General Assembly And 500 Startups Partner For Accelerator Prep Program

General Assembly and 500 Startups are putting their collective heads together to provide an accelerator prep program designed for alumnae of GA’s programs.

The month long training bootcamp is taking applications now and will give capital and education to companies that include at least one graduate of a General Assembly immersive or part-time course or online circuit.

The program will look to accept at least ten companies, and potentially as many as 20 for its accelerator prep courses.

Successful applicants will receive $8,000 in cash and a $2,000 tuition waiver from 500 Startups in exchange for a 2% equity stake. Those companies that are accepted will also be fast-tracked for the 500 Startups accelerator.

In addition to the money, companies will also get a three-week crash course in the dos and don’ts around accelerators, and a basic overview of what they’ll experience in a program. GA will also give a week-long class on user experience design and lean product development.

Applications are hosted on 500 Startups’ AngelList profile and will be accepted through May 1. The program will begin on June 1 and will be based in GA’s and 500 Startups’ San Francisco locations.

For General Assembly co-founder, Brad Hargreaves, the partnership with 500 Startups represents a return to the company’s entrepreneurial roots. “We’ve always seen that there’s a lot of entrepreneurial talent and people who want to start companies coming out of General Assembly,” Hargreaves said.

Indeed, several companies have already been launched by General Assembly graduates including: the on-demand laundry and dry cleaning service, Washio; the social travel app, Spottly (which is backed by 500 Startups); Picfair, an image marketplace backed by Alexis Ohanian; and Shout, a Y Combinator alum which operates a real-time classified ad application.

“We have a unique view of what accelerator programs are looking for,” said McClure. Entrepreneurs have gone on from 500 Startups to be accepted at YC, Techstars, and other accelerator programs, so McClure argues that the program, “a crib note for accelerators”, should be useful beyond his own network.