Mar 18, 2019 On Our Blog

Announcing Batch 1 of the Misk 500 MENA Accelerator Program

Six weeks ago, we launched the inaugural batch of the Misk 500 MENA Accelerator Program, bringing the best of our flagship Seed Accelerator program to the MENA region in partnership with Misk Innovation. Targeted at pre-seed companies, the program is structured as a 4-month curriculum focused on helping companies get to product-market fit, as well as preparing them to raise seed funding. Each company received an investment from 500 Falcons upon acceptance into the program. Batch 1 consists of 19 companies spanning a number of sectors and countries across the MENA region including Saudi Arabia (42% of the companies), Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Palestine, and the United Arab Emirates. Sectors represented by the batch include AgTech, B2B, Developer Tools, eCommerce, EdTech, …


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Mar 11, 2019 On Our Blog

Announcing a new admissions process for VC Unlocked at Stanford University

In 2015, I wrote a LinkedIn post about “Investing in Women” and a new investor training program we were launching at 500 Startups. “The Investor’s Guide to Silicon Valley Investing” (IGSVI) was just a pilot program but it immediately resonated in our community. It’s been so amazing to watch early participants like Arlan Hamilton, Pocket Sun and Elizabeth Galbut embody our program’s values, and redefine our industry in the process. A lot has happened in the venture world since that first program. The artist formerly known as IGSVI eventually grew up, got a little (just a little) more serious, and became VC Unlocked, the series of investor education programs we run around the world. Today, as we launch the recruitment period …


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Mar 8, 2019 On Our Blog

Supporting our MENA Community

One of the ways in which we aim to differentiate ourselves from other VCs is in the value of our community. Once we complete an investment, we truly are welcoming those founders into the 500 Family. The MENA region is a big place, with our investments spanning across 16 countries, and founders are often isolated both from each other and key stakeholders of the ecosystem. Last year, we decided to hold an annual portfolio retreat for the MENA region to bring our community together. Our second annual MENA Portfolio Retreat was held in Bahrain this year, from the 21st-25th of February. We chose Bahrain as it’s a quickly emerging ecosystem, welcoming founders from anywhere in the world to use Bahrain …


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Feb 5, 2019 On Our Blog

Announcing the “MENA Dojo” Series A Program Batch 3 launch

It’s going to be quite busy this year in the MENA region! In line with our objective to help develop the regional ecosystem, we are pleased to announce that we’re opening the applications for the third batch of our annual 500 Startups MENA Dojo Series A Program, in partnership with Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP). The MENA Dojo Series A Program is for startups that have reached a certain level of scale and are likely to raise a Series A in the next six to nine months. We will be bringing in a roster of mentors from our Silicon Valley and global team focused on instilling a growth mindset, growth hacking and marketing techniques. The program is one-to-one mentorship driven, which …


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Dec 21, 2018 Official Announcement

Announcing the Saola Accelerator in Vietnam

This is a “saola”, a long-horned ox so rare that it’s often called an “Asian unicorn.” (nevermind that it has two horns!). Saolas are found almost exclusively in Vietnam. I believe there are other Asian unicorns to be found in Vietnam, which is why 500 Startups Vietnam is pleased to announce the launch of the Saola Accelerator, our version of 500’s flagship program in San Francisco with local experts weighing in. It’s the right time to build a springboard for Vietnam’s next tech unicorns. Read on for more information about the current landscape, what Saola aims to do, and what kind of startups we’re looking for! (tl;dr — Apply here now: bit.ly/500saola)


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Nov 19, 2018 On Our Blog

500 Startups Vietnam Holds Oversubscribed Final Close (Pho Real!)

Given 500’s mission to back entrepreneurs globally, we strive to go where other investors rarely venture. Several years ago, Vietnam was not an obvious tech investment destination: the country was poor (GDP per capita was barely over US$2k, according to the World Bank), fraught with bureaucracy, and struggling to create an ecosystem for the few, disconnected founders and even fewer active angels and VCs. But entrepreneurial folks did see elements of something special: a fast-growing economy; a substantial supply of low-cost, high-tech talent; and a broad & experienced Vietnamese diaspora increasingly interested to reconnect with and contribute to the country. A new wave of tech founders decided to take the plunge. Despite — or because of — the lack of …


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Sep 19, 2018 On Our Blog

10 US & LatAm Startups Selected for Our 2018 Miami Growth Program!

UPDATE: These 10 startups are getting ready to pitch! Accredited investors can get a piece of the action at Miami Demo Day 2018. Contact events@500.co to attend an exclusive debut event on Nov. 1st!   500 Startups Miami has selected the 10 startups that will make up the Miami Growth Program Batch 2018. 500’s hallmark 10-week program brings mentors, experts and investors from our global network  to accelerate the startups’ growth trajectory and support fundraising to scale. The selection was a very competitive process that included reviewing over 200 applications from all over the world. The selected startups all share the following characteristics: Seasoned teams with solid track record working together Disrupting large markets in the US and Latam through highly scalable …


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Aug 22, 2018 Official Announcement

Announcing 500 Startups Latin America Batch Nine!

500 Startups is thrilled to announce our latest batch from our Latin America Seed Program! Based out of Mexico City this new batch consists of founders from all over Latin America; with companies from Chile (1 company), Colombia (3 companies), Mexico (5 companies), and Peru (2 companies). The 4-month intensive Seed Program will focus on legal, product, sales/all things growth, culture, fundraising, and more, which prepares the companies for the culminating Demo Days taking place in Mexico City and Bogota November 15th and the 22nd. Companies will continue to put in the hard day to day work with the local 500 team, investors, and more then 15 international mentors that will be visiting us throughout the 16 week program. We’re …


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Aug 6, 2018 On Our Blog

Road to Series A:
Growth Program lands in Miami!

We told you we were excited to join the Miami heat and tech wave, and we are delivering. 500 Startups Miami is thrilled to share that its hallmark Growth Program: Road to Series A has landed in Miami. If you are, or you know, a high-potential tech startup seeking to scale up in a sustainable way, this is for you! The 10-week Road to Series A program, leveraging our global network and expertise, focuses on helping high-growth tech startups reach the next level of scalable and repeatable growth. Only 10 startups will be selected to participate in this program, with a special focus on those with operations in the South-Eastern US and Latam regions. Selected startups will get to work …


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Aug 1, 2018 On Our Blog

Announcing 500 Summer School for Blockchain!

Three weeks ago, 500 Startups launched a new summer education program for blockchain companies in San Francisco. The new cohort consists of six innovative startups from four countries, all working in the cryptocurrency and blockchain space, many of them post-token offering and rapidly growing. The participants’ solutions range from helping governments collect and audit crypto trader taxes, to innovative human resources systems helping companies find and hire the best employees, to the next Bloomberg for the Crypto world. The beginning of a new tradition at 500, this program will run over the summer and will be focused on helping crypto companies develop focused growth strategies specifically tailored for their industry and carrying no investment. 500 Partner Robert Neivert and Entrepreneur …


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