Feb 13, 2018 On Our Blog

How to Attract (and Scale)
Deal Flow

Most VCs think they can predict the future when it comes to early stage deals. At 500, we’re more realistic about our strengths and weaknesses as seed stage investors. We realized early on that building high-velocity deal flow – more than the art of predicting winners – was our super power and we’ve built on that strategy ever since. (We’ve been shouting our investment strategy and portfolio approach from the rooftops since 2010. Read more about how we pick investments) Ahead of Deal Camp (Feb 26 – March 1), our crash course on early stage venture finance, we’re sharing that approach, as well as some tips on how to build a pipeline of high-quality deals that can scale in the …


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Feb 6, 2018 On Our Blog

KISSs and SAFEs and
Notes….oh my!

[Editor’s Note] This is a guest post from Adam Sterling, Executive Director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Business, and a lecturer at VC Unlocked: Deal Camp at Berkeley. This post originally appeared on LinkedIn. In 2014, 500 Startups, a global venture capital firm, took a little-known action that would help change the landscape of international venture finance. This action had nothing to do with investment dollars, new hires, or liquidation events. 500 Startups simply open-sourced their proprietary investment contract for early-stage investments, the KISS (“Keep It Simple Security”), to startups and investors around the world. In the next year, fellow venture capital giant Y Combinator followed suit and open-sourced their own proprietary investment contract, the SAFE (“Simple Agreement …


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Nov 22, 2017 Investor Education

What I Learned at VC Unlocked: Deal Camp

VC Unlocked: Deal Camp at Berkeley, our four-day executive education program on early stage investing, takes place from February 26 – March 1, 2018. Apply today. Guest Post: Regina Leung is Vice-President of Healthcare at Bay Angels and owns her own consulting firm in healthcare and life sciences. Last month, I spent a week at Berkeley attending VC Unlocked: Deal Camp, 500 Startups’ crash course on all things early stage investing with UC Berkeley Law. I’ve been an angel investor for about a year with several startup investments to date, but was looking for the right program to become a more knowledgeable investor. Deal Camp was a great opportunity to grow my network, drill down on important topics like valuations …


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Nov 21, 2017 International Stories

Highlights from our first VC Unlocked in Asia

Venture Capital Unlocked: Secrets to Silicon Valley Investing in Asia, our inaugural course taught in collaboration with INSEAD, wrapped up on November 10th. This course convened 23 participants from 10 countries for five days to learn how Silicon Valley’s best practices can be applied to Asian markets. Here’s a quick introduction the class: 10 countries represented: Cambodia, China, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Ukraine, and Vietnam Participants have made 40+ investments in total $50M+ in total projected investment budgets over the next two years Areas of interest include: AI, BioTech, B2B Consumer, Digital Payments, E-Commerce, EdTech, Fintech, Food, Logistics, Regtech, retail, AR/VR A Long Time Coming Our collaboration with INSEAD marks the first time we’ve conducted a full …


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Oct 23, 2017 On Our Blog

Venture Capital Unlocked: Deal Camp is Back!

We’re back in Berkeley! Today marks the start of our 3rd successive Venture Capital Unlocked: Deal Camp, our one-week crash course on the ins and out of early stage investing. We’re hosting another impressive, diverse group of 25 angels and aspiring VCs from around the world at UC Berkeley this week. Here’s a quick introduction to the latest group of Deal Campers: 60% are based internationally, representing eight countries including Brazil, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, China, New Zealand, and more Women investors make up 28% of the class Participants have made 85+ investments in total $100M+ in total projected investment budgets over the next two years Areas of interest include: FinTech, SaaS, BioTech, blockchain, AI, EdTech, Healthcare, and more Over the next …


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Oct 16, 2017 On Our Blog

3 Insights from Doing 200 Deals in Southeast Asia

Over the past five years, 500 Startups has operated at breakneck speed in Southeast Asia. Our team of 20 people in the region have invested in over 200 companies across eight countries. We’re thankful to have been an early part of some amazing stories like Grab, Carousell, Kudo (acquired by Grab), Viki (acquired by Rakuten for $200M), Gilmour Space and Revolution Precrafted. One of my favourite times to reflect on the region and what we’ve built there is on the long 17-hour flight back to Singapore from San Francisco. I’m always amazed by how remarkably fast the ecosystem has matured in the past two to three years and on its contrast to Silicon Valley in terms of the startups, founders, …


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Sep 19, 2017 International Stories

Venture Capital na teoria e prática [Portuguese]

[Editor’s Note] This is a guest post from Gabriela de Salles van der Linden, a participant in our recent Venture Capital Unlocked program at Stanford CPD. Gabriela has 10 years of work experience in the Brazilian venture capital industry, most recently as an executive partner of CRP Companhia de Participaçōes. O que aprendi no curso da 500 Startups em conjunto com Stanford University Quando tive conhecimento sobre o curso da 500 Startups em conjunto com Stanford University, o VC Unlocked, me perguntei se de fato um curso com tais características poderia ampliar minha visão depois de quase 10 anos trabalhando com venture capital no Brasil. Seria essa uma boa oportunidade para refletir e atualizar sobre o que está acontecendo sob uma perspectiva …


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Aug 28, 2017 On Our Blog

How 500 Startups picks investments

How do you evaluate a potential startup investment? This is inevitably one of the first questions I’m asked when talking to aspiring VCs at industry events and programs like VC Unlocked: Deal Camp, and rightfully so. Ask around and you’ll hear about the hours clocked and the expensive mistakes a VC has to make in order to develop the muscle memory and pattern recognition to succeed in this industry. Throw in the influx of capital chasing fewer high-potential startups, and it becomes increasingly clear that early stage investors need to arm themselves with something stronger than gut instinct. For investors looking to break into the industry, that means honing in on their opportunity assessment framework and filters that allow them …


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Aug 25, 2017 On Our Blog

Edith Yeung’s 2017 China internet report

China Internet Report 2017 by Edith Yeung from Edith Yeung Our very own 500 China partner Edith Yeung just released her China internet report. This 67-page report includes everything you need to know about China internet landscape including China vs. US internet by the numbers, China internet market size, top China startup cities, venture capital, smartphone landscape, major Chinese internet trends including messaging, mobile payment, Cryptocurrency, shopping, bike sharing, live streaming. gaming, eSport, artificial intelligence, and education. Here are some of our takeaways: China internet future is really bright… China is the leader of messaging, mobile payment, bike-sharing, gaming, eSport, live streaming and online education industries. China’s domestic market for mobile payment, bike-sharing, gaming, eSport, live streaming and online education …


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Aug 14, 2017 On Our Blog

Looking back at VC Unlocked 2017

After two weeks of intense coursework, six guest lectures, 32 investment thesis presentations, and a mind-boggling amount of coffee, another successful VC Unlocked Program with the Stanford Center for Professional Development is officially a wrap. With over 200 applicants, this was our most competitive application process yet. We’ve covered the amazing diversity and background of the class in a previous post, but suffice to say that we had several contenders for The Most Interesting Woman (and Man) in the World. Now that we’ve had some time to catch up on some sleep (and email), we’ll recap a few of the many highlights from the latest installment of our flagship educational program. Setting the framework “Whether they’re new to angel investing …


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