The Global VC

Announcing A Bigger, Better Seed Program

Article image
Aaron Blumenthal

Aaron Blumenthal

Venture Partner






Announcing a Bigger, Better Seed Program

It’s like the old saying goes: if you’re not improving, you’re falling behind!

… and 500 Startups is no exception. We’re thrilled to announce our plan to double down on the Seed Program at our San Francisco campus while expanding the services available to batch companies post-program at our Mountain View campus.

We’re On The Right Track

Our track-based approach to programming has paid off in some very big ways, including a sharp increase in the number of applications for each track over the past several months. In order to keep pace with this incredible level of interest from the startup community, we are proud to announce that San Francisco will be the permanent home for our signature Seed Program — and this includes an increase in batch frequency to three per year as well as an increase in overall batch size!

(For those of you who may not know the program inside and out, the Seed Program has traditionally alternated between the San Francisco and Mountain View campuses. This meant specialized track programming was split between the two campuses, which sometimes meant startups had to wait 6 or more months before their desired track was available — and 6 months is, like, 10 years in startup time!)

This new structure means each one of our tracks is available to every company, every batch, all year long, so any startup in the automotive, data, FinTech, HealthTech or Retail/Beauty/Fashion space can now apply anytime of year to qualify for the track that suits their needs best.

Next Stop: Batch 23!

Applications for our 23rd batch are now open! You can apply here:

We’ve also changed the way we process applications to include an early application period, which is from October 25th through December 15th. Startups that apply early are more likely to receive an interview and will be made aware of their application status waaaaaay earlier than those who turn it in at the absolute last possible second. We get it, you’re busy with #startuplife, but it really does pay to apply sooner, not later!

Our regular application period is from December 16th through January 19th, 2018, and while this doesn’t necessarily decrease your chances for acceptance, let’s face it … life is 90% hustle, and we wouldn’t recommend that you risk it. (You’ll also wait longer for a response and have fewer chances to interview.)

Batch 23 will begin in mid-to-late Q1 of 2018, depending on how quickly the batch fills up. Remember, our new, larger batch sizes mean a longer interview period, but we’ll be sure to keep all final-round companies posted about the final start date as the selection process progresses.

Everybody’s Co-Working For The Weekend

Lastly, we’re giddy to let you in on our final secret: we’re converting our Mountain View campus to a colossal co-working space designed specifically with our post-program batch companies in mind. Why, you ask? Well, we think 500’s Chief Operating Officer, Aman Verjee, put it best:

“So many of our founders – particularly those from outside the Bay Area – end up needing space in Silicon Valley to continue their fundraising and growth marketing efforts. By providing our founders with affordable desks and opportunities for continuing education post-batch, we hope to accelerate their chances of success, rather than ‘cutting the cord’ and wishing them luck like many other programs out there.”

500 prides itself on creating strong connections, often referred to as the #500FAMILY, for all graduates of its program. We believe that providing space where startups can stay focused on their work while continuing to leverage the mentors, programming, and other goodness that the 500 network is known for is more than just another service — it is a lasting extension of the family we set out to grow each and every batch.

Learn more about our new co-working space in Mountain View here.

“When you join the 500 Startups community, you’re in it for life,” added Christine Tsai, 500 Startups’ founder and CEO. “We do whatever we can to put our founders first, and this is one more way for us to do just that.”

Aaron Blumenthal

Aaron Blumenthal

Venture Partner

Aaron is a venture partner at 500 Global. Previously he co-founded four different companies and has been a member of three founding teams, including one notable exit. At different points in his career, Aaron held the #1 SEO ranking for 'car insurance" in Google, Yahoo! and Bing for 18 months, and he held the #1 position for casino games in iTunes App Store for 12 days.