500 Startups announces today they have discovered the newest periodic elements – Upandtotherightium (Ur) and Viralium (Vi). In addition to this amazing new discovery which is awaiting official recognition by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, they are also proud to announce they are in the early stages of developing 12 remarkable new startups in their just-launched 500 Startups Accelerator program at their headquarters in Mountain View.
The buzz among the science community is the 500 Startups Accelerator will soon eclipse the CERN Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, which has long held the title of the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. Several Russian physicists have raised concerns this new 500 Startups Accelerator could be dangerous and has the potential for creating wormholes with unknown outcomes, possibly even the creation of a black hole.
The 12 startups will be observed at the 500 Startups Accelerator for 3-6 months (in a very large petri dish) as they learn the essentials of designing functional user experience, acquiring happy and engaged customers, instrumenting dashboards to collect business metrics (that go up and to the right), and developing successful online distribution strategies across key search, social, mobile, and email platforms.
Specs of the 500 Startups Accelerator are detailed below
- Funding: Funding ranges from $25-100k. Terms will be set at ~5% of equity, or based on pre-existing terms if the startup is already backed by experienced venture investors.
- Mentors: Startups will have access to a global network of 120+ mentors, several of whom will be speakers in our weekly accelerator curriculum, hold office hours, 1:1 mentoring, and otherwise available to help and guide our startups. For more info see. In addition, about 10-15 of our mentors are “Mentors In Residence” and work from our space on a weekly basis.
- Workspace: The 500 Startups space was designed to encourage a culture of prototyping, creativity and collaboration. We’re located in downtown Mountain View with proximity to top investors, platform companies, Stanford University, public transportation, and startup-friendly food.
- Design Network: We’re piloting a menu of scalable design resources that produce measurable results for our startups including UX reviews, Designers-In-Residence, and more. We recently held a Lean UX Design Bootcamp in collaboration with the Stanford d.school and LUXr. Among our yearly events & conferences includes Warm Gun, a one-day conference on measurable design.
- Distribution Platforms: Startups need scalable, cost-effective customer acquisition. We specialize in distribution for search, social, mobile, and email platforms. A number of our mentors hail from major distribution platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google, and YouTube and and serve as an invaluable resource to our startups.
- Education, Events, & Community: We’ve developed a curriculum of weekly talks and office hours along with large quarterly conferences focused on design, data, and distribution. These help to instill strong community and camaraderie among our founders and mentors.
- Annual Sponsors & Partners: We’re working with companies who will be closely involved in the accelerator program via hands-on assistance, product support, and more. Annual sponsors and partners include VIP partner Rackspace Hosting, as well as Microsoft BizSpark, Gunderson Dettmer, and Amazon Web Services.
- Investor Demo Day: Accelerator startups will present at our first investor demo day, to be held at 500 Startups on April 6-7, 2011. Mark your calendars!
- Startups interested in applying to the program: We don’t have an open application process process. Startups get in through referrals from people we trust. (ex. our mentors, venture advisors, founders, etc)
To learn more, visit http://www.500startups.com/accelerator
A little bit about the startups in this founding accelerator batch:
InternMatch’s mission is to help college students discover amazing internships.
- Founded by: Andrew Maguire, Nathan Parcells, and Kyle Wilkinson
- Hails from: Seattle, WA
- Fun facts: Andrew spent countless hours during his college years playing speed chess on the streets of NYC, instead of studying for class. Nathan once spent 3 months on a 50 foot boat sailing to the Arctic Circle with his uncle. When he’s not coding to the break of dawn, Kyle plays guitar in punk band Shoot the Hostage.
Baydin’s mission is to facilitate purposeful communication. Right now, we’re building a personal trainer for your email, and let me tell you, Sue Sylvester’s got nothing on The Email Game.
- Founded by: Alexander Moore, Mike Chin, and Aye Moah
- Hails from: We started in Boston. Our team hails from Alabama, Connecticut, and Burma.
- Fun facts: For the times when there’s no saving it and email gets out of hand, we also make the Drunkerator, a hackathon project that lets you generate a drinking game for any reason. Take off your thinking hats and put on your drinking hats!
