Jul 9, 2019 On Our Blog

500 Startups & Misk Innovation to Launch Second Batch of the Misk 500 Accelerator Program

Applications are now open for Batch 2 of the Misk 500 Accelerator Program 500 Startups and Misk Innovation will host the second batch of its accelerator program based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to fuel startups throughout the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region.  Batch 2 of the Misk 500 Accelerator Program will bring experts from Silicon Valley and beyond to educate 15-20 early-stage startups from MENA. The program will consist of 14 weeks of mentorship and workshops that will have an emphasis on growth hacking techniques, product design, and fundraising. In addition to the educational component of the program, participants will have a unique opportunity to make long-lasting connections with investors and corporate partners from the region.  Following the …


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May 31, 2019 On Our Blog

In-House vs. Outsource: What’s the Best Accounting Strategy for Your Startup?

Guest Post: Justin McLoughlin is the Founder of airCFO. 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. The early days of any company are all about resource management. Life as a startup is perilous. The companies who survive and thrive are usually the ones who find ways to do more with less. That could mean having employees who pull double duty and fill multiple roles. It may mean working a grueling schedule. It could also mean outsourcing certain key functions. Outsourcing can be a great way for a startup to leverage experienced and skilled talent without breaking the bank. You only pay for …


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May 22, 2019 On Our Blog

Startup Guide: 4 Tax Deductions to Watch for in 2019

Guest Post: Justin McLoughlin, Founder of AirCFO. 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. Taxes. They’re a constant presence for any startup. No matter whether you just started earning revenue or you’re a mature veteran, taxes are an important expense item that can be a drag on your bottom line. An effective tax strategy can make all the difference between success and failure, especially in your early years. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to minimize your tax exposure and reduce their impact on your profitability. Businesses can take advantage of a wide range of deductions. In fact, …


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May 22, 2019 On Our Blog

Announcing the 11 Startups in 500 LatAm’s Batch 10!

500 Startups is excited to announce the latest batch from our Seed Accelerator based in Mexico City. The Mexico City program focuses on providing a mentorship program for Spanish-speaking early-stage companies based in Latin America. Our latest batch consists of founders from all over Latin America including 6 companies from Mexico, 2 from Chile, 2 from Colombia, and 1 from Argentina. The 11 startups began the accelerator activities on April 22nd at 500’s office in Mexico City. The 16-week intensive Seed Program will focus on legal, product, sales, growth, culture, fundraising, and more, in order to prepare the companies for the culminating Demo Day taking place in Mexico City on August 7th. Batch 10’s startups will continue to put in …


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May 21, 2019 On Our Blog

Misk 500 MENA Accelerator Celebrates First Demo Day

Its been one week since the Misk 500 Batch 1 Demo Day and we’re still smiling. The energy in the room in Riyadh, on May 13th, was palpable. The 19 companies were on FIRE and rose to the occasion to give the best versions of their pitches. Due to the observance of Ramadan in the region, the event began at 10 PM and concluded at 3 AM. While originally planned to be an event for an audience of 200, the final attendance at the KAFD Conference Center included over 300 investors and guests.¹ Also in attendance were representatives of both local and international media to cover this groundbreaking collaboration between 500 and Misk Innovation. The last two hours of the …


Apr 18, 2019 On Our Blog

500 Startups Launches “Falcon’s Nest” Pitch Competition in Kuwait

In partnership with Ahli United Bank, 500 Startups is proud to announce the first of its kind pitch competition in Kuwait—Falcon’s Nest. Kuwaiti startups from across the country are flocking to earn the position as the top national startup. Falcon’s Nest is an opportunity for local startups to secure a chance to pitch their company to Silicon Valley venture capital firm 500 Startups along with prominent Kuwaiti business executives who will give their candid feedback on the quality of their businesses and presentations. Open to Kuwaiti startups of all stages, participants will be selected to pitch in a “Shark Tank” style competition on the 21st of April. Startups can apply online from today or show up early for a limited …


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Apr 17, 2019 On Our Blog

Announcing the 3rd Batch of the MENA Dojo

Continuing our MENA Series A Programs 500 continues to work hard to bring the best industry knowledge and mentoring from our Silicon Valley-based global network to our programs in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. For this reason, we are pleased to announce the startups participating in the 3rd Batch of our regional Series A Program, the MENA Dojo. The MENA Dojo program is part of a continued partnership with Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) which was launched in the MENA region 2 years ago. We are also honored to welcome Ahli United Bank in Kuwait as our new strategic partner in this year’s program alongside Zain as our gold partner.  Other partners include Niu, KAFO and …


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Mar 25, 2019 On Our Blog

500 Falcons Final Close Oversubscribed at $33 million!

We are happy to announce that we’ve had an oversubscribed final closing for our first MENA region focused fund, 500 Falcons. We set out to raise a $30 million fund to have a significant impact in the MENA region, and thanks to the support of our Limited Partners we held an oversubscribed final closing for the fund at $33 million. 500 has been an active player, investing in talented entrepreneurs in the MENA region since 2012. We’ve been helping the ecosystem develop, supporting not just founders, but other ecosystem counterparts like investors, governments, and corporations engage effectively with startups in the region. Since our Falcons Fund first close, we have been quite active in the MENA region. Here is a …


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Mar 25, 2019 On Our Blog

To Infinity and Beyond: 500’s Next Chapter

My journey with 500 began eight years ago as a startup founder in Batch 3.  At the time, 500 was a fledgling early stage investor just beginning to establish itself in Silicon Valley. 500 and its team of underdogs were making a name for themselves as scrappy investors willing to take risks in areas they believed other VCs overlooked, and their boldness skyrocketed them into national recognition. I was excited to join the ride. Over the next eight years, I grew with 500 as we scaled from a small group of passionate investors to the array of global-minded investors we are today. In 2013, I became an entrepreneur-in-residence and helped run the accelerator batches when 500 expanded to San Francisco. …


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Mar 19, 2019 On Our Blog

Key B2B Metrics You Need To Communicate To An Investor

Are you selling your product to another business? Whether your customer segment is an SMB or an enterprise, you need to get a handle on your key B2B metrics before you talk to an investor! No matter how novel an idea you have, investors hear many pitches and are grading you on a curve to other founders and startups. They want to know how you are sourcing, closing, and scaling your customer base. Regardless of what stage you are at, you need to be able to share your approach, and back it up with data and B2B metrics! The Baseline B2B Metrics You Need To Know About Your Business During the course of an initial conversation, expect investors to ask …