Jul 27, 2016 On Our Blog

19 content marketing ideas that aren’t blog posts

9 min read I talk to a lot of teams about content marketing, a great way to get quality organic traffic at higher volumes if you put in the work and do it right. Most of these conversations tend to start with: “So, we’re thinking of writing this blog post… should we write about X, Y or Z?” Or, “How can I hire someone to write more posts?” These aren’t the wrong questions to be asking — if you’ve determined that content marketing is an important part of your growth marketing framework. But, they make me a little sad. The reason is because, to me (and to your future traffic) content is blog posts, but it isn’t JUST blog posts. …


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Jul 25, 2016 On Our Blog

The Hunt: How Startups WIN on Product Hunt

Product Hunt (PH) has become the de facto source for new and upcoming technology products. If you get featured on the homepage, the next 24 hours could be glorious: Thousands of site hits, a boost in customers MOAR revenue Massive brand awareness among target audience Or, it could be an utter failure. You might get low conversion rates to your site, ghosted from the PH featured page and buried under your competitors. You choose. How to WIN at Product Hunt I’ve helped companies like Indemand and Arka gain over 1,000 upvotes in less than 24 hours, which — with high conversion from PH to landing page — led to hundreds of new customers and thousands of revenue dollars in just …


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Jul 22, 2016 Seed Program news

The Most Common Myths About Startup Accelerators — Busted

In most aspects of life, the gulf between expectation and reality is larger than expected, but that’s where growth comes from. This principle also applies to startup accelerators, where founders fortunate enough to gain admission can access networks that provide mentorship, emotional support, and eventually, funding. Tristan Pollock, a 500 Startups Venture Partner and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, is part of a team at 500 that reviews thousands of applications for each 12-week batch, which usually only admits 40 or 50 companies. Today, we’ll reveal the most common myths founders have when they join an accelerator, and how Tristan’s own expectations evolved after joining 500. What are some of the top misconceptions founders have before joining an accelerator? A large part of it is setting expectations at the beginning. Sometimes, …


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Jul 21, 2016 On Our Blog

4 Steps Every Startup Must Take To Build Culture, Compete for Talent, and Win

I talk to brilliant founders every day who are 100% focused on growing their company. They’re solving problems and improving their business at light-speed, turning their great idea into an even better company. Unfortunately, a lot of them have the same blind spot: They don’t understand company culture. Having a strong culture doesn’t mean you have a beautifully designed office or that you offer your employees unlimited vacation days or catered lunches. Culture, at its core, is the way your team works together. In other words, it’s not about the perks. When your culture is strong, your team is deeply connected and each member takes personal ownership over their own little piece of the company. This commitment is what powers …


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Jul 20, 2016 On Our Blog

Should You Take the Offer? A Growth Marketers’ Framework to Climbing the Startup Career Ladder

This post comes from Alex Nucci, VP of Growth at ClutchPrep, a company that provides textbook-specific videos and tutoring in science subjects to college students. Under Alex’s guidance, ClutchPrep has tripled their MRR over the past 8 months. 8 months ago, I hit a crossroads. About to choose my next career move, it wasn’t clear to me which option was best. They were all great, but there was definitely a better one to pick (there always is). I created a list of things that one considers when making a decision like this. The idea was to put them all in perspective with what my long term goals were, as opposed to being lured in by what might be a short term win. After …


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Jul 15, 2016 On Our Blog

Why Your Accelerator Rejected You

500 Startups Partners Marvin Liao and Elizabeth Yin are warm, friendly individuals, but they also break a lot of hearts. As gatekeepers for 500’s San Francisco-based accelerator, Liao and Yin lead teams that review anywhere from 1,500 to 3,000 applications per 12-week round. There’s nothing fun about raining on someone’s parade, but with only 35 to 45 slots available, there’s a lot of disappointment to go around. “We have to look through every single one, then we filter it down,” said Liao. Which Applicants Are Most Likely To Hear “Yes” From 500? “We really do take it case by case,” said Yin, though there are a few hard and fast rules. “In most cases, we look for a complete full-time team that has …


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Jul 13, 2016 On Our Blog

The Best Startup Pitches Are Empathic, Not Egotistic

For entrepreneurs to pitch effectively, they must first free themselves of attachment — the root of all suffering. Which makes 500 Startups Venture Partner, Entrepreneur-in-Residence and pitch coach Andrea Barrica a spiritual guru. “I force people to constrain and use the smallest amount of time to explain what’s most interesting about their company,” she explains. It’s rewarding, but like any effective conditioning process, no pain, no gain. The 120 Second Investor Pitch Now coaching her fourth batch of founders for 500 Startups, Barrica has continually shaved the amount of time they have to present at Demo Day. Instead of 3.5 minutes, each team now has only 120 seconds to make its case. Investors are more excited and engaged, Barrica said, …


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Jul 6, 2016 On Our Blog

Fintech Investment is Exploding — 5 Ways Governments & Ecosystem Builders Can Help

with Sheel Mohnot Investment in fintech companies is up 8X in the past 5 years, with over 200 financings for a combined $4.9 billion in 1Q2016 alone.   “Silicon Valley is coming. There are hundreds of startups with a lot of brains and money working on various alternatives to traditional banking.” Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, pointed out: “Silicon Valley is coming. There are hundreds of startups with a lot of brains and money working on various alternatives to traditional banking. They are very good at reducing the ‘pain points’.” Quarterly financing to VC-backed fintech companies has been growing immensely: But investment is not flowing freely everywhere.   For example, in 1Q2016, Chinese fintech companies received $2.4 …


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