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 …


PUBLISHED BY
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 …


PUBLISHED BY
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 …


PUBLISHED BY
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 …


PUBLISHED BY
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 …


PUBLISHED BY
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 …


PUBLISHED BY
Feb 17, 2016 On Our Blog

Inside the 500 Accelerator, Week 4: Growth Experiments, Startup Legal & Tequila

Inside the 500 Accelerator is a weekly series by 500 founder Troy Sultan. This week, Troy shares takeaways on what it really means to “run experiments,” the black box of startup legal, and when startup founders finally get to take a vacation.  4 weeks in, we’re finally getting settled. We’ve developed a cadence among our team, our work, and we’re even having fun when no one’s looking. The first quarter of the program was intense: ~150 new people to meet, names to remember, companies to understand, relationships to build, questions to field, pitching to do, announcements to make — all while maintaining our daily duty as startup firefighters. I spent much of month 1 understanding the landscape. What levers exist here? Who controls them? Which ones …


PUBLISHED BY
Feb 10, 2016 On Our Blog

Inside the 500 Accelerator, Week 3: Marketing Hell

In this week’s post 500 founder Troy Sultan shares his take on the ~25 hours of lectures, workshops and presentations by 500 growth mentors that we call Marketing  Hell Week. The week’s programs cover everything from pricing and positioning to marketing metrics, content marketing, viral growth and more. MHW did indeed live up to its name. There was far less time for “real” work, so a lot of us had to get creative. Taking calls and meetings during breaks or lunch, scheduling walking meetings to and from the office, and leaving the office at or past midnight were common themes for most of us. This post is long, so I’ll get right to it. Note: There were few sessions I didn’t attend which is reflected …


PUBLISHED BY
Feb 2, 2016 On Our Blog

Inside the 500 Accelerator, Weeks 1 & 2: Content, Progress, & the Original Name for 500 Startups

This is the 2nd post in a weekly series from founder Troy Sultan and his team at Resource, currently a part of 500 Accelerator Batch 16.  Troy will be documenting Resource’s trials and wins throughout Batch 16, so you’ll get an (only mildly censored) look behind the scenes at the 500 Accelerator.  We interviewed for 500 in December, and during the month between the interview and our start date, we heard many opinions on how much value 500 might bring to our company. Not all of them were positive. My hope for this series is to be open and honest, even if that means sharing the uncomfortable. With that, I’ll admit we likely wouldn’t be a part of 500 today had …


PUBLISHED BY
Jan 25, 2016 Founder Stories and Insights

Inside the 500 Accelerator, Week 0: Growing Fast & Getting (Highly) Uncomfortable

This is the first post in a weekly series from founder Troy Sultan and his team at Resource, currently a part of 500 Accelerator Batch 16.  Troy will be documenting Resource’s trials and wins throughout Batch 16, so you’ll get an (only mildly censored 🙂 look behind the scenes at the 500 Accelerator.    [continued] It’s crucial we’re on the same page before starting our journey through 500— really, truly on the same page. All elephants out of the room, pain points alleviated, and with a solid plan for how we’ll succeed. This starts with me and my ability to lead and communicate. I’m vowing now to do a better job keeping us aligned as a team. This as a …


PUBLISHED BY