Jul 20, 2018 On Our Blog

Founder Equity 101

Guest Post: Matt Howland is the GM of Private Markets at Carta. Matt is proud to be serving the 500 Startups network as a mentor. Founders can find Matt on Union for training and consultations. Understanding and managing equity can be confusing, but as a founder, it’s essential to take the time to learn equity basics. Getting equity right ensures: Your employees are motivated to do their best work and stick around You get the best possible investors and term sheets You as a founder retain a meaningful portion of what you’re building You avoid legal trouble Here are some answers to the most commonly-asked questions about equity that we receive at Carta: What is a cap table? A capitalization …


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Feb 6, 2018 On Our Blog

KISSs and SAFEs and
Notes….oh my!

[Editor’s Note] This is a guest post from Adam Sterling, Executive Director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Business, and a lecturer at VC Unlocked: Deal Camp at Berkeley. This post originally appeared on LinkedIn. In 2014, 500 Startups, a global venture capital firm, took a little-known action that would help change the landscape of international venture finance. This action had nothing to do with investment dollars, new hires, or liquidation events. 500 Startups simply open-sourced their proprietary investment contract for early-stage investments, the KISS (“Keep It Simple Security”), to startups and investors around the world. In the next year, fellow venture capital giant Y Combinator followed suit and open-sourced their own proprietary investment contract, the SAFE (“Simple Agreement …


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Dec 21, 2017 On Our Blog

7 Ways SEO Can Get You to a Million+ Monthly Users

Guest Post: Giulio Chiarenza is the co-founder of Equipboard, the world’s largest database of artists and the gear they use. SEO (short for Search Engine Optimization) is a fickle beast. We usually see companies fall into one of two camps; those that think of SEO as a “nice to have” secondary growth channel, and those that rely on it as the primary driver of growth and monetization. Our site Equipboard (batch 8) decidedly falls into the latter, but the journey to SEO competency has been an adventurous one to say the least. We’ve taken our fair share of missteps, and were it not for the SEO gurus we’ve met through 500 and the rest of our network, one of those …


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Nov 22, 2017 Investor Education

What I Learned at VC Unlocked: Deal Camp

VC Unlocked: Deal Camp at Berkeley, our four-day executive education program on early stage investing, takes place from February 26 – March 1, 2018. Apply today. Guest Post: Regina Leung is Vice-President of Healthcare at Bay Angels and owns her own consulting firm in healthcare and life sciences. Last month, I spent a week at Berkeley attending VC Unlocked: Deal Camp, 500 Startups’ crash course on all things early stage investing with UC Berkeley Law. I’ve been an angel investor for about a year with several startup investments to date, but was looking for the right program to become a more knowledgeable investor. Deal Camp was a great opportunity to grow my network, drill down on important topics like valuations …


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Oct 31, 2017 On Our Blog

The Road to Demo Day: A Founder’s Perspective

Guest Post: Kela Ivonye is the CEO and co-founder of MailHaven, a smart mailbox that tracks and protects your packages.  Demo Day is an invite-only event hosted by 500 Startups for investors to get a first look at the startups from the accelerator program, meet the founders, and network with other attendees. For founders, it’s the culmination of four months of hard work. As a batch company at 500 Startups, you start preparing for your last day on Day 1. That two-minute pitch on stage at Demo Day is our opportunity to show hundreds of top-tier investors what we’ve been working on. The first thing Batch 22 learned about Demo Day was to have fun, be genuine, and to own and tell your …


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Sep 19, 2017 International Stories

Venture Capital na teoria e prática [Portuguese]

[Editor’s Note] This is a guest post from Gabriela de Salles van der Linden, a participant in our recent Venture Capital Unlocked program at Stanford CPD. Gabriela has 10 years of work experience in the Brazilian venture capital industry, most recently as an executive partner of CRP Companhia de Participaçōes. O que aprendi no curso da 500 Startups em conjunto com Stanford University Quando tive conhecimento sobre o curso da 500 Startups em conjunto com Stanford University, o VC Unlocked, me perguntei se de fato um curso com tais características poderia ampliar minha visão depois de quase 10 anos trabalhando com venture capital no Brasil. Seria essa uma boa oportunidade para refletir e atualizar sobre o que está acontecendo sob uma perspectiva …


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Aug 15, 2017 On Our Blog

You have been accepted into 500 Startups. Now what?

Guest Author – Eugene Vyborov, CTO, YayPay (A 500 Startups Batch 20 Company) Among the 180+ independent accelerators around the world, American programs hold sway and considerable appeal. Getting into a US-based accelerator is a dream for many startups, especially ones that are based outside the United States. It’s easy to see the attraction: accelerators offer access to the American ecosystem of innovation, collective wisdom of successful entrepreneurs, visibility to prominent VCs, and a trip to the US, all in one package. From reading cover stories in magazines, one might buy into the idea that once a company is accepted into a prestigious accelerator program, its path to success is clear. The reality is far from it. As I have previously …


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May 25, 2017 On Our Blog

3 Visual Marketing Lessons it Took Me a lot of Money to Learn

Guest Blogger – Brittany Murlas, Mentor, 500 Startups Optimizing adds on Pinterest isn’t necessarily straightforward, and can often involve a lot of trial and error. Brittany Murlas, a mentor for 500 Startups, spent time and money navigating what works and what doesn’t on the platform and imparts her hard-earned lessons below. Read on so you avoid the same mistakes, and instead, profit from BIG growth like she did.   Lesson #1: Build for platform. You know to design your Facebook ads differently than your Google ads, but do you tweak your Facebook ads for promotion on Instagram? Now I do. We humans open different apps for different reasons. I open Facebook for entertainment, SnapChat for connection, and Pinterest for ideas. My …


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May 12, 2017 On Our Blog

What We’re Changing in Our Accelerator after #500BAM

Guest author – Hi, I’m Michael Rivera. I’ve started (and exited) two companies in my career. I’ve been an early-stage venture investor, advisor and mentor. I’ve recently joined with three brilliant Stanford grads to launch an LA-based accelerator dedicated to consumer products in the health & wellness, toy, and home goods verticals. I just took 500 Startups Bootcamp for Accelerator Managers (April 24th – 28th) and here are some of my reflections.  During the weeklong Bootcamp for Accelerator Managers, Dave McClure, Christine Tsai, Bedy Yang and the 500 Startups team shared all the successes and failures they’ve had after running 40+ accelerator programs. They were transparent, hilarious, and incredibly inspiring. It. Was. Awesome. (Except the part where Dave McClure told us we …


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Feb 14, 2017 On Our Blog

Here’s What Happened at #DealCamp at Berkeley

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. I returned to U.C. Berkeley almost two years ago to help establish the university (and Berkeley Law in particular) as the world’s leading institution for the study and practice of law and entrepreneurship. After completing our second Venture Capital Deal Camp with 500 Startups last week, I’m confident that Berkeley is the place to be for investors, entrepreneurs, practitioners, and students interested in innovation. Below is a recap of Deal Camp – if you weren’t able to join this week, we’ll be back with another session in October!  Deal Camp is …


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