“Our startups live their lives a quarter mil(e) at a time.”
In January 2011, 500 Startups opened its doors to an underground group of racers. For several months, they built product. They burned the midnight oil. They hustled their asses off. Finally, they demoed to a captive audience of investors during Demo Days.
Fast forward to today. A new crew is ready to take down the streets of Silicon Valley and beyond. They are the epitome of #500STRONG. 30% international. 20% women. 100% AWESOME.
The renegade n00b crew:
- Cardinal Blue
- Culture Kitchen
AppGrooves is an iOS app that recommends iPhone and iPad apps. We fill the gap between Apple’s App Store and modern advanced EC sites such as Amazon and Netflix.
- Where in the world? Palo Alto, CA and Tokyo, Japan
- Did you know? Two engineers are from the same class of the same university but never met in person until 7 years after graduating and 5,000 miles away from home.
- Theme song: ”SPEED (TK CLUB MIX)” by Tetsuya Komuro
Log and discuss bugs within your own website with BugHerd, the world’s simplest bug tracker for web designers and developers.
- The Team: The left side of Alan Downie and most of the right side of Matt Milosavljevic
- Where in the world? We come from the land Down-Under”… oh…right …we currently reside in Melbourne, Australia.
- Did you know? BugHerd actually started life as an internal communication tool. Our users call themselves “Bug Herders”. BugHerd is not an anagram for David Hasselhoff. MacGyver once used BugHerd to locate and retrieve a downed satellite in Afghanistan.
- Theme song: “The Boss” by James Brown
Cardinal Blue is building a better way for people to work together in real-time using photos and chat.
- The Team: John Fan, Jaime Cham, Ching-Mei Chen
- Where in the world? Our company is based in Taipei and Mountain View, CA — but we are originally from exotic places such as Singapore, Panama and New Jersey.
- Did you know? A few days after receiving an iPad 2 in a blog contest (held by New Relic), we won another iPad 2 at a hackathon (held by Podio)!
- Theme song: “Nobody” by the Wonder Girls (Chinese version!)
Culture Kitchen connects lower-income immigrant women skilled in cooking authentic, ethnic cuisines with food lovers who want to learn this craft and the story behind food. We’re excited to share that Culture Kitchen is one of two Designer Fund recipients!
- The Team: Jennifer Lopez & Abby Sturges
- Where in the world? Culture Kitchen was birthed at Stanford, CA. Jennifer is Originally from NY (no ‘C’ needed because the rest of NY is irrelevant). Abby is from OH (the home of Wendy’s)
- Did you know? Our original inspiration for culture kitchen came from Abby’s trip to Kenya poking around in latrines (sanitation research with farmers / human compost) and Jennifer’s foray into marketing treddle pumps in Myanmar after the government passed a law prohibiting more than 10 people from gathering in public places.
- Theme song: “Pull Up The People” by M.I.A.
Daily Aisle is the easiest place for brides to search and book their wedding vendors
- The Team: Jeff Lu, Conan Jen, Kim Dowd
- Where in the world? Boston, MA… We still got love for Boston and its startup scene. Boston entrepreneurs – Keep that chip on your shoulders! Also Pittsburgh, PA, consistently voted “Worst Place for Singles.”
- Did you know? When we pitched the idea we kept getting the same questions. So we made tee shirts emblazoned with the text, “Yes I’m a guy. No, I’m not married.”
- Theme song: Adam Sandler from Wedding Singer
Simple profiles for developers.
- The Team:Alex Manelis and Alex Baldwin
- Where in the world? Texas, home of amazing breakfast tacos
- Did you know? Hello World’s first version was built in 36 hours at 3 Day Startup, despite a hospital visit and lack of techno.
- Theme song: “Tetris Dubset” by Dub Fiend
Your momma won’t tell you that your writing sucks, but Kibin users will give you unbiased feedback on essays, resumes, or breakup notes.
