One month after announcing its oversubscribed final close, 500 Startups Vietnam today announced that it will bring 500 Startups’ Silicon Valley accelerator curriculum to Vietnam in 2019 in partnership with Korean multimedia retailer GS Shop.
The Saola Accelerator, named after the rare Vietnamese deer also known as the “Asian unicorn”, aims to support three batches of Vietnam-connected startups with US$100,000 investment in each startup as well as programmatic support. In addition, each participating company will receive access to more than US$500,000 worth of free perks and discounts from twenty 500 Startups partners including Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft.
500 Startups’ flagship accelerator has been named a Top 3 accelerator in the U.S. by notable publications including Forbes and Entrepreneur. 500 Startups has also been running growth programs in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. The Saola Accelerator is 500’s latest step in its mission to back talented entrepreneurs anywhere, help them build companies at scale, and develop thriving startup ecosystems around the world.
500’s programs around the world
Marvin Liao, Partner at 500 Startups and head of its flagship accelerator program in San Francisco, said, “We’ve learned a lot from working with 1,000 companies in more than 40 growth program batches around the world. We’re excited to bring that experience to Vietnam.”
In addition to capital, the Saola Accelerator will offer enhanced programming including 500’s signature Growth Hell Week plus hands-on support for growth. The program will conclude with a Demo Day, where the companies will share about their products and progress to an invite-only audience of regional venture investors.
The Saola Accelerator will be operated in partnership with GS Shop, Korea’s foremost multimedia retailer with an internationally active corporate venture capital team. GS Shop and 500 Startups have had a close relationship for years, with investments and collaborations spanning from Korea to the U.S. and the Middle East. GS Shop plans to match 500 Startups Vietnam’s investment in select batch companies, bringing the potential investment per company to up to US$200,000. GS Shop also plans to send two representatives to attend the program.
“We believe Vietnam’s existing incubators and accelerators have played an important role in nurturing startups in their earliest stages. Our program is aimed at companies ready to break out and become Asian unicorns – saolas,” Eddie Thai, a lead partner of 500 Startups Vietnam, explained.
Submit your application at bit.ly/500saola
Interested startups can apply to the program if they meet the following 3 criteria:
- Tech or tech-enabled
- Vietnam-connected (serving the Vietnam market, having a Vietnamese co-founder, and/or having a meaningful portion of the team in Vietnam)
- Have meaningful traction
Deadline is January 20, 2019, and late deadline is February 15, 2019.
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