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.