Oct 31, 2015 On the Web

4 Startups to Watch From 500 Startups’ Demo Day

500 Startups just graduated its fourteenth batch of companies from its accelerator in Mountain View, California. Co-founded in 2010 by investor Dave McClure, 500 Startups counts 3-D printing startup MakerBot, acquired by Stratasys, and social media marketing startup Wildfire, acquired by Google, as some of its most notablegraduates. 

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Oct 29, 2015 On Our Blog

Postmates CEO Bastian Lehmann On Growing His Business And The Future Of On-Demand

Postmates CEO Bastian Lehmann is one of my favorite founders. But despite knowing him for years, last week was the first opportunity I’ve had to interview him in front of an audience. Over the course of an hour-long conversation, we talked about how Postmates has grown to be available in 40 metropolitan markets throughout the U.S., how the demand for on-demand services has changed over the past four years, and how Lehmann sees the competitive landscape shaping up. These are just a few of the key highlights from that discussion. Listen To Your Customers The idea behind Postmates was always to enable consumers to connect with local businesses and have goods delivered to them, but it took some time for the company …


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Oct 27, 2015 On Our Blog

From a Hackathon Win to a Hyper-Growth Company

Today’s guest post is by Tiago Paiva, the CEO and cofounder of Talkdesk, the world’s leading cloud-based call center software solution. When he isn’t running a high-growth startup, he enjoys reading, snowboarding and playing with his dog, Buster.       It all started with a laptop. I had recently graduated with my master’s degree in computer science from the University of Lisbon. My intention was to found a startup – to create an innovative product that could change the world – but the startup scene in Portugal hadn’t taken off yet. I spent hours every day working on various entrepreneurial projects, brainstorming business ideas, listening to “This Week in Startups” and scouring the Internet for a way to break into …


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Oct 27, 2015 On Our Blog

Silk Road was the fastest growing online marketplace ever — here’s why

First, what is Silk Road? THIS: NOT THIS: Silk Road, the anonymous, dark web, Tor protected, drug marketplace lived for over 2 years online. Eventually the founder, Ross Ulbricht, was caught and arrested. Silk Road 2.0 emerged. After the FBI shut the 2.0 site down, there was a 3.0. Now there are around 50 separately affiliated marketplaces that sell drugs online, including Agora, Amazon Dark, and Silk Road 3.0. Over $1.2 billion dollars (9.5 million bitcoins) was transacted on Silk Road 1.0 in a little less than two years.* On average, they took a 10% fee on every transaction, so the business made over $120 million in that same time, plus the increase in value of Bitcoin. Those are numbers …


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Oct 23, 2015 On the Web

500 Startups Partner Rui Ma on bidding adieu to Greater China

For the past two years, Rui Ma has been 500 Startups’ Greater China Partner. Her job description, to scour for quality early-stage investments in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, fits her resume and personality to a T. Ma was born in China, grew up in Silicon Valley and has been based in Beijing for the past eight years.

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