Oct 3, 2019 Founder Stories and Insights

Inside 500: How Their Accelerator Helped Me Grow My Accounting-as-a-Service Company and Raise $2 Million

Felix Rodriguez is the founder and CEO of Back Office, a human-assisted AI platform and bookkeeping service for companies and consultants. In an interview with Nathan Beckord on Foundersuite’s “How I Raised It” podcast he shared how 500 Startups was instrumental in the early growth of BackOffice. Below is an excerpt of his interview.  I believe founders have superpowers. Before I started Back Office, I had built about 10 startups and sold three of them, growing teams that started in my living room to offices of 50 to 75 employees really rapidly.  The idea for Back Office came from a pain point I encountered with each startup: the one thing I hated with each company — and put off doing …


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May 31, 2019 On Our Blog

In-House vs. Outsource: What’s the Best Accounting Strategy for Your Startup?

Guest Post: Justin McLoughlin is the Founder of airCFO. Under no circumstances should any of the below content be construed as legal, tax or investment advice from 500 Startups or any of its affiliates. The early days of any company are all about resource management. Life as a startup is perilous. The companies who survive and thrive are usually the ones who find ways to do more with less. That could mean having employees who pull double duty and fill multiple roles. It may mean working a grueling schedule. It could also mean outsourcing certain key functions. Outsourcing can be a great way for a startup to leverage experienced and skilled talent without breaking the bank. You only pay for …


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May 22, 2019 On Our Blog

Startup Guide: 4 Tax Deductions to Watch for in 2019

Guest Post: Justin McLoughlin, Founder of airCFO. Under no circumstances should any of the below content be construed as legal, tax or investment advice from 500 Startups or any of its affiliates. Taxes. They’re a constant presence for any startup. No matter whether you just started earning revenue or you’re a mature veteran, taxes are an important expense item that can be a drag on your bottom line. An effective tax strategy can make all the difference between success and failure, especially in your early years. Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to minimize your tax exposure and reduce their impact on your profitability. Businesses can take advantage of a wide range of deductions. In fact, …


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Feb 8, 2019 On Our Blog

The 5G Revolution Is Here

Depending on where you live, you may have already seen commercials and ads for “5G”. And you might have thought “isn’t 5G just faster 4G?” And the short answer is no, it is much more. It is difficult to imagine what this upgrade in mobile telecommunications will do. Much of the disappointment with IoT, AR/VR, and mobile connection will become a problem of the past. Allowing everyday life to be reshaped by everything from smarter homes and cities to new autonomous transportation to better predictive health measures and groundbreaking advancements in predictive health. Networks will see efficiency gains such as lower latency, higher reliability, lower costs, higher data rates, and increased system compatibility. All of which will offer businesses new …


Jan 24, 2019 On Our Blog

Selling Rides

At one point in time, every third American owned a horse. Today, every 1.3 Americans owns an automobile. The landscape has changed dramatically, and along the way, our concerns about animal feed, stables, and horse dung, turned to smog, traffic, and climate change. Much of this change was propelled by the internal combustion engine, and over the course of several decades, horse ownership was replaced by car ownership. With this shift, cars were woven into the fabric of America, affecting everything from infrastructure to culture. At 500, we have our eyes on another monumental shift—ride-sharing adoption. We see a future in electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and the associated technologies that will change the way we do everything. But which technologies …


Jan 9, 2019 On Our Blog

Don’t Be Amazon, Be The Best You

Right now, Amazon owns half an eCommerce market, which accounts for 11.9% of total retail sales. This means there is still–for now–far more opportunity for others. This begs the question; Why be an Amazon when you can be the best you? In the wake of so many iconic retail bankruptcies, we might start to believe in an inevitable demise for all retailers. But what can we really expect? How can retailers rethink their innovation strategy? These recent trends offer insight into some ways your organization can craft its own vision for innovative success.  Let’s review how some startups are making physical stores relevant again. Looking for a deep dive? Sign up below to immediately receive an extended white paper on this subject! Stores without Products Will “the …


Oct 18, 2018 On Our Blog

Why 500 Startups is betting on Miami, and so should you

I am a Mexican who grew up in the “small” town of Guadalajara, Mexico (6M people, but feels small compared to Mexico City’s 20M+ population). I’ve had the privilege of studying and working in the LATAM, European and US markets, and calling world-class metropolises like Mexico City, Paris and New York my home. In 2016, following my heart, I reluctantly moved to Miami. Today, against all my expectations, I have fallen in love with this region and am ready to bet on its growth. And so is 500 Startups. Curious? Skeptical? Stay with me. As I wrote on the 500 Startups blog last March announcing the launch of 500 Startups Miami, this city and the larger Florida region is heating …


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Oct 10, 2018 On Our Blog

Why IoT needs blockchain to grow

What if every company had their own version of WiFi that did not communicate? Can you imagine how difficult it would be to try to connect and get anything done? But that is exactly what is going on with the Internet of Things (IoT) today: many companies are building their own version of authentication and communication protocols that don’t talk to each other, crippling IoT’s growth and innovation. A lot has been written about IoT, and for good reason. By 2020 there will be over 30 billion devices—from cameras and alarm systems to cars and trains—connected to the internet, with billions more coming online every year. Firms spend billions every year to bring IoT devices into these complex ecosystems. Deploying …


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Sep 25, 2018 On Our Blog

6 Things We’ve Learned from the Investors Behind Lyft, Coinbase, Instacart, and More

PreMoney, our one-day conference on the future of venture capital, takes place on October 2nd in San Francisco. We’re putting the final touches on the program as we speak and we’re thrilled about the amazing speakers and discussions we’ve lined up. With just one week until the event, we’re sharing some of the biggest lessons we’ve learned from these VCs. Hacking value before hacking growth Floodgate’s Ann Miura-Ko delivered the final keynote at last year’s PreMoney and was so inspiring we had to ask her back. During her talk on Redefining Intelligent Growth, Ann challenged the audience, asking if it’s “really necessary to consume this much capital before we learn the lesson that maybe the startup isn’t going anywhere?” The job of …


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Sep 17, 2018 On Our Blog

Why you should use security tokens in Crypto fundraising

As an alternative to selling to the masses, US companies can issue security tokens to attract investors. Whereas 2017 was the year of the utility token, 2018 is for building new and better ecosystems, showing the maturation of the crypto world. Defining utility and security tokens Tokens can provide value for companies offering services. A security token is a type of investment instrument that may be issued by companies and purchased by institutional investors, accredited investors, and qualified purchasers. For contrast, utility tokens can be purchased by anyone, as currency in an ecosystem. Previously, many companies issued utility tokens as a way to offer future access to something still under development, like a pre-purchase of future software, access to services, …


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