Apr 28, 2020 Official Announcement

Why Investing in Female Founders Matters Now More Than Ever

Long before diversity and inclusion became buzzwords, we decided to make venture capital inclusive from day one at 500 Startups. They became our guiding principles, because we know that great talent exists in all forms, no matter your gender, race, nationality, age, or background. Since 2010, we have expressed our commitment to those values in multiple ways. 500 actively invested in founders who were diverse or were building for diverse customers; we shunned manels by making sure to feature female speakers at our events, so that it wasn’t predominantly men doing the talking.  This extended to policies 500 implemented. We offer 12 weeks of fully paid leave for all parents in the U.S., which, sadly, puts us in the minority …


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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 26, 2020 Official Announcement

Why the Accelerator Model is Broken—and how 500 Startups is Fixing it

No one would’ve envisioned me as a venture capitalist. I was raised in rural Wyoming, far from the high stakes and deep pockets of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. But from a young age, going against the grain was in my DNA. It’s what led me to San Francisco, and, ultimately, what drew me to 500 Startups. When I moved to San Francisco in 2012, I was working on my fourth startup and looking to join an accelerator. 500 immediately stood out to me, not only for their reputation as one of the top accelerators in Silicon Valley, but also because they seemed to be one of the few VCs at the time that recognized that true entrepreneurship was blind …


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Mar 18, 2020 Official Announcement

Welcoming New Partner and Global Digital Transformation Expert Flavio Dias as We Step Up Our Presence in Brazil

I first met Flavio in 2013, when he co-invested alongside 500 Startups in Olist, one of Brazil’s largest online marketplaces–which recently raised a Series C round. Olist’s founder was in our San Francisco accelerator program, and in his next round of funding turned to Flavio, who was then president of Walmart.com in Brazil. He became instrumental in building Olist’s name.  Flavio already had a solid reputation as an e-commerce pioneer and operator in the country. For nearly two decades, he helped multiple companies, including multinationals, launch their online operations in Brazil. After a successful experience at Philips, Magazine Luiza, one of Brazil’s biggest retailers, hired him to re-launch its website and improve the user experience as head of e-commerce. Those …


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Dec 10, 2019 On Our Blog

500’s Past & Present: Betting on International Startups

In 2010, 500 Startups started as a new kind of venture capital firm in Silicon Valley with a contrarian belief that talent can come from anywhere in the world. Back then, very few venture capital firms in the valley were focused on much outside of our collection of cities within the San Francisco Bay area. ”If you look at our early team, our DNA has always been very global with experience growing up abroad or working internationally. So it really comes down to the thing that we always say which is that we always believed from day one that there are brilliant startups all over the world, but opportunity isn’t universal.” – Tim Chae, Managing Partner at 500 As a …


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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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Mar 11, 2019 On Our Blog

Announcing a new admissions process for VC Unlocked at Stanford University

In 2015, I wrote a LinkedIn post about “Investing in Women” and a new investor training program we were launching at 500 Startups. “The Investor’s Guide to Silicon Valley Investing” (IGSVI) was just a pilot program but it immediately resonated in our community. It’s been so amazing to watch early participants like Arlan Hamilton, Pocket Sun and Elizabeth Galbut embody our program’s values, and redefine our industry in the process. A lot has happened in the venture world since that first program. The artist formerly known as IGSVI eventually grew up, got a little (just a little) more serious, and became VC Unlocked, the series of investor education programs we run around the world. Today, as we launch the recruitment period …


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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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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 19, 2018 On Our Blog

10 US & LatAm Startups Selected for Our 2018 Miami Growth Program!

UPDATE: These 10 startups are getting ready to pitch! Accredited investors can get a piece of the action at Miami Demo Day 2018. Contact events@500.co to attend an exclusive debut event on Nov. 1st!   500 Startups Miami has selected the 10 startups that will make up the Miami Growth Program Batch 2018. 500’s hallmark 10-week program brings mentors, experts and investors from our global network  to accelerate the startups’ growth trajectory and support fundraising to scale. The selection was a very competitive process that included reviewing over 200 applications from all over the world. The selected startups all share the following characteristics: Seasoned teams with solid track record working together Disrupting large markets in the US and Latam through highly scalable …


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