Titans Of Acceleration, 500 Startups, Bring Members Onto The Union Platform
Back in October when it was announced that 1776 and Benjamin’s Desk were joining forces the big story behind the Union platform was overshadowed.
At a time when Steve Case is viewed as the catalyst for startups in communities across America, Evan Burfield would be the community activist. Like Case, Burfields community activism can trace roots back to Startup America. For those not familiar, Startup America was an organization founded by Steve Case with help from Priceline founding CTO Scott Case (no relation), Donna Harris and Evan Burfield. The organization was about connecting startup communities at a local, state and regional level and then at the national level.
Burfield and Harris left Startup America to launch 1776, the Washington DC based accelerator, startup hub and creator of the Challenge Cup. The organization started out serving startups in the DC metropolitan area and startups on a much broader level, looking to do business with the largest enterprise customer in the world, the federal government. Again Burfield continued building community within the walls of 1776 and then expanding outward, opening more locations through jvs, acquisitions and partnerships. All the while encouraging startups to “come on down”. Burfield invites as many entrepreneurs as he can to whatever he can to grow the entrepreneurial community.
After the 1776/Benjamin’s Desk merger was complete and Burfield knew that the space he helped launch was in good hands, he went heads down continuing his work on the Union platform, a startup kind of born out of the startup community.
Union is a platform that connects startups, entrepreneurs, investors and mentors together, online. It’s a curated community for accelerator, incubator and other startup program participants to have access to one another for mentorship, collaboration and help. It takes community to the next level. Now a new startup at Tampa Bay Wave can connect with a seasoned entrepreneur that’s come through 1776, and vice versa. Now an investor or mentor looking for exciting crypto startups has a place to go, knowing that the Union members have past muster through a partner programs application process.
Once someone is part of a Union member program they stay a member of union for life. When Capital Factory joined the Union Platform their current cohort and all of their alumni became members as well.
On Wednesday Union and 500 Startups made a joint announcement that 500 and their global community of 3000 entrepreneurs and mentors are now on the Union platform.
“500 Startups was created to empower talented startups regardless of where they are located. We have worked with more than 1,800 companies and invested in building their businesses,” said Aman Verjee, Chief Operating Officer of 500 Startups. “The Union platform advances 500 Startups mission to bring founders the resources they need and connect to a global network.”
Through a strategic pilot over the past year, the two organizations collaborated to develop new features for the 500 Startups community and to improve the experience for the overall Union community. Three 500 Startups cohorts were part of the collaboration and the upcoming 500 Startups Batch 23 will use the platform throughout its program.
“Union is a global community of innovators on a single platform that makes it easier for founders to access the insights and connections they need to grow their businesses,” said Evan Burfield, CEO at Union. “We’re thrilled to bring the 500 Startups community onto the platform and further their work helping talented founders build great companies regardless of where they are located.”
The Union community already has over 800 learning resources and classes, 1,700 mentors and facilitates over 4,000 connections every month. This provides entrepreneurs with access to crucial insights and connections with like-minded innovators regardless of where their startups are located. The platform is currently used by 75 incubators, startup hubs, and investor groups around the world.
You can find out more at union.vc