Oct 31, 2018 On Our Blog

Private Jets, Smart Pill Bottles, Blockchain, & More: Meet the Startups of Batch 24

Batch 24 has officially kicked off in San Francisco, and we’re so excited to welcome these new companies into our 500 family. From personal jets to AR glasses to period underwear, the collection of companies we’ve invested in this batch are as unique and innovative as the founders that built them. By the numbers: This batch has 21 companies. 40% of Batch 24 companies have a female founder. 50% have a Black, Mixed, or Latinx founder. 31% have a company based outside of the US. The Batch 24 companies are headquartered amongst 8 countries: Chile, France, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Singapore, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States. Out of the Batch 24 companies, 27% of will be on our blockchain track, 18% …


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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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Jul 22, 2016 Seed Program news

The Most Common Myths About Startup Accelerators — Busted

In most aspects of life, the gulf between expectation and reality is larger than expected, but that’s where growth comes from. This principle also applies to startup accelerators, where founders fortunate enough to gain admission can access networks that provide mentorship, emotional support, and eventually, funding. Tristan Pollock, a 500 Startups Venture Partner and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, is part of a team at 500 that reviews thousands of applications for each 12-week batch, which usually only admits 40 or 50 companies. Today, we’ll reveal the most common myths founders have when they join an accelerator, and how Tristan’s own expectations evolved after joining 500. What are some of the top misconceptions founders have before joining an accelerator? A large part of it is setting expectations at the beginning. Sometimes, …


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Jun 1, 2016 On Our Blog

Unconventional Investing Promotes Innovation & Empathy — Interview with 500 Startups EIR Tristan Pollock

500 Startups Venture Partner and Entrepreneur-in-Residence Tristan Pollock is open to new experiences, and he hopes you are, too. “My focus is, ‘I’m really excited about this thing, so let me share it with people who are also excited about it,’” said Pollock. Tristan’s bio describes a person who has a strong interest in ecommerce, but conversation reveals that creating and sharing are his passions. After opening up, he confesses what he calls his “hidden agenda:” the ongoing search for products, services and people who combine novelty and value. “Behind the things I do, there’s usually some passion about why it’s interesting or cool and how it might help people or open their minds,” he explained, “but I also want to reduce judgment …


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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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May 18, 2016 On Our Blog

Startup Founders Talk: The First Time I Fired Someone

500 Startups Managing Partner Christine Tsai experienced mixed emotions the first time she as a founder had to let someone go. “I don’t think there was a hesitation that it was the right thing to do, it was just that the person wasn’t a great fit in terms of their skills and culture,” she said. It’s natural to have doubts and think emotionally before letting someone go, said Tsai. “You never know people’s circumstances or how this impacts them personally, even in a good job market like this.” “It’s OK to think those things, but don’t let that prevent you from making the right decision,” she added. “It’s just a sign that you’re still human.” “Maybe people who are really ruthless about …


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