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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Apr 28, 2017 On Our Blog

A Tale of Two Squirrels: The Not So Simple Math on Venture Portfolio Size

By now most VCs are familiar with Dave McClure’s theory of venture portfolio size. In short, he believes that at seed stage, it doesn’t make sense to have a fund with fewer than 50-100 companies, because venture returns depend on outliers and you need a big enough portfolio to consistently capture them. In the post, he outlines a range of typical outcomes for a large portfolio of seed-stage investments. You can see some variation of this trend in most published venture returns data such as Crunchbase or PitchBook. These are large ranges (because there’s a lot of randomness in startups), and depending on where you end up in these ranges, you could make or lose a lot of money. Most investors prefer a …


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Mar 23, 2017 On Our Blog

#500FAMILY

Recently, a 500 colleague posted this on social media: “Diversity and equality is NOT about women who succeed because they sacrifice everything else so they “have nothing else to do but work”. It’s about EVERYONE stepping up to the plate and pitching in. So we as a society don’t ever have to choose life OR work, but rather being able to do both well.” This colleague isn’t a parent, nor is he planning to have kids anytime soon. Yet he still felt adamantly about the importance of gender parity and acknowledging that it’s everyone’s responsibility. Breaking down barriers is tough. Many companies make the mistake of dismissing diversity early on, only to realize later how foundational it is to their …


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Jan 24, 2017 On Our Blog

7 UX / UI Design Tips to Improve Your Startup Growth

Below is a collection of my tips and feedback from a creative branding workshop I led during the most recent 500 Startups’ seed accelerator program, Batch 19. The goal was to teach startups to apply design thinking methods to improve their UX/UI , and thus increase user acquisition and market growth. Did you know the human attention span is shorter than a goldfish’s? [Fun Fact about Attention Span] Goldfish: 9 seconds > Human: 8 seconds. 😱 Yep, your website has a lot of work to do in a short amount of time to get your key message to your audience. How do you do it? Here are 7 Design Thinking Tips to Improve Your Growth Rate 🔑: 1. Integrate Combine a strong marketing message (content) with effective visuals (form). …


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