May, 2019

Techstars Startup Weekend Goes Small Town: The Small Town Tech Advantage


Friendly neighbors, wide open spaces, fresh air—the benefits of rural living are real. And now, with the trend toward remote working and co-working spaces strong and growing, tech companies are realizing that they can work with talented people who live anywhere, including small towns.

Misk 500 MENA Accelerator Celebrates First Demo Day


Its been one week since the Misk 500 Batch 1 Demo Day and we’re still smiling. The energy in the room in Riyadh, on May 13th, was palpable. The 19 companies were on FIRE and rose to the occasion to give the best versions of their pitches.

Innovator Spotlight: Julie Bliss Mullen of Aclarity

Venture Well

Julie Bliss Mullen of ASPIRE team Aclarity has learned that it takes a team to make an impact through innovation and entrepreneurship. The post Innovator Spotlight: Julie Bliss Mullen of Aclarity appeared first on VentureWell. Early Stage Innovators startup sustainable design water

My Commencement Speech?—?Life at Your Crossroads

Both Sides of the Table

My Commencement Speech?—?Life Life at Your Crossroads Photo by Justin Luebke on Unsplash Crossroads Cal Poly Pomona! What’s up!?! I’m so grateful to be up here addressing you today. Today you’re either here to graduate or support somebody graduating.

State of MENA Startups 2019, Report

MAGNiTT and 500 Startups jointly launch first 'State of MENA Startups 2019" report. Survey findings reveal insights on trends in fundraising exercise, exit opportunities, hiring, and growth optimization.

Unsafe Notes

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

I was reminded yesterday how much of a s**t show raising seed capital via SAFE notes is. I can’t and won’t get into why I was reminded of that, but let’s just say nobody wants to go there. So I thought I’d repost the important parts of a post I wrote on this topic a couple years ago. I have never been a fan of convertible notes. USV has done quite a few convertible and SAFE notes.

Before Ever Applying to an Accelerator, Here’s What You Need to Know


There are 115 accelerators spread across 160 cities in the GAN Community. Their breadth, impact, and results are amazing. In 2018 alone, more than 35,000 startups applied for just 1,344 spots at those accelerators. So, this past week, I asked leaders at GAN programs one simple question: Before applying to your accelerator, what would you tell startups they need to do to prepare for your program? Here’s What They Said. Candice Matthews-Brackeen. Hillman Accelerator and NewMe Accelerator.

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How a Fashion Brand in Honduras Is Preserving the Country’s Traditional Culture

Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative

Growing up in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Rafael López enjoyed, among other pastimes, hiding his money in his grandmother’s closet. She told me I would be successful because I took care of my money,” Rafael says.

Faculty Spotlight: Khanjan Mehta from Lehigh University

Venture Well

Khanjan Mehta from Lehigh University is working to transform entrepreneurship education to focus on executing ideas, not just ideation. The post Faculty Spotlight: Khanjan Mehta from Lehigh University appeared first on VentureWell. Faculty entrepreneurship education teaching resources

4 Essential Insights for the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs' Organization

When we asked EO members what lessons they wish they had known at the start of their careers, EO Arizona member and CEO of The James Agency Veronique James shared the following four insights. A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skillful Mariner.

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Over the last year, the SEC has been investigating a significant number of token offerings that took place in 2017. While some of those offerings were scams or worse , many of the ones that are being investigated by the SEC are serious projects, started by some of the top cryptographers and computer scientists in the world, and backed by the leading token funds and venture capital firms in the US and around the world.

Announcing the 11 Startups in 500 LatAm’s Batch 10!


500 Startups is excited to announce the latest batch from our Seed Accelerator based in Mexico City. The Mexico City program focuses on providing a mentorship program for Spanish-speaking early-stage companies based in Latin America. Our latest batch consists of founders from all over Latin America including 6 companies from Mexico, 2 from Chile, 2 from Colombia, and 1 from Argentina. The 11 startups began the accelerator activities on April 22nd at 500’s office in Mexico City.