955 Dream makes magical experiences on mobile devices. Check out their first app, “History of Jazz”, which was recently featured by Apple:
- Founded by: Kiran Bellubbi and Kyle Oba
- Hails from: Mountain View, CA
- Fun facts: Both Kyle and Kiran have babies. Babies rule. And we have as many dogs in our office as humans. Dogs rule.
YongoPal is focused on conversational English education for university students in Asia. Rather than creating a new learning method or providing tools for helping students prepare for specific exams, YongoPal focuses on boosting language competency through peer relationships — matching students of English in Asia with their peers at top-tier American universities for live online conversation practice and cultural exchange.
- Founded by: Darien Brown, Daron Hall, and Brian Suchland
- Hails from: Seattle, WA
- Fun fact: The YongoPal founders currently share a two bedroom apartment with two university students from Korea. A no-kimchi-in-the-fridge policy is strictly enforced.
Spoondate is a dating website that allows food-loving singles to meet and go on awesome food dates with like-minded eaters.
- Founded by: Raissa Nebie and Van Nguyen
- Hails from: San Francisco. Raissa is from Abidjan, Ivory Coast via New York City. Van is from Delaware
- Fun facts: Raissa is a banker turned chef and has cooked a meal in over 10 countries across 4 continents. Van won first place at two “game jams” (where nerds build computer games in less than 48 hours).
Ninua collects the world’s stories, delivers them across platforms, and connects people around them.
- Founded by: Waleed Abdulla
- Hails from: Mountain View, CA
- Fun fact: Ninua’s main product, NetworkedBlogs, started as a weekend hackathon project to learn how to build an app on the Facebook platform. Name at the time was “Blogs I Read”.
Crowdrally’s mission is to provide social influencers with organic digital endorsements, so they can get paid without selling out.
- Founded by: Evan Kuo and Andy Chen
- Hails from: We are Berkeley and Stanford students born and raised in the heart of silicon valley.
- Fun facts: Evan has an absolutely terrible sense of direction and once engineered a GPS enabled tactile feedback belt to communicate realtime orientation through a ring of vibrational cellphone motors. Andy previously started an online marketplace for professional chefs to indulge his demanding eating habits.
Rewardli lets business owners use leverage their social graph in new and interesting ways. Stay tuned for more.
- Founded by: George Favvas
- Hails from: Montreal, Quebec. O Canada!
- Fun fact: George sealed the deal by recording himself giving his Keynote presentation outside in snowy -10 degree weather. He had calculated that it took about 15 minutes for his fingers to freeze, which was a good incentive to keep his presentation nice and tight.
Stay in touch with friends and colleagues. Over lunch. On Wednesdays. For an invite to the beta, email an old friend with whom you’d like to stay in better touch and copy firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Founded by: Andy Chen & a secret agent.
- Hails from: Silicon Valley
- Fun fact: The Wednesdays founders were inspired by a Scientific American article which said that lunches and other social support activities are important to staying healthy and happy, and ultimately increase survival by 50%.
[Startup Coming Soon]
- Stew Langille, former VP of marketing at Mint.com, is starting a new media company. More to be unveiled soon!
SpeakerGram wants to connect people with a story to tell with an audience that wants to hear them.
- Founded by: Sam Rosen
- Hails from: The concrete jungle… New York City!
- Fun fact: Sam Rosen is an amateur competitive eater. His personal bests include a medium Papa John’s pizza in 2:24 and 45 BBQ wings in 8 minutes.
Loyalty cards are a pain in the ass, literally and figuratively. We’re bringing a way cooler loyalty program to the hippest shops, the ones that really stand out. Loyalty is so much more than a free drink or a Facebook ‘like.’
- Founded by: Reed Morse
- Hails from: San Luis Obispo, CA, recently voted the Happiest Place in America.
- Fun Fact: Punchd was built over long emails, video chats, and across 11 timezones. Our most ridiculous meeting was with Reed in Hawaii, Niket in San Francisco, and Xander in Italy.
This announcement was also covered on TechCrunch, All Things Digital, GigaOM, VentureBeat, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, Business Insider, Canadian Business Online, New York Observer, Xconomy, and Women 2.0.