The 500 Startups Accelerator program is growing: 500 Startups announced Thursday the 20 companies that will participate in the second round of its incubator program, which runs from May through September. That’s nearly double the number that participated in the 500 Startups Accelerator inaugural class, which had 11 companies take part.
Like other incubator programs, the 500 Startups Accelerator, first announced in February, provides free office space in Mountain View, Calif., as well as administrative, legal and development help. Participating companies also get access to a wide range of mentors, such as Josh Elman of Twitter, Slideshare CEO and Co-Founder Rashmi Sinha, and Hunter Walk of YouTube. As part of the program, 500 Startups typically invests between $25,000 and $100,000 for approximately 5 percent of common stock.
The latest group of startups ranges from AppGrooves, which has built an iOS app to recommend other apps a user might like, to Zerply, which is working on a “non-corporate LinkedIn.” (The full list of participants is below.) There are also some interesting demographics from the group: 20 percent of the startups participating have female founders and 30 percent have international founders. And about a third of the companies chosen are from outside Silicon Valley, from such far off locales as Australia and Philadelphia.
Demo day for the 500 Startups Accelerator companies will be the week of Aug. 15, but in the meantime, 500 Startups Founding Partner and Sith Lord Dave McClure said he’s encouraging participants to sign up for AngelList once they’ve joined as a way to raise additional capital while they’re in the program. This is a bit of a departure from similar programs, which use Demo Day as a coming out party for investors and ask participants to keep a low profile. McClure said he suggests that 500 Startups companies raise $50,000 to $250,000 as an advisory round, before seeking larger financing rounds after Demo Day.
McClure is also seeing crossover between his incubator program and some other funds and programs that 500 Startups participates in. 500 Startups Accelerator companies StoryTree and Culture Kitchen have been named the first two d.fund recipients, and Volta was awarded $50,000 as part of the Twilio Fund.
- BugHerd [Ed. link not working at time of pub]
- Cardinal Blue
- Culture Kitchen
- HelloWorld [Ed. link not working at time of pub]
In addition to the Accelerator news, 500 Startups has promoted Christine Tsai to Partner (she will also keep her title as “Chief Pug Herder”), and Paul Singh has joined the team as Principal and “Master of the Hustle.” Check out our video interview with McClure (embedded below), in which he describes his investment philosophy.