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.
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Saola Accelerator, named after the rare Vietnamese deer also known as the “Asian unicorn,” aims to support three batches of Vietnam-connected startups with $100,000 investment as well as programmatic support. In addition, each participating company will receive access to more than $500,000 worth of free perks and discounts from twenty 500 Startups partners, including Amazon Web Services, Google, and Microsoft.
In addition to capital, Saola Accelerator will offer enhanced programming, including 500’s signature Growth Hell Week plus hands-on support for growth. The programme 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.
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 US 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 $200,000. GS Shop also plans to send two representatives to attend the programme.
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“We believe Vietnam’s existing incubators and accelerators have played an important role in nurturing startups in their earliest stages. Our programme is aimed at companies ready to break out and become Asian unicorns – saolas,” Eddie Thai, a leading partner of 500 Startups Vietnam, explained.
GS Home Shopping (GS Shop, KOSDAQ:028150) is Korea’s foremost multimedia retailer as well as a global leader in TV home shopping. “Powered by data and human insights, GS Shop inspires you to design every moment of life” has been the corporate vision that GS Shop strives to fulfil by working tirelessly to deliver the highest value to customers and to create a new quality of life. This vision is the guiding light that has fuelled the company’s growth to the very apex of Korea’s multimedia retail industry.
Interested startups can apply to the programme if they meet the following three criteria:
- Tech or tech-enabled;
- Vietnam-connected: serving the Vietnamese market, having a Vietnamese co-founder, and/or having a meaningful portion of the team in Vietnam;
- Have meaningful traction.
The Early Bird application deadline is January 2, 2019, and the regular deadline is January 20, 2019.
The application form can be downloaded at: here