Misk 500 MENA Accelerator Program

From January 27th, 2019 to May 16th, 2019

Apply Now

500 Startups is partnering with Misk Innovation to launch a pre-accelerator program that will begin on January 27, 2019. Our team of growth hackers, investors, and mentors will be coming to MENA for 16 weeks to impart knowledge on 15-20 hand-selected startups.

Misk Innovation and 500 Startups will together help accelerate innovation and entrepreneurism by bringing Silicon Valley growth techniques to a batch of young MENA-based companies, helping them scale and fundraise.

The Misk 500 MENA Accelerator will be open to MENA-based early-stage technology startups.

What do
startups get?


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!


$50K Investment per participating startup from 500 Falcons and possibly additional investment from affliates.


Help setting up your company in Saudi.


  • November 14th, 2018
    Applications open
  • November 14th December 30th, 2018
    Application screening and interviews
  • December 15th, 2018
    Application deadline
  • January 7th, 2019
    Applications acceptance / rejection emails to applicants
  • January 27th, 2019
    Program Start - Module 1
  • February 22nd March 9th, 2019
    Break Weeks
  • March 10th, 2019
    Program Continues - Module 2
  • April 5th April 20th, 2019
    Break Weeks
  • April 21st, 2019
    Program Continues - Module 3
  • May 15th, 2019
    Demo Day


Why Misk 500 MENA Accelerator?

500 has deep roots in the MENA region with the 500 Falcons Fund and is excited to support pre-seed and seed stage companies in a more significant way through the programming; driving additional innovation and entrepreneurism to the region. Please note that participants in the program will receive mentoring, growth hacking learnings, and access to 500 Startups’ extensive ecosystem, as well as consideration to receive an investment by 500 Startups and Misk Innovation and their affiliates.

What is the background of the program?

The 16-week program is based on 500 Startups’ world leading flagship accelerator program based in San Francisco, and tailored for startups from the MENA region that want to learn from 500 Startups’ global team of mentors and network of entrepreneurs and build a strong foundation across all disciplines of starting a successful tech-enabled company.

Are there any fees for this program?

No, there are no fees for participating in the program.

What level of English is required for attendees?

This program is provided in English, however, some content may be available in Arabic during or after the program. Participating startups will need to have a strong verbal and written understanding of the English language.

Who are the mentors?

The mentors are drawn from 500’s global team and network of entrepreneurs. Speakers are still being added, so the full list is not yet available.

How long does the program last?

The program will last 16 weeks, with 4 break weeks (‘Sprint Weeks’). Please note that participants in the program will receive mentoring, growth hacking learnings, and access to 500 Startups’ extensive ecosystem, as well as consideration to receive an investment by 500 Startups and Misk Innovation and their affiliates. Participants are required to be on-site during the duration of the 12 active weeks of the program.

When is the application deadline?

The application due date is December 15, 2018. Notice of acceptance or rejection will be sent on or before January 7, 2019.

What is the timeline of this program?

The accelerator program itself will run from January 27, 2019 to May 16th, 2019, with two 2-week long breaks (‘Sprint Weeks’). It ends with a Demo Day the week of May 15th, 2019. The breaks are scheduled for February 22nd - March 9th and April 5th - April 20th.

How does participation work?

The program is open to startups working full-time. Full-time participants have access to an office at the program location for 5 days a week and for the duration of the program to interact with the mentors, except for the ‘Sprint Weeks’ when the accelerator space will be open while the 500 team will be available for questions remotely.

Do I need to take time off from work to attend this program?

The program is designed for startup companies that are working full-time on their startup. Occasional absence for work-related meetings and travel is permitted with prior approval. All participating startup founders and relevant team members are expected to fully participate in all activities of the program on-site.

Is there anything scheduled on the weekends?

There are no sessions on weekends.

What accommodation is available for participants?

Accommodations will not be provided to participants this year, however, the program organizers may arrange for discounted apartments for participants to stay in. The cost of these accommodations is solely the responsibility of the participants.

What startups qualify for this program?

Applications are now open to MENA based pre-seed and seed stage technology startups. Companies that go through the Accelerator Program will not have to pay tuition to participate and will be considered for an investment by 500 Startups and Misk Innovation. We are looking for pre-seed and seed stage tech-enabled startups in the following fields: B2B, B2C, E-Commerce, FinTech, EdTech, HealthTech, IoT, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, SaaS and Messaging services. Conditions: Startups with some traction, and which already have a working product.

How do I know if I am qualified to apply?

The 500 MENA Accelerator Program is designed for startups at the pre-seed and seed stage that have a working product, demonstrated traction and the necessary team members. However, depending on your sector, team, product, or service, we may select your team as early as the MVP / prototype stage.

How many team members can join a team?

In addition to the founders, a maximum of two team members per company will be allowed to participate at any given time. The CEO and founders are expected to participate in the majority of program activities and sessions.

Who evaluates the teams?

The applications will be reviewed by an investment committee from 500 Startups in conjunction with the Misk Innovation team. Unfortunately, we may not be able to provide feedback to each team that applies.


If you have any other specific questions about the program, please reach out to us here:


We will make all reasonable efforts to answer your questions. However, given the limited resources, we may not be able to answer all of your questions.