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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Apr 10, 2017 On Our Blog

Announcing Diversity Scholarship for VC Unlocked with Stanford CPD

Diversity is in our DNA  Anyone familiar with 500 Startups knows diversity is one of our core values.  We are concerned with the current “mostly male, mostly white” panorama in the VC world. According to TechCrunch, only 7% of senior partners at the top 100 venture firms are women and less than 1% are black or hispanic.* At 500 Startups, our team comes from more than 20 countries, and we have invested in startups in over 50 countries. About half our team is female, and more than half are people of color. About half of us like peanut butter and jelly; the other half thinks disco dancing is still cool. We look and act different from most other venture capitalists, and …


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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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Mar 20, 2017 On Our Blog

VC Unlocked with Stanford CPD is Back!

Applications are now open for our highly sought-after Venture Capital Unlocked investor education program. It will be held July 24th – August 4th in Silicon Valley. An early admission rate of 21K is available through May 1st for a limited number of spots. Apply Here Venture Capital Unlocked: Secrets of Silicon Valley Investing is a two week executive level education program in which participants get an inside look into 500 Startups’ investment playbook and gain firsthand access to top Silicon Valley VCs, angels, startups and entrepreneurs. Hear from past participants on why they decided to take the program and on their favorite VC Unlocked session. The program is taught by our highly experienced 500 Startups partners and Stanford faculty who specialize in venture capital …


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Feb 8, 2017 On Our Blog

Batch 20 triples down on FinTech and Digital Health, Takes on Uncle Sam with GovTech

500 Startups’ 20th program (B20) in Silicon Valley starts at time that will be remembered across the world. Only three days after a new (and highly controversial) United States government administration has taken power and Silicon Valley is preparing for a Trumpocalypse. Seeing this regulatory disruption as an opportunity for private sector tech companies, B20 includes GovTech (13.6% of B20), FinTech (27%) and Digital Health (15.9%). In total, there are 44 companies in the four-month program that will run from January to May. Popular technology trends — including SaaS, marketplaces, AI/bots, big data, analytics, devops and hardware — also remain prevalent in the seed program formally known as an accelerator but continually geared towards scaling companies with early traction. In …


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Jan 17, 2017 Official Announcement

Announcing: 500’s Women Invest Initiative

500 Startups has always been in the business of challenging conventional wisdom in the venture capital industry. Since our inception, we’ve focused on taking our expertise wherever there is talent. That’s taken us to some flung corners of the earth and compelled us to look in oft-overlooked places in our own communities. We’ve baked this diversity into our DNA, trying our hardest to be champions of the world, not as it is, but as we’d like to see it.   Don’t be mistaken. We don’t do this for charity, or to boost our social profile, or even to make ourselves sleep better at night (although those are obvious benefits.) We do it because it just makes sense. We do it …


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Jan 17, 2017 On Our Blog

What does unconscious bias mean for entrepreneurs, investors, and the tech community?

Guest blogger – Rory Gerberg, Partner at Refound Bias at work Every second your brain is flooded with 11 million bits of information, but it can only process 40 bits consciously. To cope, the brain uses mental shortcuts to instantly identify which 40 to notice and remember. These mental shortcuts function like a newsfeed algorithm that filters your lived reality: there’s way too much information out there, so rules of thumb determine what comes on your radar in the first place. These mental shortcuts or rules of thumb let you focus on the job. But the drawback is that they can cause you to miss important information. This is why after an investor meeting, one investor confident in an entrepreneur’s capability …


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Jan 17, 2017 On Our Blog

Can Muslims in Tech Fight Rising Islamophobia in the United States?

Guest blogger – Dustin Craun, Founder and CEO of Life Beyond Borders As we enter a new political era built on a combination of misogyny, racism, and fear-based politics, I think of an unlikely hero, Muslims in tech. Muslims in tech in the United States and around the world is one of the biggest stories not being told. Muslim technological talent, founders, and venture capitalists play a central role in the majority of tech ecosystems around the world. This is true of the tech ecosystems in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Atlanta. There are an estimated 300,000 Muslims in the San Francisco Bay Area, and according to one study upwards of 20% of them work …


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Nov 18, 2016 On Our Blog

#AnotherOne: 500 Startups Announces Batch 19 🔑

It’s that time again! Announcing our latest Mountain View cohort, Batch 19, with 44 companies.   Earlier this year, we experimented with vertical tracks to be able to provide greater value to companies, in particular, categories of interest.  These tracks have allowed companies to receive additional categorical mentoring and networking opportunities.  This year at 500 Startups, we’ve held specialized tracks in Health, Fintech, B2B, and Fashion & Beauty.  In Batch 19, we are, again, running tracks in B2B led by Robert Neivert and Fashion & Beauty led by Tanya Soman.  #MajorKey 500 Startups has always invested in a lot of B2B companies — in fact, many of our top performing companies in our portfolio, such as Intercom and Talkdesk are …


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Oct 17, 2016 Official Announcement

500 Startups Announces 18 New Investments in Latin America

Today we are announcing our newest LatAm Accelerator Batch, a program based in Mexico City which focuses on startups in LatAm and Spanish speaking regions. This is our 6th LatAm batch and we’ve invested in 91 companies to date through the program. Alongside this news, we’ve also opened a new LatAm HQ in Mexico City with an expanded team! After receiving over 408 applications for the current LatAm program, and conducting over 100 founder interviews, 500 Startups chose 18 high potential teams to participate in the program. Each company receives $65K in investment, and joins for 4 months of working side-by-side with support from 500’s team and global family of mentors. Among the 18 startups in Batch 6, there are …


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