Oct 25, 2019 On Our Blog

The Future of Corporate Venture Capital

The following is an excerpt from 500’s latest report, Unlocking Corporate Venture Capital. How has corporate venture capital changed? In the decade since the Great Recession, we have seen digital upstarts – taking advantage of disruptive technologies from AI to IoT – reshape the economy and the corporate pecking order.  Conventional wisdom dictated that incumbents should focus their innovation efforts on R&D and growing their cash cows while investing in a few startups. But the rate of change has accelerated and with it, the balance of internal versus external investment. We believe the new corporate landscape calls for new strategies. As one of the most active, early-stage investors in the world¹, 500 Startups has a unique perspective on the innovation …


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Oct 4, 2019 On Our Blog

500 Around the World: Takeaways from the Sberbank-500 Accelerator

If 500 has learned one thing from investing in over 75 countries, it’s the importance of placing bets in all the right founders and helping build ecosystems for them to thrive in. 500 is a firm believer of the idea that talent can be found everywhere, but you have to understand where that talent is and what unique challenges they are going to face in their region. One of these often-overlooked regions is Russia, which despite challenges, has a booming tech and startup ecosystem.  Last year, 500 partnered with Sberbank—Russia’s largest bank and a leading global financial institution—to launch an accelerator in Moscow, bridging the gap in knowledge and social capital between Silicon Valley and Russia. Thirty hand-selected startups took …


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Sep 24, 2019 On Our Blog

Welcome Tony Wang as 500’s New Managing Partner

500 centers itself around supporting bold, innovative founders around the world. As venture dollars increasingly shift towards being deployed outside of the U.S., firms need to be thinking about their strategy to manage the trend towards globalization. 500 began making bets outside of Silicon Valley and outside of the U.S. back in 2010. Today, in 2019, 49% of our overall portfolio hails from outside the U.S. and spans more than 75 countries around the world.  Earlier this year, I expressed that the 500 of the future is just getting started, and announced Courtney Powell joining as 500’s new COO. I am thrilled to be sharing more good news today and welcome Tony Wang as our new Managing Partner. In this …


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Sep 12, 2019 On Our Blog

United Nations Development Program and 500 Startups Join Forces to Bridge the World of Impact Financing and Tech Startups

Startup founders often have ambitions not just to make money, but to change the world. So, how do we help these founders accomplish these goals?  Enter ImpactAIM Indonesia, a program forged from a partnership between 500 Startups and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). ImpactAIM Indonesia’s goal is to bridge the world of impact financing with the world of tech startups in Indonesia. The program will select up to 8-10 successful post-seed startups whose businesses align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, help selected participants measure and accelerate their impact, as well as showcase them to prospective impact investors.  This partnership is one of the first of its kind: the UNDP will lend impact measurement expertise and impact investor networks …


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Aug 19, 2019 On Our Blog

500’s Latest San Francisco Batch is Hoping to Innovate in Music, TV, and Intellectual Property

Music, TV, and intellectual property all have the potential of influencing what content we consume and what technology we use to go about our daily lives. And because all three of these are huge, established, and complex industries, they are ripe for scalable solutions. It’s solutions with this kind of mass potential that are exactly what we go for in our San Francisco seed program. Here are some of the companies in our current batch who are aiming to challenge the ways these industries function and monetize:  1. FitzyTV As the TV industry moves to the internet, content creators are building a multitude of apps to get their content distributed on every Smart TV platform. FitzyTV is an open internet …


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Aug 13, 2019 On Our Blog

Latest AI Applications from 500’s Batch 25

AI is one of those buzzwords that feels like it has endless applications. That’s why it is hugely important for us to understand where the needs are now, and how AI can solve the problems better than any other technology.  Batch 25 came to 500 with an incredible number of AI-based startups. Here are just some of the many industries our latest San Francisco batch is hoping to innovate through AI.  1. E-Commerce Curie  Retail has gotten more complex over the years. Today, the modern shopper has thousands of potential data points to consider with every purchase from millions of brands, experts, and influencers. Curie aims to allow consumers to discover multiple data points about an item by taking a …


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Aug 6, 2019 On Our Blog

The Up and Coming Startups Aiming to Disrupt Healthcare

Healthcare has a notorious reputation for being intimidating. From complex insurance policies and payments to the intense legal regulations on its processes, many innovators stray away from trying to tackle the industry. But at 500, we believe in being bold. It’s one of the many reasons why we chose these health industry startups to join our 25th seed program batch in downtown San Francisco. Check out two of the startups aiming to bring a new wave of efficiency and accountability to the space:  AMPAworks In healthcare’s high-risk situations, almost everyone can see why having the right tools at the hands of healthcare providers would be of paramount importance.  AMPAworks hopes to be the future of medical inventory management. They use …


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Jul 30, 2019 On Our Blog

500Kobe Accelerator Program is back, now with a Focused Track on Health

500 Startups and Kobe City are thrilled to announce our 4th consecutive accelerator program, which will commence on November 4th, 2019.  This year’s program will continue to support startups across all industries and sectors, but will include a special focus on startups within the health space.  For the past three years, 500 Startups and Kobe City have together supported the growth of startups from around the world, including Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, South Africa, United States, and more. This year, we will be accepting up to 20 startups.  The program will be led by the 500 Startups team and hand-selected mentors from our global network. They will work closely with each startup to accelerate their development through best operational practices, …


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Jul 29, 2019 On Our Blog

Announcing Courtney Powell as COO of 500 Startups

500 has seen incredible growth over the past 9 years, yet our goal has always stayed constant: back the world’s most talented founders. Everything we do is centered around bringing incredible ideas and entrepreneurial ecosystems to life through inspiring individuals around the world. It’s this principle that has led us to invest in over 2,200 companies, and in one of the most global and diverse teams in VC. Earlier this year, I reflected on 500’s accomplishments and expressed that the 500 of the future is just getting started. With that, I am thrilled to announce that Courtney Powell has joined 500 as our COO. In this role, Courtney will help in continuing to scale 500 globally and explore new opportunities …


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Jul 22, 2019 On Our Blog

Snacking on Growth in Miami

Breaking Down the Business of Startup Growth: Did you know that each day we provide a snack to founders? The Snack daily newsletter provides tips for startup growth-hacking that are fun and easy to digest. Founders sign up to learn some cool new things, help their startups grow, and to have a quick laugh. Here are a couple of examples: The Snack // July 4, 2019 Don’t send email from a no-reply send address…! You’re missing out on a chance to get user replies to train inbox prioritization & opens! Also a reply helps with customer insights, can be a potential conversion gateway, and is arguably the ultimate activation / engagement metric! The Snack // July 1, 2019 When asking …


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