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)


Accelerating ESG Adoption in Early Stage Venture Capital

The year 2020 has served up many reminders of the pressing issues facing society, from failures to address systemic discrimination to the impending climate crisis. Moving forward, realizing a more ...

Meet the Startups in 500’s First Fully Virtual Accelerator

At 500 Startups, innovation is a staple of our business model. In March, we announced the revamp of our SF flagship accelerator program to offer year-round enrollment flexibility to meet our founde...

15 Tips to Bringing Teams Closer Even During Tough Times

We are living through one of the largest collective challenges the world has faced, so it’s the perfect time to tap into the experience of these 15 female leaders. They offer tips for bringing team...

500 Startups Bolsters Commitment to MENA’s Startup Ecosystem

500 Startups made its first investment in MENA in 2012. Back then, few U.S. venture investors made their way to the region, but we recognized its potential and after making more than 30 investments...