Announcing the 500 Startups Uruguay Accelerator

Silicon Valley and Montevideo are uniting to fuel startups in Latin America

500 Startups in partnership with ANII, Uruguay’s ecosystem development agency, will host a new accelerator program. The 500 Montevideo Accelerator Program will prepare 20 Uruguayan and international startups through 6 weeks of mentorship, growth workshops, and connections with investors and corporate partners.  This program is also being made possible through collaborations with the Uruguayan Agency for Research and Innovation / LATU, Technological Laboratory of Uruguay / ANDE, Uruguayan Agency for Development, and the Investment and Export Promotion Institute of Uruguay. The 500 Montevideo Accelerator Program will focus on growth hacking, product design, fundraising, and will bring Silicon Valley expertise to seed-stage companies in Uruguay.

Space is limited to 15-20 startups – apply here (applications are being accepted until August 3rd).

The 500 Montevideo Accelerator is part of a series of international programs 500 Startups is launching to bridge Silicon Valley with burgeoning startup ecosystems around the world. The Montevideo program is the latest addition to 500’s portfolio of international programs, which includes programs in Kobe, Japan, Doha, Qatar, and Melbourne, Australia.

With one of 500’s LatAm HQ based in Mexico City, the goal of the ANII Accelerator is to further engage local startups and deepen 500’s relationship with Uruguay and Latin America based startups by creating another resource for founders in the form of an accelerator program.

500 Startups is also aiming to attract international startups to the program. This program will provide participating startups a chance to connect with Uruguayan founders and ecosystem players, as well as give Uruguay startups a network of relationships in Latin America and international markets to regionally and globally scale their companies.

The program will bring together early stage and growth stage startups to work side by side. With a focus on 1:1 mentorship sessions with 500 Startups’ Silicon Valley team, the program will add value to the startups regardless of their stage of funding or user traction.

Why should startups apply?

The 6-week intensive program will feature:

  • Knowledge session covering the latest tactics employed by the leading startups in Silicon Valley
  • Mentorship sessions led by 500 Startups Partners, Venture Partners, and EIRs
  • Fireside chats with local and international guest speakers
  • 500 Startups pitch training
  • Connections to 500 Startups network of regional and international investors
  • A Demo Day where the startups showcase achievements to investors

What is the selection criteria?

  • VC fundable startups (preferably having raised USD 10K or equivalent in funding)
  • Strong, full-time dedicated founders
  • Working product
  • Customers and Revenue are a plus

A full list of program dates:

Phase Description Date
Applications open Applications are open now, to apply please visit: 6/21/2017
Application deadline All applications should be submitted by EOD 8/3/2017
Startups notified application outcome Acceptance email sent to selected startups 9/15/2017
Remote sessions with 500 Startups 500 Startups EIRs will conduct an initial round of reviews with the selected startups to prep them for the program 10/02/2017
Program Starts Kickoff of the program 10/17/2017
Week 1 Business Modelling  and legal Sessions + 1:1 Mentorship Sessions 10/17/2017
Week 2 Growth Hacking and User Experience and Interface + 1:1 Mentorship Sessions 10/23/2017
Week 3 Sprint week: Focus on implementing week 1 and week 2 material 10/30/2017
Week 4 Sprint week: Focus on implementing week 1 and week 2 material 11/6/2017
Week 5 Fundraising Sessions + Mock investor interviews & 1:1 Mentorship Sessions 11/13/2017
Week 6 Pitch Prep and Demo Day rehearsals + 1:1 Mentorship Sessions 11/20/2017
Demo Day Presentation to Investors and Corporate Executives 11/24/2017

Do I get investment from 500 Startups or ANII?

The 500 Montevideo Accelerator program is not an investment program. We do not charge program fees, and we do not ask you for equity. 500 Startups will separately consider the applying and participating startups for an investment by our family of funds.

What’s 500 Startups role?

500 Startups will bring experts from our global team of partners, mentors and entrepreneurs to Montevideo to work closely with the startups in order to accelerate their development through sessions covering specific details of best operational practices, growth hacking through marketing and data-driven sales, and tailored advice from successful Silicon Valley and global entrepreneurs.

