500 Startups widens application process for fall batch

Looking to give your startup a lift through one of Silicon Valley’s best-known accelerator programs? Your path to success might have just gotten a little easier.

500 Startups, Dave McClure’s popular accelerator program for launching startups in early stages, announced Thursday that it would be taking applications for its fall program through AngelList, a matching program for angel investors and startup founders. This will open up the application process, which used to require an introduction from someone at 500 Startups to apply.

This will presumably diversify the pool of applicants and therefore the startups coming out of demo day, making the process a little less insider-y in the process. It’s pretty common for investors to require an introduction for the chance to pitch (it’s easy to imagine how many pitches they’d get otherwise), but with McClure increasingly focused on investing in new geographic areas, the 500 Startups opening up makes sense.

Startup founders interested in joining the next batch can apply through AngelList until Sept. 23. McClure has spoken widely on his investment strategy, working to support a large number of early stage startups with smaller amounts of money in hopes of hitting a winner in the mix:

Instead of making a few several million dollar investments into promising early startups, 500 Startups is making smaller — $50,000 to $250,000 – investments into a lot more early stage startups; hence the “500 Startups” moniker.

500 Startups will likely hit its namesake number of investments by 2013. The 500 Startups accelerator held its most recent demo day for the last batch in July.