May 25, 2016 Growth Hacking and Distribution


Power words: remember, now, you, new, sale UN-power words: best, amazing, guaranteed, hurry, look inside, groundbreaking, once in a lifetime. Get inside their heads (free response surveying, livechat, in-person) — don’t use meaningless superlatives. >> GET DISTROSNACK HERE << Distrosnack is painstakingly curated and GIF’ed by Susan Su.

May 9, 2016 On Our Blog

4 Secrets to Content Marketing Velocity for (Lazy) Startups

If you’re an overachiever like most of the startup world (and I know you are if you’re reading blog posts about growth marketing), then you probably want your inbound marketing content to be the most amazing thing ever to hit the Internet. This is great. This is an important aspiration, and something you must aim for if you want your content marketing to succeed. But, let’s save the Pulitzer Prize discussion for another day. You want to win awards for quality, not necessarily for originality — at first. In the rest of this post, I’m going to go over a 4-part recipe (yes there are some sub-steps) for launching content that works.* *By “works,” I mean it brings in prospects, qualifies …

May 4, 2016 On Our Blog

It’s Back: Marketing Hell, With a Vengeance

Today’s post comes from guest author Lauralynn Stubler, a growth marketer who’s been volunteering her time helping out 500 Startups’ brand new Batch 17 survive our Accelerator program’s (in)famous Marketing Hell Week. In exchange for one mere week of indentured servitude to our Accelerator overlords, Lauralynn gets to learn / steal exclusive teachings from the world’s top growth marketers, through a program that’s otherwise only open to 500 Startups portfolio companies. But, because we’re actual nice on the inside — and can’t resist a content marketing opportunity besides — Lauralynn is sharing the details of Marketing Hell Week in this post, including info on how you can join for FREE. Marketing Hell Week. Yup, Hell, that’s what it’s called. 500 Startups welcomes Batch …

Apr 22, 2016 On Our Blog

500 Mentor Profile: Julie Zhou’s discipline of growth

Today’s post comes from Parker Tarun at Mixpanel, and features 500 Mentor and badass growth hacker Julie Zhou.  Julie’s interview is part of a series that shares how people, businesses, and the world are better off being “data-driven” and gets into exactly what that means for growth and product. Julie is a 500 Mentor and you can catch her on Twitter here. ———- “Oh my God. How do you do that?” This is the slack-jawed question for Julie Zhou when friends learn that, after turning off the lights at Yik Yak’s West Coast office, she hits the gym and pumps 240 lbs. of pure iron. But Julie weighs in at just over 100 lbs. How can she lift something at that scale? Her …

Mar 21, 2016 On Our Blog

Growth Case Study: StudyPool on Growth for Fundraising & Increasing Revenue by 25% — monthly

Studypool is an online marketplace that has seen 25% month over month revenue growth — 90% of which comes through organic acquisition. In the 3-month period that they worked with 500 Distro, the company also increased site traffic by 46% and grew customer conversion rate by 18%. I recently spoke with Studypool cofounder Richard Werbe about growth, fundraising, and the “obvious” things that every founder should know (but often doesn’t). Give us a summary, Richard. Where are you at, and what did you do with 500 Distro? We raised 2.3 million dollars, 1.2 of that on the morning of Demo Day and the rest shortly thereafter. We went that route because it looked like the market was going to be tough so we …

Mar 17, 2016 On Our Blog

How We Used Poker to Meet Investors & Do Sales Prospecting

Live events can be a great way to do leadgen. Case in point, our events here at 500 Startups have been very effective in building out our lead pipeline for investors and founders alike (yes we are running a business too). It seems like a simple formula: throw a good event, meet people, make $$. But there are a few simple additional ways to make sure you actually collect on all those parties. The following is a guest post from Frank DeGeorge, founder of 500 Accelerator Batch 16 company YouStake, who recently hosted a poker tournament for fun and for profit. Last week, the first ever YouStake Invitational at 500 Startups HQ in San Francisco brought together founders, staff, mentors, friends …

Feb 1, 2016 On Our Blog

Marketing Hell Week is Here [DAY 1]

Marketing Hell Week is HERE. Today’s guest post comes from Marshall Darr, a founder who’s helping us pull off our most complex — yet elegant — choreography of a growth marketing crash course ever created. Read on to see the full schedule of material, and find out how to grab it for yourself. There’s a chance I’m in way over my head. The past few months have been a bit of a whirlwind, concluding with me sitting in an empty auditorium at 500 Startups as the firm’s Batch 16 gears up for one of the most intense weeks at one of the most intense startup accelerators in the world. For this one week, I’m going to be joining them. Saying I’m new …

Jan 27, 2016 On Our Blog

Announcing Batch 16 — 500’s Largest Cohort EVARRRRR!

500 Startups is proud to bring you Batch 16, the largest accelerator cohort in 500 Startups history with 53 companies in total. Batch 16 has five major industry themes: FinTech Digital Health ViceTech HR/workforce development SportsTech A majority of the Batch 16 companies are later-stage seed companies making between $10,000 and $100,000 per month in revenue. As has been the case with recent batches in the 500 Startups accelerator, they will focus on distribution and fundraising. Diversity of the accelerator company founders remains strong: 26% of Batch 16 have at least one female founder and 32% are from outside Silicon Valley or the U.S. States represented include: Minnesota North Carolina Pennsylvania Iowa Florida District of Columbia Indiana Massachusetts New York …

Jan 19, 2016 On Our Blog

Announcing Distro Dojo Malaysia 2016

Growth marketing is about to blow up Southeast Asia — again.
500 Distro’s 10 week Distro Dojo growth program for post-seed companies is now accepting applications for the Spring 2016 cohort in Kuala Lumpur, from March 1 through May 15. More on how startups can apply here.

Dec 4, 2015 Official Announcement

Announcing the 2016 Distro Dojos

500 Startups has been bringing world class entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley for years. But nowadays entrepreneurs from all over the world can build EPIC, venture-returns businesses without relocating to Silicon Valley — and we aim to help them. The one thing every company wants is growth. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to bring Silicon Valley-style growth marketing to high potential startups all over the world? Wouldn’t it be amazing if teams could not only “learn” growth through talks and lectures but actually DO growth under the hands-on guidance of experts who are so pro at it that it’s practically boring to them? Ah, maybe one day. Throughout 2015, we’ve been taking DISTRO EVERYWHERE with our Distro Dojo growth …