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McClure Finds Innovative Start-ups Outside the U.S.

The Silicon Valley incubator 500 Startups opens its arms to 33 new early-stage Internet companies, more than half from outside the U.S.
Silicon Valley VC and founder of the 500 Startups accelerator, Dave McClure.

Silicon Valley incubator 500 Startups has a fresh batch of start-up teams for its accelerator program.

Listed in the incubator's Wednesday blog post, more than half of the 33 early-stage companies are based outside of the U.S. (including Argentinia’s clothing e-commerce firm Femeninas and Austria’s online payment platform Everbill). Twenty-one percent of the businesses chosen have at least one female founder, VentureBeat notes.

500 Startups selected the companies through a new application process on social network platform AngelList, according to a September VentureBeat article. In the past, companies were admitted into the program by invitation or recommendation only.

"We realized we were missing out on a lot of potentially good start-ups that weren’t connected to the Valley," 500 Startups founder Dave McClure, a San Francisco-based entrepreneur and angel investor, said in the article. 

The incubator previously admitted 27 start-ups into its accelerator program in July, TechCrunch reported. Since 2010, 500 Startups has backed more than 300 Internet start-ups including TaskRabbit and Twilio. Through the accelerator, which is based in Mountain View, California, each company receives mentoring and up to $250,000 in funding.

McClure, a self-proclaimed loudmouth, recently said his incubator's alternate name was "fail factory." Explaining McClure's mindset, co-founder of 500 Startups-backed LaunchGram Andy Sparks wrote in a blog post: "the entire 500 team kept reminding us that we were good enough to make it into 500, but that about 80% of us would be “fucking dead” within one year. If we want to survive, we need to get better pronto, and that’s on each company individually.”


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