Aug 23, 2016 On Our Blog

How to Invest “Smart Money” — 4 Lessons Learned

I recently attended VC Unlocked: Secrets of Silicon Valley Investing, an investor training program run in partnership with 500 Startups and Stanford Center for Professional Development. The two-week program took place July 25th – August 5th, 2016, and a class of 28 participants dove deeply into the world of tech, understanding fund dynamics and hearing from seasoned experts. My big takeaway was that along with all the attention and hype startups are garnering around the world, there is still a large gap in the knowledge available to investors entering the space. We hear a lot about “dumb money” and to avoid it like the plague, but is that it? As a former educator I believe not – and so here …


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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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Aug 16, 2016 On Our Blog

From “Here, Take my Money” to Investing with Vision

We just finished up our 3rd investor training with Stanford Center for Professional Development and we are on a roll! The highly diverse mix of participants spent two weeks unlocking the secrets of venture capital investing and refining their investment theses. They participants finished the program with a much clearer vision of where they are going and how they plan on getting there. They also left with a certificate from Stanford, a maroon baseball cap and a crazy, fun group of friends and future co-investors that were very excited about their new investment theses! The Venture Capital Unlocked program ran from July 25th – Aug 5th and was held at Stanford University and the 500 Startups accelerator in Mountain View. Diverse …


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Aug 15, 2016 On Our Blog

How Might A Clinton Presidency Affect Silicon Valley?

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is Part 2 of a two-part series that examines how the U.S. presidential race could affect Silicon Valley innovation, an ecosystem that’s affected by economics, immigration policy, international relations, and other factors. These positions were publicly stated by each campaign; instead of characterizing proposals as good or bad, we’re merely speculating on their impact. Part 1 looked at the potential outcomes affecting Silicon Valley from a Trump presidency; today, a look at Hillary Clinton’s Tech & Innovation agenda. Hillary Clinton’s positions on innovation and tech are well-documented and generally reflect prevailing industry attitudes. This is likely because the candidate’s campaign team includes former government officials with tech backgrounds, as well as executives and entrepreneurs. Today, we’ll …


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Aug 12, 2016 On Our Blog

WANTED: Tall, Rich, Powerful Scandinavian to Invest in Lots of Amazing Nordic Startups and Help Them Kick Ass

In the past year 500 Startups has been expanding our efforts in the Nordics with the goal of bringing Silicon Valley best practices to the region and to help early stage startups grow faster. During this time we have made 27 investments into promising Nordic startups and helped them grow and raise capital. Our focus has been on companies doing e-commerce, marketplaces, SaaS, fintech as well as mobile and AI technologies. We have run two investment programs in the region, one focused on early-stage companies in Oslo, as well as a growth marketing program in Stockholm. We’ve also brought seven of these companies back to Silicon Valley to participate in our accelerator programs. Some of our Nordic investments include: IRIS AI …


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Aug 12, 2016 On Our Blog

How Might A Trump Presidency Impact Silicon Valley?

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is Part 1 of a two part series examining how the U.S. presidential race could affect Silicon Valley innovation, an ecosystem that’s affected by the United States’ international relations, immigration policy, and other political factors. We have attempted to stay away from political preferences and present findings as publicly reported by the candidates themselves. Part 2 will look at how a Clinton presidency could affect Silicon Valley, and will be published next week. [Update, 8/14/16: Malcolm McGough, the Trump campaign’s California political director, contacted us after this was posted and confirmed that we stated the candidate’s views on these issues accurately.] With 87 days left until the 2016 presidential election, we’re taking a look at how the candidates’ policies …


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Aug 10, 2016 Accelerator News

The 7 (Pitching) Habits of Highly Effective Founders

Finding the right investors is like dating — you need to kiss many frogs before you find a prince.   Today, I’m going to share seven ways fundraising founders can kiss fewer frogs and find more princes (subtle hint: Batch 19 applications are now open). Habit 1 – Pitch to the Right Investors Not all investors are created equal. Some investors only invest in seed investments. Some investors only focus on Series A.   Before approaching any investors, do your homework and make sure you go after the right target audience. You can segment them with these 5 characteristics: Investment stages (seed, Series A, B, C, etc.) Check size (e.g. $50,000 – $150,000) How many deals has he or she done …


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Aug 1, 2016 Accelerator News

Announcing Batch 18 — Bring on the Bits, Bots and Bods!

We’re proud to announce our 18th cohort of accelerator companies (appropriately called B18) residing in the 500 Startups San Francisco office for the next four months. The batch has a few themes and includes 46 companies total. There is an 11 company FinTech track (five in insurance) led by Sheel Monet who runs the 500 FinTech fund and 8 company Digital Health track led by Rebecca Woodcock. There are also themes in industrial applications, Tristan Pollock’s experiential lifestyles track (think about companies like Outsite that let you live and work from anywhere), and MOAR bots, including bot analytics company Statsbot, Track for freelance taxes, AI homeowner financial dashboard Homebot, and SimplifiMed for monitoring high risk patients. 500 Startups continues to remain one …


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Jul 27, 2016 On Our Blog

19 content marketing ideas that aren’t blog posts

9 min read I talk to a lot of teams about content marketing, a great way to get quality organic traffic at higher volumes if you put in the work and do it right. Most of these conversations tend to start with: “So, we’re thinking of writing this blog post… should we write about X, Y or Z?” Or, “How can I hire someone to write more posts?” These aren’t the wrong questions to be asking — if you’ve determined that content marketing is an important part of your growth marketing framework. But, they make me a little sad. The reason is because, to me (and to your future traffic) content is blog posts, but it isn’t JUST blog posts. …


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Jul 25, 2016 Accelerator News

The Hunt: How Startups WIN on Product Hunt

Product Hunt (PH) has become the de facto source for new and upcoming technology products. If you get featured on the homepage, the next 24 hours could be glorious: Thousands of site hits, a boost in customers MOAR revenue Massive brand awareness among target audience Or, it could be an utter failure. You might get low conversion rates to your site, ghosted from the PH featured page and buried under your competitors. You choose. How to WIN at Product Hunt I’ve helped companies like Indemand and Arka gain over 1,000 upvotes in less than 24 hours, which — with high conversion from PH to landing page — led to hundreds of new customers and thousands of revenue dollars in just …


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