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500 Startups Accelerator Announces Its Ninth Batch Of Companies And Two New EIRs

TechCrunch logo TechCrunch 30/04/2014 Ryan Lawler

The keeps rolling along. Now about two years old, the program is already on its ninth batch of participating companies. It’s also added a couple of entrepreneurs-in-residence to help out with the startups that have signed up.

Last year, 500 Startups announced that it was “accelerating” the pace of the program and running it year-round, with two batches in Mountain View, Calif. and two in a new San Francisco office. This will be the first batch to be run out of San Francisco.

This year’s group of companies follow a lot of trends that 500 is known for — in particular, accepting a number of non-valley participants and female founders. The batch includes startups from the Czech Republic, Switzerland, China, India, Canada, Malaysia, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, and the U.K. There are also 11 startups with female founders participating this time around.

In addition, this group features a number of companies focused on cryptocurrencies or related financial services. That’s thanks in part to the addition of Sean Percival to the 500 staff a few months ago, who also will be heading up the accelerator this time around.

The firm is also launching an AngelList syndicate to invest in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency-related startups. That will be its third syndicate, following the introduction of the 500 Startups Syndicate and 500 Women Syndicate.

Along with the new batch, 500 Startups has also signed on two EIRs to help out. They are Poornima Vijayashanker, who was a founding engineer at and founder of fitness startup BizeeBee; and Malcolm Ong, who was a co-founder of SkillShare.

The 29 companies that are participating in the 500 Startups Accelerator include:

  • – a vertically integrated fashion brand that offers made-to-measure apparel at department stor prices
  • – a marketplace for commissioning personalized art from up-and-coming artists
  • – a company that is rethinking how music products are produced and sold
  • – a community-powered fraud prevention platform for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
  • – provides security camera video analysis in the cloud
  • – real-time big data analytics to provide actionable insights for Bitcoin
  • – a platform for measuring progress on things you want to get better at, one 10-second video at a time
  • – allows users to buy bit coin with prepaid cards
  • – like TurboTax for mortgages, helps homeowners refinance their homes completely online
  • – a new resource for researching, finding, and booking travel in China
  • – a mobile- and video-based recruitment platform to improve the quality of hires
  • – a mobile service to help parents chat and organize plans with one another
  • – provides unique tools for managing and understanding cryptocurrencies
  • – develops open source software for digital currencies
  • – a 3D printing company to help users customize their lives
  • – makes sound searchable through smart transcription tools built on unique language models
  • – a platform for releasing people’s creativity through interactive puzzles
  • – a personal styling service that sends a stylist to your home to help users create a style of their own
  • – connects Brazilian makers with customers around the world
  • – a full-stack textiles sourcing service for managing sourcing, along with offline customer service
  • – a free predictive game for guessing the winner of a match in any sport
  • – Tinder for the olds
  • – an online platform for creating surveys with an improved user experience and higher response rates
  • – a tool for figuring out what people are interested in and delivering relevant content to them
  • – purveyor of custom colored gemstone engagement rings and other jewelry
  • – a web platform for financial analysis
  • – a mobile marketplace for parents to shop and sell clothes for kids
  • – offers advanced mobile A/B testing in native apps
  • – generates relevant trending content to increase engagement and followers on social media

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