Nov 18, 2016 On Our Blog

The Artist Formerly Known As Accelerator

When Christine and I started 500 Startups six years ago, we knew we wanted to run an investment program for startups that emphasized community and education. We had long been inspired by other earlier programs such as YCombinator, TechStars, and SeedCamp. However, we had a new approach and perspective, and wanted to create our own VC firm + accelerator with a decidedly different vibe and experience.   All these programs, including the 500 accelerator, share several key concepts: Provide a modest amount of investment capital to a group of startups Startups work in shared physical space (note: YC de-emphasizes this) Connect them with a community of experienced founders and mentors Help companies “accelerate” their progress in a short amount of …


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Apr 1, 2016 On Our Blog

500 Startups Announces $500M WinterFund™ to Invest in Broken Unicorns

EDITOR’S WARNING: this was an April Fool’s joke… if you actually believed this was a real story, we have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale we’d love to show you… Today, 500 Startups announces WinterFund, a new investment vehicle focused on the fastest-growing sector of the tech industry — namely, billion-dollar startups recently marked down by Fidelity and other wannabe-kingmaker mutual funds. The $500M WinterFund plans to make over 100 investments in down-sized Unicorns who have failed to raise at previous nosebleed valuations, yet still have a fleeting chance at sitting atop the Iron Throne of Tech. 500 startups is also announcing a strategic partnership with the city of Fresno, California. We plan to relocate “chilly” WinterFund portfolio companies to …


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Sep 30, 2015 On Our Blog

Startups are hard, so is TV

Last week Syfy piloted the first episode of our new docu-series called the Bazillion Dollar Club.  The initial episode followed Vango on their journey from the beginning of our accelerator program (500 Startups Batch 12) to Demo Day, where they raised over $1.5M. It was received positively by those who watched; Vango saw 12,000 new visitors to their website and 5,000 new downloads of their app the day after the pilot aired. Missed it? Check it out — the first episode is available free on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Hulu and Syfy.com.     Starting early this year, we filmed the series with hardware accelerator Highway1 and Zero Point Zero Productions, the uber-talented folks behind Anthony Bourdain’s food and travel …


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Oct 3, 2014 Official Announcement

500 Startups Achieves Target Quota of Less Than 25% White Males From Stanford

500 Startups announced today the promotion of two new managing partners*, Bedy Yang and Khailee Ng. The company is now even more AWESOME than ever before and currently has over 35 team members across 10 countries who speak 20+ languages. 500 also has $115M in assets under management and has invested in 850+ companies in the past 4 years. And we ate like, 17 green M&Ms last week too. Over the past three years, Bedy Yang has made over 25 investments in Brazil and 50 investments around the world. She’s truly multicultural (she’s lived in Brazil, China, Germany, Paraguay and the US) and founded Brazil Innovators to bring together Brazil and Silicon Valley. She’s also been intrumental in launching our 500Women Syndicate to support female …


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Jun 27, 2014 On Our Blog

Why We Announced Public Fundraising

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? For over a year, I’ve been asking myself a similar question regarding fundraising for 500 Startups. Prior to the JOBS Act, it wasn’t legal for venture capital and hedge funds to talk publicly about their fundraising activities. Imagine not being able to talk about the *exact* thing you need to talk about. Imagine trying to sell something but not being able to advertise it. Anyone else see a problem here? Of course, traditional funds have raised capital for years playing by these rules, and up until today 500 has also operated in the same way. However, it’s a more complicated …


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