500 Startups - Overview & Key Information

500 Startups

500 Startups is a San Francisco-based venture capital firm that also runs startup accelerator programs through their offices in the Bay Area and Mexico City. 500 Startups is ranked as one of the top accelerators worldwide, and its network is large, with more than 3,000 company founders and 200 mentors.

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500 Startups Key Information:

Year founded


Founded by

Christine Tsai and Dave McClure


San Francisco, California


814 Mission St, 6th floor, San Francisco, California 94013 US

500 Startups Can Be Found At:

Recent News About 500 Startups:


How much does 500 Startups invest in their accelerator companies?

500 Startups seed accelerator program provides a $150 thousand convertible security for 6% of the companies they invest in. The convertible security gives 500 Startups the right to make a follow-on investment of $500 thousand or 20% of your next round of $1 million, whichever is lower.

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Does 500 Startups charge companies to participate in their accelerator program?

Yes - participation in the 500 Startups accelerator costs $37,500.00, which pays for speakers and events and is deducted from their $150 thousand investment.

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Do I have to move to be part of 500 Startups accelerator?

No, relocation to San Francisco is not a requirement. That said, you can miss out on a lot by not working in the 500 Startups office. You'll likely not form strong bonds with other founders in your batch, which reduces your network post-program. Also, most of the accelerator's events, including speakers and workshops, are neither livestreamed nor recorded, so you'll miss those as well.

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What happens on 500 Startups Demo Day?

500 Startups Demo Day provides an audience of more than 500 active investors and tech reporters to hear pitches from the most recent graduates of the accelerator program.

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Does 500 Startups work with international companies?

Absolutely. In a typical batch 30 to 40% of the companies are from outside the US. Also, 500 Startups runs a seed accelerator in Mexico City - https://latam.500.co/latam/ - for Spanish-speaking companies.

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What kind of companies does 500 Startups work with?

Almost any kind as long as they're tech related in some way. Here are some of the companies that have gone through 500 Startups accelerator program:

  • Canva - online and physical design software.
  • GitLab - an application to manage the entire software development cycle.
  • Credit Karma - a free online credit monitoring and personal finance app.
  • GinzaMetrics - a marketing intelligence platform that enhances brand identity.
  • Wonderschool - a platform for finding and managing childcare and early childhood education.

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What are the 500 Startups KISS documents?

Using their experience in startup funding 500 Startups created and made available the KISS documents, open-source legal documents for convertible equity financings. There is a KISS (which stands for Keep It Simple Security) debt version and a KISS equity version.

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