Oct 31, 2017 On Our Blog

The Road to Demo Day: A Founder’s Perspective

Guest Post: Kela Ivonye is the CEO and co-founder of MailHaven, a smart mailbox that tracks and protects your packages.  Demo Day is an invite-only event hosted by 500 Startups for investors to get a first look at the startups from the accelerator program, meet the founders, and network with other attendees. For founders, it’s the culmination of four months of hard work. As a batch company at 500 Startups, you start preparing for your last day on Day 1. That two-minute pitch on stage at Demo Day is our opportunity to show hundreds of top-tier investors what we’ve been working on. The first thing Batch 22 learned about Demo Day was to have fun, be genuine, and to own and tell your …


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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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May 20, 2016 On Our Blog

500 Startups Demo Day: Confessions From Batch 16 Founders

The green room at 500 Startups Demo Day is more like a pre-game locker room. Startup founders with intense expressions pace back and forth while others sit alone, their heads slightly bowed as they focus like a laser on the next two minutes. Clothing is adjusted, hair is combed. This is the culmination of 3+ months of startup pitch prep. A boisterous group of founders crowds around a monitor blaring a live feed of the proceedings in the auditorium next door. There’s a tournament vibe in the air, but each participant will tell you that they aren’t competing with each other. They’re competing against themselves. Among the general public, people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death. Startup founders, however, are a …


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