Sharjah, UAE: Sharjah Advanced Industry Accelerator (SAIA) has been creating waves in the global startup community for the past three years. And now, with the launch of its 4th edition that has already received over 1500 applications, SAIA is once again poised to make a significant impact.
The 4th Edition accelerator program is currently accepting applications from aspiring entrepreneurs who are eager to take their startup to the next level.
Hosted by the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP), SAIA presents startups and innovative companies a gateway to funds, networking, expertise, resources, projects and a thriving ecosystem conducive to innovation.
The ten-week accelerator program will provide the finalists access to the UAE market and a vast network of experts, investors, corporates, academia and government partners within the region and globally. Shortlisted startups will have an opportunity to win a grand prize of up to US$50,000.
Although startups in any industry or domain are welcome to apply, SAIA 2023 will have four key themes: Advanced Technologies & Digitalization; Sustainable Mobility; Energy Tech; and Clean Tech, Green Tech, and Agri-tech.
SAIA aligns with the UAE Advanced Industry Strategy, and Operation 300bn launched in 2021, an overarching strategy to position the country as an industrial hub by 2031. The 10-year plan focuses on increasing the industrial sector's contribution to the country's gross domestic product to Dh300 billion ($81.68 billion) in 2031 from Dh133 billion in 2021. For the last four years, SAIA has been committed to hastening the country's progress towards becoming a global hub for advanced industries.
The strategy focuses on boosting production in 11 priority sectors, supporting the growth of national industries, attracting foreign investment, and ensuring availability of dedicated financing for local industrial companies.
The SAIA program also further syncs with the UAE’s recently launched ‘Industrial Program’ designed to boost Emiratisation in the industrial sector by upskilling Emirati professionals. This is a training program emerging from an alliance between the Ministry of Advanced Technology, the Ministry of Human Resources and the Emirati Talent Competitiveness Council.
Mr. Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTIP, said: “SAIA is a game-changing initiative designed to empower local, regional, and global start-ups, granting them unparalleled access to the advanced industry landscape across the UAE and beyond. By aligning with the UAE Advanced Industry Strategy, SAIA aims to accelerate the nation's transformation into a global hub for future industries, providing start-ups with the resources and opportunities needed to pilot and scale their solutions, and drive innovation towards a sustainable, prosperous future.”
The timeline for SAIA 2023 is as follows: Applications and Recruitment will take place from February 23rd to May 23rd, with applications closing on May 23rd. Selection of participating startups will occur from May 24th to June 24th. The selected finalists will be announced on June 26th. The startups who are chosen to participate in this year's acceleration program will go through it between September and November 2023, and an Investors and Demo Day in November for the finalists to pitch to a select audience of investors, corporates, government, and academia ecosystem partners.
The SAIA 2022 programme shattered all expectations with a staggering 1,650 entries from 45 countries worldwide. From India to Brazil, the United States to the Netherlands, and everywhere in between, the program drew applicants from every corner of the globe, and with a diverse range of participants hailing from Arab countries such as Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the program truly embodied the spirit of international collaboration and innovation.
The winning startup for SAIA 2022 Rebooz Technology, a UAE startup, had this to say about SAIA: “The Sharjah Advanced Industry Accelerator Program provided us with the required tools from strategy, marketing, valuation, fundraising, mentoring tools, and many more that turned us into a powerful entity, achieving higher milestones. We are so grateful and delighted for the incredible support and effort that the SRTIP and SAIA team provided and continue to provide.”
Inovatica, one of the finalist startups from Poland, had this to say: “We were delighted for the opportunity to participate in the accelerator program. It was a great distinction for us, but above all a large dose of very useful knowledge. The great advantage of the project is connecting small companies with global brands that have extensive experience and are willing to share it.”
The winners of last year's cohort were Rebooz Technology, a company that has developed a patent-granted hydrogen technology to rejuvenate combustion engines and reduce emissions. The finalists included Inovatica, a Polish startup that produces autonomous forklifts; a UAE-based company that creates fully personalized footwear for the masses using 3D technology; an Egyptian startup that designs and manufactures solar robots to clean solar plants; Fuse EV, a company that retrofits existing vehicles from petrol to electric; an Indian startup that has developed a green propulsion system, making space exploration safer, and a startup that specializes in additive and subtractive manufacturing technology.
Interested startups can apply using this link: https://bit.ly/3ybKYxM