May 22, 2019 On Our Blog

Announcing the 11 Startups in 500 LatAm’s Batch 10!

500 Startups is excited to announce the latest batch from our Seed Accelerator based in Mexico City. The Mexico City program focuses on providing a mentorship program for Spanish-speaking early-stage companies based in Latin America. Our latest batch consists of founders from all over Latin America including 6 companies from Mexico, 2 from Chile, 2 from Colombia, and 1 from Argentina. The 11 startups began the accelerator activities on April 22nd at 500’s office in Mexico City. The 16-week intensive Seed Program will focus on legal, product, sales, growth, culture, fundraising, and more, in order to prepare the companies for the culminating Demo Day taking place in Mexico City on August 7th. Batch 10’s startups will continue to put in …


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May 21, 2019 On Our Blog

Misk 500 MENA Accelerator Celebrates First Demo Day

Its been one week since the Misk 500 Batch 1 Demo Day and we’re still smiling. The energy in the room in Riyadh, on May 13th, was palpable. The 19 companies were on FIRE and rose to the occasion to give the best versions of their pitches. Due to the observance of Ramadan in the region, the event began at 10 PM and concluded at 3 AM. While originally planned to be an event for an audience of 200, the final attendance at the KAFD Conference Center included over 300 investors and guests.¹ Also in attendance were representatives of both local and international media to cover this groundbreaking collaboration between 500 and Misk Innovation. The last two hours of the …


Apr 18, 2019 On Our Blog

500 Startups Launches “Falcon’s Nest” Pitch Competition in Kuwait

In partnership with Ahli United Bank, 500 Startups is proud to announce the first of its kind pitch competition in Kuwait—Falcon’s Nest. Kuwaiti startups from across the country are flocking to earn the position as the top national startup. Falcon’s Nest is an opportunity for local startups to secure a chance to pitch their company to Silicon Valley venture capital firm 500 Startups along with prominent Kuwaiti business executives who will give their candid feedback on the quality of their businesses and presentations. Open to Kuwaiti startups of all stages, participants will be selected to pitch in a “Shark Tank” style competition on the 21st of April. Startups can apply online from today or show up early for a limited …


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Apr 17, 2019 On Our Blog

Announcing the 3rd Batch of the MENA Dojo

Continuing our MENA Series A Programs 500 continues to work hard to bring the best industry knowledge and mentoring from our Silicon Valley-based global network to our programs in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. For this reason, we are pleased to announce the startups participating in the 3rd Batch of our regional Series A Program, the MENA Dojo. The MENA Dojo program is part of a continued partnership with Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) which was launched in the MENA region 2 years ago. We are also honored to welcome Ahli United Bank in Kuwait as our new strategic partner in this year’s program alongside Zain as our gold partner.  Other partners include Niu, KAFO and …


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Mar 25, 2019 On Our Blog

500 Falcons Final Close Oversubscribed at $33 million!

We are happy to announce that we’ve had an oversubscribed final closing for our first MENA region focused fund, 500 Falcons. We set out to raise a $30 million fund to have a significant impact in the MENA region, and thanks to the support of our Limited Partners we held an oversubscribed final closing for the fund at $33 million. 500 has been an active player, investing in talented entrepreneurs in the MENA region since 2012. We’ve been helping the ecosystem develop, supporting not just founders, but other ecosystem counterparts like investors, governments, and corporations engage effectively with startups in the region. Since our Falcons Fund first close, we have been quite active in the MENA region. Here is a …


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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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