It was a warm sunny day in San Francisco in May 2019, as the U.S. Secret Service cordoned off the building where 500 Startups’ headquarters are located and thoroughly searched the emptied office. “All clear,” said an agent. “President Duque and his delegation can now enter the premises.”
What an honor it was for 500 Startups to receive President Ivan Duque, First Lady María Juliana Ruiz, and a delegation of country ministers, government officials, founders and corporate executives. From the San Francisco Bay Area to Paris, the President and his entourage had been touring the world to learn from leading players in innovation and entrepreneurship and shape Colombia’s vision on how best to further propel its burgeoning startup ecosystem.
Back at the office, we discussed our shared vision of the leading role Colombia plays in Latin America’s tech scene, a fertile ground for talent, innovation and successful startup companies. We have been long-time supporters of the ecosystem–investing in more than 15 Colombian startups since 2013, including Platzi and Ayenda, and we are bullish on the future.
We came out of the meeting with a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that promised mutual cooperation, with a focus on knowledge transfer and training.
Today, I am pleased to announce that in partnership with Innpulsa Colombia, 500 Startups is taking its hallmark program, Bootcamp for Accelerator Managers (BAM) to Colombia.
Through BAM, 500 Startups has trained 122 accelerator managers from more than 32 countries. In Colombia, 500 will share the playbook it has developed over 10 years of accelerating top startups in San Francisco and worldwide. Through a hands-on and action-focused program, 500 partners and accelerator leaders work with participants to hone their skills, shape their investment strategies, define the best business models to scale, build strong startup selection processes, recruit mentors, design top performing curricula and create thriving communities.
To learn more, please visit this site.
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