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Startups to visit Silicon Valley, Google and Facebook in new accelerator programme

Incubator and investment group 500 Startups has opened its autumn 2013 accelerator programme for startup tech businesses today.

500 Startups will select 25-35 bright tech entrepreneurs and startups working in a variety of different sectors to take part. Each will receive a sizable investment of $50,000 (£32,905) in return for five per cent equity in the business.

The successful applicants will then be taken through their paces by a network of mentors in Silicon Valley, New York and Mexico City. There is a $6,000 (£3,948) per founder and $3,000 (£1,974) per non founder 'tuition' for the training, which goes towards basic running costs.

"We're searching the globe to find the best candidates. Recruits selected to enter training will gain access to current #500Strong agent network with with hubs in Silicon Valley, NYC and Mexico City. They'll also make tons of money, have fun, and might even go on top-secret missions to markets in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and other locales," reads a blog post on the 500 Startups website.

To apply, interested businesses and entrepreneurs need to set up a profile on start up platform Angel List and head over to 500 Startups' page on the site.

Some of the examples of "investment themes" given are: consumer and commerce, family tech, education, marketing/distribution services, infrastructure, mobile/tablet, financial services/payments and food tech.

The programme lasts four months and includes talks, events, hands-on mentorship in distribution, customer acquisition, metrics, design and UX, fundraising, PR and business development, and more.

There are also trips to companies such as Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

The training culminates in the startups taking part in demo days across Silicon Valley, San Francisco and New York, during which they will pitch their businesses to potential investors, new partners, and the press.