Oct 28, 2010 On Our Blog

Coming Soon… Inbox Love

Brought to you by 500 Startups and two of our esteemed mentors & founders – Jared Goralnick (AwayFind), and Joshua Baer (OtherInbox), Inbox Love is a one-day conference on the future of email and the inbox as a platform. Coming to San Francisco in early 2011. Stay tuned!


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Oct 27, 2010 On Our Blog

The Meeting of the SuperMentors

It was a dark and stormy night. In a secret lair hidden far far away from mere mortals, the SuperMentors of 500 Startups convened. They came from all over – Gotham, Metropolis, the planets Vulcan, Cybertron, and Naboo, and The Shire. In just a few hours, they devised a master plan for world domination. That and some killer ideas on how to help the startups of 500 Startups go to infinity… and beyond! Such an affair can best be documented in picture form: After a long day of saving lives and fighting crime, the SuperMentors arrived to the secret lair understandably famished. They recharged with sustenance and invigorating conversation. The Incredible Hulk (aka David Shen) talks shop with fellow SuperMentors. Daredevil (aka John …


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Oct 22, 2010 On Our Blog

Making Your Startup A Platform

Meet Green Lantern, aka super-mentor Ben Lewis. Ben is a co-founder and VP of Product at Tapjoy, a platform offering mobile publishers solutions for application discovery, rich advertising, and virtual good sales. Before life as an entrepreneur, Ben was a product manager at Google and worked on consumer products such as Toolbar, Search, and Checkout. Ben was also an engineer on the original Xbox Live team. As one of the cofounders of Tapjoy, I hear a lot of ideas for iPhone and Android based companies. These ideas usually fall into one of the following two categories:   I’m going to build an app or game   I’m going to build a platform or ad network to help other developers   …


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Oct 12, 2010 On Our Blog

Blogging Is Like Oxygen

This morning, I came across a couple blog posts today on the topic of having a blog (yes, very meta):   What can you learn from 7 awesome corporate blogs? (from KISSMetrics’ blog)   Five reasons why corporate blogs fail (an older post from Technorati) Reading these made me take a step back and reflect on the 500 Startups Blog, as well as other corporate blogs I managed while I was at Google and YouTube. Everyone seems to include a blog and/or Twitter account as part of a big launch checklist. After the big announcement, more often than not these two properties start to gather cob webs because blogging and tweeting aren’t considered high priority. To me, this is a …


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Oct 11, 2010 On Our Blog

How to (Sustainably) Make the Startup Office More Livable

Meet one of our super-mentors, Captain Underpants (aka Dave Schappell). In his own words: “I’m the founder, CEO and door-desk-builder at TeachStreet – a Seattle-based local/learning startup, helping people find great local (and online) teachers/schools/classes, and helping those schools and teachers with effective online advertising/lead-gen/payment processing tools.” In this post, Dave talks about how to make your startup office space livable while not breaking the bank. Let’s face it – all pre-entrepreneurs dream of a garage-, basement- or coffee shop-catalyzed startup, run with a frugal mindset and a just-do-it mentality (we all hate The Man and his cubicle farms, right?!?)  And a huge percentage of startups do just that, for a few days, weeks or even months.  But after the …


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Oct 10, 2010 On Our Blog

Acquisitions: Pulling Back The Covers – Part 2

500 Startups Mentor Ryan Junee continues with Part 2 of his thoughts about startup acquisitions. Catch up on Part 1. This is a continuation of my previous post in which I talked about some of the key things you and your team need to think about when deciding to sell your company. In this post I will describe the actual negotiation process and some of the important terms you will need to know. Negotiations A lot has been written about negotiation strategy and tactics, and I’m far from an expert, so I’ll let you research the general stuff on your own. In the context of a potential acquisition, the first thing you need to do is get a strong internal sponsor/champion …


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Oct 7, 2010 On Our Blog

Warm Gun will be live streamed – tune in this Friday

Our first 500 Startups event, Warm Gun, is only a couple days away! For folks who can’t make it in person, we’ll be live streaming the event. So you can check out all the great sessions from wherever you are. The URL to bookmark:http://bit.ly/warmgunlivestream Be sure to follow @warmgundesign for all the latest Warm Gun info, including day-of live tweeting and presenters’ SlideShare presentations! And our event hash tags will be #warmgun and #warmgundesign.


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Oct 7, 2010 On Our Blog

EXTRA! EXTRA! Lex Luthor, Tony Stark, Jean Grey, Bruce Wayne to join 500 Startups “Brain Trust” of Mentors

Coming Soon: 500 Startups HQ Talks on Mind Control, Blind Dates for Telepaths, DIY Holodeck ZAP! KAZAM! POW! A super-secret society of powerful tech-heads is gathering their forces even as we speak, coming together with a shared mission of world domination – er, no, wait, we mean souped-up startup support. This week, we announce that some of tech’s most powerful brains are banding together as mentors and venture advisors for 500 Startups. Emerging triumphant from the darkness of their butlered bat caves, cryptically white-boarded cubicles and secret Sand Hill Road sanctuaries, this new, energy drink-fueled League of Leaders will be sharing what they’ve learned about fighting for truth, justice, and the entrepreneurial way. Here’s the breaking news about these two teams …


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Oct 7, 2010 On Our Blog

Acquisitions: Pulling Back the Covers – Part 1

Meet The Riddler, the first 500 Startups super-mentor to make an appearance on this blog. The Riddler, aka Ryan Junee, is a serial entrepreneur and start-up advisor by day. By night, he schemes complex riddles to trick fellow entrepreneurs and unwitting technophiles. He is currently working on an as-yet-unlaunched startup. His previous company, Omnisio, developed innovative ways to edit and enhance online videos and was acquired by Google/YouTube in 2008. In this post, Ryan pulls back the covers on acquisitions and shares his adventures from Omnisio. To many entrepreneurs, the process of getting acquired seems like a black box. I suspect this is because far fewer acquisitions happen than, say venture financings (about which a lot has been written), so there …


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Oct 4, 2010 On Our Blog

Announcing the CrowdFlower Fund

We recently announced the Twilio Fund, a new investment vehicle for startups building on top of the Twilio cloud communications platform. Today we’re thrilled to welcome another addition to the 500 Startups platform micro-fund family – the CrowdFlower Fund! The CrowdFlower Fund is a $250,000 platform micro-fund that will invest in startups integrating with CrowdFlower’s cloud labor platform. Why CrowdFlower? CrowdFlower helps companies with many types of tasks that humans do better and faster than machine algorithms by sourcing people for their processing power. A person can quickly tell you if a photo contains a person or just a landscape, if a product is categorized correctly, or if your business listings are accurate. Say you want to make a new …


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