Happy 2nd Birthday 500 Startups

Jess Erickson

July 01, 2012

Yes! 500 Startups turned 2 today! Woot, it’s our birthday.  It feels like we should be a lot older.  Here are some memories from some of the early 500 Startups Team members:

On Thurs 7/29 am, we realized we had enough money wired (min $5M) to do the initial closing.

– On Thurs afternoon, we initiated the SEC filing for the fund with a $30M target.

– On Thurs night (late), I started drafting the “Moneyball for Startups” fund thesis / blog post (but gave up @ 1am):  http://500hats.typepad.com/500blogs/2010/07/moneyball-for-startups.html

– Early Fri 4-6am PST, in Europe, Robin Wauters (TechCrunch UK) discovered the SEC filing, *and* our 99 Designs brief:  http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/30/dave-mcclure-500-startups/

– By Friday 6am, I woke up, realized our SEC filing was found, and finished the Moneyball post by 8am – Within a few hours, my post, the TechCrunch post, and several others were trending on Techmeme:   http://www.techmeme.com/100730/p24#a100730p24

– By noon Friday, we did the initial closing, and David J. walked over some blank starter checks to me at Stanford.

– By 3pm Friday, I dropped by the Wildfire office in downtown Palo Alto and had made our 1st investment.

– By 5pm Friday at the 2010 TechCrunch/August Capital party, I had made our 3rd investment in Tello:  http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/31/photographic-evidence-of-stealth-startup-tello-raising-100k/

– On Sat afternoon, I dropped by 444 Castro management office, signed our lease, and wrote a check for $300K security deposit.

I remember I did not get any sleep.

– Dave McClure
Founding Partner

Dave was my client and he would call me to talk about his plans for the new fund. At the time, I didn’t realize the magnitude of what he was doing, but I could tell from his excitement about it that it would be BIG. One day, he called to talk about what he could name the fund. He was really leaning towards Sandworm Ventures (i.e. Dune) which he explained to me was a ‘geek thing’ after I told him I didn’t like it AT ALL. I just couldn’t imagine what the logo would look like, or how serious anyone would take it outside of the geek community. I was really happy when he went with 500 Startups, the extension of his 500 Hats branding. It just felt right. Happy bday 500 – you don’t look a day over 499 startups.

– Christen O’brien

It was two years ago today, on July 30, 2010 that 500 Startups, LP held the first closing of the first fund.  I remember driving over to Stanford that afternoon where Dave was giving a talk, so that I could get his signature on some documents and hand over paper checks for the first two investments and one for the security deposit on the office. It was a humble beginning for sure.

 David Jaques
Chief Financial Officer

While I was still at Google, I remember getting several calls from Dave. He haggled me to get someone into the Google I/O conference, but he also wanted to talk about this new fund he was raising and how Google and 500 could work together on helping the 500 portfolio with distribution. The last thing I would have thought was that I’d end up joining him on what has turned into a crazy, amazing adventure. I also remember how he badly wanted to call this place Fail Factory, and that first meeting at the Marriott Hotel in Burlingame with Enrique and Craig. I have never gotten so many parking tickets in my life than in those first couple months. This was before we had our office to work out of. How 2 years have flown by!

–       Christine Tsai


Happy birthday 500 Startups! Keep growing and stay #500strong!

Most Popular

June 09, 2020

Our Framework Post-COVID-19

May 22, 2020

Launch Your Business in Georgia (The Country, not the State)


EcoCart Simplifies Sustainable Shopping for Eco-Conscious Buyers

While online shopping offers convenience and a way to stay safe during COVID-19, it is not necessarily the most “green” option. Many people are trying to find a way to offset any damage to the envi...

Apothecary Creates a Skinfluencer-Driven Marketplace for a More Unique Skincare Journey

While the skincare revolution is not new, it is quickly evolving as indie brands drive innovation and as the market continues to grow more quickly than the developed world’s GDP. Compounding that t...

Pawsh is Delivering Pet Grooming Services Anywhere

Traditional pet grooming is stressful for pets and their owners. Pets get anxious about traveling to unfamiliar environments and can spend up to four hours at a grooming salon during a session.&nbs...

Grow is Helping Teams Share Better and Faster Feedback

As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the workplace, many companies are developing new HR playbooks. Working from home is here to stay, which means providing team members with valuable feedback becomes ...