Mar 26, 2020 Official Announcement

Why the Accelerator Model is Broken—and how 500 Startups is Fixing it

No one would’ve envisioned me as a venture capitalist. I was raised in rural Wyoming, far from the high stakes and deep pockets of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. But from a young age, going against the grain was in my DNA. It’s what led me to San Francisco, and, ultimately, what drew me to 500 Startups. When I moved to San Francisco in 2012, I was working on my fourth startup and looking to join an accelerator. 500 immediately stood out to me, not only for their reputation as one of the top accelerators in Silicon Valley, but also because they seemed to be one of the few VCs at the time that recognized that true entrepreneurship was blind …


PUBLISHED BY
Mar 18, 2020 Official Announcement

Welcoming New Partner and Global Digital Transformation Expert Flavio Dias as We Step Up Our Presence in Brazil

I first met Flavio in 2013, when he co-invested alongside 500 Startups in Olist, one of Brazil’s largest online marketplaces–which recently raised a Series C round. Olist’s founder was in our San Francisco accelerator program, and in his next round of funding turned to Flavio, who was then president of Walmart.com in Brazil. He became instrumental in building Olist’s name.  Flavio already had a solid reputation as an e-commerce pioneer and operator in the country. For nearly two decades, he helped multiple companies, including multinationals, launch their online operations in Brazil. After a successful experience at Philips, Magazine Luiza, one of Brazil’s biggest retailers, hired him to re-launch its website and improve the user experience as head of e-commerce. Those …


PUBLISHED BY
Mar 18, 2020 On Our Blog

Tools and Tips for Working Remotely From 500 & GitLab

On March 16th, 500 had the opportunity to lead a chat with Darren Murph, the Head of Working Remote at GitLab. Due to the novel COVID-19 virus, many companies are adapting their workforces to be partially, if not completely, remote. GitLab is currently one of the largest all-remote companies with the world, and we love just how transparent they have been regarding best practices and company policies. Here’s what they had to say to 500 portfolio companies looking for some advice in these rather unusual times. Tips From GitLab’s Head of Remote The biggest question when working remotely is how to hire and onboard someone new. What you should look for in an interviewee: Look for someone who is a …


PUBLISHED BY
Mar 10, 2020 On Our Blog

Ones to Watch in Esports

Esports continues to be a leader in advancing media technology, yet the gaming community continues to struggle in creating a singular hub for viewers to check out all their favorite games and for there to be a singular hub for gaming education. With the market as large as ever and continuing to grow, Batch 26 companies Gamerzclass and Juked are working towards creating the next big hubs in esports.  Giving You The Coach You Always Wanted – Gamerzclass Professional esports players know how challenging and competitive teams can get, from local club teams to college to the professional level. Compared to more traditional sports like football or baseball, esports does not have the same kind of established coaching and educational …


PUBLISHED BY
Mar 9, 2020 On Our Blog

Using Design Strategy to Unlock Growth

Guest Post: The following post is a sponsored guest post by Noteh Krauss. All views and opinions represented in this post are the views and opinions of Krauss and do not represent those of 500 Startups or any of its staff or affiliates. As a designer with my own agency and a mentor to dozens of Silicon Valley startups, I’ve come across my fair share of design challenges. Though every client or startup I advise is different, I’ve spotted some patterns of design issues that founders seem to miss. Despite the fact that my design career began with a personal interest in design and aesthetics in Kazakhstan, most of my work was centered around North American companies with North American …


PUBLISHED BY
Mar 6, 2020 On Our Blog

The Female Trailblazers Impacting Mental Health, Analytics, GovTech, and More

“Out of every ten investors that you’ve pitched, how many of them were female?” When we polled the female founders of Batch 26, the answers ranged from only one out of 10 to upwards of seven out of ten. For those that had over half of their pitches with female investors, they each cited having to actively seek out female investors in order to keep the number high.  We are proud to have 30% of Batch 26 with at least one female founder. We sat down with the founders of Batch 26 to chat about their startups and their experience fundraising as a female founder.  Pluto  Almost everyone has experienced the pain of sleeping on a bad pillow. A good …


PUBLISHED BY
Mar 6, 2020 On Our Blog

Tax Filing is Approaching, Here’s How Your Business Can Save

Guest Post: The following post is a sponsored guest post by Scott McCutcheon of incentAdvise. All views and opinions represented in this post are the views and opinions of incentAdvise and do not represent those of 500 Startups or any of its staff or affiliates.  As startups and established companies continue to scale, there are exciting benefits awaiting them that can uncover hidden cash. First introduced as a temporary measure, the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit was passed in 1981 and worked to help stimulate the economy. The credit ultimately acted as an incentive to encourage investment within the United States. After years of extensions due to its success, the act was eventually made a permanent part of the …


PUBLISHED BY
Mar 3, 2020 On Our Blog

Ones to Watch in Sensors and AI

In the golden age of data, businesses in media, communication, and commerce were some of the first to adapt their operations to work directly with the newfound aggregation of consumer data. Sensors and AI, in particular, have become ubiquitous parts of the tech startup zeitgeist. We have a few startups in Batch 26 that are trying to not only demystify the overuse of terms like sensors and AI, but also utilize the technology for substantial change in the realms of travel, retail, and more.  Taking the Headache Out of Flight Delays – Pilota Not many founding teams can say that they have visited over 100 countries before diving into the travel business. The founding team at Pilota has an immense …


PUBLISHED BY
Feb 27, 2020 On Our Blog

Hospitality Tech as a Service

As sector agnostic investors, we get a first-hand look at tech-enabled startups across a number of different verticals. One which you may not have heard much about is HTaaS — or Hospitality Tech as a Service. We’ve recently partnered with LA Fund, an innovative hospitality-focused venture fund, to launch a one-week bootcamp for startups building products that have the potential to disrupt this space.  Recognizing the lack of support for tech-enabled hospitality companies, the LA Fund was created to help these startups fast-track their growth and connect them with the right industry leaders who can help them scale. We recently sat down with the founders of LA Fund, Lev Filiminov and Alex Balaban, to learn more about their inspiration for …


PUBLISHED BY
Feb 11, 2020 On Our Blog

Meet the Startups of Batch 26

We are excited to announce our 26th batch of companies to join our flagship seed accelerator in San Francisco. From social media analytics to sensors and AI and more, this group of 29 companies was chosen from over 3,000 applicants, representing a less than 1% acceptance rate.  As with every batch, we are continuing our commitment to discovering and backing the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, and recognizing that great founders come in all shades, genders and nationalities. Of the 29 companies in Batch 26, 37% come from outside of the U.S., including Brazil, Nigeria and India. 30% of the companies have a female founder and 70% have one or more founders who identify as a racial minority. Without further ado, …


PUBLISHED BY