Five startups have graduated from the first seed cohort 2018 program offered by the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) during the 2nd edition of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival.
“It is a graduation of the first seed cohort. The seed program was born of a gap that we noticed in our own schemes. We have a pre-seed program that helps take ideas to the market. but we didn’t have a program that focused on growth that helps startups prepare for the C-stage funding. The focus of the program is not only to prepare them to raise seeds funds but also set them on a journey of growth to engage with customers. The mindset we are trying to give these entrepreneur is one of experimentation and validating entrepreneurial learning,” said Najla Al Midfa, CEO, Sheraa.
The five startups are:
- Smart Crowd – a digital real estate investment platform allows users to make micro-investments investments in real estate, starting with as little as AED 5,000 (~$1,350).
- Digiteam for creating a platform that assists salespeople;
- Qidz – a mobile app to find, plan and book kids-friendly activities;
- Malena mobile application platform for aesthetic, cosmetic and dental bookings in the Middle East;
- Mama’s Box – a monthly box of useful products tailored for pregnant women.
Mama’s Box was declared the winner of the First Cohort of New Seed Programme, bagging $10,000 (Dh36,700) prize.
“Started more than 3 years ago, Mama’s Box is a self-funded and profitable business. But now, we want to take it to next level and grow faster. So, we want to raise $500,000 from angel investors to ideally contribute more than just financial support and also proffer help in industry knowledge. The investment allocation will be a combination of technology as well as employees,” Chirin Khawatmi Alaita, founder and CEO, Mama’s Box said.
She said the plan is to add 5 to 7 employees as well as expand geographically in the next stage.
“We intend to expand to Saudi Arabia next and the wider GCC. Demand is there as mothers are looking for more convenience in their day-to-day hectic lifestyles. They want to be mothers but also tend to other things as well. So, we add this convenience to the new generation of mothers,” she added.