How 500 Worked with Product Hunt to Find Awesome Accelerator Companies

Sean Percival

October 24, 2014

Like most accelerators, we’re always looking for new ways to find great founders. While we get a fair amount of incoming applications, our best companies tend to come through founder referrals or less conventional channels. And we’re always up for trying new methods to find talent.

Enter Product Hunt.

Unless you’ve been living under an Uber, you have no doubt heard about Product Hunt. It’s become one of the best places to source new products as they launch, and it’s a perfect match for the quick launch and iterate approach that many startups are taking these days. Instead of trying orchestrate a convoluted press push, simply submit your product and let the people decide if they love it.

Many of these companies are also looking to join an accelerator program like 500, so I approached Product Hunt to see if we could demystify some of the accelerator application process using their platform. Thankfully, they’re not big enough yet to stop returning my calls :). We set out to conduct our first public interview process live, in real time, and on Product Hunt. If you missed it, head here to see the companies and read the comment threads.

In the end, we interviewed 16 startups, and I asked them the same questions we ask as part of our standard application process. The goal was both to find a company to join our next batch, while also providing a transparent lens into how and why we select startups. The companies and product hunters provided some excellent feedback that we’ll incorporate into our interview process.

A big thanks everyone who joined! I’m happy to announce we have selected our winner, SocialLight, who will get the chance to join our next accelerator in Mountain View. You can view their interview here.

Special thanks to Erik and Ryan at Product Hunt for making this happen.

Most Popular

June 09, 2020

Our Framework Post-COVID-19

May 22, 2020

Launch Your Business in Georgia (The Country, not the State)


Accelerating ESG Adoption in Early Stage Venture Capital

The year 2020 has served up many reminders of the pressing issues facing society, from failures to address systemic discrimination to the impending climate crisis. Moving forward, realizing a more ...

Meet the Startups in 500’s First Fully Virtual Accelerator

At 500 Startups, innovation is a staple of our business model. In March, we announced the revamp of our SF flagship accelerator program to offer year-round enrollment flexibility to meet our founde...

15 Tips to Bringing Teams Closer Even During Tough Times

We are living through one of the largest collective challenges the world has faced, so it’s the perfect time to tap into the experience of these 15 female leaders. They offer tips for bringing team...

500 Startups Bolsters Commitment to MENA’s Startup Ecosystem

500 Startups made its first investment in MENA in 2012. Back then, few U.S. venture investors made their way to the region, but we recognized its potential and after making more than 30 investments...