Jun 2, 2020 On Our Blog

Black Lives Matter

We are grieving the tragic murder of George Floyd in Minnesota.  Mr.Floyd is one of many Black Americans who have been senselessly killed. Ahmaud Arbery. Eric Garner. Tamir Rice. Breonna Taylor. These are just a few of the names and precious lives lost.  For the privileged, the killings are shocking events. For the Black community, last week’s tragedy was yet another example of long-standing, systemic racism and injustice they encounter on a regular basis. 500 stands steadfast with our Black colleagues, founders, families and community.    #BlackLivesMatter 


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May 15, 2020 On Our Blog

Taking our Flagship Accelerator Virtual-First

There is not a single business that is not affected in some form or another from COVID-19, and 500 Startups is no different. When news broke of COVID-19 entering in the US, we were one of the first major accelerators to turn the Demo Day experience completely virtual, and since then, we have focused on collecting data from investors and founders to help the community at-large through reports like our COVID-19 Investor Survey and Female Founders Survey.  We’ve also seen our portfolio companies step up to the challenge with everything from helping frontline workers to bettering remote work for thousands. Our founders continue to inspire us, and in the true nature of putting their safety and wellbeing first, we are …


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Apr 28, 2020 Official Announcement

Why Investing in Female Founders Matters Now More Than Ever

Long before diversity and inclusion became buzzwords, we decided to make venture capital inclusive from day one at 500 Startups. They became our guiding principles, because we know that great talent exists in all forms, no matter your gender, race, nationality, age, or background. Since 2010, we have expressed our commitment to those values in multiple ways. 500 actively invested in founders who were diverse or were building for diverse customers; we shunned manels by making sure to feature female speakers at our events, so that it wasn’t predominantly men doing the talking.  This extended to policies 500 implemented. We offer 12 weeks of fully paid leave for all parents in the U.S., which, sadly, puts us in the minority …


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Apr 9, 2020 On Our Blog

Understanding Omni-Channel Opportunities with Square at Founders Day

Guest Post: The following post is a sponsored guest post by Square, Inc. All views and opinions represented in this post are the views and opinions of Square, Inc. and do not represent those of 500 Startups or any of its staff or affiliates. For many startups in the 500 portfolio, understanding how they can make the easiest, most seamless transactions possible is a top priority. They don’t want to have to worry about their customer not being able to find an easy way to complete a sale due to credit card processing issues. Instead of just introducing them to some of the top credit card point-of-sale companies, we wanted to bring together both parties for a conversation around what’s …


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Apr 9, 2020 On Our Blog

How We Created our Digital Demo Day Experience

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the entire startup ecosystem, and in the name of safety and support of our founders, we hosted our first-ever Digital Demo Day. This was a whole new take on demo day for us, and the end result was a unique and inspiring experience for both our startups and investor community. Making the switch to an online demo day was no easy task. However, as concerns grew over our international founders needing to return to their home countries and not being able to attend Demo Day in-person, we made the decision early on to have all of the startups pre-record their presentations remotely. To help them with this process, we created a Zoom Guide so that …


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Apr 6, 2020 On Our Blog

How Startups Can Navigate the Change in Investment Climate Due to COVID-19

With the rise in regulations and restrictions surrounding COVID-19, we’ve entered unprecedented times on a global scale. On our end, we hosted our first-ever Digital Demo Day to ensure the safety and protection of our team and founders. Using YouTube Live and recorded presentations, as well as an investor-founder Slack channel, we found success in this new format. We registered over 5K unique views during the Demo Day live stream, and over 1,300 investors joined the Slack channel to chat with our founders. If you missed the event, watch it here. The challenge remains, however, of navigating the current investment climate, and we want to help our founders as much as possible in this unknown landscape. To do so, we …


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Apr 6, 2020 Official Announcement

5 Ways Startups Can Make it Through Periods of Uncertainty

Guest Post: The following post is a sponsored guest post by Nik Adhia, Senior Director of Global Operations, Oracle for Startups. All views and opinions represented in this post are the views and opinions of Oracle for Startups and do not represent those of 500 Startups or any of its staff or affiliates. Founders and employees alike have been on edge given uncertain economic conditions, so let’s just get right into a few ways startups can think about running leaner.   Distinguish between needs and “nice-to-haves” At times of challenge, it is important to examine activities and decide which are critical in the current moment. It is important for startups to operate lean in general, as it may not be easy …


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Apr 3, 2020 On Our Blog

How the 500 Startups Community Is Helping Those Affected By COVID-19

We at 500 are focused on helping the global community during these unsettling and unprecedented times. We are hosting roundtables and webinars with our partners and founders to address relevant topics, including the state of financing with our portfolio, and tips on how to manage a team remotely. Our goal is to offer resources to our founders, fellow investors, and the greater tech community.  Many of our global portfolio companies are also dedicating resources and time to be part of the solution to the COVID-19 crisis. These companies are addressing urgently important solutions like helping healthcare workers on the front lines, increasing awareness of preventative measures, and alleviating some of the financial burden on some of the hardest-hit industries.  Helping …


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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 …


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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 …


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