Jun 30, 2017 On Our Blog

Making Changes at 500

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” This is the advice I give to people whenever they ask for it. It’s aspirational, which means it is a lot easier said than done. As I write this post, I’m reminded even more of it. In recent months, we found out that my co-founder Dave McClure had inappropriate interactions with women in the tech community. His behavior was unacceptable and not reflective of 500’s culture and values. I sincerely apologize for the choices he made and the pain and stress they’ve caused people. But apologies aren’t enough without meaningful actions and change. Because of this, we made the decision a few months ago to change the leadership structure at …


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Jun 21, 2017 On Our Blog

Part 2: 27 Interview Questions to Find the GREAT Growth Hackers (& Weed Out the Big Talkers)

In my last article, I gave the 7 Focus Areas Every GREAT Growth Marketing Hire Should Know, but there’s still some tools you need to have in your toolkit to find a GREAT growth hacker. Why? Because big talking growth hackers will blow smoke that may blind founders who are not trained in interviewing GREAT growth hackers. For example, you may ask one of my focus area questions, like: “Do you have experience with Mixpanel?” A Big Talking Growth Hacker will answer: Absolutely I used it all the time in my past role. But what they really mean: The engineer sitting next to me was always talking about the difference between events and properties, but I don’t understand it. Or …


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Jun 21, 2017 On Our Blog

Announcing the 500 Startups Uruguay Accelerator

Silicon Valley and Montevideo are uniting to fuel startups in Latin America 500 Startups in partnership with ANII, Uruguay’s ecosystem development agency, will host a new accelerator program. The 500 Montevideo Accelerator Program will prepare 20 Uruguayan and international startups through 6 weeks of mentorship, growth workshops, and connections with investors and corporate partners.  This program is also being made possible through collaborations with the Uruguayan Agency for Research and Innovation / LATU, Technological Laboratory of Uruguay / ANDE, Uruguayan Agency for Development, and the Investment and Export Promotion Institute of Uruguay. The 500 Montevideo Accelerator Program will focus on growth hacking, product design, fundraising, and will bring Silicon Valley expertise to seed-stage companies in Uruguay. Space is limited to …


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Jun 15, 2017 On Our Blog

Part 1:  7 Focus Areas Every GREAT Growth Marketing Hire Should Know Inside & Out

Since I started working at 500 Startups the question I get asked most often (aside from, “What’s Dave’s email address?”) is, “Do you know a great Growth Hacker?” And my always answer is, “No I don’t. If I did I’d hire him myself” Why? Because since the term “Growth Hacker” (definition here, here and here) was coined, thousands of people have popped up claiming to be a GREAT growth hacker… But few people actually are a GREAT growth hacker. To make sure you’re hiring someone who’s actually a GREAT, it’s important to make sure they’ve “been there, done that”. Do your due diligence by deep diving into these 7 Focus Areas Every GREAT Growth Marketing Hire Should Know: They know how to …


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Jun 15, 2017 On Our Blog

Growth Hacking the MENA Region

Following up on our earlier post announcing the first closing of 500 Falcons, our fund for the Middle East and North Africa, we’re going to be posting a few more announcements on the MENA region and the meaningful ecosystem-building projects we’re working on. As we’ve been investing in the region over the last 6 years, we’ve seen a lot of similarities between the Middle East and other emerging entrepreneurial markets in comparison to the startups we see in Silicon Valley. One particular area of focus that we felt needed a big boost was growth hacking. Growth hacking in simple terms is data-driven, online customer acquisition and distribution methodologies that have evolved as a distinct skill set from either traditional business …


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Jun 12, 2017 On Our Blog

7 Marketing Secrets from 500 Startups Demo Days

Have Fun, Get Deals Done – The Future of Marketing is the Brand Experience Pitching to top Silicon Valley investors like Tim Draper is nerve-racking. It helps when he’s dressed in a superhero costume. From Valentine’s Day-Themed (Batch 19) to Summer of Love-Themed (Batch 20), 500 Startups Demo Day is more than a pitch day, it’s a festival where everyone has fun and gets deals done. Here’s a look back at lessons we’ve learned from the last 7 Demo Days, and how 500 Startups stumbled upon creating the unique pitch day in Silicon Valley. 1. Listen to Your Audience Back in the day, 500 Startups Demo Day was pretty basic (see Batch 8): 500 Startups Founding Partner, Dave McClure, speaking …


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