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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Apr 19, 2017 Official Announcement

500 Startups “Hacks Health” with Planned Parenthood Partnership

500 Startups has announced today a partnership with Planned Parenthood Federation of America to offer more opportunities for both growth and technology to be applied to Planned Parenthood’s digital health offerings.  Planned Parenthood will be sending its Spot On app team through the 500 Seed Program in 2017, which is known for its tactical approach to rapid customer acquisition, also known as “growth hacking”. Spot On is Planned Parenthood’s free, award-winning birth control and period tracking mobile app that empowers people to take control of their period, their birth control, and their sexual health.  The goal of this partnership is to enable and empower more people to use Planned Parenthood digital tools to take charge of their health. The first …


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Mar 29, 2017 Official Announcement

500 Startups Launches its First Distro Bootcamp in Israel

500 Startups has launched its first “distro bootcamp” in Israel in partnership with Google, Amazon AWS, Poalim Hi-Tech, Meitar and WeWork and has selected 9 B2B companies for its first cohort. Distro Bootcamp is a selective 4 week education program specifically designed from the ground up to help pre-seed and seed stage companies develop a systematic approach to reach product market fit, and assist founders with sales, marketing and distribution. The program is uncompromisingly focused on actionable training and taught by the 500 Startups in-house distribution team from San Francisco and London with 1-on-1 sessions with International and local entrepreneurs. The program stems from and is a shorter, compact version of our Series A program that runs globally with 12 …


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Mar 23, 2017 On Our Blog

#500FAMILY

Recently, a 500 colleague posted this on social media: “Diversity and equality is NOT about women who succeed because they sacrifice everything else so they “have nothing else to do but work”. It’s about EVERYONE stepping up to the plate and pitching in. So we as a society don’t ever have to choose life OR work, but rather being able to do both well.” This colleague isn’t a parent, nor is he planning to have kids anytime soon. Yet he still felt adamantly about the importance of gender parity and acknowledging that it’s everyone’s responsibility. Breaking down barriers is tough. Many companies make the mistake of dismissing diversity early on, only to realize later how foundational it is to their …


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Jan 24, 2017 On Our Blog

7 UX / UI Design Tips to Improve Your Startup Growth

Below is a collection of my tips and feedback from a creative branding workshop I led during the most recent 500 Startups’ seed accelerator program, Batch 19. The goal was to teach startups to apply design thinking methods to improve their UX/UI , and thus increase user acquisition and market growth. Did you know the human attention span is shorter than a goldfish’s? [Fun Fact about Attention Span] Goldfish: 9 seconds > Human: 8 seconds. 😱 Yep, your website has a lot of work to do in a short amount of time to get your key message to your audience. How do you do it? Here are 7 Design Thinking Tips to Improve Your Growth Rate 🔑: 1. Integrate Combine a strong marketing message (content) with effective visuals (form). …


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