Dec 11, 2018 On Our Blog

Pitch Perfect: How to Make a Standout Pitch Deck for 500 Startups

We’ve talked about how to make your application to 500’s accelerator stand out, and one of the key points we mentioned was ensuring you have a solid pitch deck. But what does a good pitch deck look like? We’ve looked at thousands throughout the years, so we’ve got a few pointers on what makes a good one, and what mistakes to avoid. We typically only spend a few minutes reviewing each deck, so keep it brief and don’t overload it with excessive text and images. A well-crafted pitch deck doesn’t need more than 10 slides and will have all of the following key elements (get our free template here): Slide 1: Your Logo & Elevator Pitch You only have seconds …


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Dec 3, 2018 On Our Blog

Is Your Blockchain Company VC Fundable?

Are you thinking about applying to 500 with a Blockchain idea? Want to maximize your chance of getting selected? This article describes how one successful applicant, Crowdz, passed our rigorous acceptance process and explains how to formulate a successful strategy for your own 500 application. Earlier this fall, our accelerator team spent weeks reviewing and interviewing nearly 2,000 program applicants for Batch 24 of our Seed Accelerator program in San Francisco. Applications came from startups in enterprise software, deep technology, and of course, Blockchain. In the end we accepted just 22 companies, of which only five became part of our Blockchain track—a specialized cohort focused on foundational protocols, financial applications, tokenization of physical or digital assets, and enterprise applications. Why …


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Dec 2, 2018 On Our Blog

500 Kobe Gears Up for December Demo Day

Supporting a wide array of diverse founders across the globe has always been at the heart of our mission here at 500. We’re proud to be one of the most global VC firms, with an active presence in 5 of the 7 continents worldwide. This month we’re focusing on a slice of the world that you may already know for their world-renowned beef—but what we’re most excited about is tapping into their under-the-radar tech scene. This December, get ready to meet the top startups from our Kobe, Japan accelerator. Our Kobe program kicked off in October, and will conclude with Demo Day in Tokyo on December 10th. For the three months in between, the companies accepted to the program have …


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Nov 19, 2018 On Our Blog

5 Tips for Making Your 500 Startups Application Stand Out

Here at 500, every time a new batch opens up we receive a flood of applications to sift through. As we review them, we often see a lot of the same common mistakes repeated over and over, so we figured it was time to give a quick 101 on how to give your company the best head start when application time rolls around. 1. It’s all about the traction. It’s important for us to understand what stage your company is at—be clear about any traction you may have and put it front and center. This will look different if you are a B2B or a B2C company, so we’ve broken it down below: B2B: Highlight any pilots you have, and include …


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Nov 19, 2018 On Our Blog

500 Startups Vietnam Holds Oversubscribed Final Close (Pho Real!)

Given 500’s mission to back entrepreneurs globally, we strive to go where other investors rarely venture. Several years ago, Vietnam was not an obvious tech investment destination: the country was poor (GDP per capita was barely over US$2k, according to the World Bank), fraught with bureaucracy, and struggling to create an ecosystem for the few, disconnected founders and even fewer active angels and VCs. But entrepreneurial folks did see elements of something special: a fast-growing economy; a substantial supply of low-cost, high-tech talent; and a broad & experienced Vietnamese diaspora increasingly interested to reconnect with and contribute to the country. A new wave of tech founders decided to take the plunge. Despite — or because of — the lack of …


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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 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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Oct 10, 2018 On Our Blog

Why IoT needs blockchain to grow

What if every company had their own version of WiFi that did not communicate? Can you imagine how difficult it would be to try to connect and get anything done? But that is exactly what is going on with the Internet of Things (IoT) today: many companies are building their own version of authentication and communication protocols that don’t talk to each other, crippling IoT’s growth and innovation. A lot has been written about IoT, and for good reason. By 2020 there will be over 30 billion devices—from cameras and alarm systems to cars and trains—connected to the internet, with billions more coming online every year. Firms spend billions every year to bring IoT devices into these complex ecosystems. Deploying …


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Sep 27, 2018 On Our Blog

PreMoney Speaker David Lee: The VC that Beat Cancer Is Making Big Investments in Health & Biology

Back in 2011, Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz curated a list for Forbes of the 7 most powerful people in tech you’ve never heard of. Number 5? David Lee. The investor has backed behemoths like Airbnb, Stripe, Slack, and Dropbox; just to name a few. Next week he’ll be giving the closing keynote at our PreMoney Investor Conference, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Lee, a former Google exec who has been featured on Forbes’ Midas List and Business Insiders’ The Silicon Valley 100, was previously the managing partner at SV Angel. While there he invested in some of the biggest unicorns in Silicon Valley—as Andreessen and Horowitz put it, “Name any interesting Silicon Valley startup and you will find that David …


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Sep 25, 2018 On Our Blog

6 Things We’ve Learned from the Investors Behind Lyft, Coinbase, Instacart, and More

PreMoney, our one-day conference on the future of venture capital, takes place on October 2nd in San Francisco. We’re putting the final touches on the program as we speak and we’re thrilled about the amazing speakers and discussions we’ve lined up. With just one week until the event, we’re sharing some of the biggest lessons we’ve learned from these VCs. Hacking value before hacking growth Floodgate’s Ann Miura-Ko delivered the final keynote at last year’s PreMoney and was so inspiring we had to ask her back. During her talk on Redefining Intelligent Growth, Ann challenged the audience, asking if it’s “really necessary to consume this much capital before we learn the lesson that maybe the startup isn’t going anywhere?” The job of …


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