500 Startups Announces New Accelerator Batch with 20% Women Founders

500

By Christine Tsai (Partner, 500 Startups)

500 Startups has a new Accelerator batch that kicked off May 23. We have 20 startups in the program from May to September. Among the companies in this batch are:

  • 20% women founders: LaunchBit, Snapette, Vayable, Cardinal Blue, Culture Kitchen and DailyAisle have women founders. In particular, 100% of the founding teams for LaunchBit, Snapette and Culture Kitchen are women.
  • 30% international founders: Zerply (Sweden, Estonia), Welcu (Chile), Ovia (Mexico), AppGrooves (Japan), Cardinal Blue (Taiwan), vvall (Hong Kong), and BugHerd (Australia). A number of our startups are from outside the valley: DailyAisle, LaunchBit, Snapette (Boston), ToutApp (NYC), LaunchRock (Philadelphia), HelloWorld (Austin), and Scoopola (Seattle).

In January 2011, 500 Startups opened its doors to an underground group of racers. For several months, they built product. They burned the midnight oil. They hustled their asses off. Finally, they demoed to a captive audience of investors during Demo Days. Fast forward to today. A new crew is ready to take down the streets of Silicon Valley and beyond. They are the epitome of #500STRONG. 30% international. 20% women. 100% AWESOME. Scheming and plotting. Don’t mess w/ them.

Here are 6 teams in the 500 Startups accelerator with at least one woman on the team:


Cardinal Blue is building a better way for people to work together in real-time using photos and chat.

  • The Team: John Fan, Jaime Cham, Ching-Mei Chen
  • Where in the world? Our company is based in Taipei and Mountain View, CA — but we are originally from exotic places such as Singapore, Panama and New Jersey.
  • Did you know? A few days after receiving an iPad 2 in a blog contest (held by New Relic), we won another iPad 2 at a hackathon (held by Podio)!


Culture Kitchen connects lower-income immigrant women skilled in cooking authentic, ethnic cuisines with food lovers who want to learn this craft and the story behind food.

  • The Team: Jennifer Lopez and Abby Sturges
  • Where in the world? Culture Kitchen was birthed at Stanford, CA. Jennifer is Originally from NY (no ‘C’ needed because the rest of NY is irrelevant). Abby is from OH (the home of Wendy’s)
  • Did you know? Our original inspiration for culture kitchen came from Abby’s trip to Kenya poking around in latrines (sanitation research with farmers / human compost) and Jennifer’s foray into marketing treddle pumps in Myanmar after the government passed a law prohibiting more than 10 people from gathering in public places.


Daily Aisle is the easiest place for brides to search and book their wedding vendors

  • The Team: Jeff Lu, Conan Jen, Kim Dowd
  • Where in the world? Boston, MA… We still got love for Boston and its startup
    scene. Boston entrepreneurs – Keep that chip on your shoulders! Also Pittsburgh, PA, consistently voted “Worst Place for Singles.”
  • Did you know? When we pitched the idea we kept getting the same questions. So we made tee shirts emblazoned with the text, “Yes I’m a guy. No, I’m not married.”


LaunchBit builds tools to help new web entrepreneurs do customer development.

  • The Team: Jennifer Chin and Elizabeth Yin
  • Where in the world? We hail from the Bay Area, where we first met the day before
    starting 6th grade.
  • Did you know? Knowing nothing about holography, Jennifer once built a holography lab at our high school from scratch and produced beautiful holograms. In effort to get out of the Bay Area, Elizabeth previously worked/consulted in Japan, Switzerland, India, and New Zealand.


Snapette to discover and share great fashion products from around the corner or around the world conveniently on your phone.

  • The Team: Jinhee Ahn Kim and Sarah Paiji
  • Where in the world? Snapette was started in Cambridge MA, but we’re warm weather
    gals at heart from Honolulu and LA.
  • Did you know? Sarah loves shopping and dancing in 5” platform heels (which makes her over 6 ft tall). Jinhee loves eating and dancing in her bare feet (which makes her only 5′ 4″ tall).


Vayable is a marketplace for things to do on vacation.

  • The Team: Jamie Wong and Samrat Jeyaprakash
  • Where in the world? All over. We’re global citizens.
  • Did you know? The founders met on Airbnb. Jamie answered Sam’s last-minute plea for a place to stay when he moved to SF

About the guest blogger: Christine Tsai is a Partner at 500 Startups where she works closely with early-stage startups and directs the 500 Mentor Network, platform partnerships with companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and more. Prior to 500 Startups, Christine worked at places including Google, YouTube, OSIsoft and ChevronTexaco. Christine holds a B.A. in Cognitive Science from the University of California at Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @christine_tsai.