Wendy Lea talks about the risks of saying no


Entrepreneur, investor, and Techstars board member Wendy Lea remembers the beginnings of Techstars, her first encounters with #GiveFirst—and how mentors have changed her life. Wendy Lea is a longtime entrepreneur and investor, as well as a board member and mentor at Techstars.

6 Ways to Sell Your Business on Social Media

Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative

How many times a day do you check your phone? If you’re anything like the average millennial, you might be checking your social media feeds as often as 150 times per day. If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, this statistic works in your favor.

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4 Ways to Support Early-Stage Innovators Beyond the Classroom

Venture Well

In this article, we explore the types of support early-stage innovators need most, and highlight tools to assess the impact of resources. The post 4 Ways to Support Early-Stage Innovators Beyond the Classroom appeared first on VentureWell.

What We Wish We Knew Then: 7 EO Members Share Advice for Graduates

Entrepreneurs' Organization

It’s graduation season for many, which makes this a perfect time to experience-share with the next generation of entrepreneurs entering the workforce—and maybe even joining your company.

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A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

A few months ago I posted some data on this blog that showed the growth of homeschooling in the US with almost 5% of K12 students being schooled at home. I wrote at the end of that post: This is a trend to watch and, possibly, to invest in. Well, invest in it we did. Yesterday Rebecca posted our investment rationale for Outschool , a company that offers real time group classes taught largely by very experienced K12 teachers over live video.

In-House vs. Outsource: What’s the Best Accounting Strategy for Your Startup?


Guest Post: Justin McLoughlin is the Founder of airCFO. Under no circumstances should any of the below content be construed as legal, tax or investment advice from 500 Startups or any of its affiliates. The early days of any company are all about resource management. Life as a startup is perilous. The companies who survive and thrive are usually the ones who find ways to do more with less. That could mean having employees who pull double duty and fill multiple roles.

A Student Of Style


Chris Echevarria is a trend spotter, trained menswear designer, and cultural savant well-equipped to outfit a new generation of men.

Startup Communities – Where to Find Them and How to Get Involved

Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative

An entrepreneur needs a network of supportive people and resources to maximize his or her chances of success, because there will always be fires to put out. While entrepreneurs can be found everywhere, some startup ecosystems are thriving more than others.

Monetizing Podcasts and Newsletters – Chris Best of Substack and Jonathan Gill of Backtracks

Y Combinator

Chris Best is the cofounder and CEO of Substack. Substack makes it simple for a writer to start a paid newsletter. They were in the Winter 2018 batch of YC. You can check them out at Jonathan Gill is the cofounder and CEO of Backtracks. Backtracks is a podcast analytics and hosting platform. You can check them out at Chris is on Twitter @cjgbest and Jonathan is @jgill333. Topics. 00:00 – Intros. 00:25 – Paid vs advertising in podcasting.

Networks vs. Nodes: Developing New Business Models for the Connected Age

Co Starters

By Enoch Elwell, CO.STARTERS Founder & Visionary.

Announcing Projector?—?A Startup I’ve Been Excited to Tell You About for Years

Both Sides of the Table

Announcing Projector?—?A A Startup I’ve Been Excited to Tell You About for Years A few years ago I spent time in prison with Trevor O’Brien , the founder of Projector. Yes, I always imagined announcing the company that way.

Access to Low-Cost Tools for Scientific Discovery: A Conversation with Schmidt Futures’ Tom Kalil

Venture Well

What if everyone had access to low-cost, high-quality, and easy-to-use tools for scientific discovery? Tom Kalil from Schmidt Futures is trying to find out. The post Access to Low-Cost Tools for Scientific Discovery: A Conversation with Schmidt Futures’ Tom Kalil appeared first on VentureWell.

It’s All About the Network


“Every opportunity I’ve gotten in my life has been provided by a network,” said Sky Kelley, Founder and CEO of Avisare.

Building Your Brand: Lessons from SXSW 2019

Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative

Establishing a brand identity is a critical element of your business success. In order to stand out to customers, business leaders should practice telling the story of their brands in a way that connects with their audiences.

