To support and Innovation ecosystem and knowledge economy in the region, the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) has launched the Sharjah Angel Investors Network (SAIN). This initiative will contribute to making the UAE economy an open global laboratory for testing new concepts of advanced future technology and a global platform for innovation and entrepreneurship.
SAIN will convert high-net worth individuals into angel investors who will provide capital for business start-ups. SRTI Park will provide the angel investors with a training programme to introduce the elements of angel investment and how to diversify risks, negotiate the terms of deals and deal with entrepreneurs, and in the next stage, investors will learn how to pursue deals and how to support emerging companies.
Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, said: “We are super excited with the launching of Sharjah Angels Investors Network. Our network of Sharjah angels will boost access to investors and funds for companies and partners based at SRTI Park. In past two weeks, we have cemented our relationship with various strategic regional and local funds to facilitate start ups and innovative SMEs access to funds.”
The angel investors will provide support to entrepreneurs in the field of emerging technology. The network will assist company owners in receiving investments and negotiating the terms of each deal by joining the business accelerator, preparing their financial statements and preparing to present their ideas to angel investors.
The announcement of SAIN came during a special forum organised by SRTI and attended by a number of major investors and business leaders in various innovative and technical sectors in the country.
Al Mahmoudi said SAIN will link modern technology and innovation companies with the financial, business and investor community in Sharjah. It will also enhance the emirate’s competitiveness and support the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, in making the emirate a capital for innovation and hub for modern technologies.
He added: “We aspire to attract 30 investors in 2021. This network will be limited to members only and based on the UAE’s 50-year vision and an innovative system that runs according to well-thought-out plans as well as empowering emerging companies.”
Al-Mahmoudi note the startup environment in the MENA region continues to grow by 66%, compared to the first six months of 2018, as the UAE maintains its position as the most active start-up environment.
Who are angel investors?
Angel investors are individuals with high financial solvency. They fill the gap in financing start-ups. The funds that angel investors provide may be a one-time investment to help the business get off the ground or an ongoing injection to support and carry the company through its difficult early stages.