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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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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Mar 9, 2020 On Our Blog

Using Design Strategy to Unlock Growth

Guest Post: The following post is a sponsored guest post by Noteh Krauss. All views and opinions represented in this post are the views and opinions of Krauss and do not represent those of 500 Startups or any of its staff or affiliates. As a designer with my own agency and a mentor to dozens of Silicon Valley startups, I’ve come across my fair share of design challenges. Though every client or startup I advise is different, I’ve spotted some patterns of design issues that founders seem to miss. Despite the fact that my design career began with a personal interest in design and aesthetics in Kazakhstan, most of my work was centered around North American companies with North American …


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Jan 31, 2020 On Our Blog

Enterprise customers want to work with startups. Here’s how to get in the door.

Guest Post: The following post is a sponsored guest post by Perry Light, the Market Connect Lead, North America of 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. If you would like to join Oracle for Startups, apply and use the code “500 Startups”.  As a startup founder, you are an evangelist. You mesmerize your audience with your conviction and entice them with visions of a better world that is available through an offering that only you can provide. Rather than salvation, it’s savings you dangle before a rapt audience—a paradise of pain …


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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 …