Startup accelerator 500 Startups is opening up its applications for the next batch of companies on Tuesday, meaning anyone who wants to apply to the program has the next month to get an application on AngelList. The application period will run through Aug. 16.
500 Startups began as a seed fund from investor Dave McClure, but in February 2011 it expanded to include a traditional accelerator program that presents batches of companies at demo days. Beginning on Tuesday, it will be taking applications for its seventh batch.
When it comes to traditional accelerators or incubators in Silicon Valley, 500 Startups is one of the largest ones, along with Y Combinator, the older group that’s been around since 2005. The two have distinctly different styles, with the Y Combinator demo day feeling like a place for formal business presentations, with its model chronicled recently by The New York Times Magazine, and the 500 Startups events having a more casual, colorful flair.
McClure described the difference in investment strategies in his own words (in response to a YC post) on his blog last September:
“Put bluntly: we are both ambitious and we both play baseball, but YC is quite clearly the Yankees, while 500 is more like the Oakland A’s. Though i don’t profess to be Billy Beane (or Jerry Maguire), 500 is ideologically more focused on being an organization that teaches great hitting & fielding, rather than one that aims to find the best hitters & help them negotiate the best contracts. In other words, we’re happy to discover we have a few black swans, but our MISSION is to groom ugly ducklings.”
500 Startups in particular has cultivated a strong international presence, both putting its own team members abroad and having a preference for international founders. The group just recently hit its namesake investment number in June.