Mar 28, 2013 On Our Blog

500 Startups Announces *ALL-NEW* SuperFriends (Wonder Twin Powers…. ACTIVATE!)

This past year has been nothing short of AWESOME for 500 Startups. The #500STRONG family is on every continent except Antarctica, with Venture Partners on the ground in NYC, China, Mexico, Brazil, and Southeast Asia – with more to come! So what’s the big news? What new superheroes and supervillains have we created or destroyed?  What new element have we discovered? NEW SUPERFRIENDS IN THE VALLEY FIRST: We’re excited to announce that George Kellerman, our resident attorney, UFC fanboy, X-Games athlete, surfer, and firefighter, has been promoted to Partner (GO GEORGE!). George has been leading 500 Startups’ fundraising efforts and investor relations for more than a year. A former Yahoo Japan & Dell Japan alumnus, George also speaks fluent Nihongo …


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Mar 27, 2013 On Our Blog

How We Pivoted Right After 500 Startups’ Demo Day – and Survived

Post Contributed by Mark Kofman. He and Anton Litvinenko are the co-founders of Import2, an online service for automated data migration. With three startups behind them, today they help businesses and consumers to move their data when switching CRMs, help desks or other software. This is the story of how we shifted gears and changed our team communication tool, 300.mg, into a totally new business idea just a few weeks after we graduated from 500 Startups’ Accelerator. We’re not quite Twitter or Amazon yet, but we still have some insights to share. How it All Started In the beginning, things went relatively smoothly; we thought a tool that would integrate all the flows of documents, tasks, and conversations would be …


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Mar 21, 2013 On Our Blog

Use SCIENCE to Get More Customers: The Distribution Hacking Framework

Matt Berman recently joined 500 Startups as an in-house Distribution Hacker. As part of his role, he launched the 500 Distribution Program where he’ll work 1:1 with select 500 portfolio companies on user acquisition, analytics, funnel optimization, email marketing, split testing, and demographic research. Have you ever felt completely clueless when starting to think about paid distribution? Today, I’m going to teach you the basics of a distribution hacking framework so you can properly test channels – and get more customers. What is Distribution Hacking? Distribution hacking is a way to grow your customer base through paid distribution channels like Facebook Ads, Google Adwords or Promoted Tweets. If you’re familiar with “growth hacking” (a very common term now), you already …


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Mar 21, 2013 On Our Blog

Southeast Asia (SEA) is Social on Steroids

This month, the 500 blog is taking you to every market in the world that’s ripe for innovation. We’ve already covered India, China, and Brazil – now we’re heading to one of the most social and mobile places on earth: Southeast Asia. Are you an SEA entrepreneur who wants to dominate this market? We want you for our Spring Accelerator batch. Apply today before the March 1st deadline. Friendster. Multiply. Yahoo360. These early social networks once had their most active user base in Southeast Asia (SEA) –  the region comprised of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Phillipines, Thailand, Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar/Burma and Singapore. And now with Twitter, Facebook, and new chat apps, similar patterns have begun to emerge. What is …


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Mar 18, 2013 On Our Blog

GOAP India 2013: Bold Founders, Optimistic Investors, and a Government that’s Finally Waking up

Geeks on a Plane (GOAP) is a 10-12 day trip to various parts of the world with 20-25 “Geeks” (entrepreneurs, techies, designers, angels, VCs, mentors). The first Geeks on a Plane to India was in December 2011; that’s when I first met Dave, Paul, Christen, George, Anu, Samir, and a bunch of other great geeks. Fast forward 14 months, and I finally got a chance to be a “geek” on the February 2013 GOAP India trip. GOAP India 2013 included awesome people on the trip as well as great hosts across India. Here’s what I learned during our visit to Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi: India Is A Land of Contradictions The poor are all over India. It’s still one of …


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Mar 14, 2013 On Our Blog

The Secret Pregnant Founder

The following post was contributed by Melissa Miranda, founder of Tiny PostPregnant. That was my big secret when I was pitching (and winning) at Women 2.0 a year ago. Not only am I a female founder, I’ve also led my startup while becoming a mom at the same time.I wish we didn’t have to have this debate so I could be working instead of writing my story. I wish there wasn’t any bias in Silicon Valley. I wish I didn’t have to think carefully about how I could write this so I could still be perceived as a strong and capable individual, not a victim of gender bias or a privileged super hero (or whatever they are calling Marissa and Sheryl).But …


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Mar 14, 2013 On Our Blog

#500Strong Stories: Facing the Challenges of Being a Female Founder

In addition to having lots of women on the 500 team, we’re proud to say that the startups we support are incredibly diverse, with a healthy mix of male and female founders from nearly every continent. We think it makes the 500 network, stronger, better, and way more interesting. We wouldn’t have it any other way. International Women’s Day was last week, and we were excited to see lots of great stories pop up about women in tech. Being a founder is hard, and female founders have a unique set of challenges that can make things like fundraising extremely difficult (as if it wasn’t already excruciatingly hard!). Some founders in the #500Strong family decided to join the conversation by sharing …


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Mar 13, 2013 On Our Blog

This Summer’s Biggest Blockbuster: Geeks on a Plane Southeast Asia!

Our mission at 500 is to find incredible entrepreneurs wherever they are –  whether they’re in Silicon Valley, New York, or Thailand. Big things are happening in Southeast Asia (SEA), and we’re proud to announce that Geeks on a Plane will make its very first trip to SEA this June! So what is Geeks on a Plane exactly? #GOAP is an invite-only tour for startups, investors, and executives to learn about burgeoning technology markets worldwide. Our geeks travel far and wide to seek out amazing international entrepreneurs and innovators of all kinds. During these trips, attendees gain new insights, meet new friends, and make business contacts from all over the globe. They also have a lot of FUN. Geeks on a …


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Mar 12, 2013 On Our Blog

What Do Female-Founders Really Encounter When They Fundraise?

The following post was contributed by Elizabeth Yin, Co-founder at LaunchBit I was fascinated by the article entitled “Money matters: why women struggle in the Silicon Valley” in part, because it’s an inside look into what women founders really do/encounter and for so long has largely been kept secret. Investors use pattern recognition — they believe that by investing in teams/products similar to past successes, they’ll have a greater probability of success. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with that, but I do believe it makes it harder for teams who don’t fit those “proven patterns.” (e.g. women, certain races, certain ages, certain skillsets, certain lifestyles, etc) As a result, several things follow: 1) If you don’t fit a “proven pattern,” you’ll …


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Mar 8, 2013 On Our Blog

The Phone Number is Dead – Voice Over IP Demystified

Facebook recently announced that Facebook Messenger would let users call each other through VoIP.  Microsoft bought Skype. Google has both Google Voice and Google Talk.  And the recent emergence of WebRTC is finally warming the waters for the web nerds among us to dip our toes in the stagnant waters of telecom. Let’s face it – Voice over IP Is becoming ubiquitous, and the phone number’s days are, well, numbered. At my startup Speek, we’re fixing the conference call. In order to do this, we must dwell in both the web and telephony worlds. This means we must have an intimate understanding of traditional telephony as well as emerging Voice over IP technologies and trends. I’d like to simplify the …


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