Jun 23, 2016 On Our Blog

500 Startups Announces $25M Microfund to Invest in Black and Latino Founders

500 Startups is raising a $25 million dollar microfund to make early stage investments in Black and Latino founders. This fund will invest in ~100 companies and give Black and Latino founders the access to capital, networks, and expertise that they need to grow their businesses. The United States’ shifting demographics is a clear opportunity for investment. By 2044 people of color with be the majority in the US and Black and Latino consumers currently have a combined $2.5T in purchasing power. The fund will be led by Monique Woodard, Venture Partner at 500 Startups and co-founder of Black Founders. Monique has access to some of the best deals in this market and her network has a massive pipeline into …


PUBLISHED BY
Jun 23, 2016 On Our Blog

PreMoney 2016: The Global Investment Community Crosses Paths in San Francisco

PreMoney Brings Together US + International Angels, VCs, LPs Eric Osiakwan, Managing Partner with Chanzo Capital in Accra, Ghana, traveled more than 7,600 miles to attend PreMoney San Francisco. “The world is flat,” he said, sipping a Coke immediately after his panel discussion, “Crossborder Investing: Let’s Go Global, Baby.” “When I started in tech in 1998, one of the terms that really rang in my ears was ‘the global village,’” said Osiakwan. “Today, it’s very real.” How real? Earlier in the day, Osiakwan bumped into Jill Ford, Head of Innovation & Entrepreneurship for City of Detroit. “We first met in Ghana in 2002,” he said. “I didn’t know she would be here! After I finished my lunch, I was walking out …


PUBLISHED BY
Jun 21, 2016 On Our Blog

500 Startups Announces $25M FinTech Fund

We’re excited to announce a new vertical fund, 500 FinTech, which will focus on investments in companies that we are deeming as: “Financial Services For the Rest of Us.” Over the last 6 years, 500 Startups has made some great investments in the FinTech space. With nearly 80 investments in 10 countries, including CreditKarma, Flywire, FeeFighters (acquired by Groupon), Simple (acquired by BBVA), iMoney, and RealtyShares, CB Insights has tapped 500 as the most active early-stage FinTech investor in the world. During those 6 years, we’ve learned a lot about building next generation financial services: Financial Institutions are still not serving millennials, minorities, women, and emerging markets effectively Technology (especially smartphones) will slash the cost of delivering financial services to …


PUBLISHED BY
Jun 17, 2016 International Stories

LatAm Founders Are Hungrier for Success, Solving Big Problems Faster

Anyone who assumes Latin American founders are worse off than their amigos in Silicon Valley has it wrong. The region’s ecosystem is growing rapidly to support entrepreneurs in every sector, said Didier Quiroz, a 500 Mexico City Associate who joined the accelerator in March 2016. Quiroz, a self-described chilango who was born and raised in Mexico City, provides “a lot of portfolio support” in addition to research, analysis and event planning. “Six years ago, there were a couple of hundred people doing entrepreneurship in tech in Mexico,” Quiroz said. “Now, there’s opportunities for CTOs that have an idea, as well as junior developers who have an ability to build and construct things,” he added. “Seniority doesn’t affect them; if they have an …


PUBLISHED BY
Jun 15, 2016 On Our Blog

More Users, Less Spend — 10+ ways to Trim the Fat & Save 5-figures on Adwords (and beyond)

10+ Ways to Eliminate The Adwords Dimensional Wastage That Kills Your Google Display Network Campaigns Results Even Before You Start You need to put your Adwords Display Network Campaigns on a Diet. Actually, not a diet… just trimming the fat with aggressive liposuction surgery might be better. Google Display Network (GDN for acronym lovers) is AMAZING. With over 2 million Display Network sites that reach over 90% of Internet users worldwide (Source: comScore), there are a lot of opportunities to reach customers. But with that power… there just as many dangers. In fact, it’s so dangerous that I rarely meet a startup that’s doing everything I’m going to share with you in this guide. Let me be clear…. The ENEMY …


