Oct 7, 2010 On Our Blog

Acquisitions: Pulling Back the Covers – Part 1

Meet The Riddler, the first 500 Startups super-mentor to make an appearance on this blog. The Riddler, aka Ryan Junee, is a serial entrepreneur and start-up advisor by day. By night, he schemes complex riddles to trick fellow entrepreneurs and unwitting technophiles. He is currently working on an as-yet-unlaunched startup. His previous company, Omnisio, developed innovative ways to edit and enhance online videos and was acquired by Google/YouTube in 2008. In this post, Ryan pulls back the covers on acquisitions and shares his adventures from Omnisio. To many entrepreneurs, the process of getting acquired seems like a black box. I suspect this is because far fewer acquisitions happen than, say venture financings (about which a lot has been written), so there …


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Oct 4, 2010 On Our Blog

Announcing the CrowdFlower Fund

We recently announced the Twilio Fund, a new investment vehicle for startups building on top of the Twilio cloud communications platform. Today we’re thrilled to welcome another addition to the 500 Startups platform micro-fund family – the CrowdFlower Fund! The CrowdFlower Fund is a $250,000 platform micro-fund that will invest in startups integrating with CrowdFlower’s cloud labor platform. Why CrowdFlower? CrowdFlower helps companies with many types of tasks that humans do better and faster than machine algorithms by sourcing people for their processing power. A person can quickly tell you if a photo contains a person or just a landscape, if a product is categorized correctly, or if your business listings are accurate. Say you want to make a new …


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Sep 27, 2010 On Our Blog

Welcome ChinaNetCloud to 500 Startups

We’re super excited to share news about our first investment in China – ChinaNetCloud! Read about it here on Dave’s guest post on TechCrunch. In addition to the announcement, you can also check out the last installment of theGeeks on a Plane Asia Trip video series. Above: Geeks on a Plane meet Hillary Rodham Clinton


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Sep 27, 2010 On Our Blog

Now accepting applications for Twilio Fund

Last week, we announced the Twilio Fund for 500 Startups, a $250K platform micro-fund for investments in Twilio-powered startups. We’re now accepting applications at 500startups.com/twiliofund. All terms are the same for the Twilio Fund, except we’ve done away with the timeline. That means there won’t be any deadline for submissions, and we’ll be reviewing submissions as they come in via the form. We do encourage you to submit as early as you can – the sooner the better. Looking forward to seeing what you got!


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Sep 25, 2010 On Our Blog

Videos from “PR Secrets for Startups” Panel

At last week’s Startup2Startup, Dave moderated a great lineup of speakers on the topic of “PR Secrets for Startups.” If you’ve wondered why some companies get frequent press coverage, if there’s a right way to launch your company, if PR is useful only for getting investors’ attention or if you can really boost customer acquisition from it, then you’ll want to check out these videos! The panelists included: Jason Kincaid, writer at TechCrunch Stew Langille, VP Marketing at Mint.com and Head of Marketing for PFG Intuit Vince Sollitto, VP of Corporate Communications at Yelp.com Martin Giles, U.S. Technology Correspondent at The Economist Newspaper Special thanks to TechCrunch for hosting this Startup2Startup at their HQ in San Francisco. Note to self: …


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Sep 23, 2010 On Our Blog

Announcing Twilio Fund for 500 Startups

Today we’re excited to announce Twilio Fund, a $250,000 micro-fund for investments in startups that are powered by Twilio’s APIs for phone calls and text messages. Via Twilio Fund, we’ll offer investments of $10,000 in up to 10 companies for a 1% stake in the company. In addition, one or more of these companies may be selected for a $50,000 investment and invitation to participate in our soon-to-be announced accelerator program at the 500 Startups space in Mountain View, CA. (You can also read about thisannouncement here) Startups Helping Startups About two years ago, Twilio launched as an unfunded fledgling company, setting out to disrupt the telecommunications industry and bring the fire of telephony down the mountain to the world …


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Sep 13, 2010 On Our Blog

Women 2.0 Interviews Foodspotting, Slideshare

Women 2.0 Labs sat down and did a series of interviews with women entrepreneurs and technology leaders. Two of our founders, Alexa Andrzejewski and Rashmi Sinha, were in the hot seat and gave some great insight into starting a company, picking your business partners, and advice for others who are considering becoming an entrepreneur. Alexa Andrzejewski, Foodspotting Rashmi Sinha, SlideShare


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Sep 9, 2010 On Our Blog

Happiness is a Warm Gun… and Good Design!

Mark your calendars for Friday October 8! Our first event, Warm Gun, will take place in San Francisco at the Mission Bay Conference Center. Whether you’re a UX designer by trade or you’re a startup founder that wants to learn how good design = more conversions, we hope to see you there. We’ll share more details as the event gets closer. Here’s a preview of some of our talks: Pretty vs. $hitty: Design that Converts!   Engineers are from Mars, Designers are from Venus: How to Communicate & Work Together in Harmony     Form, Meet Function: Matching business goals with user behavior     Mobile First! 3 Reasons You Should Design For Mobile Before Web     10 Things Startups Should …


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Nov 2, 1010 On Our Blog

Go F*#% Yourself! Unconventional Ways to Bootstrap Your Startup Idea

(…and by f*#%, I mean “fund!”) Meet Zorro, aka SuperMentor Rob Garcia. Rob oversees product strategy at Lending Club. Rob has over 12 years of experience building extraordinary digital user experiences as a consultant and entrepreneur. His super powers include destroying evil user interactions, envisioning innovative products, and building user-centric armies. We all know about the traditional angel investors and venture capitalists as your main source of capital when starting a business. But they typically prefer to jump in when there is a something tangible to look at (beta product or proof-of-concept). Before you get to that point, most entrepreneurs finance themselves to build the minimum feature-set that will wow both customers and potential investors. So how do you fund …


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