With 500 Startups turning out their 9th clutch of startups to investors this week, we spoke to Sean Percival about some lessons the accelerator has learned over the years.

Unlike past demo days, investors were keen to get access to the new crop of companies on the spot. While that’s common at Y-Combinator demo days, the phenomenon has been seen less at 500 Startups, and it’s hard to say whether the excitement from later stage investors is due to today’s investment climate, or the fact that 500 Startups are attracting companies that are further along in building their products.

500 Startups prides itself on selecting companies who can focus on marketing and growth. If a startup is at the idea stage, a 4 month program can be too tight a framework within which to execute on an idea and benefit from their network, according to Percival. Indeed, Percival confirmed that some of the companies they accept are already generating revenue upwards of $500,000.

For our sister publication, TechCrunch, interesting startups abounded, and the crew even managed to capture video from founders on their experience as part of the cohort. Chiefly, Vessel, a mobile analytics tool allowing A/B testing of small changes of an app on the fly, and Totspot, a kind of Avon business for parents to sell children’s clothes, got a lot of interest.

500 Startups runs 4 batches a year, 2 in San Francisco and 2 in Mountain View. As an investor, they are known to focus on diversity and international startups. 30% of the founders in this group are female. Typically the investment is 100K per startup for a 7% ownership of the company. More recently they have increased their investment from 50K in earlier batches.

From an international perspective, 500 Startups worked with Startmate, an accelerator in Australia, and brought out 3 Australian startups: Lumific, a photo organizer; Inductly, an employee onboarding platform; and Sporthold, a predication game for sports. Stitch, a dating app for the over 50 set, also hails from Australia. Among international players, the Brazilian startup Solidarium, which is an “Etsy” for Brazil, also had investors’ tongues wagging. Joining the global gang in the 500 Startups portfolio were the startups Pinshape, a 3D printing community marketplace; Monetsu, a crypto-currency interface and payment solution from Canada; and Puzzlium, a puzzle social network from the Ukraine.

Here is the list!

  • Originally published August 1, 2014