Jun 23, 2016 On Our Blog

500 Startups Announces $25M Microfund to Invest in Black and Latino Founders

500 Startups is raising a $25 million dollar microfund to make early stage investments in Black and Latino founders. This fund will invest in ~100 companies and give Black and Latino founders the access to capital, networks, and expertise that they need to grow their businesses. The United States’ shifting demographics is a clear opportunity for investment. By 2044 people of color with be the majority in the US and Black and Latino consumers currently have a combined $2.5T in purchasing power. The fund will be led by Monique Woodard, Venture Partner at 500 Startups and co-founder of Black Founders. Monique has access to some of the best deals in this market and her network has a massive pipeline into …


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Jun 23, 2016 On Our Blog

PreMoney 2016: The Global Investment Community Crosses Paths in San Francisco

PreMoney Brings Together US + International Angels, VCs, LPs Eric Osiakwan, Managing Partner with Chanzo Capital in Accra, Ghana, traveled more than 7,600 miles to attend PreMoney San Francisco. “The world is flat,” he said, sipping a Coke immediately after his panel discussion, “Crossborder Investing: Let’s Go Global, Baby.” “When I started in tech in 1998, one of the terms that really rang in my ears was ‘the global village,’” said Osiakwan. “Today, it’s very real.” How real? Earlier in the day, Osiakwan bumped into Jill Ford, Head of Innovation & Entrepreneurship for City of Detroit. “We first met in Ghana in 2002,” he said. “I didn’t know she would be here! After I finished my lunch, I was walking out …


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Jun 15, 2016 On Our Blog

More Users, Less Spend — 10+ ways to Trim the Fat & Save 5-figures on Adwords (and beyond)

10+ Ways to Eliminate The Adwords Dimensional Wastage That Kills Your Google Display Network Campaigns Results Even Before You Start You need to put your Adwords Display Network Campaigns on a Diet. Actually, not a diet… just trimming the fat with aggressive liposuction surgery might be better. Google Display Network (GDN for acronym lovers) is AMAZING. With over 2 million Display Network sites that reach over 90% of Internet users worldwide (Source: comScore), there are a lot of opportunities to reach customers. But with that power… there just as many dangers. In fact, it’s so dangerous that I rarely meet a startup that’s doing everything I’m going to share with you in this guide. Let me be clear…. The ENEMY …


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Jun 10, 2016 Accelerator News

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 9, 2016 Accelerator News

500 Startups Batch 1 — 5 Years Later. Where Are They Now?

At 500 Startups, each group of founders that is accepted into the accelerator’s four-month program is called a “Batch,” an apt description, since participants receive a series of commands they’ll later process and execute. The founders who presented at 500 Startups Demo Day in August 2011 are considered Batch 1; today, Batch 17 is entering week six of a four-month program that will culminate in their own Demo Day, the product of intense study, practice and camaraderie. Batch 1’s pitches were presented at 500 Startups’ Mountain View office, but today, Demo Days are held at Mountain View’s Computer History Museum, a venue that can accommodate hundreds of attendees, including investors, friends and the media. High production values give these pitch sessions …


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Jun 7, 2016 Accelerator News

How To Pitch A VC

“Everyone” understands the high-level goals of a pitch: Make yourself memorable, and drive home your product’s value. But working out how to put it all into one, non-boring pitch is another matter altogether — and something we work on extensively as part of the 500 Accelerator. Over the years, we’ve learned that sticking to a step-by-step strategy for pitching VCs is a common struggle for startup founders. Do they introduce themselves before or after their companies? Should they list their most impressive metrics upfront or work them into the pitch? What’s the proper way to end investor conversations? Good pitches follow a rigorous structure for engaging investors and proving a company’s value. Like all good marketing and sales, the startup pitch process starts before …


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Jun 3, 2016 On Our Blog

The Career-Changing Impact of Learning How to Invest

Our flagship Venture Capital Unlocked investor training program is back! The 2 week executive ed. program that we co-run with Stanford Center for Professional Development is now accepting applications for its July 25th – August 5th cohort. APPLY HERE Getting the Inside Scoop In the program, participants get an inside look into 500 Startups’ investment playbook and gain firsthand access to world-famous Silicon Valley VCs, angels, startups and entrepreneurs. We are looking forward to another great session taught by Stanford faculty and 500 Startups partners, as well as top speakers like the ones who visited during the February cohort (below). Program Impact At the end of 2015, we highlighted the successes of some of our VC Unlocked participants in a …


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Jun 2, 2016 Accelerator News

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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Jun 1, 2016 Accelerator News

Unconventional Investing Promotes Innovation & Empathy — Interview with 500 Startups EIR Tristan Pollock

500 Startups Venture Partner and Entrepreneur-in-Residence Tristan Pollock is open to new experiences, and he hopes you are, too. “My focus is, ‘I’m really excited about this thing, so let me share it with people who are also excited about it,’” said Pollock. Tristan’s bio describes a person who has a strong interest in ecommerce, but conversation reveals that creating and sharing are his passions. After opening up, he confesses what he calls his “hidden agenda:” the ongoing search for products, services and people who combine novelty and value. “Behind the things I do, there’s usually some passion about why it’s interesting or cool and how it might help people or open their minds,” he explained, “but I also want to reduce judgment …


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May 27, 2016 On Our Blog

Design, Creativity and UX for Startup Growth? 500 Startups Creative Director Yiying Lu on the Power of Art for Startups

The Fail Whale Before joining 500 Startups as Creative Director, Yiying Lu‘s best-known work was “Lifting A Dreamer,” an illustration depicting a Beluga whale airlifted by a small flock or birds. In 2008, Twitter licensed the image so it could display it to users when the service was down, which immediately raised Lu’s profile. “I had no idea where Silicon Valley was,” said Lu. “I literally typed it into Google Maps, but it didn’t show up! I was kind of clueless about this center of innovation and tech community.” After visiting the Bay Area from Sydney, Lu quickly connected with tech folks who appreciated her work, including 500 Startups founder Dave McClure. “He came to me during a party and …


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