500Startups to take startups to the ‘moon’; Applications open for Starfleet Academy Accelerator Program

1st Feb 2013
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500Startups is not an alien name to the Indian startup ecosystem now. Having brought Pankaj Jain on board, they are betting largely on the Indian startups, something which Paul Singh, Partner at 500Startups has been reiterating since long. In recent news, 500Startups opened applications for their Starfleet Academy, an accelerator program that aims to cater to a large number of startups, from around the world and across myriad domains.500Startups aims to create a guild of geeks with Silicon Valley as a hub, and then go about spreading the #500Strong spirit around the world. The official post on their blog reads: “Think you have what it takes to join other 500 companies that have taken their team into orbit with us? Beginning Thursday, January 31, you can apply to be considered for the Spring 2013 Accelerator program.”

How do I apply? Starting now, you’ll be able to submit your application through angel.co/500startups.

When is the deadline? Applications will be accepted through March 1st, 11:59PM Pacific.

When will I hear back from 500? Throughout the application process, the Starship 500 crew will reach out to companies to conduct interviews. The final decisions shall be made by March 25, but that date is subject to change.

Timeline:

  • Applications have opened from 31st January’13 and remain open until 1st March’13.
  • Promising companies shall be reached out to throughout the application process, including interviews. We’ll likely be doing interviews 11th -22nd March’13. Decisions will likely be made by latest the week of 25th March’13.
  • The first day of the Spring 2013 batch will be likely be Monday 15th April.

[Dates are subject to change]

What kinds of companies is 500Startups looking for? Starship 500 includes founders of all backgrounds, from all stretches of the galaxy. The team seeks out companies with strong teams, clear revenue models, and a focus on building businesses in any of these areas:

  • Consumer & Commerce
  • SMB / SaaS
  • Family Tech
  • Education
  • Marketing / Distribution services
  • Video Content & Infrastructure
  • Language / International
  • Mobile / Tablet
  • Financial Services / Payments
  • Food Tech

Pankaj also has a great word for the team thinking of applying, “Do your homework on what 500 looks for before applying. Many great startups aren't selected only because there are LOTS of really amazing startups from around the world that are applying. You're not competing with the best startups in India. You're competing with the best startups globally, and that raises the bar significantly. Try to take the required time building relationships with people in the 500 family (founders, mentors, etc) so that the next time you apply, you can get high quality referrals which will undoubtedly help.”

To learn more about what 500 looks for, check out the full FAQ.

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