified?
    • All notifications will happen by email. Therefore make sure your e-mail is correct at application status.

Seed Program

Series A Program