Aug 6, 2018 On Our Blog

Road to Series A:
Growth Program lands in Miami!

We told you we were excited to join the Miami heat and tech wave, and we are delivering. 500 Startups Miami is thrilled to share that its hallmark Growth Program: Road to Series A has landed in Miami. If you are, or you know, a high-potential tech startup seeking to scale up in a sustainable way, this is for you! The 10-week Road to Series A program, leveraging our global network and expertise, focuses on helping high-growth tech startups reach the next level of scalable and repeatable growth. Only 10 startups will be selected to participate in this program, with a special focus on those with operations in the South-Eastern US and Latam regions. Selected startups will get to work …


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Jul 3, 2018 On Our Blog

Meet OK Blockchain Capital – 500 Startups’ Newest Corporate Partner in the Blockchain World

In Borderless Blockchain, We Trust.  We are excited to partner with OK Blockchain Capital who shares 500 Startups’ vision in discovering and backing the world’s most talented blockchain entrepreneurs from all over the world. As the strategic partner of OKCoin and OKEX a top global digital asset exchange with over $1 billion in daily trading volume, OK Blockchain Capital is focused on helping blockchain innovators through both direct funding and ecosystem support.  Launched in 2017, OK Blockchain Capital’s current investments include Perlin, Ankr, Merculet, and Vite. Building on OK Group’s experience in blockchain research, vast network, and expertise in building successful blockchain companies, OK Blockchain Capital is devoted to fueling the next generation of innovators. We understand the challenges entrepreneurs …


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Jun 15, 2018 On Our Blog

Investor Spotlight:
Rebecca Woodcock

Rebecca is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Venture Partner at 500 Startups. In 2011, she launched a health tech startup called CakeHealth as a TechCrunch DISRUPT finalist to help individuals track their healthcare expenses without the paperwork. After exiting CakeHealth in 2015, she joined 500 Startups to lead health tech investments for the accelerator program in San Francisco.  Rebecca was an advisor to the Obama administration for health data standards and was also recognized as one of 70 Digital Leaders by the United Nations in 2015. She has been featured in publications like Forbes and Inc. Magazine. Why did you join 500? I first joined the 500 family as a founder in 2011, when 500 Startups invested in my company, CakeHealth. I immediately saw how …


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Jun 8, 2018 On Our Blog

Arrogance is Killing Blockchain Companies

The deadliest sin for startups is arrogance. Founders often approach us convinced that they have product market fit, sales forecasts for millions in revenue, “hack proof” systems, and simple plans for hiring hundreds of “top 1%” employees, sometimes without any evidence to back it up. A startup’s survival depends on a founder’s ability to stay humble. That means keeping an open mind, asking the right questions, and verifying the answers until the data — not just blind faith — proves out your hypothesis. Don’t be afraid to seek out help, and even to use creative methods to get what you need. Everyone needs help (including us), and the winners in this game have the courage to ask. Over the last seven …


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Jun 21, 2017 On Our Blog

Part 2: 27 Interview Questions to Find the GREAT Growth Hackers (& Weed Out the Big Talkers)

In my last article, I gave the 7 Focus Areas Every GREAT Growth Marketing Hire Should Know, but there’s still some tools you need to have in your toolkit to find a GREAT growth hacker. Why? Because big talking growth hackers will blow smoke that may blind founders who are not trained in interviewing GREAT growth hackers. For example, you may ask one of my focus area questions, like: “Do you have experience with Mixpanel?” A Big Talking Growth Hacker will answer: Absolutely I used it all the time in my past role. But what they really mean: The engineer sitting next to me was always talking about the difference between events and properties, but I don’t understand it. Or …


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Jun 15, 2017 On Our Blog

Part 1:  7 Focus Areas Every GREAT Growth Marketing Hire Should Know Inside & Out

Since I started working at 500 Startups the question I get asked most often (aside from, “What’s Dave’s email address?”) is, “Do you know a great Growth Hacker?” And my always answer is, “No I don’t. If I did I’d hire him myself” Why? Because since the term “Growth Hacker” (definition here, here and here) was coined, thousands of people have popped up claiming to be a GREAT growth hacker… But few people actually are a GREAT growth hacker. To make sure you’re hiring someone who’s actually a GREAT, it’s important to make sure they’ve “been there, done that”. Do your due diligence by deep diving into these 7 Focus Areas Every GREAT Growth Marketing Hire Should Know: They know how to …


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Jun 15, 2017 On Our Blog

Growth Hacking the MENA Region

Following up on our earlier post announcing the first closing of 500 Falcons, our fund for the Middle East and North Africa, we’re going to be posting a few more announcements on the MENA region and the meaningful ecosystem-building projects we’re working on. As we’ve been investing in the region over the last 6 years, we’ve seen a lot of similarities between the Middle East and other emerging entrepreneurial markets in comparison to the startups we see in Silicon Valley. One particular area of focus that we felt needed a big boost was growth hacking. Growth hacking in simple terms is data-driven, online customer acquisition and distribution methodologies that have evolved as a distinct skill set from either traditional business …


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Jun 12, 2017 On Our Blog

7 Marketing Secrets from 500 Startups Demo Days

Have Fun, Get Deals Done – The Future of Marketing is the Brand Experience Pitching to top Silicon Valley investors like Tim Draper is nerve-racking. It helps when he’s dressed in a superhero costume. From Valentine’s Day-Themed (Batch 19) to Summer of Love-Themed (Batch 20), 500 Startups Demo Day is more than a pitch day, it’s a festival where everyone has fun and gets deals done. Here’s a look back at lessons we’ve learned from the last 7 Demo Days, and how 500 Startups stumbled upon creating the unique pitch day in Silicon Valley. 1. Listen to Your Audience Back in the day, 500 Startups Demo Day was pretty basic (see Batch 8): 500 Startups Founding Partner, Dave McClure, speaking …


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May 25, 2017 On Our Blog

3 Visual Marketing Lessons it Took Me a lot of Money to Learn

Guest Blogger – Brittany Murlas, Mentor, 500 Startups Optimizing adds on Pinterest isn’t necessarily straightforward, and can often involve a lot of trial and error. Brittany Murlas, a mentor for 500 Startups, spent time and money navigating what works and what doesn’t on the platform and imparts her hard-earned lessons below. Read on so you avoid the same mistakes, and instead, profit from BIG growth like she did.   Lesson #1: Build for platform. You know to design your Facebook ads differently than your Google ads, but do you tweak your Facebook ads for promotion on Instagram? Now I do. We humans open different apps for different reasons. I open Facebook for entertainment, SnapChat for connection, and Pinterest for ideas. My …


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