Aug 20, 2015 Official Announcement

Announcing 500 Distro in MIAMI, BABY!

Ah, Miami. Beaches, vice, and MONEY, baby.

What other reasons do you need to launch a 500 Distro Program in this hub of hubs for the Latin Americas innovation ecosystem?

Our Miami Distro Program brings 500 staff and mentors from Silicon Valley, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, together to throw one big investor / growth marketer beach party that’s going to rock Miami for 10 straight weeks.

Aug 19, 2015 On Our Blog

Diversity debt: how much does your startup have?

There are a lot of ways to look at diversity, but the most helpful way I have found is called “diversity debt.” In the same way that engineers can accrue “technical debt” when they push out sloppy code, or business owners can accrue “bookkeeping debt” when they procrastinate their financials until tax time, companies can also accrue diversity debt over their life cycle. The more people your company hires until you have a diverse team (meaning an array of genders, LGBT, socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, able-bodiedness, etc.) — the more diversity debt your organization has accrued. The diversity problem in tech is rampant everywhere you look. Facebook only hired 7 black people out of 1,231 hires in 2013, and only added 26 …

Aug 12, 2015 On Our Blog

5 Startup Landing Page TEARDOWNS

Landing pages can change fast and A LOT — especially startup landing pages, and especially if you’re doing growth right (aka running experiments).

ConversionXL’s Peep Laja tears down (in a cuddly way) a few of landing pages from the recent 500 Startups Batch 13. If these solid companies had this much to improve, what could YOU be doing better?

Jul 23, 2015 On Our Blog

Meet Blake Commagere, Growth Marketing Badass & Newest 500 DISTRO

Blake Commagere is a growth marketing badass. Like, big time.

Blake was one of the original “growth hackers” back before it became an official job category on tax returns.

We somehow got the impressive Mr. Commagere to join 500 Distro as a growth marketing advisor, and today he’s sitting down with me for a brief AMA that should serve as a prelude for the Commagere Greatness that’s to come.

Jul 22, 2015 On Our Blog

Join the #500Strong Family – Land a Job at One of Our Companies!

Want to get on the fast track to working at an kickass startup? We’re hosting a Job Fair on Wednesday, August 5th at our HQ in San Francisco, CA. From 4-6pm, you’ll get a chance to meet founders in our current batch of startups (Batch 14) and wow them with your awesome skills and sparkling personality. In addition to working an early stage startup, you’d get to experience everything that comes with 500’s accelerator program –working out of our awesome office space, meeting tons of people in the 500 family, attending events and fireside chats with big-name founders, and more. “We had no expectation of finding anyone at the 500 job fair, but we ended up finding Anthony whose amazing …

Jul 21, 2015 On Our Blog

Inside the London Distro Dojo

WTF is a Dojo? Going on the assumption that the definition is not immediately obvious, I’d like to tell you a bit about the Distro Dojo, and what we’ll be doing in London. Distro = Growth – In classic Startup theory, you need four things: Talented founder, big market, good product, great distribution (Distro). In fact, I’d argue that Distro is actually more important than product quality. The history of innovation is full of great products that fail because of poor distribution (such as Sony’s decision not to license Betamax to other hardware companies). Most founding teams have product and engineering in their DNA. Most have no shortage of hustle. But very few co-founders have growth in their DNA. A dojo …

Jul 16, 2015 On Our Blog

Calling All Tech Junkies: Want A Once-In-A-Lifetime Job @ 500 Startups?

WE ARE LOOKING FOR A KICK-ASS CONFERENCE PRODUCER If your core skill set includes writing, research, content development, AND you’re addicted to early-stage tech, AND you’re willing to bust a$$ to get the job done, you may be just the unicorn we’re looking for… ABOUT THE POSITION:  We are looking for a conference producer (editorial lead) to join our SF-based team. As part of the business development & events division, you’ll be a huge force in developing content & recruiting speakers for our conferences, leading research & composing agendas for our “Geeks on a Plane” world tours, and crafting the high-profile packaging & marketing of these initiatives to our 800,000+ subscribers worldwide. It’s a highly detail-driven role and requires someone …

Jul 14, 2015 On Our Blog

Zero to Million Dollar Run Rate — A Story of Growth & Hustle ft. Avanoo

Avanoo is a 500 Startups Batch 12 company that went from being a zero dollar business to hitting a million dollar run rate by the time they got to Demo Day this past June.
Today’s growth case with Avanoo’s Prosper Nwankpa looks at:

  • how Avanoo went from a 3% email open rate
  • their biggest time waster for building out sales teams
  • their early strategic mistake that almost cost them their business
  • and how they went from zero dollars in revenue to a million dollar run rate in 10 months

Jul 7, 2015 On Our Blog

“Smoke Tests” for GROWTH Will Save Your Business

Smoke Tests — for GROWTH — have saved me thousands of dollars, and saved my first business from going under.

Smoke Testing is a method that’s widely relevant to startups and teams of all sizes, and yet it’s often forgotten about when it comes to GROWTH.

NEVER let your product roadmap hi-jack growth; rather, let growth drive your product roadmap.

In this post, I’ll explain Smoke Test methodology, and then give a few real life examples of Smoke Tests I’ve used for fun and profit.