The Hanoitimes - Under the program, each participating company will have 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.
Vietnam-focused 500 Startups Vietnam, a US$10-million fund backed by Silicon Valley startup accelerator and venture capital firm 500 Startups, has launched a new accelerator program for 2019 to support three batches of Vietnam-connected startups with US$100,000 investment as well as programmatic support, stated the fund in a press release.
Under the program, each participating company will have 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.
Illustrative photo. Source: 500 Startups Vietnam.
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, helps them build companies at scale, and develop thriving startup ecosystems around the world.
“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,” said Marvin Liao, partner at 500 Startups and head of its flagship accelerator program in San Francisco.
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, South 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 South 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.
500 Startups Vietnam recently raised US$14 million in oversubscribed round, 40% higher than the fund target of US$10 million.
It planned to back up 64 startups with this fund, with check size that will mostly be in the US$100,000 range and potentially up to US$250,000. The fund has invested almost US$3 million in 36 companies to date, with a focus on companies serving the Vietnamese market and/or leveraging Vietnamese talent and investing across industries, including e-commerce, edtech, fintech and blockchain.