Feb 24, 2011 On Our Blog

Want To Be A Geek On A Plane With 500 Startups?

It’s a bird! it’s a plane! NO….its 40 GEEKS IN A PLANE! Interested in joining Geeks on a Plane ‘South America’ (GOAP) from April 29th through May 8th? GOAP is an invite-only tour that promotes cultural exchange and knowledge sharing among geeks worldwide. For our next trip, we’ll be visiting tech hubs in Brazil (Sao Paulo & Rio de Janeiro), Chile (Santiago), and Argentina (Buenos Aires). Below is some basic info on the trip including agenda and anticipated costs. If you’re interested in being considered for GOAP, please complete THIS FORM no later than 3pm PST this Monday, February 28th. Note: Please only apply if you can attend the full tour. All selections will be made by the GOAP Committee and you will …

Feb 23, 2011 On Our Blog

Fail Fast, Fail Often, And Fail By Design

Meet Bear Grylls, aka 500 SuperMentor TJ Sassani. TJ is the Founder and CEO of zozi, a company rapidly becoming the go-to place for the coolest experiences and activities.  zozi aggregates thousands of merchants in the experience category and is striving to create the industry’s first “OpenTable-like” platform.  Before that TJ was a Director and a member of the early founding team at Lux Research, a firm focused on nanotechnology and clean technology research and intelligence services.  He spent some time in the software space before that, and way back when got his entrepreneurial start by buying, selling and trading sports memorabilia at local flea markets in rural Pennsylvania at the tender age of twelve.  TJ loves start-ups, adventure, satisfying his …

Feb 21, 2011 On Our Blog

10 Ways To Use Zipcast

SlideShare recently announced Zipcast, a new social web conferencing system that is entirely browser-based.  We’ve reblogged these tips on how to use Zipcast (original post). SlideShare co-founder and CEO Rashmi Sinha is a venture advisor and mentor for 500 Startups, as well as a 500 founder. We hope you find these Zipcast tips useful and start trying it out! Already 500 Startups has used it for one of our accelerator talks. Yesterday, we launched Zipcast – a fast, simple and social way to host web meetings. Everyone with a SlideShare account can host a Zipcast, or check into Zipcasts that others are hosting. Here are our 10 favorite ways to use Zipcasts. We are sure you will think of a million other …

Feb 18, 2011 On Our Blog

Hiten Shah, Ryan Freitas, and Charles Hudson Save The World

Ok maybe not QUITE, but they did do something pretty awesome this week. Read on for more. Since we announced the 500 Startups Accelerator last week, we’ve been having several excellent talks from our SuperMentors. This week, Hiten Shah, Ryan Freitas, and Charles Hudson took time out of their busy day of jumping from burning buildings and leaping tall buildings with a single bound to visit the 500 Startups Secret Lair and share their wisdom with our budding mad scientists (aka accelerator startups). To kick off the week, Hiten Shah did a “live metrics review” with our startups. Each one got put into the hot seat and shared their current state of customer metrics. Hiten then became Simon Cowell and …

Feb 18, 2011 On Our Blog

Can You Really Build a Great Tech Firm Outside Silicon Valley?

  Although 500 Startups is based in Silicon Valley, we have a number of startups, mentors, and advisors outside the valley – and even outside the country. So we thought it fitting to reblog Mark Suster‘s recent post about building startups outside of Silicon Valley. Mark is a general partner at GRP Partners and is based in LA. He founded Launchpad LA and runs a popular blog, Both Sides Of The Table. Thanks Mark for giving us permission to reblog!  (View the original post here) Last year I was on Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley meeting with one of the most prominent venture capital firms in the country. We were talking about a company, Factual (disclosure my firm is an investor), …

Feb 16, 2011 On Our Blog

Why Your Startup Needs a Visual Dashboard

This post was originally published by Robert Laing on the mygengo blog. Robert and mygengo are part of the 500 Startups family. You may remember Robert from his recent guest post on doing a startup in Japan. Since this is a long post (albeit very informative), we’ve chosen to publish an excerpt of the post here and link to the rest of the post. This post will tell you why you need to start visual reporting for your startup, and how to go about putting together a basic dashboard. You already know this: What gets measured, gets done. You already know this too: Humans instinctively respond to visual cues So do this: Use visual dashboards for your startup I’m going …

Feb 10, 2011 On Our Blog

BOOM Goes The Dynamite! 500 Startups Explodes With 2 New Periodic Elements, 12 Sensational Startups, and 1 Awesome Accelerator Program

500 Startups announces today they have discovered the newest periodic elements – Upandtotherightium (Ur) and Viralium (Vi). In addition to this amazing new discovery which is awaiting official recognition by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, they are also proud to announce they are in the early stages of developing 12 remarkable new startups in their just-launched 500 Startups Accelerator program at their headquarters in Mountain View. The buzz among the science community is the 500 Startups Accelerator will soon eclipse the CERN Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, which has long held the title of the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. Several Russian physicists have raised concerns this new 500 Startups Accelerator could be dangerous and …

Feb 9, 2011 On Our Blog

A Sense of Déjà Vu: Why focusing on monetization is critical for mobile app developers.

Meet Lucky Luke aka 500 SuperMentor and Founder Michael Oiknine (@apsalarinc).  Michael is co-founder & CEO of Apsalar, a behavioral targeting and analytics platform for mobile apps.  Prior to Apsalar, Michael was co-Founder & COO of Kefta, a SaaS provider of online behavioral targeting solutions (acquired by Acxiom in March 2007). In the mid-90s, when the web was in its infancy, the entrepreneurs of the time made a big mistake. They focused too much on the wrong metric for their business: the number of new users in a given period. These startups raised large amounts of cash, but instead of focusing on the value provided by their product or on the user experience, they engaged in a spending spree to …

Feb 8, 2011 On Our Blog

Build a Killer Product Faster! The Secret of User Activity Streams and Cohort Metrics

Meet Silver Surfer aka 500 SuperMentor Dan Martell (@danmartell).  Dan is the Co-Founder of Flowtown, a social marketing application for businesses.  Self diagnosed as having intense ADHD, you can either find him hosting dinners, speaking about marketing or jumping off cliffs around the world. Note: all data displayed in the mock-ups below are based on real data as of Feb 6th, 2011 except for personal user information. Over the past 8 weeks, we’ve quietly launched a new app called Timely (http://timely.is).  It’s a simple way to add tweets to a queue and publish them at optimal times throughout the day. It’s been a fun project to build. We currently have over 2500 sign-ups, over 21% avg weekly active users, and …

Feb 3, 2011 On Our Blog

The Geckoboard Platform: A Beginner’s Guide to the Geckoboard API

Welcome Geckoboard to the 500 Startups family! Geckoboard just launched out of beta and announced their seed round today. This post below was originally published on the Geckoboard Blog. If you’ve been following Geckoboard for any period of time you’ll know that we’re always adding connections to new services.  With so many great services out there we’ve recently expanded the development team (again) so we can crank more widgets even faster while the requests keep rolling in.  We’ll always keep adding new widgets (keep an eye on the blog tomorrow for more announcements) but today I wanted to talk to you about another way of getting your data on your Geckoboard status board even when we don’t have a connection to it. …