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AI is one of those buzzwords that feels like it has endless applications. That’s why it is hugely important for us to understand where the needs are now, and how AI can solve the problems better than any other technology.

Batch 25 came to 500 with an incredible number of AI-based startups. Here are just some of the many industries our latest San Francisco batch is hoping to innovate through AI.

1. E-Commerce

Curie

Retail has gotten more complex over the years. Today, the modern shopper has thousands of potential data points to consider with every purchase from millions of brands, experts, and influencers. Curie aims to allow consumers to discover multiple data points about an item by taking a photo. Founded by AI veterans from Apple, Disney, Capital One, and GameSalad, Curie says they blend product savvy and Fintech-grade computer vision to instantly educate and consense information for buyers. …


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Healthcare has a notorious reputation for being intimidating. From complex insurance policies and payments to the intense legal regulations on its processes, many innovators stray away from trying to tackle the industry.

But at 500, we believe in being bold. It’s one of the many reasons why we chose these health industry startups to join our 25th seed program batch in downtown San Francisco. Check out two of the startups aiming to bring a new wave of efficiency and accountability to the space:

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AMPAworks

In healthcare’s high-risk situations, almost everyone can see why having the right tools at the hands of healthcare providers would be of paramount importance. …


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500Kobe Batch 3

500 Startups and Kobe City are thrilled to announce our 4th consecutive accelerator program, which will commence on November 4th, 2019. This year’s program will continue to support startups across all industries and sectors, but will include a special focus on startups within the health space.

For the past three years, 500 Startups and Kobe City have together supported the growth of startups from around the world, including Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Africa, United States, and more. This year, we will be accepting up to 20 startups.

The program will be led by the 500 Startups team and hand-selected mentors from our global network. They will work closely with each startup to accelerate their development through best operational practices, growth hacking, and data-driven sales techniques to equip the founders with all the tools necessary to bring their startup to the next level. …


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Did you know that each day we provide a snack to founders? The Snack daily newsletter provides tips for startup growth-hacking that are fun and easy to digest. Founders sign up to learn some cool new things, help their startups grow, and to have a quick laugh.

Here are a couple of examples:

Don’t send email from a no-reply send address…! You’re missing out on a chance to get user replies to train inbox prioritization & opens! Also a reply helps with customer insights, can be a potential conversion gateway, and is arguably the ultimate activation / engagement metric! When asking for ‘where did you hear about us’ on a form, most firms use a drop down list. We find that most users just click the top two form fields — esp. if it’s ‘google’ or ‘press’. Worse still, is when ‘google’ is the pre-selected/default option. 🙈 If understanding referral is important, don’t make it so easy! Better yet, if you’re early on and it’s really important, try a free text field and manually look at the responses for a few weeks, then base your drop down options on those responses. …


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Batch 25 of the 500 Startups San Francisco Seed Accelerator

At 500, it’s our mission to back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, whether they’re on the other side of the globe or in our own backyard. The latest San Francisco accelerator batch was no exception.

Over the past three months, companies from 12 countries participated in our flagship program, building their companies and preparing for Demo Day on August 22nd. Competition was fierce, and these companies represent the top 2% of applicants for our accelerator.

We’re thrilled to see that diversity is in no short supply with the group: 33% of companies are women-led, 40% of founders self-identify as Black or Latinx, and sectors represented range from FinTech, to Digital Health, to EdTech, to E-Commerce, and beyond. …


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Applications are now open for Batch 2 of the Misk 500 Accelerator Program

500 Startups and Misk Innovation will host the second batch of its accelerator program based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to fuel startups throughout the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region. Batch 2 of the Misk 500 Accelerator Program will bring experts from Silicon Valley and beyond to educate 15–20 early-stage startups from MENA. The program will consist of 14 weeks of mentorship and workshops that will have an emphasis on growth hacking techniques, product design, and fundraising. …


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Its been one week since the Misk 500 Batch 1 Demo Day and we’re still smiling. The energy in the room in Riyadh, on May 13th, was palpable. The 19 companies were on FIRE and rose to the occasion to give the best versions of their pitches. Due to the observance of Ramadan in the region, the event began at 10 PM and concluded at 3 AM. While originally planned to be an event for an audience of 200, the final attendance at the KAFD Conference Center included over 300 investors and guests.¹ …


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Continuing our MENA Series A Programs

500 continues to work hard to bring the best industry knowledge and mentoring from our Silicon Valley-based global network to our programs in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. For this reason, we are pleased to announce the startups participating in the 3rd Batch of our regional Series A Program, the MENA Dojo.

The MENA Dojo program is part of a continued partnership with Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) which was launched in the MENA region 2 years ago. We are also honored to welcome Ahli United Bank in Kuwait as our new strategic partner in this year’s program alongside Zain as our gold partner. …


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500 Falcons Partners Hasan Haider (left) and Sharif El-Badawi (right).

We are happy to announce that we’ve had an oversubscribed final closing for our first MENA region focused fund, 500 Falcons. We set out to raise a $30 million fund to have a significant impact in the MENA region, and thanks to the support of our Limited Partners we held an oversubscribed final closing for the fund at $33 million.

500 has been an active player, investing in talented entrepreneurs in the MENA region since 2012. …


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My journey with 500 began eight years ago as a startup founder in Batch 3. At the time, 500 was a fledgling early stage investor just beginning to establish itself in Silicon Valley. 500 and its team of underdogs were making a name for themselves as scrappy investors willing to take risks in areas they believed other VCs overlooked, and their boldness skyrocketed them into national recognition. I was excited to join the ride.

Over the next eight years, I grew with 500 as we scaled from a small group of passionate investors to the array of global-minded investors we are today. In 2013, I became an entrepreneur-in-residence and helped run the accelerator batches when 500 expanded to San Francisco. When our team decided to build toward our radical global strategy, I raised my hand to volunteer on the ground, founding 500’s Korea fund in 2015. …

About

500 Startups

VC firm on a mission to discover and back the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, help them create successful companies at scale & build global ecosystems.

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