Dec 21, 2010 On Our Blog

Twilio Fund Ends World Hunger, Makes Voicemail Fun Again, & Enlists A Few Good Superheroes! (Sort Of)

Textaurant, OrderMapper, & Voicendo are the first to receive 100 Benjamins from the Twilio Fund. BOOM! Back in September, we announced the Twilio Fund – a $250K platform micro-fund from 500 Startups that we carved out to invest in startups building on top of the Twilio platform. We’re HUNGRY to share a couple announcements – the first three $10,000 recipients of the Twilio Fund and our Twilio Fund advisors! And now… introducing you to Textaurant, OrderMapper, and Voicendo! Textaurant is changing the way patrons wait – and restaurants fill seats – by allowing customers to wait online, not in line. Patrons can see wait times from any computer or smartphone and can join the queue from anywhere, and receive a text …

Dec 17, 2010 On Our Blog

Help Design the 500S Movable Sculptural Mural- The Sine Curve of Creativity and Productivity

Note from Enrique Allen: Please take a quick creativity break (even if you’re super busy just write the first thing that comes to mind from any of the following prompts). Have fun, comment below, share a picture sketch, &/or tweet @500startups Now, if you’re interested in our intention… One of the insights I learned from the Stanford dschool environments collaborative is that you need to “set the stage” for people to express themselves with creative confidence. Entrepreneurs working at 500S should know that they can take control of the set and intentionally manipulate props for the best performance- whether that be Demo Day, fireside chats, lectures, video streaming, improv etc. Unfortunately most commercial buildings have sharp edges and fixed wall …

Dec 14, 2010 On Our Blog

Startup Staffing Strategy for Entrepreneurs Crafting Companies (S3 for EC2)

Meet Professor X, aka 500 SuperMentor Hong Quan (@hongdquan). An entrepreneur and recruiter building cars and startups, Hong has even hired a real honest-to-goodness rockstar (#3 on Billboard charts).  He uses his superpowers of recruiting and abilities to read and influence human minds to bring young Startupers in to the 500 Institute.  After hand-picking a game development team for John Romero, Hong worked in Corp Dev for Gazillion Entertainment, resulting in the Lego Universe game and an upcoming Marvel MMO. Similar to his namesake, Hong rolls around in a vehicle of his own creation and is going bald working on It’s hard to get startup bloggers or VCs and Angels to agree on anything.  Aquaman’s already given us the …

Dec 9, 2010 On Our Blog

Space Matters: Why is Startup Accelerator Space Important?

Note from Enrique Allen: The following article is written from an environmental perspective that 500 Startups is a “meta-startup” ecosystem and startups are the primary customers we serve. My personal evidence over the last three years is based on experiences learning and teaching classes at the Stanford dschool and helping design other “accelerators” like Facebook’s fbFund REV and Venrock‘s Quarry. I’m writing this as we build our first iteration of 10k sq ft in downtown Mountain View and actively test how entrepreneurs respond to spaces with the help of many collaborators.[shoutouts] Please share feedback, especially case studies, hacks and data from entrepreneurs like Dave Schappell’s post! One of the most basic human needs for startups is space- both physical and …

Dec 1, 2010 On Our Blog

Don’t Drink Your Own Kool-Aid

This is a cross post from the Altos Ventures Blog, authored by Anthony Lee. Thanks Anthony for letting us reblog!   In my twenty years of working in and with startups, I’ve continually tried to figure out what makes some work and others not.  There are myriad factors of brilliance, determination, luck and timing that go into the success equation.  One of the most important and overlooked characteristics of successful entrepreneurs is objectivity: the ability to see and deal with reality in making decisions. By their nature, startups are driven by passion, optimism, persistence, hope and dreams.  All these traits are essential to fueling the process of inventing a product and innovating a business model.  The beautiful thing about startups is that they are emotional and intellectual creations brought to life through shared vision and hard …