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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Feb 1, 2017 On Our Blog

How to Nail Your SaaS Trial: The proven six-step formula shaped from years of experience

The following guest blog post is adapted from the Nail Your SaaS Trial ebook, written by Autopilot’s CMO, Guy Marion. When your investors, advisors, and community ask how your product is coming along, you want to tantalize them with stellar activation rates, rampant word of mouth growth, and tweets raving about the onboarding experience. THIS IS GOOD Not luke-warm or confused feedback that your product has “great potential” if only they knew where to start. THIS IS BAD After spending years launching, optimizing, and studying SaaS trials, I’ve found there’s a formula for creating a high-performing onboarding experience—one that is educational, accelerates time-to-product success, and sets the right tone for your customer’s experience ahead. Now it’s yours. Step 1. Define …


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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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Nov 28, 2016 On Our Blog

WMD ’16: Post-Conference Q&A with Casey Winters

Guest blogger – Casey Winters, Growth Advisor to Pocket, Airbnb, Darby Smart; Former Growth Lead at Pinterest & GrubHub The below article is comprised of audience questions asked to Casey Winters during his presentation at Weapons of Mass Distribution 2016. Casey took the time to answer the questions in detail post-conference.   How do you personalize emails across all the metrics you recommended if you don’t have an in-house email data tool like Pinterest does? At GrubHub, we organized our user data into a weekly FTP upload to ExactTarget (now Salesforce Marketing Cloud) and built a complicated workflow inside of ExactTarget (you can do the same in Responsys). You can use their APIs too, but I don’t remember them being very good. What …


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