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$100K investment in each company plus programmatic support.
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 all over the world, help them build companies at scale, and develop thriving ecosystems around the world.
what to expect
Beyond providing capital, the program will include the signature Growth Hell Week plus hands-on support for growth. During GHW, founders aren’t just going to “learn some marketing stuff” – they’re going eat, sleep, and breathe growth. The program will conclude with a Demo Day, where the companies will demonstrate their progress to an invite-only audience of regional investors.
what we offer
$500K in perks
Who should apply
Tech or tech-enabled startups
Have meaningful traction
* Serving the Vietnam market, having a Vietnamese co-founder, and/or having a meaningful portion of the team in Vietnam
Batch 1 begins
in June 2019
Other than money, what can I get out of the program?
Growth and Distribution Support: We have distribution experts that will help you GROW, GROW, GROW. Whether it’s trigger emails, event-based analytics, SEO, paid ads, or creative growth tactics, we’ll help you get your business to where it needs to be. We’ll host numerous workshops and talks with top domain experts. But it’s not all lectures and theory — you will be executing growth experiments, and we will be there to help you prioritize, track, and execute them better.
Fundraising: Our staff is made up of experts with years of experience in fundraising and pitching. Through Saola, you will learn how to set appropriate fundraising strategy and terms, how to craft a compelling story for your startup, how to identify the right investors and manage your relationships with them, etc.
Access to the 500 Global Network: 500 Startups is the most active global investor by VC deal count in 2018, according to PitchBook. We have invested in 2,200+ startups in 74 countries. The 500 Startups family consists of 5,000 company founders and over 200 mentors. They come from diverse backgrounds, areas of expertise, and markets. You’ll have opportunities to connect with those and a growing list of engineers, designers, and marketers from all around the world.
Branding and PR: The 500 brand draws an impressive group of people, ranging from investors, strategic corporates, platform partners, press, and even the occasional celebrity. In addition, we run events and conferences throughout the year that are consistently sold out. All of this means great exposure and visibility for your company.
Where is it?
Which team members should be in the program?
Can I/we do it part-time?
Should the application be in English or Vietnamese?
Should I apply again if I am rejected?
What are your selection criteria?
I don’t have a product yet. Can I still apply to Saola?
I’ve filled in the application form and sent over the pitch deck. Now what?
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