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.

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