About Ecosystem Development at 500

500 partners with governments, corporates, and startup organizations around the world to invest in the critical components of emerging ecosystems. We run startup programs in Asia-Pacific, such as the 500 Kobe Acceleration Program in Japan, and our Series A Programs in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the US. We run investor education programs with Stanford and Berkeley in the San Francisco Bay Area, and we are now taking these programs abroad. We are also expanding our work with corporate innovators to help larger companies discover, partner, and invest in breakthrough startups. To get in touch with us about our ecosystem development programs, you can reach us here

More questions? Please visit our website’s FAQ section here.

We are now accepting applications to the Uruguay accelerator: apply here

For all other inquiries please connect with:


Zafer Younis is a partner at 500 Startups, the world’s most active early stage tech investor. At 500 Startups Zafer works with entrepreneurs from all over the world, through 500’s acceleration programs in Silicon Valley and it’s Ecosystem Development Programs around the world. In 2016, Zafer launched 500 Startups’ pre-accelerator program in Japan. He also leads 500 Startups’ Corporate Startup Innovation (CSI) Program in San Francisco which aims at getting corporates and startups to innovate together. Previously, Zafer co-founded The Online Project where his team developed and executed digital strategies for Fortune 500 companies and high profile organizations. In 2004, Zafer co-founded his first company: Modern Media, LTD, a media house that owns and operates popular radio stations which received recognition from the US-based National Association for Broadcasters in 2007 (In 2014 Modern Media was acquired by D&C Electronics).

Announcing the 500 Startups Kobe Pre-Accelerator

There’s something bubbling in Kobe… and it’s not just the waters of the Arima hot springs. 500 Startups in partnership with the government of Kobe, Japan is launching a new pre-accelerator that will be coming to the city this summer. The pre-accelerator is a 6 week course which will focus on bringing growth hacking techniques and Silicon Valley expertise to emerging companies in Kobe, while also boosting Japanese and domestic entrepreneurship in the city.

Space is limited to 15-20 startups and you can apply here. The deadline to apply is June 1, 2016.

After recently launching the $30M 500 Japan Fund in 2015, with the goal of engaging and investing in local startups, it naturally made sense to deepen our relationship with the city of Kobe by creating another resource for founders in the form of a pre-accelerator program*.

Most importantly, the program is open to startups from around the world. The international scope of the program aims not only to work with Japanese companies, but to help bring startups from around the world to work in one of Japan’s most cosmopolitan cities. Companies accepted into the program will also be given the opportunity to meet with some of Japan’s leading corporations.

The Kobe pre-accelerator is targeting companies with traction, a working product and a desire to become international growth NINJAS!

The 6 week intensive program will feature:

  • Sessions led by 500 Startups Partners
  • Sessions led by guest Japanese and international entrepreneurs
  • 4 weeks of curriculum, office hours, and pitch prep
  • A presentation day for the startups to put their learning into practice

Why Kobe Japan?

As a bustling port city, Kobe has always been a gateway to international cultures and commerce. Most recently, the city has served as a hot spot for Japanese startups and entrepreneurial activity and has funded several programs that provide seed investment to early stage companies. Alongside its work with companies in its own region, Kobe is ramping up its efforts by bringing international startups to its ecosystem to encourage entrepreneurial collaboration.

What’s 500 Startups role?

500 Startups will bring experts from our global team of partners, mentors and entrepreneurs to work closely with the startups to accelerate their development through best operational practices, growth hacking, marketing, data driven sales techniques, and tailored advice from successful Silicon Valley and global entrepreneurs. Our main goal is equipping the startup teams with the tools they need to become growth ninjas to help get their startups to the next milestone.

We are now accepting applications to the Kobe pre-accelerator. If you are a startup interested in participating, apply here. To contact the team, reach out here.

be Kobe

*Participants in the program in Kobe, Japan will receive mentoring, growth hacking learnings, and access to 500 Startups’ extensive ecosystem without financial investment from the firm. 500 Startups may decide to invest in these companies during future rounds of financing.

