Oct 25, 2019 On Our Blog

The Future of Corporate Venture Capital

The following is an excerpt from 500’s latest report, Unlocking Corporate Venture Capital. How has corporate venture capital changed? In the decade since the Great Recession, we have seen digital upstarts – taking advantage of disruptive technologies from AI to IoT – reshape the economy and the corporate pecking order.  Conventional wisdom dictated that incumbents should focus their innovation efforts on R&D and growing their cash cows while investing in a few startups. But the rate of change has accelerated and with it, the balance of internal versus external investment. We believe the new corporate landscape calls for new strategies. As one of the most active, early-stage investors in the world¹, 500 Startups has a unique perspective on the innovation …


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Oct 4, 2019 On Our Blog

500 Around the World: Takeaways from the Sberbank-500 Accelerator

If 500 has learned one thing from investing in over 75 countries, it’s the importance of placing bets in all the right founders and helping build ecosystems for them to thrive in. 500 is a firm believer of the idea that talent can be found everywhere, but you have to understand where that talent is and what unique challenges they are going to face in their region. One of these often-overlooked regions is Russia, which despite challenges, has a booming tech and startup ecosystem.  Last year, 500 partnered with Sberbank—Russia’s largest bank and a leading global financial institution—to launch an accelerator in Moscow, bridging the gap in knowledge and social capital between Silicon Valley and Russia. Thirty hand-selected startups took …


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Oct 3, 2019 Founder Stories and Insights

Inside 500: How Their Accelerator Helped Me Grow My Accounting-as-a-Service Company and Raise $2 Million

Felix Rodriguez is the founder and CEO of Back Office, a human-assisted AI platform and bookkeeping service for companies and consultants. In an interview with Nathan Beckord on Foundersuite’s “How I Raised It” podcast he shared how 500 Startups was instrumental in the early growth of BackOffice. Below is an excerpt of his interview.  I believe founders have superpowers. Before I started Back Office, I had built about 10 startups and sold three of them, growing teams that started in my living room to offices of 50 to 75 employees really rapidly.  The idea for Back Office came from a pain point I encountered with each startup: the one thing I hated with each company — and put off doing …


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