500 Startups and Misk Innovation Launch An Early-Stage Startup Accelerator in Riyadh
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Among the selected startups 30% are female founders.
The newly-launched accelerator offers a 16-week course aimed at bringing growth hacking techniques and Silicon Valley expertise to emerging companies in the region, while its website states that participating startups will each get mentoring sessions, community outreach support, and a US$50,000 investment from 500 Falcons and possibly additional investment from affiliates.
“Many experts from Silicon Valley and the region will offer ongoing guidance to startups who are part of the accelerator,” said Deemah Al Yahya, CEO of Misk Innovation. “The program will provide advanced training in significant areas of growth and scalability, including marketing, communications and sales, customer service, data analysis, recruitment, finance and products, and system building.”
500 Startups has been an active investor in the MENA region since 2012, having launched the MENA-based fund 500 Falcons in 2017, while MiSK Innovation is one of the initiatives of the Misk Foundation which aims to enable youth to achieve the highest international standards for training in the areas of technology and innovation.
"We are extremely pleased with the quality of applicants we received for the inaugural cohort," said Sharif El-Badawi, Managing Partner of 500 Startups' MENA fund. "From a pool of nearly 500 applicants, approximately 23% received phone or in-person interviews, before we made the difficult decision to invest in the top 21 promising companies, representing a less than 5% acceptance rate."