- The Team: Travis Biziorek, Jim Nguyen
- Where in the world? Travis Biziorek – Harbor Springs, MI – In the next 12 months, 500 Startups will probably fund more companies than our entire population (~1,600). Jim Nguyen – San Jose, CA – The bangin’ house party below San Francisco (you know, like the US is to Canada!).
- Did you know? Travis and Jim met through a Craigslist job posting. Travis used to trade foreign currencies at a hedge fund, splitting time evenly every 2 weeks between US, Asia, and European work-shifts. Jim studied as an apprentice shinobi (aka ninja) in Japan for 4 years until his mentor was killed during a practice exercise in a tragic accident.
- Theme song: “Enter The Ninja” by Die Antwoord
LaunchBit builds tools to help new web entrepreneurs do customer development.
- The Team: Jennifer Chin and Elizabeth Yin
- Where in the world? We hail from the Bay Area, where we first met the day before starting 6th grade.
- Did you know? Knowing nothing about holography, Jennifer once built a holography lab at our high school from scratch and produced beautiful holograms. In effort to get out of the Bay Area, Elizabeth previously worked/consulted in Japan, Switzerland, India, and New Zealand.
- Theme song: “Chariots of Fire”
- The Team: LaunchRock the boy band:
- Jameson Detweiler – The Hair
- Zachary Melamed – The Face
- Thomas Knoll – The Sensitive Guy
- Sean McCullough – The Dark & Mysterious One
- Where in the world? Zach and Jameson are from Philadelphia. Yes, we have startups there. Also, forget Pat’s and Geno’s. John’s Roast Pork has the best cheesesteak in the city. Thomas and Sean are from somewhere else but we met them in San Francisco. We don’t hold that against them.
- Did you know? Jameson once ironed a shirt while it was on his body. Everything was fine until he pressed the steam button. Zach has traveled to over 30 countries and has had almost every immunity shot that exists. Thomas falls in love with almost everyone he meets. Finally, Sean hasn’t had a clean shaven face in 15 years.
- Theme song: “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred
OVIA is using the power of video to provide a more human approach to finding the best talent and making the hiring process more effective, because recruitment is all about finding the right people, not just the best resume.
- The Team.. and where in the world they are from:
- Rodrigo Martinez – Mexican citizen of the world having lived in the UK, India, Czech Republic, Mexico and the US.
- Imo Udom – Houston born Nigerian American. Grew up in London, went to college in Philadelphia, but most recently hailing from LA.
- Jaime Romero – Tapatio engineer passionate about creating high-impact & high-value products.
- Jaime Rovirosa – Yoga practicing vegetarian Argentine. Looking for samadhi and the meaning of life in peculiar places.
- Did you know? What do 2 Mexicans, 1 Nigerian and an Argentinian have in common? They founded OVIA.
- Theme song: “Hustlin'” by Rick Ross
Scoopola is the HotelTonight for live music and theater.
- The Team: Julian Tescher, Patrick Tescher, Donnie Dinch
- Where in the world? Seattle, WA
- Did you know? We only eat meat from animals that we’ve killed.
- Theme song:“Posse On Broadway” by Sir Mix-A-Lot
Discover and share great fashion products from around the corner or around the world conveniently on your phone.
- The Team: Jinhee Ahn Kim & Sarah Paiji
- Where in the world? Snapette was started in Cambridge MA, but we’re warm weather gals at heart from Honolulu and LA.
- Did you know? Sarah loves shopping and dancing in 5” platform heels (which makes her over 6 ft tall). Jinhee loves eating and dancing in her bare feet (which makes her only 5′ 4″ tall).
- Theme song: the cheesy but classic girl anthem – “Girls Just to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper
StoryTree brings families and loved ones closer together by capturing and sharing the stories that matter. We’re excited to share that StoryTree is one of two Designer Fundrecipients! Special note: StoryTree is offering private beta invitations to the first 500 people who sign up at storytree.me/500s
- The Team: Matt Sullivan, Zach Weiner
- Where in the world? Stanford, CA. Go Cardinals!
