The Mountain View, Calif.-based group invests between $25,000 to $250,000 in early-stage tech companies. Over the last year, its accelerator has attempted to diversify its portfolio of companies by encouraging more women and international founders to apply. This is likely part of the reason founding 500 Partner Dave McClure chose to Photoshop his face onto international spy James Bond (– along with the fact that this will be the group’s seventh batch of startups — aka “Batch 007″ — to go through the program.)
That’s not to say women or international founders necessarily have an advantage. 500 Startups partner Christine Tsai told VentureBeat that the group will be looking for startups with a strong team and a clear revenue model above all. Specifically, the group is interested in companies focused on consumer & commerce, SMB / SaaS, family tech, education, marketing, video content & infrastructure, language / international, mobile, financial Services, and food tech. In terms of geography, the group is interested in startups from the Middle East, Latin America, Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Eastern/Western Europe.
“Even though we’re doing an application-only process for applying to Batch 7, we still very much rely on [the 500 Startup] Partners — especially our international Partners,” Tsai said. “Having that personal connection is really important making a decision .” That makes sense considering that the group previously used a referral-only method for choosing companies in the program.
500 Startups expects to admit about 30 companies into its seventh batch. Application submissions are open beginning today through Aug. 16. Final decisions of companies selected for the seventh batch is tentatively scheduled for early September, while the accelerator program itself will begin in October.
Founders looking for a better idea of what kind of companies 500 Startups is looking for can always check out the previous batch, which is holding an official demo day July 24. And while you probably won’t be able to get into that event, you can experience it vicariously through VentureBeat’s coverage.