PUBLISHED BY
Jun 10, 2016 On Our Blog

The 500 Accelerator in a Nutshell

Today’s is the last installment in a series of essays by 500 founder Troy Sultan documenting his journey through the 500 Accelerator, Batch 16. Here Troy shares his closing thoughts on the Accelerator, and his opening thoughts for the considerable “Everything Else” that’s on its way.  To read the rest of the Troy’s posts in this series, scroll to the end of this piece for links. To apply for Batch 18 (deadline June 20, 2016), go here. It was 10pm on a Monday in November, two hours before the application deadline for 500 Startups’ 16th batch. Two months prior we were interviewed and rejected from Batch 15 — for good reason. We were too early. The company was barely a couple months old and wasn’t ready to …


PUBLISHED BY
Jun 9, 2016 On Our Blog

500 Startups Batch 1 — 5 Years Later. Where Are They Now?

At 500 Startups, each group of founders that is accepted into the accelerator’s four-month program is called a “Batch,” an apt description, since participants receive a series of commands they’ll later process and execute. The founders who presented at 500 Startups Demo Day in August 2011 are considered Batch 1; today, Batch 17 is entering week six of a four-month program that will culminate in their own Demo Day, the product of intense study, practice and camaraderie. Batch 1’s pitches were presented at 500 Startups’ Mountain View office, but today, Demo Days are held at Mountain View’s Computer History Museum, a venue that can accommodate hundreds of attendees, including investors, friends and the media. High production values give these pitch sessions …


PUBLISHED BY
Jun 7, 2016 On Our Blog

How to Pitch a VC

“Everyone” understands the high-level goals of a pitch: Make yourself memorable, and drive home your product’s value. But working out how to put it all into one, non-boring pitch is another matter altogether — and something we work on extensively as part of the 500 Accelerator. Over the years, we’ve learned that sticking to a step-by-step strategy for pitching VCs is a common struggle for startup founders. Do they introduce themselves before or after their companies? Should they list their most impressive metrics upfront or work them into the pitch? What’s the proper way to end investor conversations? Good pitches follow a rigorous structure for engaging investors and proving a company’s value. Like all good marketing and sales, the startup pitch process starts before …


PUBLISHED BY
Jun 3, 2016 On Our Blog

The Career-Changing Impact of Learning How to Invest

Our flagship Venture Capital Unlocked investor training program is back! The 2 week executive ed. program that we co-run with Stanford Center for Professional Development is now accepting applications for its July 25th – August 5th cohort. APPLY HERE Getting the Inside Scoop In the program, participants get an inside look into 500 Startups’ investment playbook and gain firsthand access to world-famous Silicon Valley VCs, angels, startups and entrepreneurs. We are looking forward to another great session taught by Stanford faculty and 500 Startups partners, as well as top speakers like the ones who visited during the February cohort (below). Program Impact At the end of 2015, we highlighted the successes of some of our VC Unlocked participants in a …


PUBLISHED BY
Jun 2, 2016 On Our Blog

How to Grow a Startup, Marketing Hell Week Edition

Today’s post comes from guest author Lauralynn Stubler, a growth marketer who’s been helping out 500 Startups’ brand new Batch 17 survive our Accelerator program’s (in)famous Marketing Hell Week. Batch 17 Marketing Hell Week is over, but the learnings from our startup resources have just begun…. Today we’re sharing some key takeaways on how to grow a startup from our recent Marketing Hell Week roster of speakers. HOW TO GROW A STARTUP – THE QUICK TIPS “Start with running A/A tests to test your tools.” — Hiten Shah on A/B Testing Click-to-tweet: http://ctt.ec/hK6zd A/A testing is often overlooked but it’s an excellent method of double-checking the effectiveness of your A/B testing software. A/A testing is the tactic of using A/B …


PUBLISHED BY