Jul 29, 2014 Official Announcement

You Better Work – Batch 9 Takes on Demo Day

Today’s a big day for Batch 9 – they’re pitching at demo day. Here are all the links you need to follow along.  Check out all the pitch decks on SlideShare Follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #500Strong Check out the companies on Product Hunt and MatterMark Good luck Batch 9!

Jul 24, 2014 On Our Blog

The Startup Guide to Hollywood

Matt Sandler is a musician, entrepreneur and founder of Chromatik, a mobile startup enabling musicians to practice, learn, and share their favorite music. I wanted to replace Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone 3. My mom’s best friend Rochelle worked at MGM and jokingly said that I should audition for the latest Home Alone movie in ‘95. I was 8 years old. I took her seriously and got a’practicing. In the end, Rochelle wouldn’t let me audition. She didn’t want to help in the downfall of a child actor. Not to mention, I was (and still am) awfully awkward on screen. I’ve been intrigued by the entertainment industry ever since. That led me to playing music professionally, before jumping in the tech world. I’ve …

Jul 22, 2014 On Our Blog

Startup PR: Your 4-Part Guide for Interview Preparation in a Pinch

The following post was contributed by Leta Soza, PR Engineer at AirPR. Follow her @LetaSoza. You’ve reviewed the 7 Signs You’re Ready for PR and you’ve landed an interview with star business reporter after chatting them up at a networking event. Giggles dispersed, you now come to terms with the part that makes you panic: They want to interview you tomorrow! You choose to: A) Feign illness (complete with faux coughing) while making the call to cancel. B) Politely ask if the reporter would mind rescheduling (Until you’ve had enough time to build key messaging, prepare talking points, and buy the perfect interview outfit) C) Accept with enthusiasm, kick it into overdrive, and nail down some strategic talking points stat. You’ll dedicate …

Jul 16, 2014 On Our Blog

Activate or Die: 10+ Ways You Can Improve Your User Activation for SaaS – Part 2

Today’s post comes from Justin Mares, 500 Distribution Hacker-in-Residence, co-author of Traction Book and formerly the Director of Revenue at SaaS developer tools company Airbrake (acq’d by Rackspace in 2013).  So you’re now convinced you should improve your activation, and are willing to dedicate some time to it. Not much time — luckily, improving activation often only takes a few minutes a week to set up and run a new A/B test — but enough time to make it a priority for your company. What should you focus on? The first step is to map out the ideal path a customer takes after signing up for your app. To do this, ask yourself: In an ideal world, what steps would every new user take after signing …

Jul 3, 2014 Official Announcement

500 Startups Announces ‘KISS’

We’re thrilled to announce a totally unsexy, yet super useful, set of legal documents for founders and investors affectionately called the KISS (“Keep It Simple Security”). While regular folks can probably ignore this earth-shattering news completely and go back to watching the World Cup, founders and investors should probably pause the game for 5 minutes and keep reading. The KISS docs are designed to SAVE founders & investors TIME and MONEY. They’re FREE legal docs you can use to RAISE MONEY quickly & easily, hopefully WITHOUT GETTING SCREWED.* Got that? Good. But wait… why the hell are we doing this? We’ve seen lots of people get screwed over in the past (both founders and investors, and sometimes people = us), …

Jul 2, 2014 On Our Blog

How to Get More Out of A/B Testing When Your ‘Better’ Variant Fails

We’re big advocates of a/b tests on your most important real estate. But what happens when you run an A/B test where your new ‘improved’ version doesn’t win? Today we look at how Love With Food (a 500 company) extracted an important conversion funnel optimization even when their original version won a major homepage A/B test. First, an A/B review. It’s all too easy to fall into the shotgun approach to A/B testing. Remember that frequency doesn’t make up for randomness, and simply running more test won’t on its own yield meaningful insights or lift. Instead, the A/B test itself is just one part of the optimization process: 1. Start with a problem 2. INTERVIEW customers 3. Design a hypothesis 4. …