Jan 7, 2020 On Our Blog

5 Fast Ways To Know You’re Underpriced & How To Fix It

I see this far too often: earnest company joins me on an introductory call seeking advice on how to grow revenue and profit quickly. I ask them how they arrived at their current price for their product/service. Some fuzzy answer emerges. This gives me the opportunity to share my favorite “growth hack”—increase prices.  As long as the company is open-minded enough to fully hear me out and willing to develop a game plan with me, prices can be increased shortly with no downside risk. I’ll say that again: no downside risk. Look, I’m really lucky to be a part-time Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) at 500 Startups, one of the most active seed-stage investors on planet earth. From my vantage point as their …


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Dec 20, 2019 On Our Blog

The Value of the 500 Seed Accelerator in 2019

Going into 2020, 500 will be entering it’s tenth year of operation. It’s been a crazy journey for us from a small first batch of startups in our Silicon Valley Accelerator to running accelerators across the globe and investing in founders from over 76 countries. While we have undoubtedly matured as a company, we continue to strive to make our Seed Accelerator one of the top programs to support founders and help them build companies at-scale.  Over the past nine years, the venture capital landscape has dramatically changed. What previously defined a “seed” stage is no longer the case, as the average seed investment has gone from $0.5M to $2M.   We’ve also seen an ever-expanding set of options for …


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Dec 17, 2019 On Our Blog

Niama El Bassunie’s Mission to Unlock Trade in Africa

It is within 500’s DNA to invest in talented founders, no matter whether they are situated in Silicon Valley or on the other side of the world. Earlier this year, we partnered with Magnitt, one of the premier players in the MENA entrepreneurial ecosystem, to come out with a State of MENA Startups 2019¹. According to data collected by Magnitt and published in the report, our portfolio has a higher percentage of startups with at least one female founder than the average percentage of female-founded startups in all of MENA.² With all this data, we wanted to share some of the unique stories of these female founders in MENA.  Niama El Bassunie founded WaystoCap in 2016 on a mission to …


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Dec 17, 2019 On Our Blog

¡Hola Batch 11 LatAm! These are the 9 Startups Joining our Latest Batch in Mexico City

500 Startups is excited to announce the latest batch from our Seed Accelerator based in Mexico City. The Mexico City program focuses on providing mentorship and guidance to foster fast-paced growth for Spanish-speaking, early-stage companies based in Latin America. For this batch, our team assessed 1706 applications to participate in the acceleration program. Our final group of startups batch consists of founders from all over Latin America, including five companies from Mexico, one company from Chile, two companies from Colombia, and one company from Peru. The nine startups began the accelerator activities on November 25th at 500’s office in Mexico City. Throughout the four-month program, founders will put in hard work to prepare for Demo Day in March of 2020 …


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Dec 16, 2019 On Our Blog

The Future of Startup Ecosystems Across the Globe

The idea of being a founder has never been so popular around the world, so how is that going to change industries and entire regions? This year we dove headfirst into the rise of corporate venture capital, the changing nature of venture capital education, and the important task of startup ecosystem building. Fast Growing Corporate Venture Capital  With headlines from Softbank, Google Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures and more, corporate venture capital is growing faster than ever. In 2018, we saw this trend reach new heights with more corporate venture capital (CVC) funds than ever. And in 2019, 500 decided to dive into CVC behavior in an unprecedented way.  From May to July 2019, we surveyed over 100 unique corporate venture capital …


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Dec 10, 2019 On Our Blog

500’s Past & Present: Betting on International Startups

In 2010, 500 Startups started as a new kind of venture capital firm in Silicon Valley with a contrarian belief that talent can come from anywhere in the world. Back then, very few venture capital firms in the valley were focused on much outside of our collection of cities within the San Francisco Bay area. ”If you look at our early team, our DNA has always been very global with experience growing up abroad or working internationally. So it really comes down to the thing that we always say which is that we always believed from day one that there are brilliant startups all over the world, but opportunity isn’t universal.” – Tim Chae, Managing Partner at 500 As a …


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Nov 27, 2019 On Our Blog

Ready to scale in Southeast Asia? Start in Singapore.

While people may think of Singapore as a top startup city, what they may not realize is that this city-state potentially has quite a bit more to offer as a local hub when looking to scale throughout the region. This fall, we kicked off Global Launch, a program aimed at building bridges between Singapore and the Silicon Valley. This two-way program brings Singaporean startups here to San Francisco for targeted immersion and education in the heart of the Silicon Valley, and sends another group of global startups to Singapore as they prepare entry into the Southeast Asian market.  We caught up with a few startups from Batch 1 of the Global Launch – SF Program, who have scaled in Singapore …


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Nov 21, 2019 On Our Blog

Inside Batch 25 at 500 Startups

Guest Post: Rishika Jhamb is the Marketing Lead at Alluva. Under no circumstances should any of the below content be construed as legal, tax or investment advice from 500 Startups or any of its affiliates. Alluva at 500 Startups: What it was really like being a part of Batch 25 In March of 2019, Alluva was accepted into Batch 25 of 500 Startups. As part of the founding team at Alluva, my thoughts ranged from excitement at the incredible learning opportunity to worry about how challenging 500’s batches were rumored to be. The outcome was that it was both – and when you’re at Demo Day, you’re going to be grateful to the part that’s ‘too challenging’. What Alluva is …


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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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