Frequently Asked Questions
What type of companies are you looking for? 

Primarily, we are looking for Singapore-based startups that have interest in the US market, regardless of industry. 

While we have a strong preference for Singapore-based startups with Singaporean or Singapore Permanent Resident founders that hold at least 30% equity in the company, we welcome and encourage all interested Singapore-based startups to apply. We will assess every application that comes our way and are prepared to make exceptions on a case-by-case basis. 

Do you invest in the participating startups of this program?

This is an equity-free program. Unfortunately, we do not invest in the participating startups of this program. This program is fundamentally a market access program and investment is not the main objective. 

Fundraising is a long term relationship building process that often takes months to build. While we do not actively invest in startups in the program, we provide the resources and network for successful capital growth. Through our many events and networking activities, we create opportunities for startups to connect with key stakeholders in the venture capital industry and corporate venture capital community.

Why is there a program fee for participants?

Program fees help us cover the basic costs of running the program. This includes mentorship fees, co-working space, events, and venue costs.

Which phase of the program should I apply for? What if I'm not ready for Immersion?

Our program comprises two phases, our Explore Phase: 8 Week Virtual Bootcamp and our Immerse Phase: 8 Week Immersion.

Depending on your needs, you may apply for both phases or for the Explore and Immerse phases separately.

For startups interested in the US market or market expansion in general, our virtual Explore Phase is a great way to get started. We will work with you to refine your business fundamentals, develop a basic understanding of local business practices and design an initial go-to-market plan. While our focus is on the US market, these skill-sets are transferable and can be used to structure your future plans in any market. At the end of this phase, you can decide if you would like to proceed to the Immerse Phase with us.

For startups who are keen on joining us for the Immerse Phase, we welcome you to apply and visit us here in San Francisco! However, as the phases are progressive in content, we recommend that you consider attending our Explore Phase as well.

When is Immersion? What will happen if COVID continues to make travel challenging? Will Immersion be postponed?

We are committed to prioritizing the health and wellbeing of our founders. Therefore, we will only host Immersion in San Francisco when the COVID situation has calmed down sufficiently for founders to safely make their way to the United States. This is currently estimated to be in Q3/Q4 2021, but subject to changes depending on how the pandemic progresses. 

In addition, before making any changes to the program, we will consult with accepted program participants before proceeding. We want to make sure that our founders are able to get the best value out of this program, as we tide through these times with COVID together.

Do I have to be present for the entire duration of the program?

While we encourage founders to fully participate in the entire program, we understand that founders often have pressing business needs and personal obligations. Therefore, full participation is not mandatory. We do require advance notice during times of absence.  

However, we highly encourage you to participate as fully as possible. Most masterclasses and events such as roundtables, panels, and speaker sessions are not recorded to allow better interactions with the speakers and participants. If you are not present, you will most likely miss out on important content. 

How many team members can participate in this program?

Typically, a startup would send one of their co-founders to attend the program. 

Given limitations in co-working space, we currently allow up to 2 participants per startup. Should you require additional desk space or would like to involve more participants from your startup, kindly let us know. There may be additional costs, depending on your request.

Are flights and accommodation provided for participants? 

Unfortunately, no. Participants are expected to make their own arrangements for travel and accommodation for the duration of the program.  

Given the high costs of living in San Francisco, we encourage participating startups to connect with each other regarding group accommodation.

What does the curriculum look like? What does a typical day look like? 

Explore Phase: 8 Week Virtual Bootcamp in SG

We kick-off the first two weeks with an intensive sprint, with daily masterclasses and office hours to refine the fundamentals of your business and understand what it means to do business in the US. The next 6 weeks are focused on practical topics, consisting of weekly masterclasses and office hours with an assigned mentor to develop a clear roadmap for entry into the US market. Topics covered may include “Determining your value proposition in the US”, “Identifying your best first customer”, and “Doing Business in the US”.

We will match you with mentors from 500 Global’s extensive network, focusing on those relevant industry knowledge and expertise. Through virtual events such as fireside chats, roundtables, and networking events, we
immerse you in Silicon Valley’s startup culture and give insight on how startups in the Bay Area have managed to start, scale and soar. 

Immerse Phase: 8 Week Immersion in SF

Over the course of 8 weeks, we will work with you to prioritize business objectives based on your go-to-market plans, with a focus on market validation.

During Immersion, the pace slows down a little to give startups the opportunity to interact with suitable stakeholders in-market. We hold weekly one-on-one mentor office hours. We also hold weekly masterclasses customized to startup needs. Past courses have included enterprise sales, content marketing and fundraising for foreigners.

The pace picks up before the Startup Showcase, with compulsory pitch practice and mentor led sessions to refine your pitch decks. The Startup Showcase may bring exciting conversations that carry past the end of our program. We will continue to provide suitable guidance and support to help navigate these opportunities.

Throughout the entire program, we also organize events to provide opportunities to connect with relevant parties in the 500 network. 

Who are the mentors who will be working with me? 

Our mentors are drawn from 500 Global’s remarkable pool of serial entrepreneurs, experienced investors and industry leaders with deep expertise in their fields. They will be able to provide targeted US specific advice based on your business objectives and priorities. 

In addition, we select mentors based on the profiles and industries of the startups in each batch to provide specific value to your business. 

Should I apply again if I was rejected before? 

Yes. We strongly encourage you to apply again. Many startups have applied to our programs a few times before being accepted. 

What happens after the program? 

Once you join any of 500’s programs, you will always be part of the 500 family. The relationships and connections built are meant to last far beyond the duration of this 16 week program. Our community will always be open to you!

I have more questions! Who should I contact?

Feel free to get in touch with the team at