Jul 31, 2015 On Our Blog

500 Startups Announces Batch 14 in San Francisco

Heeeyyyyy yo! Can you believe we’re already on our 14th accelerator batch? For those of you keeping track, this is our fourth batch in San Francisco! As always, our companies have all types of founders from everywhere on the globe. 38% of our companies have at least one foreign‐born founder.  Countries include: Finland, Brazil, UAE, Uruguay, Serbia, Ghana, Russia, Canada, Jordan, UK, South Africa, India, France…. <cue… It’s a small world world after all…..> Follow our Batch 14 companies on AngelList. If you want to join 500 in the future, you’re in luck – Batch 15 (Mountain View) applications are currently open. We’re always on the look out for great companies with traction and awesome founders.  APPLY NOW. Announcement shared via TechCrunch. Without further ado, …

Jul 23, 2015 On Our Blog

Meet Blake Commagere, Growth Marketing Badass & Newest 500 DISTRO

Blake Commagere is a growth marketing badass. Like, big time.
Blake was one of the original “growth hackers” back before it became an official job category on tax returns.
We somehow got the impressive Mr. Commagere to join 500 Distro as a growth marketing advisor, and today he’s sitting down with me for a brief AMA that should serve as a prelude for the Commagere Greatness that’s to come.

Jul 22, 2015 On Our Blog

Join the #500Strong Family – Land a Job at One of Our Companies!

Want to get on the fast track to working at an kickass startup? We’re hosting a Job Fair on Wednesday, August 5th at our HQ in San Francisco, CA. From 4-6pm, you’ll get a chance to meet founders in our current batch of startups (Batch 14) and wow them with your awesome skills and sparkling personality. In addition to working an early stage startup, you’d get to experience everything that comes with 500’s accelerator program –working out of our awesome office space, meeting tons of people in the 500 family, attending events and fireside chats with big-name founders, and more. “We had no expectation of finding anyone at the 500 job fair, but we ended up finding Anthony whose amazing …

Jul 21, 2015 On Our Blog

Inside the London Distro Dojo

WTF is a Dojo? Going on the assumption that the definition is not immediately obvious, I’d like to tell you a bit about the Distro Dojo, and what we’ll be doing in London. Distro = Growth – In classic Startup theory, you need four things: Talented founder, big market, good product, great distribution (Distro). In fact, I’d argue that Distro is actually more important than product quality. The history of innovation is full of great products that fail because of poor distribution (such as Sony’s decision not to license Betamax to other hardware companies). Most founding teams have product and engineering in their DNA. Most have no shortage of hustle. But very few co-founders have growth in their DNA. A dojo …

Jul 14, 2015 On Our Blog

Zero to Million Dollar Run Rate — A Story of Growth & Hustle ft. Avanoo

Avanoo is a 500 Startups Batch 12 company that went from being a zero dollar business to hitting a million dollar run rate by the time they got to Demo Day this past June.
Today’s growth case with Avanoo’s Prosper Nwankpa looks at:

  • how Avanoo went from a 3% email open rate
  • their biggest time waster for building out sales teams
  • their early strategic mistake that almost cost them their business
  • and how they went from zero dollars in revenue to a million dollar run rate in 10 months

Jul 12, 2015 On Our Blog

Announcing Distro Dojo Malaysia

With a regional market cap of USD$1.97 trillion and counting, Southeast Asia is a big deal. Today we’re excited to announce it’s about to GROW even bigger. We’ve previously dug in with our pilot growth marketing program, “Cerebro,” our 500 TukTuks $10M regional fund, and our early investment into Southeast Asian unicorn GrabTaxi. Coming this summer, 500 Startups will launch the first ever Distro Dojo in Malaysia, with the support of the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) and its MaGIC campus in Cyberjaya. Why Malaysia, Why Distro? The past couple of years have seen the ASEAN startup ecosystem continue to mature, with more companies emerging in the region — and more money to fund them. There are plenty …

Jul 7, 2015 On Our Blog

“Smoke Tests” for GROWTH Will Save Your Business

Smoke Tests — for GROWTH — have saved me thousands of dollars, and saved my first business from going under.
Smoke Testing is a method that’s widely relevant to startups and teams of all sizes, and yet it’s often forgotten about when it comes to GROWTH.
NEVER let your product roadmap hi-jack growth; rather, let growth drive your product roadmap.
In this post, I’ll explain Smoke Test methodology, and then give a few real life examples of Smoke Tests I’ve used for fun and profit.