500 Startups Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

500 Startups Launches Distro Dojo in SE Asia – A Post Money Growth Bootcamp

On Sunday, 500 Startups announced their latest, of many, bet on Southeast Asia. Later on this summer, 500 Startups is launching the Distro Dojo in Malaysia, through a partnership with Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Center – MaGIC – and its MaGIC campus in Cyberjaya. According to the program website, the 500 led Distro Dojo will, as the name imples, focus on distribution:

Distro Dojo, a 10-week program led by 500 Startups, brings experts in customer acquisition, ‘growth hacking’ and distribution to work with ASEAN growth-stage startups to exceed their customer / user growth goals.1

Distro Dojo is a unique offering in the startup world, especially from a traditional VC firm/accelerator. Rather than being an accelerator type program, or even focusing on early and seed stage startups, Distro Dojo is focused on post money companies, though there is some funding involved:

Distro Dojo is a 10-week growth-focused training and implementation program for companies who have previously raised at least USD$150,000 in funding from other investors…If chosen, companies will get $50,000 in funding from 500 Startups, with $25k allocated to the Distro Dojo program fee and another $25k earmarked for growth spend.2

500-1024x621 500 Startups Launches Distro Dojo in SE Asia - A Post Money Growth Bootcamp

Growth and distribution are difficult problems anywhere, but they are particularly difficult in Southeast Asia. Khailee Ng, 500 Startups’ Southeast Asia-based managing partner, explained some of these difficulties to TechCrunch:

It’s a big problem that’s even bigger in emerging markets where you can’t just go to the pub to hangout with your friendly growth hacker next door…Companies get prepped on unique growth problems and we set objectives for the end of the 10 weeks. Experts [brought into the program] work in the company… it isn’t like sitting in a class just listening. We think it’s the kind of thing founders can relate to.3

500 Startups clearly sees Southeast Asia as a hotbed for startups. A fact represented by their massive investments and initiatives in the region. The Mountain View VC/accelerator is way ahead of the curve in the region, and have laid a solid foundation.