August 20, 2015
500 Startups, one of the most successful startup accelerators in the country, has decided it’s time they gave the Miami scene some love. They are planning to launch a Distro Program in Miami, one of the country’s biggest innovation hubs, especially among Latin Americans. Definitely a good move if they’re going for cultural diversity.
The program will bring 500 Startups staff and mentors from Silicon Valley, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil altogether, in Miami, for ten weeks. The goal is to help Latin American startups expand their reach and scale customer acquisition, retention, and revenue.
They have partnered with The Knight Foundation, the Simkins family fund, Softlayer and Building.co, a new collaborative space for tech companies. The program will be housed out of Building.co which is located in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood.
As with their Mountainview, CA program,500 Startups will be offering the program to a batch of startups in which they see potential. Unlike Mountainview, the first batch (the only batch planned so far) will be invitation-only. They are specifically looking for post-seed companies from South Florida who have already raised at least $150,000 from investors. Participating companies will receive between $150,000 to $250,000 in funding from 500 Startups, with $50k allocated to the Distro program fee and another $50,000 earmarked for growth spend.
“We are really excited to take our Distro Program to Miami.” said Managing Partner Bedy Yang. “Miami is one of the few places in the world that can be hub of hubs and we want to take what 500Startups do best and add on top of all the other great initiatives that have already been happening in the region around entrepreneurship. We already brought PreMoney conference earlier this year to Miami and we are doubling down with the Distro Program by end of the year.”
The Distro Program will have four to six mentors on-site who will meet with the startups twice weekly. The program’s focus will be on “growth as a mindset” and the process of experimentation that builds growth. This also means they are looking for founders who are committed to growth as a mindset, as well as founders who are willing to spend resources on growth marketing.
So aside from previous seed funding, and a focus on growth, what else does a startup need to be selected for this Distro Program? They also need to fit into the Miami ecosystem and demonstrate product-market fit and measurable traction. These companies will be identified through recommendations and introductions from the 500 Startups global network of 3,000 founders and mentors.
Obviously it won’t be easy to get into this first batch, and they are not announcing whether there will be future batches out of this program. However, if your startup doesn’t get picked, but you still want to learn something, they are planning to make many of their live growth programs available to the public on YouTube.
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