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 17, 2018 On Our Blog

PreMoney 2018: Meet Garry Tan, the Former YC Partner Forging his own Path

If you don’t know who Garry Tan is yet, you will soon—the investor was just name dropped on Forbes’ 2018 Midas Brink List of Venture Capital’s biggest up-and-comers. He’s making big waves in the investment world and we’re thrilled to have him lined up to speak at our PreMoney Investor Conference on October 2nd. Tan was previously a partner at Y-Combinator and is now the cofounder of Initialized Capital, an early-stage seed fund he started with Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian. Initialized Capital was the earliest investor in trailblazers like Coinbase and Instacart, so Tan knows a thing or two about spotting the “it factor” in young companies. Not Your Average VC While many big investors come from a more buttoned-up business world, Tan boasts an impressive …


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Sep 12, 2018 On Our Blog

Ann Miura-Ko: Raising the Bar for Women VCs Headlining PreMoney 2018

The pioneer in female-forward investing is one of the keynote speakers at our upcoming PreMoney Investor Conference on October 2nd, and she’s someone we’re certain you won’t want to miss. Miura-Ko has a PhD from Stanford, a Bachelor’s from Yale, and this year she was on the cover of Forbes—but those are only a small handful of the notable credentials that make her one of the most admirable investors in the game. She’s got a keen ability to spot a unicorn in its early stages, she was an early investor in Lyft, and she has a solid spot on Forbes 2018 Midas List—a roundup of the top 100 venture capitalists in the world. The Most Powerful Woman in Startups Back in …


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Aug 22, 2018 Official Announcement

Announcing 500 Startups Latin America Batch Nine!

500 Startups is thrilled to announce our latest batch from our Latin America Seed Program! Based out of Mexico City this new batch consists of founders from all over Latin America; with companies from Chile (1 company), Colombia (3 companies), Mexico (5 companies), and Peru (2 companies). The 4-month intensive Seed Program will focus on legal, product, sales/all things growth, culture, fundraising, and more, which prepares the companies for the culminating Demo Days taking place in Mexico City and Bogota November 15th and the 22nd. Companies will continue to put in the hard day to day work with the local 500 team, investors, and more then 15 international mentors that will be visiting us throughout the 16 week program. We’re …


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Jun 15, 2018 On Our Blog

Investor Spotlight:
Rebecca Woodcock

Rebecca is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Venture Partner at 500 Startups. In 2011, she launched a health tech startup called CakeHealth as a TechCrunch DISRUPT finalist to help individuals track their healthcare expenses without the paperwork. After exiting CakeHealth in 2015, she joined 500 Startups to lead health tech investments for the accelerator program in San Francisco.  Rebecca was an advisor to the Obama administration for health data standards and was also recognized as one of 70 Digital Leaders by the United Nations in 2015. She has been featured in publications like Forbes and Inc. Magazine. Why did you join 500? I first joined the 500 family as a founder in 2011, when 500 Startups invested in my company, CakeHealth. I immediately saw how …


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Jun 12, 2018 On Our Blog

Turkish Ecosystem: The Rise of Third Wave Entrepreneurs

Turkey, once the leading startup ecosystem in the region with its vibrant local market, now seems to lag behind newcomers like Slovenia, Greece, Romania and the UAE. Overlooked and buried under the macro trends, the Turkish ecosystem is in the midst of a transition and about to make a tremendous leap forward. Political challenges and a turbulent local market pushed a new generation of entrepreneurs to pursue their passions globally and create market-independent businesses following a model similar to Israel, Estonia or Sweden. These third wave entrepreneurs are now re-building the ecosystem from the ground up. Early signs of entrepreneurial success and market readiness The first wave of internet entrepreneurs in Turkey started at the end of the 1990s and …


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Jun 4, 2018 On Our Blog

Why we’ve been cutting really large follow-on checks

Photo of Carousell’s founders giving Khailee Ng, Managing Partner of 500 Startups, a T-shirt as VC initiation back in 2013 when 500 Startups invested in Carousell’s first round of financing. 500 has ambitions to be the most global Silicon Valley VC firm and invest in companies at the early stages. However, I wanted to take time to explain the larger-than-usual follow-on checks that we have been cutting. Recently, 500 wrote a $20 million follow-on check into Singapore-based Carousell’s recent $85M Series C. Earlier in the year, we led and filled an entire Series B of $13.3M for one of Japan’s hottest startups, SmartHR. We have historically doubled down on many of our top investments, but not at these check sizes. …


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Mar 12, 2018 On Our Blog

VC Unlocked – Over 100 Deal Campers and Counting

Last week, more than 25 corporate VCs, angels, fund managers, and attorneys joined us for our fourth Deal Camp investor training program with UC Berkeley. Less than two years in, more than 100 corporate investors have now attended the program and joined our #500Strong network, a milestone that we’re proud of. “We’re thrilled to see our group of alumni continue to grow around the world,” said Bedy Yang, managing partner at 500 Startups and a lecturer at Deal Camp. “The goal of our VC Unlocked programs is to empower investors with the toolkit they need to structure, negotiate, and execute early stage investments.” Meet the Class Here’s a quick introduction to the latest group of participants: 50% based internationally, representing …


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Mar 8, 2018 On Our Blog

500’s Commitment to #MovingForward

Today, we have committed to join Cheryl Yeoh Sew Hoy and Andy Coravos in their mission to launch a collective step forward for the VC industry. #MovingForward, which was birthed at a dinner for founders, is an open source directory that pools diversity, inclusion and anti-harassment commitments from VCs. It is especially meaningful that this initiative launches on International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. A recent report by the World Economic Forum found gender parity is over 200 years away. While these findings seem overwhelming, we believe that as more people commit to change now, we will move the needle together. We are honored to pledge our commitment to …


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Feb 13, 2018 On Our Blog

How to Attract (and Scale)
Deal Flow

Most VCs think they can predict the future when it comes to early stage deals. At 500, we’re more realistic about our strengths and weaknesses as seed stage investors. We realized early on that building high-velocity deal flow – more than the art of predicting winners – was our super power and we’ve built on that strategy ever since. (We’ve been shouting our investment strategy and portfolio approach from the rooftops since 2010. Read more about how we pick investments) We’re sharing that approach, as well as some tips on how to build a pipeline of high-quality deals that can scale in the future, in today’s blog post. From hundreds to thousands When you’re just getting started as a VC, …


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