Analyzing Billions of Transactions to Answer Questions on Consumer Behavior – Michael Babineau of Second Measure with Kevin Hale

Y Combinator

Michael Babineau is cofounder and CEO of Second Measure. Second Measure analyzes billions of credit card transactions to answer real-time questions on consumer behavior. They were in the Summer 2015 batch of YC and you can check them out at Kevin Hale is a Partner at YC. Before working at YC he cofounded Wufoo. You can find Michael on Twitter @mikebabineau and Kevin is @ilikevests. Topics. 00:00 – What idea did Mike apply to YC with?

How to Bring Up Issues With Your Business Partner or Leadership Team


I help run two different businesses: GAN and GAN Ventures. At GAN, Dani runs the day-to-day operations as the company’s COO. And, at GAN Ventures, Reilly and I run the company as equal partners, which—of course—makes Reilly my business partner. This means I have two allies, Dani and Reilly, who I’m constantly working with to build and grow these organizations. We have incredible relationships and I couldn’t have chosen more fantastic people to work alongside.

The Uber that Never Was

This is going to be BIG.

Using the proliferation of newly GPS-enabled mobile devices to enable taxi hailing and beat out stagnant incumbent providers was always going to be a big win for consumers. It provided a better service than existing cabs were going to be able to do for at least several years—cutting out lots of unnecessary overhead in the system. Had it been built differently, it could have been a better company and honestly I’d like to believe maybe even a more valuable one in the long term.

5 Ways Student Entrepreneurs Can Maximize Support Resources

Venture Well

VentureWell Program Officer, Samer Yousif, shares his insights to help student entrepreneurs make the most of the I&E resources available to them. The post 5 Ways Student Entrepreneurs Can Maximize Support Resources appeared first on VentureWell. Early Stage Innovators competitions startup

Paul Berberian on the “addictive” nature of mentoring


How did Sphero CEO Paul Berberian make the number one toy in the world? Sphero got to make the BB8 toy robot because of a connection made during a Techstars accelerator. That’s the power of the network. Hear him tell that story, and more. Have you ever been mobbed in Times Square, like a rock star?

8 Reasons Incubators and Accelerators Attend the World Incubation Summit

UBI Global

Activate Your Innovation with the World Incubation Summit 2019 (WIS19) Attending a conference, symposium, or industry event is exciting on a personal and professional level.

Request for Startups: Government 2.0

Y Combinator

In 2018, Pew Research Center reported that 57% of Americans believe that children in America today will be worse off financially than their parents. Since 2013, this number has been as high as 65% — even though we are experiencing our 10th straight year of economic growth. We believe this mindset is the result of increased family debt, stagnant wages, and a lack of government commitment to provide equal access to the basic services families need to thrive.

Why We Invest in Authentic Founders


When GAN Ventures considers whether to invest in a startup, we look for four primary things: Authentic founders: Founders that know their own strengths and weaknesses and aren’t afraid to ask for help. Passionate founders: Founders that joyfully know more about their market than most people would think is normal to know about anything. Mission-driven founders: Founders that truly believe they’re changing at least a small part of the world and will stop at nothing until they do.

Western Mass Demo Day! Wha who!

Paul G. Silva

Western Mass Demo Day Connects Local Startups to Investors. This is an invite-only event for active & accredited investors to hear pitches from startups with a connection to Western Massachusetts.

Expand Your Horizon: Explore New Ways to Find Partners and Grow Your Business

Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative

Successful companies and emerging startups often find themselves in need of more resources and partners. Knowing how to find them can be hard, but it’s not impossible. Organization, persistence and patience will pay off as you search for new investors and business partners.

The Silent Epidemic of Workplace Bullying


Workplace bullying is extremely common and has a high financial impact on companies. Based on research by Dr. Judy Blando at the University of Phoenix, 47% of employees have been bullied at some point in their career, and 27% admitted to being a target of a bully in the last 12 months.

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