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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May 22, 2020 On Our Blog

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

The following post is written by Nato Chakvetadze, Program Associate for 500Georgia. Gavin: Here everything is so expensive. Look at the numbers. If we move to Georgia, we can save a fortune and get a further investment. It’s the only way. Denpok: Well, I have heard good things about the food scene in the Dirty South. Hoover: Stankonia. Freaknik. Might be nice to be around more people of color. Gavin: What? Not Atlanta. Tbilisi. The country of Georgia, not the state. -Silicon Valley (Season 6, Episode 2) Yes, you heard it right – this is an article about Georgia, the country, not the state.  500 Startups recently launched 500Georgia, the first international accelerator in the country, in partnership with two …


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May 15, 2020 On Our Blog

Taking our Flagship Accelerator Virtual-First

There is not a single business that is not affected in some form or another from COVID-19, and 500 Startups is no different. When news broke of COVID-19 entering in the US, we were one of the first major accelerators to turn the Demo Day experience completely virtual, and since then, we have focused on collecting data from investors and founders to help the community at-large through reports like our COVID-19 Investor Survey and Female Founders Survey.  We’ve also seen our portfolio companies step up to the challenge with everything from helping frontline workers to bettering remote work for thousands. Our founders continue to inspire us, and in the true nature of putting their safety and wellbeing first, we are …


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May 12, 2020 On Our Blog

5 Tips for Pitching VCs in Virtual Times

Guest Post: The following post is a sponsored guest post by JD Weinstein, Oracle for Startups. All views and opinions represented in this post are the views and opinions of Oracle for Startups and do not represent those of 500 Startups or any of its staff or affiliates. What do Airbnb, Uber, Slack, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Square, and Venmo have in common? These highly successful technology startups were all founded during the Great Recession in 2008-2010. Entrepreneurs and small businesses are once again fighting through difficult times to both survive and transform the world.  There is no doubt that venture funding has begun to slow. The silver lining here is that transformative startups will persevere. As the world continues to turn, …


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May 9, 2020 On Our Blog

Look Outside of Silicon Valley to See How Founders Can Be Successful Post-COVID-19

500 Startups kicked off a new series called Innovation Coffee Breaks. Experts from leading companies, venture capital firms and startups join us every week to discuss how to innovate during this time of uncertainty.  We caught up with Alex Lazarow, the investment director of Cathay Innovation, a global fund affiliated with Cathay Capital. Lazarow also teaches entrepreneurship at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies and is out with a new book called “Out-Innovate: How Global Entrepreneurs from Delhi to Detroit are Rewriting the Rules of Silicon Valley.”  He believes that the best entrepreneurs in Chicago, Amsterdam or Bangalore have more in common with the best entrepreneurs in São Paulo than they do with those in San Francisco, but no one …


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Apr 9, 2020 On Our Blog

Understanding Omni-Channel Opportunities with Square at Founders Day

Guest Post: The following post is a sponsored guest post by Square, Inc. All views and opinions represented in this post are the views and opinions of Square, Inc. and do not represent those of 500 Startups or any of its staff or affiliates. For many startups in the 500 portfolio, understanding how they can make the easiest, most seamless transactions possible is a top priority. They don’t want to have to worry about their customer not being able to find an easy way to complete a sale due to credit card processing issues. Instead of just introducing them to some of the top credit card point-of-sale companies, we wanted to bring together both parties for a conversation around what’s …


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Apr 9, 2020 On Our Blog

How We Created our Digital Demo Day Experience

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the entire startup ecosystem, and in the name of safety and support of our founders, we hosted our first-ever Digital Demo Day. This was a whole new take on demo day for us, and the end result was a unique and inspiring experience for both our startups and investor community. Making the switch to an online demo day was no easy task. However, as concerns grew over our international founders needing to return to their home countries and not being able to attend Demo Day in-person, we made the decision early on to have all of the startups pre-record their presentations remotely. To help them with this process, we created a Zoom Guide so that …


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Apr 6, 2020 On Our Blog

How Startups Can Navigate the Change in Investment Climate Due to COVID-19

With the rise in regulations and restrictions surrounding COVID-19, we’ve entered unprecedented times on a global scale. On our end, we hosted our first-ever Digital Demo Day to ensure the safety and protection of our team and founders. Using YouTube Live and recorded presentations, as well as an investor-founder Slack channel, we found success in this new format. We registered over 5K unique views during the Demo Day live stream, and over 1,300 investors joined the Slack channel to chat with our founders. If you missed the event, watch it here. The challenge remains, however, of navigating the current investment climate, and we want to help our founders as much as possible in this unknown landscape. To do so, we …


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Apr 3, 2020 On Our Blog

How the 500 Startups Community Is Helping Those Affected By COVID-19

We at 500 are focused on helping the global community during these unsettling and unprecedented times. We are hosting roundtables and webinars with our partners and founders to address relevant topics, including the state of financing with our portfolio, and tips on how to manage a team remotely. Our goal is to offer resources to our founders, fellow investors, and the greater tech community.  Many of our global portfolio companies are also dedicating resources and time to be part of the solution to the COVID-19 crisis. These companies are addressing urgently important solutions like helping healthcare workers on the front lines, increasing awareness of preventative measures, and alleviating some of the financial burden on some of the hardest-hit industries.  Helping …


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Mar 18, 2020 On Our Blog

Tools and Tips for Working Remotely From 500 & GitLab

On March 16th, 500 had the opportunity to lead a chat with Darren Murph, the Head of Working Remote at GitLab. Due to the novel COVID-19 virus, many companies are adapting their workforces to be partially, if not completely, remote. GitLab is currently one of the largest all-remote companies with the world, and we love just how transparent they have been regarding best practices and company policies. Here’s what they had to say to 500 portfolio companies looking for some advice in these rather unusual times. Tips From GitLab’s Head of Remote The biggest question when working remotely is how to hire and onboard someone new. What you should look for in an interviewee: Look for someone who is a …


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