Feb 5, 2019 On Our Blog

Announcing the “MENA Dojo” Series A Program Batch 3 launch

It’s going to be quite busy this year in the MENA region! In line with our objective to help develop the regional ecosystem, we are pleased to announce that we’re opening the applications for the third batch of our annual 500 Startups MENA Dojo Series A Program, in partnership with Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP). The MENA Dojo Series A Program is for startups that have reached a certain level of scale and are likely to raise a Series A in the next six to nine months. We will be bringing in a roster of mentors from our Silicon Valley and global team focused on instilling a growth mindset, growth hacking and marketing techniques. The program is one-to-one mentorship driven, which …


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Oct 4, 2016 Growth Hacking and Distribution

Hooks: An Intro on How to Manufacture Desire

Guest Blogger – Nir Eyal, Author “Hooked: How yo Build Habit-Forming Products” Type the name of almost any successful consumer web company into your search bar and add the word “addict” after it. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Try “Facebook addict” or “Twitter addict” or even “Pinterest addict” and you’ll soon get a slew of results from hooked users and observers deriding the narcotic-like properties of these web sites. How is it that these companies, producing little more than bits of code displayed on a screen, can seemingly control users’ minds? Why are these sites so addictive and what does their power mean for the future of the web? We’re on the precipice of a new era of the web. As infinite distractions …


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Jun 15, 2016 On Our Blog

More Users, Less Spend — 10+ ways to Trim the Fat & Save 5-figures on Adwords (and beyond)

10+ Ways to Eliminate The Adwords Dimensional Wastage That Kills Your Google Display Network Campaigns Results Even Before You Start You need to put your Adwords Display Network Campaigns on a Diet. Actually, not a diet… just trimming the fat with aggressive liposuction surgery might be better. Google Display Network (GDN for acronym lovers) is AMAZING. With over 2 million Display Network sites that reach over 90% of Internet users worldwide (Source: comScore), there are a lot of opportunities to reach customers. But with that power… there just as many dangers. In fact, it’s so dangerous that I rarely meet a startup that’s doing everything I’m going to share with you in this guide. Let me be clear…. The ENEMY …


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Apr 20, 2016 On Our Blog

500’s Tammy Camp: “Growth Hackers Hate The Term ‘Growth Hacker.'”

If getting your startup off the ground is war, you want Tammy Camp in your foxhole. Tammy is a master tactician; a 500 Startups Partner since November 2014, she creates the curriculum for the accelerator’s growth-hacking program in Silicon Valley, which includes an infamous Marketing Hell Week. When she’s not working with the latest batch of entrepreneurs, Tammy brings her skills to bear for 500. As with other seasoned commandos, many of her missions remain classified, but it can be revealed that she led the company’s HubSpot integration, assists internal fundraising teams with internal processes and uses her unique skill set to help convert prospects into LPs. Like other members of the Distro team, Tammy’s also an investor who offers input on …


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Mar 21, 2016 On Our Blog

Growth Case Study: StudyPool on Growth for Fundraising & Increasing Revenue by 25% — monthly

Studypool is an online marketplace that has seen 25% month over month revenue growth — 90% of which comes through organic acquisition. In the 3-month period that they worked with 500 Distro, the company also increased site traffic by 46% and grew customer conversion rate by 18%. I recently spoke with Studypool cofounder Richard Werbe about growth, fundraising, and the “obvious” things that every founder should know (but often doesn’t). Give us a summary, Richard. Where are you at, and what did you do with 500 Distro? We raised 2.3 million dollars, 1.2 of that on the morning of Demo Day and the rest shortly thereafter. We went that route because it looked like the market was going to be tough so we …


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Feb 17, 2016 On Our Blog

Inside the 500 Accelerator, Week 4: Growth Experiments, Startup Legal & Tequila

Inside the 500 Accelerator is a weekly series by 500 founder Troy Sultan. This week, Troy shares takeaways on what it really means to “run experiments,” the black box of startup legal, and when startup founders finally get to take a vacation.  4 weeks in, we’re finally getting settled. We’ve developed a cadence among our team, our work, and we’re even having fun when no one’s looking. The first quarter of the program was intense: ~150 new people to meet, names to remember, companies to understand, relationships to build, questions to field, pitching to do, announcements to make — all while maintaining our daily duty as startup firefighters. I spent much of month 1 understanding the landscape. What levers exist here? Who controls them? Which ones …


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Feb 10, 2016 On Our Blog

Inside the 500 Accelerator, Week 3: Marketing Hell

In this week’s post 500 founder Troy Sultan shares his take on the ~25 hours of lectures, workshops and presentations by 500 growth mentors that we call Marketing  Hell Week. The week’s programs cover everything from pricing and positioning to marketing metrics, content marketing, viral growth and more. MHW did indeed live up to its name. There was far less time for “real” work, so a lot of us had to get creative. Taking calls and meetings during breaks or lunch, scheduling walking meetings to and from the office, and leaving the office at or past midnight were common themes for most of us. This post is long, so I’ll get right to it. Note: There were few sessions I didn’t attend which is reflected …


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Jan 19, 2016 On Our Blog

Announcing Distro Dojo Malaysia 2016

Growth marketing is about to blow up Southeast Asia — again.
500 Distro’s 10 week Distro Dojo growth program for post-seed companies is now accepting applications for the Spring 2016 cohort in Kuala Lumpur, from March 1 through May 15. More on how startups can apply here.


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Nov 17, 2015 On Our Blog

500 Growth Talks — a universe of top growth advisors, on your Slack

“Hey, what’s that thing you used to verify email sender?” “Which of you has used this b2b sales automation tool?” “What’s the best way to SMS-based referrals with this 10k list?” Today, we’re thrilled to announce 500 GROWTH TALKS, a members-only Slack for early stage startup growth. WHAT IS IT A membership-protected community connecting growth marketing mentors and startup founders over Slack. Think of Growth Talks as a growth advisory board at your fingertips. Growth Talks gives founders exclusive access to experts who’ve defined the growth category, including Sean Ellis, Andrew Chen, Aaron Batalion, and of course 500 Distro. It’s open at ZERO COST to 500 founders, but it’s application-gated. This helps us make sure participating founders are ready to …


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Nov 12, 2015 On Our Blog

7 Little Known Techniques in the NEW Email Marketing

Email = reach. Email is STILL the most effective, highest ROI way to communicate with an audience — of ANY size — and email is the foundation of all other channels.
Today I’m going to share the NEW rules of email marketing that I’ve discovered through recent experiments of my own, and through my advisory work with pre-A startups in the 500 portfolio.


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