Persistence is Key: Advice from a Former 500 Founder


July 09, 2018

Hey there,

My name is Aaron and I’m a Venture Partner here at 500 Startups. I also run the batch application squad, which is why I’m here to tell you…

Applications for Batch 24 in San Francisco are now open!

I know what you’re thinking: “we’ve been through this.” You’ve applied before, waited patiently, and you were told something along the lines of “Maybe-next-time.” Maybe this made you upset, or sad, or maybe you swore an oath to do whatever it takes to avenge our response.

Look, I get it—putting yourself (and your startup) out there over and over again is friggin’ hard and, as always, there are no guarantees. But before you close this page, let me tell you three things you might not know about our application process that might inspire you to spend 10 minutes applying for the batch one more time.


64% of startups accepted into the program have applied 2 or more times. The reason: our programming emphasizes growth tactics, and most companies simply aren’t ready for that kind of horsepower the first couple of times they apply.

(I myself was co-founder of a company that applied 3 times before finally getting into Batch 12, so believe me when I say it’s frustrating as all hell, but totally worth it!)


71% of startups accepted into the program applied within the first 45 days of the application opening. That’s right, startups that applied early have more often been called in for interviews and, they will receive feedback from a venture partner in the event their company is not selected for this batch.


The acceptance rate for a 500 Startups batch is less than 2%, which is harder than Stanford (4.3%), Harvard (4.6%), Princeton (5.5%) and Yale (6.3%). This is why re-applicants tend to win the day. Founders who have the grit to stay on top of their business and demonstrate growth over time almost always get an interview with a venture partner.


Still not convinced? Check out all of our incredible mentors and founders in the 500 network, and what it means to be #500STRONG. Trust me, the benefits of a 10-minutes application far outweigh the risks. C’mon and give it a shot!


Apply Now

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