May 22, 2020 On Our Blog

Launch Your Business in Georgia (The Country, not the State)

The following post is written by Nato Chakvetadze, Program Associate for 500Georgia. Gavin: Here everything is so expensive. Look at the numbers. If we move to Georgia, we can save a fortune and get a further investment. It’s the only way. Denpok: Well, I have heard good things about the food scene in the Dirty South. Hoover: Stankonia. Freaknik. Might be nice to be around more people of color. Gavin: What? Not Atlanta. Tbilisi. The country of Georgia, not the state. -Silicon Valley (Season 6, Episode 2) Yes, you heard it right – this is an article about Georgia, the country, not the state.  500 Startups recently launched 500Georgia, the first international accelerator in the country, in partnership with two …


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May 9, 2020 On Our Blog

Look Outside of Silicon Valley to See How Founders Can Be Successful Post-COVID-19

500 Startups kicked off a new series called Innovation Coffee Breaks. Experts from leading companies, venture capital firms and startups join us every week to discuss how to innovate during this time of uncertainty.  We caught up with Alex Lazarow, the investment director of Cathay Innovation, a global fund affiliated with Cathay Capital. Lazarow also teaches entrepreneurship at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies and is out with a new book called “Out-Innovate: How Global Entrepreneurs from Delhi to Detroit are Rewriting the Rules of Silicon Valley.”  He believes that the best entrepreneurs in Chicago, Amsterdam or Bangalore have more in common with the best entrepreneurs in São Paulo than they do with those in San Francisco, but no one …


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Mar 18, 2020 Official Announcement

Welcoming New Partner and Global Digital Transformation Expert Flavio Dias as We Step Up Our Presence in Brazil

I first met Flavio in 2013, when he co-invested alongside 500 Startups in Olist, one of Brazil’s largest online marketplaces–which recently raised a Series C round. Olist’s founder was in our San Francisco accelerator program, and in his next round of funding turned to Flavio, who was then president of Walmart.com in Brazil. He became instrumental in building Olist’s name.  Flavio already had a solid reputation as an e-commerce pioneer and operator in the country. For nearly two decades, he helped multiple companies, including multinationals, launch their online operations in Brazil. After a successful experience at Philips, Magazine Luiza, one of Brazil’s biggest retailers, hired him to re-launch its website and improve the user experience as head of e-commerce. Those …


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Dec 16, 2019 On Our Blog

The Future of Startup Ecosystems Across the Globe

The idea of being a founder has never been so popular around the world, so how is that going to change industries and entire regions? This year we dove headfirst into the rise of corporate venture capital, the changing nature of venture capital education, and the important task of startup ecosystem building. Fast Growing Corporate Venture Capital  With headlines from Softbank, Google Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures and more, corporate venture capital is growing faster than ever. In 2018, we saw this trend reach new heights with more corporate venture capital (CVC) funds than ever. And in 2019, 500 decided to dive into CVC behavior in an unprecedented way.  From May to July 2019, we surveyed over 100 unique corporate venture capital …


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Nov 27, 2019 On Our Blog

Ready to scale in Southeast Asia? Start in Singapore.

While people may think of Singapore as a top startup city, what they may not realize is that this city-state potentially has quite a bit more to offer as a local hub when looking to scale throughout the region. This fall, we kicked off Global Launch, a program aimed at building bridges between Singapore and the Silicon Valley. This two-way program brings Singaporean startups here to San Francisco for targeted immersion and education in the heart of the Silicon Valley, and sends another group of global startups to Singapore as they prepare entry into the Southeast Asian market.  We caught up with a few startups from Batch 1 of the Global Launch – SF Program, who have scaled in Singapore …


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Oct 25, 2019 On Our Blog

The Future of Corporate Venture Capital

The following is an excerpt from 500’s latest report, Unlocking Corporate Venture Capital. How has corporate venture capital changed? In the decade since the Great Recession, we have seen digital upstarts – taking advantage of disruptive technologies from AI to IoT – reshape the economy and the corporate pecking order.  Conventional wisdom dictated that incumbents should focus their innovation efforts on R&D and growing their cash cows while investing in a few startups. But the rate of change has accelerated and with it, the balance of internal versus external investment. We believe the new corporate landscape calls for new strategies. As one of the most active, early-stage investors in the world¹, 500 Startups has a unique perspective on the innovation …


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Oct 4, 2019 On Our Blog

500 Around the World: Takeaways from the Sberbank-500 Accelerator

If 500 has learned one thing from investing in over 75 countries, it’s the importance of placing bets in all the right founders and helping build ecosystems for them to thrive in. 500 is a firm believer of the idea that talent can be found everywhere, but you have to understand where that talent is and what unique challenges they are going to face in their region. One of these often-overlooked regions is Russia, which despite challenges, has a booming tech and startup ecosystem.  Last year, 500 partnered with Sberbank—Russia’s largest bank and a leading global financial institution—to launch an accelerator in Moscow, bridging the gap in knowledge and social capital between Silicon Valley and Russia. Thirty hand-selected startups took …


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Jul 30, 2019 On Our Blog

500Kobe Accelerator Program is back, now with a Focused Track on Health

500 Startups and Kobe City are thrilled to announce our 4th consecutive accelerator program, which will commence on November 4th, 2019.  This year’s program will continue to support startups across all industries and sectors, but will include a special focus on startups within the health space.  For the past three years, 500 Startups and Kobe City have together supported the growth of startups from around the world, including Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Africa, United States, and more. This year, we will be accepting up to 20 startups.  The program will be led by the 500 Startups team and hand-selected mentors from our global network. They will work closely with each startup to accelerate their development through best operational practices, …


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Mar 11, 2019 On Our Blog

Women in the Startup Ecosystem: How Can We Accelerate Inclusion?

From Salaried Employee to Entrepreneur According to the IDB (Interamerican Development Bank), if we had equal participation of men and women in the Latin American labor market, the regional GDP would increase by 16%. On the other hand, according to the ILO (International Labor Organization), women are more likely to be unemployed than men. In Latin America, the rate of male unemployment is 6.8%, while female unemployment is a considerably higher 9.5%. According to academic research, some of the factors that lead to this figure include discrimination, barriers to work-life balance, and lack of perspective for career growth. However, many of those reportedly unemployed women are not doing so to stay at home, but rather to become entrepreneurs. The GEM …


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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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