500 Startups is going full throttle. That's the image that you should take away from the fund's press release today with a headline that invokes The Fast and the Furious at least. Speed, risk, victory - you get the picture.Less than a year after the launch of the investment fund, Dave McClure's
500 Startups makes a couple of important announcements today, including some staffing changes (the promotion of Christine Tsai to partner and the addition of Paul Singh as principal) and the recipients of two of its microfunds, the d.fund (its designer-oriented microfund) and Twilio fund (for startups utilizing the VOIP API). Those winners are StoryTree, Culture Kitchen, and Volta.
Those 3 startups will join another 17 to comprise the next batch of startups in the 500 Startups Accelerator Program. (The full list is below). This is the second class of startups for the program, the first class having graduated this past spring.
The participants in this round come from a pretty diverse set of backgrounds, with over a third of the teams coming from outside the U.S. That hardly seems a surprise with the amount of travelling that McClure has done lately. His network is broad, with a third of the mentors for the accelerator program also coming from outside Silicon Valley.
Also notable: 20% of the startups participating this time around have female founders (LaunchBit, Snapette, Vayable, Cardinal Blue and Culture Kitchen) and three of those teams (LaunchBit, Snapette, and Culture Kitchen) are 100% female.
I asked McClure about the lessons learned from the accelerator program's first round, and he stressed the importance of working with AngelList and getting the startups in front of investors early. "Launch early and often," quipped McClure, "and promote early and often."
The second round of the program is already underway already and will run for 12 weeks, culminating in a Demo Day on August 15.