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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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 …


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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 …


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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, …


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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 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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Sep 24, 2019 On Our Blog

Welcome Tony Wang as 500’s New Managing Partner

500 centers itself around supporting bold, innovative founders around the world. As venture dollars increasingly shift towards being deployed outside of the U.S., firms need to be thinking about their strategy to manage the trend towards globalization. 500 began making bets outside of Silicon Valley and outside of the U.S. back in 2010. Today, in 2019, 49% of our overall portfolio hails from outside the U.S. and spans more than 75 countries around the world.  Earlier this year, I expressed that the 500 of the future is just getting started, and announced Courtney Powell joining as 500’s new COO. I am thrilled to be sharing more good news today and welcome Tony Wang as our new Managing Partner. In this …


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Jul 30, 2019 On Our Blog

500Kobe Accelerator Program is back, now with a Focused Track on Health

500 Startups and Kobe City are thrilled to announce our 4th consecutive accelerator program, which will commence on November 4th, 2019.  This year’s program will continue to support startups across all industries and sectors, but will include a special focus on startups within the health space.  For the past three years, 500 Startups and Kobe City have together supported the growth of startups from around the world, including Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Africa, United States, and more. This year, we will be accepting up to 20 startups.  The program will be led by the 500 Startups team and hand-selected mentors from our global network. They will work closely with each startup to accelerate their development through best operational practices, …


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Jul 29, 2019 On Our Blog

Announcing Courtney Powell as COO of 500 Startups

500 has seen incredible growth over the past 9 years, yet our goal has always stayed constant: back the world’s most talented founders. Everything we do is centered around bringing incredible ideas and entrepreneurial ecosystems to life through inspiring individuals around the world. It’s this principle that has led us to invest in over 2,200 companies, and in one of the most global and diverse teams in VC. Earlier this year, I reflected on 500’s accomplishments and expressed that the 500 of the future is just getting started. With that, I am thrilled to announce that Courtney Powell has joined 500 as our COO. In this role, Courtney will help in continuing to scale 500 globally and explore new opportunities …


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