Jul 29, 2012 On Our Blog

Women, We Want YOU… To WIN!

  Tonight we’re announcing an important initiative – the WIN Challenge. (Women Investors Now)  [Link to Dave’s article on Techcrunch.] The number of women founding startups is growing. However, we have yet to see this same growth on the other side of the table – women writing checks and investing in startups, particularly at the angel investor level. We need more women angel investors like Esther Dyson, Caterina Fake, Christina Brodbeck, Jayne Hillman, Jennifer Lum, Randi Zuckerberg, Rashmi Sinha, Brit Morin, Danielle Morrill, and Mari Baker. If you’re a woman who cares about seeing more women founders, women CEOs, and women leaders, then take the WIN Challenge. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to invest in at …


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Jul 28, 2012 On Our Blog

Co-Founding Love: Secret Saturdays & Popping the Question

Secret Saturdays   This story is by Manolo Diaz on how he started working with Alberto Colin on Yogome.Yogome makes awesome educational games  for kids on web browsers and the iPad. You can follow Yogome on Twitter here. Alberto (Left) & Manolo (right), Co-founders of Yogome.   I met my co-founder Alberto when I hired him for another educational project in Mexico, but I wasn’t happy with the approach that the project was taking so I quit and began working on Yogome.  Alberto decided to leave a 20+ team and a good salary to join me on the Yogome project. We started working secretly on Saturdays in an office from another business I had. It was really exciting.   The coolest part …


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Jul 26, 2012 On Our Blog

And That’s A Wrap! Recap of 500 Startups Demo Days

This week, we wrapped up the last of three Demo Days in 3 different cities. Hundreds of investors, press, and techies-at-large laughed, tweeted, analyzed, and pulled out their checkbooks as the 27 companies of our Spring 2012 Accelerator Program unveiled what they’ve been working on.           The 1st Demo day was hosted at 500 Annual Partner Microsoft’s campus in Mountain View.  The companies kept their pitches short, sweet, engaging, and smooth. The audience roared with laughter as the startups delivered clever lines and, at least for 1 startup, compared their traction to being “more viral than syphilis”.   Microsoft’s stage is ready for 500!   Our 2nd Demo Day was hosted at Zynga’s spiffy new HQ in San Francisco. This time …


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Jul 26, 2012 On Our Blog

WIN Wednesdays

Last week at Demo Day SF, we announced the WIN (Women Investors Now) Challenge.In an effort to increase the number of women angel investors, we challenged women to invest in 3 startups at a minimum of $5,000 each over the next year. Since then, more than 100 have taken the challenge and WIN has sparked a ton of exciting conversationaround the topic of women angels and women investors. To keep up the momentum, we’re introducing our new Wednesday blog series, WIN Wednesdays. Beginning next Wednesday, we’ll highlight a notable female leader in tech each week. Whether she’s an angel investor, a founder, an engineer, or a warrior princess that fights crime with a Macbook Air, the featured WIN Wednesday woman …


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Jul 23, 2012 On Our Blog

Welcome Mike Greenfield To Team 500!

From the very beginning, “Design, Data, Distribution” was the mantra of 500 Startups. We always aspired to help our companies beyond just writing them a check (or rather, wiring them money). When it comes to that third “D” Distribution, we’ve done a lot to help our companies – we’ve formed strong relationships with platform companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, we have a slew of amazing mentors who are domain experts in all types of distribution and customer acquisition tactics, and we’ve held countless weekly talks, meetups, events and conferences on many distribution topics. However, we aren’t stopping there. Today, we’re excited to welcome a new 500 team member that will pull a Jerry Maguireand help us help our companies …


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Jul 21, 2012 On Our Blog

Co-Founding Love: Giant Pig, Ham

This story is by Mo Yehia on how he met Avand Amiri. Mo and Avand are  co-founders of Sqoot, a local ad network & analytics tool. Sqoot is part of our current Spring 2012 accelerator batch. Follow Sqoot on Twitter here.   After quitting my job in finance in favor of playing polo in Argentina, a friend introduced me to TechStars. I applied to the Boulder program & was asked to fly out as one of the top few dozen companies. After the day long event, the group strolled over to a local watering hole to drown its’ sorrows. There, I met another “contestant.” He wore a sports coat and a tee-shirt with a giant pig logo. The pig’s name was Ham, …


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Jul 20, 2012 On Our Blog

‘CAPTION THIS’ Contest 2 > Score a Ticket to unSEXY from MailChimp

Our favorite chimps at MailChimp are giving away a free ticket to unSEXY to the joker who provides the best caption to the pic below (btw – Ben Chestnut, Founder of MC will be speaking at unSEXY): HOW IT WORKS: 1. Post your caption in the comment section below > You have to scroll WAY down. 2. When the contest has ended, the folks at MailChimp will select a winner. 3. We’ll post the winner to our blog and notify via email 4.  The free ticket can be used for future events so play along if you can’t attend unSEXY!


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Jul 17, 2012 On Our Blog

Women Designers Share Stories For The Next Generation

  Enrique Allen partnered with 500 Startups to create the Designer Fund, a community of designers who invest in designer founders through mentorship, funding, and access to their network. 500 Startups is a sponsoring partner of the Designer Fund along with other top venture capital funds.   “Stories are currency,” shared Elle Luna, Senior Communication Designer at IDEO at the Women in Design event this past Friday. If that’s the case, the speakers at this event were some of the richest women in Silicon Valley with plenty of stories of how they got started, took risks, failed, persevered, and became who they are today. “Stories are currency,” shared Elle Luna, Senior Communication Designer at IDEO at the Women in Design …


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Jul 17, 2012 On Our Blog

99 Problems But A Pitch Ain’t 1!

If you’re having startup problems I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems but a pitch ain’t one. If you’re having startup problems I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems but a pitch ain’t one. It’s almost time for Demo Days at 500 Startups! Founders from our current accelerator batch are all prancing around, prepping and practicing their pitch in preparation for Spring 2012 Demo Days. This week, we will be livestreaming the 27 startups from our current accelerator batch as they demo what they’ve been working on to investors and press. Exciting? HELL YES! You can watch the livestream at  livestream.com/500startups on: – Tuesday 7/17 starting at ~12:45pm. We’ll be streaming the very first …


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Jul 14, 2012 On Our Blog

Friday, I’m in Love.

“Monday you can fall apart Tuesday, Wednesday break my heart Thursday doesn’t even start It’s Friday I’m in love”   Everyone in the startup community has at one point or another alluded the co-founders relationship to being married. Your co-founder is the one you spend the most time with, share an emotional rollercoaster of running startups with, and basically raise a baby (your company) with.  But behind every successful partnership is a story of how those co-founders met and fell in co-founding love. So to celebrate the biggest essence to what makes a company great, a strong founding team, we’ve started this weekly series. 500 Startups presents to you, Co-founding Love. Starting next week, every Friday we’ll feature at least one …


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