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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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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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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Mar 11, 2019 On Our Blog

Women in the Startup Ecosystem: How Can We Accelerate Inclusion?

From Salaried Employee to Entrepreneur According to the IDB (Interamerican Development Bank), if we had equal participation of men and women in the Latin American labor market, the regional GDP would increase by 16%. On the other hand, according to the ILO (International Labor Organization), women are more likely to be unemployed than men. In Latin America, the rate of male unemployment is 6.8%, while female unemployment is a considerably higher 9.5%. According to academic research, some of the factors that lead to this figure include discrimination, barriers to work-life balance, and lack of perspective for career growth. However, many of those reportedly unemployed women are not doing so to stay at home, but rather to become entrepreneurs. The GEM …


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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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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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