Jan 17, 2017 Diversity News

Can Muslims in Tech Fight Rising Islamophobia in the United States?

Guest blogger – Dustin Craun, Founder and CEO of Life Beyond Borders As we enter a new political era built on a combination of misogyny, racism, and fear-based politics, I think of an unlikely hero, Muslims in tech. Muslims in tech in the United States and around the world is one of the biggest stories not being told. Muslim technological talent, founders, and venture capitalists play a central role in the majority of tech ecosystems around the world. This is true of the tech ecosystems in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Atlanta. There are an estimated 300,000 Muslims in the San Francisco Bay Area, and according to one study upwards of 20% of them work …


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Nov 18, 2016 On Our Blog

#AnotherOne: 500 Startups Announces Batch 19 🔑

It’s that time again! Announcing our latest Mountain View cohort, Batch 19, with 44 companies.   Earlier this year, we experimented with vertical tracks to be able to provide greater value to companies, in particular, categories of interest.  These tracks have allowed companies to receive additional categorical mentoring and networking opportunities.  This year at 500 Startups, we’ve held specialized tracks in Health, Fintech, B2B, and Fashion & Beauty.  In Batch 19, we are, again, running tracks in B2B led by Robert Neivert and Fashion & Beauty led by Tanya Soman.  #MajorKey 500 Startups has always invested in a lot of B2B companies — in fact, many of our top performing companies in our portfolio, such as Intercom and Talkdesk are …


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Oct 17, 2016 Official Announcement

500 Startups Announces 18 New Investments in Latin America

Today we are announcing our newest LatAm Accelerator Batch, a program based in Mexico City which focuses on startups in LatAm and Spanish speaking regions. This is our 6th LatAm batch and we’ve invested in 91 companies to date through the program. Alongside this news, we’ve also opened a new LatAm HQ in Mexico City with an expanded team! After receiving over 408 applications for the current LatAm program, and conducting over 100 founder interviews, 500 Startups chose 18 high potential teams to participate in the program. Each company receives $65K in investment, and joins for 4 months of working side-by-side with support from 500’s team and global family of mentors. Among the 18 startups in Batch 6, there are …


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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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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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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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May 26, 2016 On Our Blog

The Investors You Actually Want on Your Cap Table Speak Words of Wisdom — Our Top Picks from PreMoney SF

PreMoney San Francisco is just around the corner. Wait, what’s PreMoney?? It’s our slightly-more-than-annual investor event brings together our industry’s most forward-thinking VCs, LPs, and founders. When we were asked to curate a list of our favorite PreMoney talks, our first response was, “BUT THERE ARE SO MANY GREAT ONES!” Painful as it was, we were able to whittle it down to 5 essential talks. Below, you’ll find nuggets from CB Insights’ Anand Sanwal, SoftTech’s Charles Hudson, Diishan Imira of Mayvenn, Shauntel Poulson of Reach Capital, Sean O’Sullivan of SOS Ventures, Scale’s Kate Mitchell, and Dan Rosen from Commerce Ventures. This is just a tiny taste of what we’ve pulled together for 2016’s PreMoney SF, which includes cameos by Bill Draper, Aileen Lee, Dave Morin, Danielle Morrill, Jason Lemkin, …


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May 5, 2016 Diversity News

Monique Woodard: Diversity Isn’t A Goal — It’s Good Business.

“I always knew that I would be an entrepreneur,” said Monique Woodard. “I announced at Thanksgiving dinner when I was about 17 or 18 that I wanted to start a business.” In her personal bio, Woodard describes herself as a “total geek for consumers, e-commerce, and cities,” a tidy way to summarize a career in marketing, brand strategy, consumer tech and civic innovation. She’s co-founder and Executive Director of Black Founders, a group that’s working to “increase the number of successful black entrepreneurs in tech,” and in February, she joined 500 Startups as a Venture Partner. For Woodard, becoming an investor was a natural progression. “The opportunity to mentor and work with founders lets me fulfill what I think of as the …


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Mar 23, 2016 On Our Blog

4 Realizations From My Day In Prison

Yesterday, I battled torrential rain and excruciating traffic in a 2.5 hour drive up to Vacaville. Needless to say, I wasn’t in the best mood when I finally arrived at my destination — Solano State Prison. However, the grumpiness melted away immediately when I was greeted by one of the guards. He was the polar opposite of what I would expect from someone guarding the entrance of a prison — cordial, friendly, and mild mannered. With a warm smile on his face, he asked me if the drive was okay, which bridge I took. Then, after directing me to the right parking lot and where to go, he bid me a kind farewell. Not at all what I expected. It was just one of …


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Mar 9, 2016 On Our Blog

VC Unlocked class ready to invest $600M in startups

As a group, the participants in our Venture Capital Unlocked investor training program plan to invest over $600M in startups around the world. Several of them are already in talks with 500 Startups B15 companies after seeing them pitch at our most recent DemoDay. The program, which is taught by 500 Startups in partnership with Stanford Center for Professional Development, ran from Feb 8 – 19th. It is a 2-week crash course on investing strategies, tools and tactics for investors who want to learn how Silicon Valley really operates. The group of participants was an impressive bunch from all over the world, who over the course of two weeks shared notes, deals, laughs, and (perhaps too) many a cocktail. As to …


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