500 Startups is announcing its accelerator program, a three to six month program that will give early-stage startups funding, a workspace, and access to a vast network of mentors.Six months after the launch of its early-stage investment fund,
That network is thanks, no doubt, to its founder, angel investor Dave McClure. Coverage of today's announcement by 500 Startups is bound to use a variety of descriptors for McClure, but I'll settle with this one: huge cheerleader for startups. And the network of over 120 mentors for 500 Startups Accelerator is a testament to that.
At this stage, the program doesn't have an open application process. "That might come," says McClure. Currently, the startups participating are there due to recommendations from that very network of mentors.
Participants in the accelerator program receive funding from $25,000 to $100,000, in exchange for 5% equity. They receive a space in 500 Startup's new workspace in Mountain View, California. And at the end of their stint in the program, they'll get chance to participate in a pitch day, the first of which is scheduled for April 6 and 7.
The curriculum for the accelerator program, which focuses on "design, data and distribution," will be provided by some of those in 500 Startup's mentor network. Some will be speakers, some will hold office hours, some will offer one-to-one mentoring, and a number will be "Mentors in Residence," with their offices alongside startups' workspaces.
McClure says that the new accelerator program shares some things in common with other similar programs, but he insists that there are some things that'll make 500 Startup Accelerator quite different. We'd hardly expect otherwise.