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The DMZ and Sheraa team up to champion entrepreneurship and advance startup success in Sharjah

New partnership designed to support aspiring entrepreneurs and empower Sharjah-led startups to explore the North American market

TORONTO, December 26, 2022
The DMZ at Toronto Metropolitan University and the United Arab Emirate’s Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) are announcing a partnership that will foster a new wave of entrepreneurial success for Sharjah founders and welcome 15 startups from Sharjah to a DMZ-led soft-landing program. 

Earlier this year, the DMZ visited the UAE to work with Sheraa on capacity-building strategies that would support Sharjah’s growing entrepreneurial landscape. Given the two organizations’ alignment in developing world-class startup ecosystems while driving local economic impact, this initial engagement highlighted the need for continued collaboration, leading to today’s announcement.

With the launch of this partnership, Sheraa’s startup community will now have access to the DMZ’s on-demand learning platform, Launchpad, designed to support aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs in developing foundational business skills. In addition, 15 Sheraa startups at the annual Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival will be selected to join the DMZ’s YYZ intensive 2-week program in Toronto to learn about scaling operations in North America. By virtue of this partnership, Sheraa’s startups can also tap into the DMZ’s global network to explore new markets for business expansion.

Najla Al Midfa, CEO, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) and Abdullah Snobar, the Executive Director of the DMZ and CEO of DMZ Ventures

“One of the fastest-growing economies in the MENA region, Sharjah has created a name for itself as a thriving startup and innovation community and has drawn the attention of the global startup ecosystem,” said Abdullah Snobar, the Executive Director of the DMZ and CEO of DMZ Ventures. “Driving impact through entrepreneurship around the world is in the DMZ’s DNA, and I’m thrilled we have the chance to continue our work with Sheraa, whose values we align with closely.” 

“Our partnership with the DMZ reinforces Sharjah and Sheraa’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurial excellence by offering a solid foundation for innovative, sustainable and socially minded ventures,” said Najla Al Midfa, CEO, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa). “We’re confident that by tapping into the DMZ’s world-renowned startup expertise and support, the success of Sharjah-led startups will be accelerated — tenfold.”

For more information on how Sheraa is redefining entrepreneurship in the United Arab Emirates and startup programming eligibility, visit

To learn more about the DMZ’s world-leading tech incubator, visit

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Media Contact
Luvy Hardy, The DMZ

About the DMZ

The DMZ is a world-leading startup incubator based at Toronto Metropolitan University that equips the next generation of tech entrepreneurs with the tools needed to build, launch, and scale highly impactful startups. By providing connections to customers, coaching, capital, and a community, the DMZ’s customized approach helps innovators reach the next milestone in their entrepreneurial journey – whatever that might be. Through its award-winning programming, the DMZ has helped more than 700 startups raise $1.85 billion in capital and create 4,800+ jobs. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with globally-accessible programming, the DMZ has a widely-recognized international presence with offices in Vietnam, India, and the U.S., and partnerships across North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia.


About Sheraa

The Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center, also known as Sheraa, is a government-backed entrepreneurship hub located in the city of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Founded in 2016, Sheraa’s mission is to support and nurture entrepreneurship in the UAE by providing resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities to aspiring entrepreneurs and startups. Sheraa offers a range of programs and services, including incubation and acceleration programs, co-working spaces, mentorship opportunities, and access to a network of investors and business partners.

To date, Sheraa has built a portfolio of over 150 startups, which have raised around  $128MM in investment, created over 1500 jobs, and generated over $187MM in cumulative revenue.

Sheraa also hosts the annual Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival (SEF), which has drawn participation from 450 high-level speakers and over 18,000 attendees from around the world. 

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