Mar 16, 2016 On Our Blog

Venture Capital is More Art than Science: 5 Secrets of VC Revealed

The number one takeaway of the VC Unlocked investor training program was that there are lots of different paths to becoming a successful investor – and no one way is best. This was great news for the diverse group of participants, who came to Silicon Valley from all over the world for an intensive two week course run by 500 Startups in partnership with Stanford Center for Professional Development. The program, Venture Capital Unlocked: Secrets of Silicon Valley Investing, ran from Feb 8 – 19th, 2016. On the last day of the program, participants reflected on the question, “Did we really unlock the secrets to venture capital?” The answer was a resounding yes. They agreed that although there is not …

Mar 11, 2016 On Our Blog

500 KISS: (Free) International Legal Perspectives For Founders

For founders, access to sound legal advice early in their process is a key success factor. That also applies to startup ecosystems: when everyone’s on a strong legal footing, deals can be done quickly and cheaply, which boosts market liquidity. Which is why 500 Startups’ Corporate Counsel Neil Dugal has rolled out 500 KISS (keep it simple, stupid) documents in the UK, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan. I reached him via Skype while he was in Delhi launching KISS docs for India to chat about legal for startups, and what founder should watch out for (scroll down for Neil’s 3 tips for founders below). “We want to be a comprehensive guide for each country so founders can intelligently and legally and properly establish …

Mar 10, 2016 On Our Blog

How to Talk About Revenue — What VCs Really Look For

Revenue. It’s the most important factor to any business, but it’s also a catch-all word that can mean almost anything. We all want to talk about big revenue numbers, but in the land of REVs all sales are not the same, and understanding what $-related metrics are relevant for your business is essential. Instead of getting lost in semantics, let’s embrace the nuance and define what Revenue /ˈrevəˌn(y)o͞o/ really means. GMV / GTV So ‘revenue’ means any money my company touches, right? Wrong. Many companies facilitate transactions and channel money through their platforms which is NOT Revenue. They may very well be part of a transaction with your consumer, but that doesn’t necessarily justify them as Revenue to your company. Instead, such …

Mar 9, 2016 On Our Blog

VC Unlocked class ready to invest $600M in startups

As a group, the participants in our Venture Capital Unlocked investor training program plan to invest over $600M in startups around the world. Several of them are already in talks with 500 Startups B15 companies after seeing them pitch at our most recent DemoDay. The program, which is taught by 500 Startups in partnership with Stanford Center for Professional Development, ran from Feb 8 – 19th. It is a 2-week crash course on investing strategies, tools and tactics for investors who want to learn how Silicon Valley really operates. The group of participants was an impressive bunch from all over the world, who over the course of two weeks shared notes, deals, laughs, and (perhaps too) many a cocktail. As to …

Mar 7, 2016 Official Announcement

500 Startups Announces $10M Vietnam-focused Fund

We are pleased to announce our latest regional micro-fund, 500 Startups Vietnam. (Tiếng Việt ở dưới) The US$10 million target fund will aim to make 100-150 investments into Vietnam-connected startups: teams addressing Vietnam market needs and Vietnamese teams tackling overseas markets.  Checks will typically be up to $100,000, but may be as high as $250,000.  In addition to financing, portfolio companies will get access to 500 Startups’ international network of 3,000 mentors and founders, $1.5 million of credits with partners like Amazon and Facebook, and other support to help them scale their business. We believe there are many interesting near-term investment opportunities in B-to-B and Enterprise SaaS, Fintech, and E-Commerce, but ultimately we are “vertical agnostic, returns religious”.  The fund …

Mar 7, 2016 On Our Blog

Inside the 500 Accelerator, Weeks 5, 6 & 7: the True Challenges of Being Accelerated

Inside the 500 Accelerator is a weekly series by 500 founder Troy Sultan. This week, Troy shares tough / precious lessons on managing the psychological side of being a founder, plus the #1 risk of being surrounded by smart people with proven track records (yes, they are all over the place, and yes there are risks).  The minute we decided to join 500, I knew I’d write about it. It was personal for me — aside from anecdotes from alumni and awkwardly interviewing the 500 staff, there just wasn’t much information out there on the experience itself. Joining is an accelerator is a big decision. You’re committing time, equity and focus, some of the only resources you have as a young company. Yet, it’s hard …

Mar 4, 2016 On Our Blog

Despite Corrections, India’s Startup Environment Is “Business As Usual” — 500 Kulfi’s Pankaj Jain on Risks & Rewards

Editor’s Note: The following post is the third of a 3-part research series from Walter Thompson, 500 Startups Journalist-in-Residence, covering the India ecosystem. More India coverage here: Startup India: What Investors & Founders Really Think India’s Startup Ecosystem: Sure Bet or Impending Bust? 500 Startups Announces 500 Kulfi: $25M India Fund Before Pankaj Jain became a 500 Startups Partner in 2012, he lived in India for seven years, first as an entrepreneur, then as co-founder of Headstart Network Foundation, a nonprofit that leads efforts to cultivate a startup ecosystem for native entrepreneurs. Breakout startups like Ola Cabs and Flipkart made early-stage demos at Headstart events, which are now held on the second Saturday of each month in 16 different Indian cities. …

Mar 3, 2016 On Our Blog

Diversity & Entrepreneurship Summit (NYC)

Last month we co-hosted our first Diversity & Entrepreneurship Summit in NYC with our new partner DigitalOcean. Participants connected with venture partners, founders and leaders from Silicon Valley & NYC’s tech startup communities. This intimate setting allowed us to not only discuss the challenges in raising money but also the challenges of making our industry more inclusive. This summit featured a wide range of tech speakers that dived into discussion around ethnicity, gender, sexuality and what it means to look at diversity through a global lens. “It was an honor for DigitalOcean to host the first Diversity & Entrepreneurship Summit. I was so incredibly inspired by the diverse and passionate group of attendees.”- Hollie Haggans, Global Community Partnerships HIGHLIGHTS  WHO INSPIRES YOU?  …