Sharjah: A select group of high net-worth first-time investors ready to step into the world of investing got the perfect head start at a workshop organized by Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa) in partnership with 2022 Female Angels movement.
In a two-hour masterclass, investment expert Alaa Amer gave the next generation of angel investors a quick introduction to the world of investing in startups before diving deep into the key criteria to keep in mind while evaluating ventures to invest in.
“It is important to have the right industry knowledge and combine it with passion and the need to build the right value proposition,” said Amer. “It is advisable to become a mentor, collaborator, or observer for a month or two to test waters,” he added as he took questions from future investors while giving pointers on the best practices for evaluation criteria.
Amer, who has over fifteen years of experience in commercial finance, having worked with technology businesses, startups, fintechs as well as private business and corporates, also explained how to find companies that need financing and how to settle on the ones to work with. “It comes with the right kind of due diligence. That is always the key,” he said.
Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, emphasized the "huge role" startups, incubators, and investors play in the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, saying it was critical to fill the knowledge gap through such sessions for those looking to enter the world of investing for the first time. "Sessions like these bridge the gap between high net-worth individuals who believe in the positive socioeconomic impact our local entrepreneurs can have and startups seeking capital. Sheraa looks forward to working with these investors, and welcoming them to the Sharjah ecosystem," she said.
Patricia Keating, a key member of the steering committee of 2022 Female Angels Movement, the group of UAE-based entrepreneurs and investors working on shifting the ‘female investment paradigm’ by building a network of 2,022 female angel investors by the end of 2022, said the masterclass was an eyeopener for first-time investors. “The extensive Q&A session today demonstrated the real appetite and interest in the women of UAE, who are not only keen to get their money work for them, but also ensure financial security by aligning their financial planning with their business aspirations,” she said.
The event not only helped facilitate angels looking to invest in new opportunities but also provided startups with insight on how to grow and fund their innovative ventures.
Sheraa’s startup founders operate in a cross-section of industries, including AI, healthcare, agri-tech, F&B, and wellness. Following the session, Sheraa’s founders and members had one-on-one interactions with investors from 2022 Female Angels Movement.