500 스타트업 어플리케이션

실리콘밸리의 유명 액셀러레이터 프로그램중 하나인 500 스타트업에서 2013년 첫번째 배치(batch) 어플리케이션을 받기 시작했다. 원래는 멘토 네트워크의 추천을 통해서만 지원을 받았던 방식이었으나, 얼마전부터 angelist를 통한 오픈 어플리케이션 역시 받고 있다. 사이트는 이곳에 있음.

한국 업체들도 얼마든지 응모 가능하다. 선정될 경우 큰 돈을 곧바로 투자받는 것은 아니지만, 실리콘밸리에서 전세계에서 온 다른 스타트업들과 함께 같은 공간을 쓰면서 3개월간 같이 일할 수 있고 (다만 공간에 대한 사용료는 업체측에서 내는 것으로 알고 있음), 500 스타트업의 브랜드를  소개자료에 쓸수 있다는 강점이 있다. 또한 데모 데이를 통해 시드 펀딩의 기회를 마련할 수 있다.


참고로 500 스타트업에서 찾고 있는 회사의 조건은 이렇다고 한다. (귀찮아서 번역 생략).

Strong cross-functional team: A solid team is the foundation for all great companies. We usually look for a small cross-functional team with the combination of technical skills, design talent, marketing know-how (“Hacker, Hustler, Designer”). We look for smart, passionate people who work well together (and have known each other for a long time), and are driven to solve problems for a target customer group.

Investment themes: The following are our major investment themes. We’ve also included examples of 500 companies that fall under that theme. You’ll also find that many companies may fall under more than one theme:

Consumer & Commerce (ex. zozi, 9GAG, Ipsy)
SMB / SaaS (ex. LucidChart, Recurly, Crocodoc)
Family Tech (ex. ecomom, Kiwi Crate, Red Tricycle)
Education (ex. Udemy, MindSnacks, Chalkable)
Marketing / Distribution services (ex. Wildfire, FanBridge, Reachli)
Video Content & Infrastructure (ex. Zencoder, Virool, Vungle)
Language / International (ex. Gengo, Babelverse, Language Cloud)
Mobile / Tablet (ex. Elacarte, SearchMan, AppStack)
Financial Services / Payments (ex. Credit Karma, ReadyForZero, Simple)
Food Tech (ex. Kitchit, LoveWithFood)
Functional product that solves a problem for a specific target customer: We have a strong preference for companies whose products are launched and have demonstrated some usage validation (beyond just friends and family). The product should address a problem for a specific target customer and rely primarily on scalable methods of distribution, particularly using online platforms (search, social, mobile, local).

Real customers (and better yet, some revenue too): We don’t expect companies to have millions of customers or dollars in revenue, but showing promising traction that proves usage validation and that you’re approaching (or at) product market fit is key. At minimum, we want to see small but measurable usage - some customers, some revenue.

Simple revenue model: We prefer simple and straightforward revenue models. Examples include subscription, lead generation, transaction/SaaS, etc.

Capital-efficient businesses: We look for companies that can be operational with less than $1M in funding.
Rely primarily on internet-based, scalable distribution: We have a preference for companies that rely on scalable, online forms of distribution. So that might mean search via Google, social via Facebook and Twitter, mobile via Apple and Android, etc.