Aug 13, 2012 On Our Blog

Co-founding Love: College Roommates + 4 Steps

This story is by Camilo Acosta. Camilo, along with Frank Langston and Dan Oblinger are co-founders of PaybyGroup. PaybyGroup lets you split group purchases easily. PaybyGroup is part of our 3rd accelerator batch. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter.   Frank and I met as freshman at Princeton and became roommates during our upper classmen years.  After many long nights of drinking we would talk about starting our own business someday. Both of us came from entrepreneurial families so we knew we wanted to start our own thing, it was just a matter of finding something we were passionate about.  We came upon an idea two years after college and started our first startup, Root Orange.  While we were successful at raising money, the …


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Aug 9, 2012 On Our Blog

WIN Wednesdays: Courtney Powell

This week’s WIN Wednesday woman is Courtney Powell. Courtney’s passion for helping dissatisfied consumers led her to become the CEO and co-founder of PublikDemand. PublikDemand is a platform that helps unhappy customers use their collective voice to file complaints against big businesses.  They are part of 500 Startups’ 4th accelerator batch. Previously, she founded the automated marketing firm LeedSeed.com. Follow PublikDemand on Facebook and Twitter and follow Courtney on Twitter here. How did you become an entrepreneur? I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad when I was 18. My family had a background in government and non-profit work so I had never been explicitly exposed to the idea of entrepreneurship until I read Kiyosaki’s book.It forced me to reevaluate my understanding …


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Aug 9, 2012 On Our Blog

Bacon Heartthrob: Why unSEXY Startups Get Us Hot & Bothered

By Christen O’Brien, Partner @ 500 Startups In my opinion, right now there’s way too much hype on the technologies and not enough attention to the real businesses behind them. – Mark Cuban Whoever said “it’s what’s inside that counts” was only half right. Because sexy sells. Talk to any successful CEO in an “unsexy” vertical – like financial, infrastructure, communications, or data – and you can hear it in their voice: the struggle they endured as they tried to sell their big idea to folks like investors, press, partners, and customers. And even harder, as they tried to rise above the fray amidst their sexy counterparts – photosharing apps, social networks, video sites, LOL Cats, photosharing apps that overlay …


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Aug 7, 2012 On Our Blog

Mobile SEO for Beginners: How to improve App Store Search Ranking

This is a guest post by Naoki Shibata, founder of SearchMan.com, part of our 2nd accelerator batch. SearchMan helps app developers to make their apps easy to find in AppStore. SearchMan SEO tracks search rankings, analyzes keywords, competes for rankings, and optimizes everything. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for more content. Problem: Creative app developers pursuing the huge long tail of mobile app revenue, will continue to out-innovate each other. That may be why there are 1,899 flashlight apps in the App Store. Some of them rank among the top 25 in the App Store categories, but most don’t. To enjoy a fair slice of the App Store marketplace’s revenue opportunity, discoverability is key. But how? Buy advertising? It’s too expensive. Even more so now, with profitable social gaming …


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Aug 7, 2012 On Our Blog

500 Startups Announces Hostile Takeover of LatAm Startup Accelerator Mexican.VC

(McClure: “No Chihuahuas Were Harmed In The Making Of This Deal.”) Today we are thrilled to announce that Mexican.VC, the most famous and handsome startup accelerator in all of Mexico, is joining global internet superpower 500 Startups to help fund and launch more startup companies in Latin America. Mexican.VC Founding Partners César Salazar and Santiago Zavala will be joining 500 Startups as Venture Partners in Mexico. Mexican.VC and 500 Startups have a shared vision: talented entrepreneurs can be found all over the world, and the most exciting growth opportunities are coming from web, mobile, and internet startups in emerging markets. In particular, we are enthusiastic about the state of Mexican entrepreneurship and the country’s growing trillion dollar economy. 500 Startups …


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Aug 4, 2012 On Our Blog

Co-founding Love: Looking Backwards

This story is by Leo Chen and how he, his co-founders Josh Chen and Kristen Slowe came together to work on Monogram, a personalized shopping & discovery app for the iPad. Monogram is part of our current 4th Accelerator Batch. Check out Monogram and follow them on Twitter here. Leo & Kristen at 500 Startups Demo Day SF 2010.. In April 2010, I failed my first startup in Seattle after 2 years of non-stop grinding only to find myself nearly broke with a beaten self-esteem and what seemed like 2 years of my life down the drain. As much as people like to portray a failure as a badge of honor in the startup world, I certainly felt nothing but shame.  That same month, a friend recommended me to the Geeks …


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