Back in November, global seed investment firm and startup accelerator 500 Startups (_disclosure_: also a tech.eu backer) announced that it was raising a $15 million fund to invest in a host of Nordic startups in the coming years.
Today, the Nordic subsidiary (dubbed '500 Nordics') is announcing that it has selected its first 12 startups, who will be going trough an intensive one-month acceleration program that kicks off on the 18th of January.
Interestingly, 500 Startups has partnered with Norwegian software giant Opera for said program. Not only will the 12 startups move to Opera's offices in Oslo for a month during the acceleration program, but the software company says it will also share resources with the selected companies to help them get the most our of their time there (mentoring, networking, pitch feedback etc.).
If the startups offer technology, solutions or content that is interesting for Opera's users and its range of products, the company says it will also take a look at how it can help them grow by means of distribution - Opera has a monthly base of 350 million users after all.
”We believe Norwegian and European businesses should be better to help entrepreneurs in early stages. In Silicon Valley they use the term "pay it forward", which means to do good for others in advance. By inviting entrepreneurs to our offices, and share of our resources we want to help startups in advance. With this initiative we also hope to strengthen our own culture for innovation,” comments Live Leer, VP of HR at Opera.
500 Nordics says the actual program will mostly about emphasising growth marketing and lean startup practices to the 12 selected companies, whose names have not been announced yet.