- Did you know? Matt and Zach woke up on the roof of a hotel in Las Vegas with an idea about capturing family stories and coded it on their drive back to Stanford where they ran into Dave, pitched the idea, and got into 500.
- Theme song:“Remember The Time” by Michael Jackson
ToutApp is canned responses on steroids with analytics.
- The Team: Tawheed Kader, aka “TK”
- Where in the world? New York City – the planet’s up-and-coming startup scene
- Did you know? ToutApp has saved over 23,000 minutes for over 1,700 people by templating their repetitive e-mails.
- Theme song:“Empire State of Mind” by Jay Z feat Alicia Keys. We may be in California now, but ToutApp started as a New York company, and we’re all about the NY hustle.
Vayable is a marketplace for things to do on vacation.
- The Team: Jamie Wong, Samrat Jeyaprakash
- Where in the world? All over. We’re global citizens.
- Did you know? The founders met on Airbnb. Jamie answered Sam’s last-minute plea for a place to stay when he moved to SF.
- Theme song: “Smile” by Lily Allen
VidCaster is an easy way to create a video site on your own domain.
- The Team: Kieran Farr, Steve Cochrane, and Ray Pawulich
- Where in the world? The team met at Indiana University, voted the nation’s #1 party school at the time. While partying in moderation, they co-founded a student-run TV station that continues to thrive and is now a VidCaster client:iustv.com
- Did you know? Kieran drove a San Francisco taxi to pay rent while bootstrapping the project. He even drove his taxi during Bay to Breakers, which is like being the lone survivor in a zombie movie.
- Theme song: “Code Monkey” by Jonathan Coulton
Volta is an A/B testing framework for live, outbound phone calls. *In addition to being part of the 500 Accelerator, we’re happy to announce that Volta is also the $50K recipient for the Twilio Fund!
- The Team: Patrick Stockwell
- Where in the world? Palo Alto CA (via Austin, TX)
- Did you know? Before moving to California, Patrick was a daily BMX cyclist in Austin, riding 15+ miles per day.
- Theme song: “The Good Life” by Weezer
vvall helps you complete your memories by collecting moments captured by friends.
- The Team: Ray Chan, Chris Chan, Marco Fung
- Where in the world? Hong Kong – the brightest pearl in the East (though a bit smoky and stinky nowadays)!
- Did you know? These guys don’t know anyone in the valley but they run Startup Quote; they are not funny at all but they built a fun site. Hopefully they know what they are doing right now…
- Theme song: “As Long As You Love Me”
Complete control of your event planning: Efficient, effective and white label.
- The Team: Nico Orellana (CEO) / Sebastian Gamboa (CTO)
- Where in the world? Santiago de Chile, the #1 place to visit in 2011 by New York Times. What are you waiting for?
- Did you know? Two years ago, we said, “By 2011 we’re going to live in Silicon Valley” and we started attending events around the world (Madrid, San Francisco, Manchester, Santiago, Buenos Aires, etc) just because we thought that networking with people could open our eyes to new ideas. We ended up living in Mountain View building a product for event planners. (Be careful what you wish for)
- Theme song: “Promesas” by Los Monos
Zerply is a non-corporate LinkedIn, built for the generation who has grown up with the web.
- The Team: Christofer Karltorp CEO. Taaniel Jakobs CTO
- Where in the world? Christofer is from Trosa, a small town in Sweden literally translated “panties”, aptly dubbed the worlds end. Taaniel is from Tallinn, Estonia, a tiny Baltic country that proudly celebrates two Independence days.
- Did you know? Zerply was born in Sweden, learned to crawl in Estonia and then took off running in Silicon Valley, picking up a team as it went. Josef from the Czech Republic walked into the Estonian office without a clue as to what Zerply actually was. Ethan motorcycled from Ohio to California in 5 days. Luke, who we found on Zerply, took a month off his job in England and then quit to join us. Eliza just happened to be married to the CEO.
- Theme song: “The Sound of San Francisco” by Global Deejays