Sep 27, 2016 On Our Blog

10 Ways to Make Your Video Go Viral

Guest Blogger -Karen X Cheng, Founder/CEO Karen X LLC. I almost didn’t write this post. Because I wanted to keep the magic behind my viral video to myself. Because of my ego. Because I would have loved to brag that I just sat back and it took off on its own. But that’s not what happened. I did a ton of marketing, and it started long before the video was released. Going viral was not an accident — it was work. I tried a lot of things. This is what worked for me. 1. Don’t be “too good” for marketing I almost didn’t put together a marketing plan. Because what if I did all this marketing, and then the video still flopped? …


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Aug 17, 2016 On Our Blog

How to Use PR + Thought Leadership to Grow Your Startup

Editor’s Note: This post is a continuation of The Art of the Press Release, and comes from Conrad Egusa, CEO of Publicize and a 500 Startups Mentor specializing in media relations and PR.  PR can be invaluable for startups — not only as a one-time bump in growth but also for long-term amplification of your good efforts. In today’s post, Conrad talks about how startup can extend the PR halo beyond initial “buzz” and establish a foundation of thought leadership to influence customers and potential investors. So your business doesn’t have an announcement but you’d still like some media coverage? Given the constant need to stand out from the host of other startups and businesses, it makes sense to promote your name …


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Jul 20, 2016 On Our Blog

Should You Take the Offer? A Growth Marketers’ Framework to Climbing the Startup Career Ladder

This post comes from Alex Nucci, VP of Growth at ClutchPrep, a company that provides textbook-specific videos and tutoring in science subjects to college students. Under Alex’s guidance, ClutchPrep has tripled their MRR over the past 8 months. 8 months ago, I hit a crossroads. About to choose my next career move, it wasn’t clear to me which option was best. They were all great, but there was definitely a better one to pick (there always is). I created a list of things that one considers when making a decision like this. The idea was to put them all in perspective with what my long term goals were, as opposed to being lured in by what might be a short term win. After …


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Jun 10, 2016 On Our Blog

The 500 Accelerator in a Nutshell

Today’s is the last installment in a series of essays by 500 founder Troy Sultan documenting his journey through the 500 Accelerator, Batch 16. Here Troy shares his closing thoughts on the Accelerator, and his opening thoughts for the considerable “Everything Else” that’s on its way.  To read the rest of the Troy’s posts in this series, scroll to the end of this piece for links. To apply for Batch 18 (deadline June 20, 2016), go here. It was 10pm on a Monday in November, two hours before the application deadline for 500 Startups’ 16th batch. Two months prior we were interviewed and rejected from Batch 15 — for good reason. We were too early. The company was barely a couple months old and wasn’t ready to …


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Jun 2, 2016 On Our Blog

How to Grow a Startup, Marketing Hell Week Edition

Today’s post comes from guest author Lauralynn Stubler, a growth marketer who’s been helping out 500 Startups’ brand new Batch 17 survive our Accelerator program’s (in)famous Marketing Hell Week. Batch 17 Marketing Hell Week is over, but the learnings from our startup resources have just begun…. Today we’re sharing some key takeaways on how to grow a startup from our recent Marketing Hell Week roster of speakers. HOW TO GROW A STARTUP – THE QUICK TIPS “Start with running A/A tests to test your tools.” — Hiten Shah on A/B Testing Click-to-tweet: http://ctt.ec/hK6zd A/A testing is often overlooked but it’s an excellent method of double-checking the effectiveness of your A/B testing software. A/A testing is the tactic of using A/B …


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May 11, 2016 On Our Blog

Brand Marketing is a Growth Hack. Here’s the Recipe

Today’s treat is a guest post from entrepreneur, marketing mastermind, and 500 founder Mat Braddy, founder of ROCK PAMPER SCISSORS and former CMO of Just Eat, a European “unicorn” that went public in April of 2014. No one thinks of billboards and TV ads when we talk about “growth hacking” (we’re way too cool for that sh*t, right?), but in today’s post Mat shares his takeaways on growth fueled by brand.  Mat’s company was a recent participant in 500 London’s latest Distro Dojo, a growth-focused acceleration and investment program that happens several times a year in locations around the world. Shameless plug: Mat is currently raising money for Starlight, a UK organization that helps terminally ill children fulfill a special …


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Apr 19, 2016 On Our Blog

Inside the 500 Accelerator, Weeks 11, 12 & 13: The Hardest Question

Inside the 500 Accelerator is a weekly series by 500 founder Troy Sultan. Now, 13 weeks in, Troy gets real and shares the hardest question that he — and many other founders — have had to face.  “Dude, how’s it going?” It’s quite literally the hardest question you can ask me. A few years ago I wouldn’t have minded as much. I had a canned answer I got good at reciting. It told a story of things going great, because that was the path of least resistance. I’d keep it surface-level, short and always positive. Because no one asks questions when things are going good. And honestly, who the hell wants to hear about my problems? I’ve been practicing vulnerability for the past …


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Apr 15, 2016 On Our Blog

PR For Startups: The Art of the Press Release in 7 Steps

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes from Conrad Egusa, CEO of Publicize and a 500 Startups Mentor specializing in PR and media. PR can be INCREDIBLY important for startups — not only as a one-time bump in growth but also for long-term amplification of your good efforts. Good (positive) PR hits 2 major influence factors, social proof and authority, and even bad (negative) PR will drive a bump in traffic and attention. How you capture and convert is up to you, but the first step? GET INTERNET FAMOUS.  Last note: have you ever tried to do PR for yourself or your company? It IS kind of scary, those journalists DO bite. As my friend Eric Eldon (former editor in chief at Techcrunch) used …


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Mar 29, 2016 On Our Blog

Inside the 500 Accelerator Weeks 8, 9 & 10: The Founders Speak

Inside the 500 Accelerator is a weekly series by 500 founder Troy Sultan. Today, 10 weeks in, Troy presents “inspiring” takeaways from other Batch 16 founders. But it’s not all fluffy kittens and cotton candy… being a founder is tough, even with world-class support and mentorship. This week, the founders get real.   Accelerators are like kitchens, not restaurants. They give you access to all the tools, ingredients and guidance needed to satisfy your hunger — but it’s up to you to mix things up, try new approaches and make use of what’s available. This is contrary to a restaurant where you show up, sit down and expect to have your hunger satisfied. My team and I recently reflected on the first 10 weeks of …


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Mar 7, 2016 On Our Blog

Inside the 500 Accelerator, Weeks 5, 6 & 7: the True Challenges of Being Accelerated

Inside the 500 Accelerator is a weekly series by 500 founder Troy Sultan. This week, Troy shares tough / precious lessons on managing the psychological side of being a founder, plus the #1 risk of being surrounded by smart people with proven track records (yes, they are all over the place, and yes there are risks).  The minute we decided to join 500, I knew I’d write about it. It was personal for me — aside from anecdotes from alumni and awkwardly interviewing the 500 staff, there just wasn’t much information out there on the experience itself. Joining is an accelerator is a big decision. You’re committing time, equity and focus, some of the only resources you have as a young company. Yet, it’s hard …


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