Jul 20, 2018 On Our Blog

Founder Equity 101

Guest Post: Matt Howland is the GM of Private Markets at Carta. Matt is proud to be serving the 500 Startups network as a mentor. Founders can find Matt on Union for training and consultations. Understanding and managing equity can be confusing, but as a founder, it’s essential to take the time to learn equity basics. Getting equity right ensures: Your employees are motivated to do their best work and stick around You get the best possible investors and term sheets You as a founder retain a meaningful portion of what you’re building You avoid legal trouble Here are some answers to the most commonly-asked questions about equity that we receive at Carta: What is a cap table? A capitalization …


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Jul 12, 2018 On Our Blog

Edith Yeung’s 2018 China Internet Report

500 Partner Edith Yeung just released her 2018 China Internet Report in partnership with SCMP and Abacus. This 97-page report includes everything you need to know about China’s internet landscape including major trends such as e-Commerce, Content and Media, Social and Messaging, the Sharing Economy, Artificial Intelligence, Smart Devices, Autonomous Cars, Blockchain, FinTech, Education, Gaming and eSports. China Internet Report 2018 [Short Version] from Edith Yeung The full report can be downloaded here. Here are some of our takeaways: The Chinese internet giants want and need to do everything. Whether it’s building, investing, or acquiring, Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent are present across the internet ecosystem. China’s internet empowers the population of smaller cities and rural areas. The number of rural …


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Jul 9, 2018 On Our Blog

Persistence is Key: Advice from a Former 500 Founder

Hey there, My name is Aaron and I’m a Venture Partner here at 500 Startups. I also run the batch application squad, which is why I’m here to tell you… Applications for Batch 24 in San Francisco are now open! I know what you’re thinking: “we’ve been through this.” You’ve applied before, waited patiently, and you were told something along the lines of “Maybe-next-time.” Maybe this made you upset, or sad, or maybe you swore an oath to do whatever it takes to avenge our response. Look, I get it—putting yourself (and your startup) out there over and over again is friggin’ hard and, as always, there are no guarantees. But before you close this page, let me tell you three …


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Jul 9, 2018 On Our Blog

Don’t Bind Your Soul to a Token. Yet.

Over the last few months, I have heard countless conversations with crypto startups talking about “tokenizing” one item or another, from pets to food products. I heard 20 really good ideas, and 100 bad ones. I keep talking about the idea that just because you can do something, does not mean it is a good idea to do it. So I thought I would put together some thoughts on what makes for a good token project, specifically one where non-fungible assets are involved. In theory, any physical objects could be “tokenized” or represented by a token. The challenge is finding the right place to use a token in order to create real value. Not every unique object should be a …


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Jun 15, 2018 On Our Blog

Investor Spotlight:
Rebecca Woodcock

Rebecca is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Venture Partner at 500 Startups. In 2011, she launched a health tech startup called CakeHealth as a TechCrunch DISRUPT finalist to help individuals track their healthcare expenses without the paperwork. After exiting CakeHealth in 2015, she joined 500 Startups to lead health tech investments for the accelerator program in San Francisco.  Rebecca was an advisor to the Obama administration for health data standards and was also recognized as one of 70 Digital Leaders by the United Nations in 2015. She has been featured in publications like Forbes and Inc. Magazine. Why did you join 500? I first joined the 500 family as a founder in 2011, when 500 Startups invested in my company, CakeHealth. I immediately saw how …


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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) 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 future, in today’s blog post. From hundreds to thousands When you’re just getting started as a VC, …


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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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Jun 21, 2017 On Our Blog

Part 2: 27 Interview Questions to Find the GREAT Growth Hackers (& Weed Out the Big Talkers)

In my last article, I gave the 7 Focus Areas Every GREAT Growth Marketing Hire Should Know, but there’s still some tools you need to have in your toolkit to find a GREAT growth hacker. Why? Because big talking growth hackers will blow smoke that may blind founders who are not trained in interviewing GREAT growth hackers. For example, you may ask one of my focus area questions, like: “Do you have experience with Mixpanel?” A Big Talking Growth Hacker will answer: Absolutely I used it all the time in my past role. But what they really mean: The engineer sitting next to me was always talking about the difference between events and properties, but I don’t understand it. Or …


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Jun 15, 2017 On Our Blog

Part 1:  7 Focus Areas Every GREAT Growth Marketing Hire Should Know Inside & Out

Since I started working at 500 Startups the question I get asked most often (aside from, “What’s Dave’s email address?”) is, “Do you know a great Growth Hacker?” And my always answer is, “No I don’t. If I did I’d hire him myself” Why? Because since the term “Growth Hacker” (definition here, here and here) was coined, thousands of people have popped up claiming to be a GREAT growth hacker… But few people actually are a GREAT growth hacker. To make sure you’re hiring someone who’s actually a GREAT, it’s important to make sure they’ve “been there, done that”. Do your due diligence by deep diving into these 7 Focus Areas Every GREAT Growth Marketing Hire Should Know: They know how to …


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Jun 12, 2017 On Our Blog

7 Marketing Secrets from 500 Startups Demo Days

Have Fun, Get Deals Done – The Future of Marketing is the Brand Experience Pitching to top Silicon Valley investors like Tim Draper is nerve-racking. It helps when he’s dressed in a superhero costume. From Valentine’s Day-Themed (Batch 19) to Summer of Love-Themed (Batch 20), 500 Startups Demo Day is more than a pitch day, it’s a festival where everyone has fun and gets deals done. Here’s a look back at lessons we’ve learned from the last 7 Demo Days, and how 500 Startups stumbled upon creating the unique pitch day in Silicon Valley. 1. Listen to Your Audience Back in the day, 500 Startups Demo Day was pretty basic (see Batch 8): 500 Startups Founding Partner, Dave McClure, speaking …


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