From October 29, 2018 to December 10, 2018

Now Accepting Applications


500 Startups is coming back to Kobe! After two successful, consecutive years of running the 500Kobe Program, 500 Startups partnered with Kobe City to launch another accelerator program that will begin this fall.
Our team of growth hackers, investors, and mentors will be coming to the city of Kobe for 6 weeks to impart knowledge on 20-25 hand-selected startups.
To further economic development in Kobe, the city has been actively engaged in programs to support the proliferation and growth of startups capable of driving social innovation.
Kobe has partnered with 500 Startups on the Accelerator to help bring a flow of young companies from Japan and all over the world to Kobe and to strengthen its reputation as a great incubator for entrepreneurs.
The 500 Kobe Accelerator will be open to Japanese startups, and startups from neighboring regions.



You'll get access to mentors from the 500 Startups global team and partners. Mentors will be available for 1:1 meetings and can share wisdom from the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial experience.


Lectures from members of the 500 team and notable guests on marketing, monetization, product design and more.


Work with your team as part of a carefully selected community of awesome startups!


Mentors are also entrepreneurs, so their advice was very concrete and clear.
Trois-re Inc.

We improved on speed and we only saw the results of prototyping for solving issues here, not at other accelerator programs.
Compass CO,.LTD

They grasped the essentials of business in only a 30 min mentoring session, and their wonderful advice was inspiring.

We could feel fast growth at a speed that would not be reached without mentors.
WanderSnap Ltd


Aaron Blumenthal

Venture Partner, 500 Startups; Accelerator Manager

Aaron is a Venture Partner at 500 Startups. He has co-founded four different companies and has been a member of three founding teams, including one notable exit.

Matt Ellsworth

Partner, 500 Startups; EIR

Matt is a 500 Startups partner and part of the 500 Distro Dojo team, focusing on growth through sales & marketing automation. Previous to his time at 500 Startups, he was the VP of Growth at Storefront, focusing on building a marketplace for short-term retail space and was a Business Development Strategy Advisor.

Ajay Chainaniy


Ajay has participated as an EIR at the 500Kobe Accelerator Program for two consecutive years. As an EIR, he helped tens of international founders get off the ground with their first mobile products.

Bedy Yang

Managing Partner, 500 Startups; Mentor

Bedy is a Managing Partner at 500 Startups. In her role, Bedy is responsible for Brazil and LATAM investments, micro-funds and accelerator. Prior to joining 500 Startups, Bedy founded Brazil Innovators, an organization that nurtures entrepreneurship through the connection to Silicon Valley.


July 23th: Applications open

September 14th: Applications deadline

Mid - End of September: Application screening and interviews

Early October: Applications acceptance / rejection letters

October 29th: Program Start Date

November 9th: 1st half of program ends

November 10-25th: Sprint Week

*No programming, work remotely.

November 26th: 2nd half of program starts

December 10th: Demo Day

* Schedule will be finalized to best meet the needs of the participants and is subject to change.