Jan 26, 2017 On Our Blog

Investing in Southeast Asian Startup Creates Social Impact in the Region

As part of the 500 Startups Durian’s fund, we often see first-hand how investing in Southeast Asia, a developing region, can play a core role in a region’s development and change. We were reminded of this recently when one of our startups, GoGet, a portfolio company since 2015 (and 2016 distro dojo program graduate), told us of an encounter they had with the Malaysian government. GoGet is a service platform for errands. Their technology connects busy people to a trusted and verified person to perform these tasks for a fee (like dispatch, shopping, and food delivery).   Below is an account of the experience, which demonstrates how a startup like GoGet can have a massive social impact. It follows with …


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Jan 24, 2017 On Our Blog

Why We Love the World’s Startup Underdogs

Several of us at 500 are matching donations to Gaza Sky Geeks until January 27. If you would like to support Gaza Sky Geeks, donate at www.powerupgazageeks.com to help them keep the lights on and launch Gaza’s first coding academy. Here’s why we’re supporting.   At 500 Startups, we’re countercultural investors.  We became the most active seed-stage investor in the world (1600+ companies and counting), because we pioneered a value approach to startup investing – using a quantitative approach to discovering wins rather than gambling large checks on fewer companies. 500 Startups operates microfunds around the world, extending our approach to emerging startup markets, such as Southeast Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Latin America, Japan and others.  We have also …


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Jan 24, 2017 On Our Blog

7 UX / UI Design Tips to Improve Your Startup Growth

Below is a collection of my tips and feedback from a creative branding workshop I led during the most recent 500 Startups’ seed accelerator program, Batch 19. The goal was to teach startups to apply design thinking methods to improve their UX/UI , and thus increase user acquisition and market growth. Did you know the human attention span is shorter than a goldfish’s? [Fun Fact about Attention Span] Goldfish: 9 seconds > Human: 8 seconds. 😱 Yep, your website has a lot of work to do in a short amount of time to get your key message to your audience. How do you do it? Here are 7 Design Thinking Tips to Improve Your Growth Rate 🔑: 1. Integrate Combine a strong marketing message (content) with effective visuals (form). …


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Jan 17, 2017 Official Announcement

Announcing: 500’s Women Invest Initiative

500 Startups has always been in the business of challenging conventional wisdom in the venture capital industry. Since our inception, we’ve focused on taking our expertise wherever there is talent. That’s taken us to some flung corners of the earth and compelled us to look in oft-overlooked places in our own communities. We’ve baked this diversity into our DNA, trying our hardest to be champions of the world, not as it is, but as we’d like to see it.   Don’t be mistaken. We don’t do this for charity, or to boost our social profile, or even to make ourselves sleep better at night (although those are obvious benefits.) We do it because it just makes sense. We do it …


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Jan 17, 2017 On Our Blog

What does unconscious bias mean for entrepreneurs, investors, and the tech community?

Guest blogger – Rory Gerberg, Partner at Refound Bias at work Every second your brain is flooded with 11 million bits of information, but it can only process 40 bits consciously. To cope, the brain uses mental shortcuts to instantly identify which 40 to notice and remember. These mental shortcuts function like a newsfeed algorithm that filters your lived reality: there’s way too much information out there, so rules of thumb determine what comes on your radar in the first place. These mental shortcuts or rules of thumb let you focus on the job. But the drawback is that they can cause you to miss important information. This is why after an investor meeting, one investor confident in an entrepreneur’s capability …


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Jan 17, 2017 On Our Blog

Can Muslims in Tech Fight Rising Islamophobia in the United States?

Guest blogger – Dustin Craun, Founder and CEO of Life Beyond Borders As we enter a new political era built on a combination of misogyny, racism, and fear-based politics, I think of an unlikely hero, Muslims in tech. Muslims in tech in the United States and around the world is one of the biggest stories not being told. Muslim technological talent, founders, and venture capitalists play a central role in the majority of tech ecosystems around the world. This is true of the tech ecosystems in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Atlanta. There are an estimated 300,000 Muslims in the San Francisco Bay Area, and according to one study upwards of 20% of them work …


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Jan 9, 2017 On Our Blog

Are there ghosts in your convertible notes?

Guest blogger – Adam Sterling is the executive director of the Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy, co-founder of Startup@BerkeleyLaw, and a former venture capital and startup attorney. Are you investing in convertible notes or securities? Do you know what a phantom liquidation preference is? Did you know it could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars? Let’s illustrate how with a simple example… Sally purchases a convertible note with a valuation cap of $5 million in Tuber Corporation for $100,000. Six months later, Tuber closes its Series A with a pre-money valuation of $10 million, selling new shares at $1/share. Thanks to its valuation cap, Sally’s convertible note converts at $0.50/share and she receives 200,000 shares of Series …


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