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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Feb 5, 2018 On Our Blog

In Blockchain We Trust. 500 Startups is Calling All Global Blockchain Teams

500 Startups is calling all blockchain teams around the globe. We know you are well experienced in distributed networks, cryptography and security and want to use blockchains to change the world.  However you also know that to build a truly impactful blockchain-oriented company at crypto speed, you need help in community building, token design, marketing, business development, hiring, and much more.  We are here for you. 500 Startups has specifically designed a new “blockchain track” as part of our March 2018 accelerator program with blockchain entrepreneurs in mind.  With hundreds of companies under our belt (including Lightyear (powered by the Stellar network) and Unikorn Gold), we know how to accelerate your growth. What You’ll Learn By joining the 500 Startups …


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Feb 4, 2018 On Our Blog

The MENA Ecosystem: The Year Ahead

2017 was a landmark year for the MENA startup ecosystem. That hectic pace of development has continued, even accelerated in the first month of 2018. Having been in the MENA startup space in one form or another since 2007, looking back on what has happened in the past year astonishes me. The rapid pace of development, growth and maturity that took place over the last year is astounding. So, below I wanted to document a few of the main developments I’ve seen from my personal perspective in 2017, which I hope to see continue in 2018. An increasing government focus on entrepreneurship TL;DR – Almost every government across the MENA region has woken up and is actively supporting the startup …


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Dec 21, 2017 On Our Blog

7 Ways SEO Can Get You to a Million+ Monthly Users

Guest Post: Giulio Chiarenza is the co-founder of Equipboard, the world’s largest database of artists and the gear they use. SEO (short for Search Engine Optimization) is a fickle beast. We usually see companies fall into one of two camps; those that think of SEO as a “nice to have” secondary growth channel, and those that rely on it as the primary driver of growth and monetization. Our site Equipboard (batch 8) decidedly falls into the latter, but the journey to SEO competency has been an adventurous one to say the least. We’ve taken our fair share of missteps, and were it not for the SEO gurus we’ve met through 500 and the rest of our network, one of those …


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Dec 15, 2017 On Our Blog

PreMoney Recap:
2018 Predictions, Inclusion, ICOs & More

At last week’s PreMoney conference, more than 500 investors and LPs packed into the InterContinental in San Francisco to learn about the latest trends in venture capital from some of the biggest names in the industry. The goal behind PreMoney is to foster a community that shares resources and strategies for innovation in venture capital. This year’s event was no exception, with plenty of bold predictions and actionable insights. If you missed the event (or just want to relive the smooth emceeing of 500 partner Arjun Arora), here’s our recap of an action-packed day and some of the key themes that were covered: For the TL;DR crowd, you can also skip straight to the photos, videos, and speakers’ decks from …


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Nov 9, 2017 On Our Blog

5 Reasons to Attend PreMoney

PreMoney, our one-day conference on the future of venture capital, takes place in San Francisco on December 5th. It’s hard to believe, but this will be our fifth (yes, fifth) year hosting the event! The PreMoney stage has been host to a lot of big names and unicorn costumes over the years. Since we started in 2013, more than 2,000 fund managers, investors, angels, and LPs have traveled to cities like San Francisco, Miami, and Hong Kong to learn about the latest disruptive technology, strategies, and models in VC. We have a particularly kickass agenda this year. We’re looking forward to sitting down with some of the brightest minds in the industry, including top VCs behind companies like Snap, Lyft, …


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Oct 31, 2017 On Our Blog

The Road to Demo Day: A Founder’s Perspective

Guest Post: Kela Ivonye is the CEO and co-founder of MailHaven, a smart mailbox that tracks and protects your packages.  Demo Day is an invite-only event hosted by 500 Startups for investors to get a first look at the startups from the accelerator program, meet the founders, and network with other attendees. For founders, it’s the culmination of four months of hard work. As a batch company at 500 Startups, you start preparing for your last day on Day 1. That two-minute pitch on stage at Demo Day is our opportunity to show hundreds of top-tier investors what we’ve been working on. The first thing Batch 22 learned about Demo Day was to have fun, be genuine, and to own and tell your …


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Oct 27, 2017 On Our Blog

Announcing A Bigger, Better Seed Program

Announcing a Bigger, Better Seed Program It’s like the old saying goes: if you’re not improving, you’re falling behind! … and 500 Startups is no exception. We’re thrilled to announce our plan to double down on the Seed Program at our San Francisco campus while expanding the services available to batch companies post-program at our Mountain View campus. We’re On The Right Track Our track-based approach to programming has paid off in some very big ways, including a sharp increase in the number of applications for each track over the past several months. In order to keep pace with this incredible level of interest from the startup community, we are proud to announce that San Francisco will be the permanent …


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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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