Introducing Corporate Startup Innovation Unlocked

Corporate Startup Innovation Unlocked

Learn How Big Companies Work Best with Startups

Today we are announcing our first Corporate Startup Innovation Unlocked course in partnership with Pilot44 Innovation Lab; a 4-day executive education program taking place in San Francisco from July 11-14, 2016 with participation from leading corporations including Nestle, Microsoft, and Google.

What is it?

  • In partnership with Pilot44, we’ve created a 4-day intensive course to teach digital innovation leaders how to tap into the startup ecosystem.

Who is it for?

  • Anyone responsible for driving innovation strategy and execution within a complex corporate environment.Participants will walk away with the skills and methodology needed to support an agile, startup-driven approach to innovation within their organization.

What executives will learn from course:

  • How to identify emerging technologies & trends that are redefining consumer & market behaviors
  • How to implement state-of-the-art solutions to address evolving business challenges and opportunities
  • How to partner and work with startups to accelerate tangible innovation outcomes

Who’s involved?

  • Executives from top corporations including Microsoft, Nestle, Google and Cox Automotive will be leading sessions during the 4-day course alongside Investment Partners from 500 Startups and Pilot44.

When is it?

  • July 11th – 14th, 2016

How many spaces are available?

  • 20-30

How much does it cost?

  • Early bird seats start at USD $6,500, Regular seats are $11,500

Where is the course taking place?

  • The 500 Startups office, San Francisco, CA

Corporations are looking to partner with startups to better connect with founders and the startup ecosystem but many have not found a way to accomplish this successfully. We are looking to help bridge this gap.  More information and applications are available at

Why are we creating this course?

Every week at 500, we field visit requests from corporate delegations wanting to tour Silicon Valley and explore startup innovation.

While many come, only a few walk away with successful partnerships that produce great value. It’s hard to refute the idea of corporates and startups working together; the benefits are obvious. Still, most get it wrong.

We’re here to reduce the number of missed opportunities.

Enter: “Corporate Startup Innovation Unlocked.”

Together with our partners at Pilot44 Digital Innovation Labs, this 4-day intensive course will teach digital innovation leaders how to tap into the startup ecosystem.

Attendees will:

  • Identify emerging technologies & trends that are redefining consumer & market behaviors
  • Discover state-of-the-art solutions to address evolving business challenges and opportunities
  • Learn how to partner and pilot with startups to accelerate tangible innovation outcomes

The course is designed for corporate digital technology drivers looking to innovate in a complex corporate environment. Participants will walk away with the skills and methodology needed to support an agile, startup-driven approach to innovation within their organization.

“While leading P&G’s open innovation effort in Silicon Valley for a number of years, I saw firsthand a huge opportunity for corporations and startups to work together. The opportunity and potential upside is clear, yet few have been successful delivering meaningful outcomes.   We built this course to teach corporate innovators proven approaches and the skills required to capitalize on all that these types of partnerships have to offer”  – Andrew Backs, Founder at Pilot44 Labs

In a recently published 500 Startups report, we found that more than half of the world’s biggest public companies in the Forbes Global 500 are currently engaging with startups. Pilot44 has spent the last 2 years in the trenches with a number of these brands, including P&G, Nestle, Cox Enterprises, and Marks & Spencer; tackling new challenges with a hands-on approach to innovation that drives actionable solutions. It’s not about merely exposing brand managers to the startup space and hoping they walk away inspired. Pilot44 has found that data-driven solutions come from a direct tie to the technology that drives today’s consumers–a relationship that moves from ideation to pilot and execution in a few short months instead of years.

With this course, we want to introduce participants to the Silicon Valley. But more importantly, we want them to walk away with the skills to identify and engage with today’s best startups, and drive actionable results in their own corporations.

“Maybe there are just not enough stories of corporate + startup collaborations in mainstream consciousness. Or perhaps corporations who are doing all the right things simply don’t want you to know about it.” -Khailee Ng, Managing Partner at 500 Startups

Catch the brass ring– join this “hidden” class of innovators, and learn what it takes to lead your company into the future of connected consumerism… the right way.

If you are  a corporation interested in partnering with us  OR  an executive looking to bring innovation and startup connections to your company, connect with us here.