500 Startups is an early stage seed fund and incubator program located in Mountain View California headed by the profane and prolific investor Dave McClure. 500 Startups was the most active fund of this past quarter, doing more than 35 deals. Most of the investments fell under financial services and ecommerce, search/social/mobile platforms and personal and business productivity.
500 Startups is unique in that they do not have an application process, rather founders are expected to find someone in the existing 500 startups network (or a recognized expert) and get them to vouch for you. Once 2-3 folks are committed on the behalf of your company, 500 will start paying attention.
The founder of 500, Dave McClure, founded his own company Aslan Computing, which was acquired in ’98. He was an early employee at Simply Hired as well as Mint.com. He also spent time at PayPal from 2001-2004, making him part of the PayPal Mafia.
According to Dave McClure, the 500 accelerator typically invests $50K at the equivalent of a $1M valuation and a $100K option to participate in the next round of funding. Unlike other accelerators, 500 will invest in the series A and even the follow-on rounds.
Here is an inspirational story from the founder of Kibin on how he scored funding:
For those talented and visionary entrepreneurs aspiring to launch towards stardom out of Stanford University, StartX provides the rocket fuel.
Providing its services free to all Stanford students (from undergrads to PhDs), StartX offers its participants a network of other innovative founders, experienced mentors and a slate of other educational and business resources. In the past StartX has paired student founders with Facebook employee number seven Matt Cohler and venture capitalist and former Sun Microsystems CEO Vinod Khosla.
New entrepreneurs need to know their options once they have an idea they’re ready to scale. At accelerators like Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, startups connect with mentors and corporations that can help them go big or go home.
Canice Wu, Plug and Play’s President, seems to like the words “innovative” and “disruptive” (he used them an awful lot when we talked to him) but there are worse words to favor. With the accelerator’s summer deadline for “Startup Camp” fast approaching (May 14, apply here), he said innovation and disruptive business models are the only prerequisites–other than that, there are no rules or restrictions on what new companies they’ll consider.
Wu said Plug and Play has a network of more than 180 VCs and 100 corporations who come to work with both new and established companies in their various programs. The focus is on scale, so much so that even a company that’s finished a quarterly accelerator program can still take advantage of P&P’s network, mentors, and working space after they graduate. (more…)
In the land of innovation and entrepreneurship, it can be difficult to keep track of all the incubators and accelerators looking to fund the next great idea. More often than not, one hears that a startup is interviewing with Y Combinator or StartX. However, those are not the only power players looking to fund the Valley’s next hot ventures.
Image from: Business Week
Founded by Peter Relan, YouWeb is a Mountain View-based incubator that has launched billion-dollar startups during its five-year existence. (more…)
Y Combinator, founded in March 2005, has grown to become “the tech world’s most prestigious program for budding digital entrepreneurs,” according to Wired Magazine.
- Known as: YC
- Location: Mountain View, CA
- Class info: two three-month “boot camps” per year: Jan-Mar and Jun-Aug. Class size has grown from 8 companies in 2005 to over 60.
- Funding: $11,000 per team + $3,000 for each founding team member in exchange for ~6-7% of the company. Also Ron Conway and Yuri Milner offer every team a $150,000 convertible note investment. (more…)