500 Founder Academy

Accelerate your startup with 500 Global and the City of Kobe

What is the 500 Founder Academy Program?

A virtual 4-week program aimed at helping startups accelerate their business

The program is custom-designed to support startups’ in an independent manner while they explore scaling in Kobe and beyond

Gain access to weekly AMA sessions to clarify lessons on Growth Fundamentals, Sales, Capital Growth, and more

Why Apply?
Growth Fundamentals
Training on growth fundamentals, sales and marketing, capital attraction, and more
Industry Experts
Meet with industry experts to enrich your learning and gain insights on applying the curriculum in real-world scenarios
Startup Community
Be a part of the growing startup community and network with startups both in and out of the City of Kobe

Why the City of Kobe

One of Japan’s largest cities, Kobe has developed around a major international port. Nestled between the mountains and the sea, it is a diverse city blessed with lush nature, attractive cityscape and beautiful countryside.

Ever since our port opened to foreign trade in 1868, Kobe attracted people from all over the world and continued developing as a multicultural city, welcoming diverse cultures and trends. 

In 2015, the City of Kobe launched initiatives to accumulate and nurture startups with the aim of creating an ecosystem to generate innovation for the sustainable development of the Kobe economy.

The goal was to attract entrepreneurs from Japan and abroad and create a flow of people who would spread their wings from Kobe to the world.

Since 2016, the City of Kobe has partnered with 500, one of the most active seed investors in the world, investing in more than 2,500 companies across 77 countries, and has held the 500KOBE Accelerator for five years in a row.

Applications have come in from all over the world and the startups in the program continue to leverage the connections made during and after the program.

Criteria for the program
Global startups
Japanese and international startups are welcome to apply
Early-stage startups with tech-enabled MVPs and VC fundability
Global solutions
Startups looking to further understand their target market

Applications Open

21 September 2021

Applications Close

22 October 2021

Program Starts

15 November 2021

Program Ends

10 December 2021

This Programme Is Operated By 500 Startups Incubator, L.l.c. (Together With Its Affiliates, “500 Startups”) And The Funds Advised By 500 Startups Management Company, L.l.c. Do Not Participate In Any Revenue Generated By These Activities. Such Programmes And Services Are Provided For Educational And Informational Purposes Only And Under No Circumstances Should Any Content Provided As Part Of Any Such Programmes, Services Or Events Be Construed As Investment, Legal, Tax Or Accounting Advice By 500 Startups Or Any Of Its Affiliates. This Post Is Intended Solely To Provide Information Regarding 500 Startups And The Stated Programme. All Content Provided In This Post Is Provided For General Informational Or Educational Purposes Only. 500 Startups Makes No Representations As To The Accuracy Or Information Contained In This Post And While 500 Startups Has Taken Reasonable Steps To Ensure That The Information Contained In This Post Is Accurate And Up-to-date, No Liability Can Be Accepted For Any Error Or Omissions. Participation In The Accelerator Does Not Guarantee Investment By A 500 Startups Fund And All Investments In Participants Are Subject To Satisfactory Completion Of Diligence And Investment Requirements Of The Relevant Fund. Under No Circumstances Should Any Information Or Content In This Post, Be Considered As An Offer To Sell Or Solicitation Of Interest To Purchase Any Securities Advised By 500 Startups Or Any Of Its Affiliates Or Representatives. Further, No Content Or Information Contained In This Post Is Or Is Intended As An Offer To Provide Any Investment Advisory Service Or Financial Advice By 500 Startups. Under No Circumstances Should Anything Herein Be Construed As Fund Marketing Materials By Prospective Investors Considering An Investment Into Any 500 Startups Investment Fund.