Feb 8, 2017 On Our Blog

Batch 20 triples down on FinTech and Digital Health, Takes on Uncle Sam with GovTech

500 Startups’ 20th program (B20) in Silicon Valley starts at time that will be remembered across the world. Only three days after a new (and highly controversial) United States government administration has taken power and Silicon Valley is preparing for a Trumpocalypse. Seeing this regulatory disruption as an opportunity for private sector tech companies, B20 includes GovTech (13.6% of B20), FinTech (27%) and Digital Health (15.9%). In total, there are 44 companies in the four-month program that will run from January to May. Popular technology trends — including SaaS, marketplaces, AI/bots, big data, analytics, devops and hardware — also remain prevalent in the seed program formally known as an accelerator but continually geared towards scaling companies with early traction. In …


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Dec 21, 2016 Official Announcement

Turbo Charging Growth: 500 Partners with GM

After 19 batches since 2010, we’ve seen our companies experience the impact of strong mentorship. Today, 500 Startups, is announcing a Seed Program collaboration between General Motors and 500 focused right here in Silicon Valley as an effort to continually evolve and heighten our programs. Our first corporate partner track aligns with GM’s vision to be innovative, autonomous, connected, electrified, and to create solutions that truly change the value and sustainability of transportation to enhance customers’ lives. This partnership with GM will provide important resources developed to give access and knowledge transfer to one of the largest global automotive companies in the world. When is this happening? Starting January 23rd, we will open the first class as part of Batch …


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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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Nov 18, 2016 On Our Blog

The Artist Formerly Known As Accelerator

When Christine and I started 500 Startups six years ago, we knew we wanted to run an investment program for startups that emphasized community and education. We had long been inspired by other earlier programs such as YCombinator, TechStars, and SeedCamp. However, we had a new approach and perspective, and wanted to create our own VC firm + accelerator with a decidedly different vibe and experience.   All these programs, including the 500 accelerator, share several key concepts: Provide a modest amount of investment capital to a group of startups Startups work in shared physical space (note: YC de-emphasizes this) Connect them with a community of experienced founders and mentors Help companies “accelerate” their progress in a short amount of …


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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 10, 2016 On Our Blog

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 3, 2016 International Stories

Raising The Drawbridge? Brexit’s Implications For UK Startup Founders & Investors

In 2015, 500 Startups Partner Matt Lerner joined the firm so he could lead the London-based Distro Dojo, a growth marketing boot camp/think tank that helps early-stage startups scale up for their next round. When he took the reins, Lerner had many expectations, but the notion that 51% of British voters would soon vote to leave the European Union was not one of them. The UK’s relationship to the EU has been ambivalent for decades, but that hasn’t stopped London from becoming a hub for European startups, said Lerner. Like Silicon Valley, London has access to sufficient money, talent and experience to sustain a startup ecosystem. Brits haven’t imported California’s sunny optimism, Lerner said, but “they have always embraced and celebrated …


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Aug 1, 2016 On Our Blog

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 Mohnot 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 25, 2016 On Our Blog

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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Jul 22, 2016 Seed Program news

The Most Common Myths About Startup Accelerators — Busted

In most aspects of life, the gulf between expectation and reality is larger than expected, but that’s where growth comes from. This principle also applies to startup accelerators, where founders fortunate enough to gain admission can access networks that provide mentorship, emotional support, and eventually, funding. Tristan Pollock, a 500 Startups Venture Partner and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, is part of a team at 500 that reviews thousands of applications for each 12-week batch, which usually only admits 40 or 50 companies. Today, we’ll reveal the most common myths founders have when they join an accelerator, and how Tristan’s own expectations evolved after joining 500. What are some of the top misconceptions founders have before joining an accelerator? A large part of it is setting expectations at the beginning. Sometimes, …


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