Now accepting nominations for VC Unlocked: Silicon Valley, learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions
How do I enroll in the program?

There are two ways to enroll in VC Unlocked: (1) participants can either be nominated by a peer or colleague, or (2) can request an interview with our admissions team. Preference is given to candidates who are nominated, ideally by someone in the 500 network.

Following that first step, top candidates are invited to fill out an application and interview with our team. Once accepted, candidates can enroll in our August 2020 cohort.

How do I nominate a candidate for VC Unlocked?

Interested candidates can be nominated by a peer or colleague. More weight is given to nominations from individuals who can speak to the nominee’s experience in venture capital. Ideal nominators include VC Unlocked alumni, 500 Startups’ employees or portfolio companies, and peers from VC firms, family offices, fund managers, and other financial fields.

**Please note we will not accept self-nominations.

Know the perfect candidate?

Nominate a VC

What if I do not have someone to nominate me for the program?

Interested candidates can request an interview here. Please note that we ask for a professional reference. Our selection committee will invite top candidates to apply if they demonstrate that they will be a good fit for the program.

What are you looking for in an applicant?
Applicants should meet the following criteria: Have at least 1 year of investment experience; Be able to commit to two weeks (10 full days) of coursework; Be proficient in written and spoken English; Be focused on identifying and empowering great entrepreneurs in their ecosystems.
We look for candidates with experience in the investment space and who are interesting in building and growing their local tech ecosystems. Prior attendees have come from VC firms, government-led funds, family offices, angel syndicates, accelerator programs, or are high-net worth individuals looking to diversify their investment portfolio.
What are the application and enrollment deadlines for the program?

Early applications to VC Unlocked: Silicon Valley are due April 3rd, 2020. Final applications are due by June 26, 2020.

Follow us on Twitter for updates.


Are there any scholarship opportunities for the accepted applicants?

500 Startups is excited to again be offering two full scholarships ($24,000) for underrepresented early-stage investors, especially women and/or people of color.

To qualify for the scholarship, applicants must be nominated by a peer or colleague. Nominators do not need to be a part of the venture world, they can be founders you have helped, mentors, and anyone who can speak to the candidate’s interest in early-stage investing and empowering founders. If selected for the next round, candidates must fill out the application form, including the supplemental scholarship questions. The scholarships will be announced at the end of the application process, but it is recommended that applicants submit their responses as early as possible.

Does the course require a full-time commitment?

The program is designed as a full day program running from 8:30am to 6pm every day. As such, it’s expected that participants devote 100% of this time to the program.

What is the cost of the program?

The program fee is $24,000. Payment can be made by wire transfer or credit card.

Want to learn more about VC Unlocked?

Download our brochure, which includes our full list of FAQs and additional information about the program.

Have any more questions?

Contact us at