Startup Accelerator Betatron Increases Investment up to US$150K and Opens Applications for Cohort #5


Betatron recently announced that they’ll be investing up to US$150K into each startup for their next cohort which starts in September 2019. They’re aiming to invest in 8-12 startups with applications closing on 18th July.

Betatron will also be changing the program length – previous Cohorts lasted for four months, however, starting with Cohort #5, they will be condensing the same program into three months.

We spoke with Sam Ameen, Betatron’s Director of Marketing, to learn more about how the Hong Kong-based accelerator program has been evolving over the last couple of years.

StartupsHK: Congrats on your growth! Are there going to be any major changes to the program structure for Cohort 5?

Sam: Thank you! The objective of the program will largely remain the same. However, it will have even more focus on business growth and fast-tracking our startups to raise their next funding round.

We believe that reducing the program length while keeping the same amount of content/value, will ensure it is even more intense and adds additional accountability to provide each startup with the maximum acceleration possible.

We’re excited that we’ll be increasing the investment amount up to US$150K for each startup. This puts us as one of the top accelerator programs in the world in terms of early-stage funding available.

StartupsHK: Since this is Cohort 5 can you give us an update on how the previous cohorts are doing – any superstar funding or partnerships achieved?

Sam: There’s no doubt that we wouldn’t have been able to grow so fast if our portfolio of startups weren’t achieving great results. For example, Pakpobox from Cohort 1, continues to go from strength to strength. Since graduating, they’ve expanded to 8+ new countries and raised US$3M.

From Cohort #2, ICW’s growth has been exciting. Since graduating, they’ve raised US$2.5M and became the Hong Kong Government’s first investment from their new ‘Innovation & Technology Venture Fund’. Extremely impressive given the long and complex due diligence process which government funds take.

Fast-tracking our startups to their next funding round is one of our biggest strengths. To date, we’ve helped 70% of our startups successfully raise their next round.

StartupsHK: What was one big lesson you learned from the previous Cohorts? In terms of either picking teams, being surprised by one or seeing changes during the demo day?

Sam: One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from investing in startups is to focus on teams with deep industry expertise. Many first-time founders often jump into industries they don’t know that well. But over time, though, especially when they face difficult hurdles, their enthusiasm wanes and they often jump into something else. Whereas those who have a passion for an industry, and have several years of experience, tend to stick to the project and grind through the rollercoaster ride of a building a startup.

StartupsHK: What kind of verticals do you see Betatron excelling at? What do you want to see more of?

Sam: With Betatron being based in Hong Kong, the verticals which often excel the best over here are generally B2B focused. For example, Logistics, Supply Chain, PropTech, FinTech, etc. Anything B2C is always more challenging – no matter which country you’re based in.

StartupsHK: What do you think of the Greater Bay Area and how will Betatron tap into its potential for Cohort 5?

Sam: The Greater Bay Area (GBA) is definitely an initiative which startups should be excited for and keep a close eye on the developments. Not only is it an enormous market with a population of over 70 million people, we are also expecting many innovative companies to be created given the entrepreneurial environment and government support which is being provided.

Betatron has been working hard to partner up with GBA entrepreneurial ecosystems and communities. Our aim is to help more startups from the GBA expand globally by connecting them with our business network, while also helping international startups launch and scale their businesses in China.

StartupsHK: Thanks for sharing this! How can startups apply?

Sam: If any startups are interested, they can visit – or reach out to me for help – [email protected]

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