500 Startups Kobe Accelerator Launches Second Batch

Galia Mor

April 20, 2017

500 Startups is returning to Kobe! After last year’s successful 500Kobe program, 500 Startups is partnering again with Kobe City to launch its second accelerator program that will be coming to Kobe this summer. The program is a 7-weeks course which will focus on bringing growth hacking techniques and Silicon Valley expertise to emerging companies in Kobe, while also boosting Japanese and domestic entrepreneurship in the region.

After launching the $30M 500 Japan Fund in 2015 with the goal of engaging and investing in local startups, alongside seeing how more than half of the companies from last year’s program succeeded in raising capital, it naturally made sense to deepen the relationship with the City of Kobe by creating another program in Kobe, Japan. The international scope of the program aims not only to work with Japanese companies but with startups from around the world who are invited to one of Japan’s most cosmopolitan cities.

The 500Kobe program will select 20-25 startups and is targeting companies with traction and a working product. Companies accepted to this program will also be given the opportunity to meet with some of Japan’s leading corporations.

Apply here: 500kobe.comThe deadline for applications is May 31, 2017

The program will be spearheaded by 500 Partner, Zafer Younis, with a number of the Silicon Valley team members flying out to Kobe for the duration of the program. Members from the accelerator team will also be staffed on site full time to aid in mentorship and Growth strategies.

500 Startups is coming back to Kobe for the startups and staying for the beef!

500 Startups Kobe Accelerator Program

Duration: August 21 – October 10, 2017

  • Phase 0: July 31 – August 20
  • Week 1,2: August 21 – September 1
  • Week 3,4: Break (September 2-18)
  • Week 5,6,7: September 19 – October 5
  • Preview Day: October 6
  • Demo Day: October 10


  • The Design and Creative Center Kobe (KIITO): 1-4 Onohama-cho, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.


  • Startups in Seed stage.
  • Startups in the following fields: B2B, B2C, E-Commerce, FinTech, EdTech, Health Tech, IoT, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, SaaS and Messaging Service.
  • Startups with traction, which already have a working product.
  • We accept startups of all sizes. However, multiple team members are preferable.

Number of Teams

20-25 teams


We are now accepting applications to the 500Kobe accelerator. If you are a startup interested in participating, apply here: 500kobe.com. To contact the team, reach out here: 500startups.kobe@gmail.com.

Program Summary

500 Startups will ring experts from our global team of partners, mentors and entrepreneurs to work closely with the startups to accelerate their development through best operational practices, growth hacking, data driven sales techniques and tailored advice from successful Silicon Valley and global entrepreneurs. Our main goal is equipping startups with the tools they need to become growth ninjas, to help get their startups to the next milestone.

Phase Zero: 500 Startups mentors will remotely mentor each team.

Mentoring: One-on-one mentoring by 500 Startups staff.

Lectures: Professional lectures on marketing, capital raising, product design, etc.

Community: 500 Startups creates an ecosystem for global startups to excel in.

Guest speakers: Special lectures lead by prominent guest speakers from Silicon Valley.

Please Note:

  • The program is conducted in English and we will provide simultaneous translation service.
  • Participants in this program will receive mentoring, growth hacking learnings, and access to 500 Startups’ extensive ecosystem without financial investment from the firm. However, 500 Startups will be monitoring the companies for potential future investment.

Support Team (mentors)

Dave McClure (500 Startups Founding Partner)

Zafer Younis (500 Startups Partner)

Marvin Liao (500 Startups Partner)

Arjun Dev Arora (500 Startups Partner)

Matt Ellsworth (500 Startups Distribution Partner)


About 500 Startups 

500 Startups is a global venture capital seed fund with a network of startup programs headquartered in Silicon Valley with over $330M in committed capital across 4 main funds and 13 micro funds. We have invested in 1,800 technology startups all over the world since our inception in 2010 including: Twilio (NYSE: TWLO), Credit Karma, Grab, Udemy, Ipsy, Talkdesk, Intercom, MakerBot (acq’d by SSYS), Wildfire (acq’d by GOOG), and Viki (acq’d by Rakuten). Our team of 150 people based in 20 countries manage seed investments across 60 countries and speak over 25 languages. The 500 Seed Program emphasizes internet marketing and customer acquisition, design and user experience, and lean startup practices and metrics in San Francisco, Mountain View, and Mexico City. The 500 Series A Program delivers growth marketing and investment for post-seed and Pre-Series A companies and runs in multiple locations globally. In addition to investments, we are passionate about helping build viable startup ecosystems around the world and run educational programs, events and conferences, and partnerships globally. Our investment team and mentor network has operational experience at companies such as PayPal, Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Twitter and Apple. In September 2015, we established a $30M (about 3.3 billion Japanese yen) 500 Japan Fund in 2015.



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