500 Startups seed accelerator is publicly launched by Dave McClure after being in stealth mode for the previous few months. The program offers between $25,000 and $100,000 funding in exchange for 5% equity (with some exceptions), and lasts for three to six months. 500 Startups offers more than Y Combinator — perhaps the best-known such program — but doesn’t match the additional $150,000 Yuri Milner and Ron Conway offer each Y Combinator startup on entrepreneur-friendly terms.
I think it’s a wonderful time to be investing in consumer Internet ideas, the macroeconomic picture for goods and services around the world is growing dramatically. In the US because of iPad devices you’re adding lots of young users and old users who weren’t in the market before.
In addition to funding, the 500 Startups Accelerator program offers access to 120 mentors, sponsorships from infrastructure providers like Microsoft, Rackspace, and Amazon Web Services, and office space at 500 Startups headquarters high over downtown Mountain View. They also get a chance to participate in a demo day, where they’ll present their creations to potential investors. Currently, 12 startups are participating in the program.