Launch Your Business in Georgia (The Country, not the State)


This post is by Janelle Apaydin from 500 Startups

The following post is written by Nato Chakvetadze, Program Associate for 500Georgia. Gavin: Here everything is so expensive. Look at the numbers. If we move to Georgia, we can save a fortune and get a further investment. It’s the only way. Denpok: Well, I have heard good things about the food scene in the Dirty South. Hoover: Stankonia. Freaknik. Might be nice to be around more people of color. Gavin: What? Not Atlanta. Tbilisi. The country of Georgia, not the state. -Silicon Valley (Season 6, Episode 2) Yes, you heard it right – this is an article about Georgia, the country, not the state.  500 Startups recently launched 500Georgia, the first international accelerator in the country, in partnership with two …

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Taking our Flagship Accelerator Virtual-First


This post is by Aaron Blumenthal from 500 Startups

There is not a single business that is not affected in some form or another from COVID-19, and 500 Startups is no different. When news broke of COVID-19 entering in the US, we were one of the first major accelerators to turn the Demo Day experience completely virtual, and since then, we have focused on collecting data from investors and founders to help the community at-large through reports like our COVID-19 Investor Survey and Female Founders Survey.  We’ve also seen our portfolio companies step up to the challenge with everything from helping frontline workers to bettering remote work for thousands. Our founders continue to inspire us, and in the true nature of putting their safety and wellbeing first, we are …

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5 Tips for Pitching VCs in Virtual Times


This post is by Guest Author from 500 Startups

Guest Post: The following post is a sponsored guest post by JD Weinstein, Oracle for Startups. All views and opinions represented in this post are the views and opinions of Oracle for Startups and do not represent those of 500 Startups or any of its staff or affiliates. What do Airbnb, Uber, Slack, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Square, and Venmo have in common? These highly successful technology startups were all founded during the Great Recession in 2008-2010. Entrepreneurs and small businesses are once again fighting through difficult times to both survive and transform the world.  There is no doubt that venture funding has begun to slow. The silver lining here is that transformative startups will persevere. As the world continues to turn, …

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Understanding Omni-Channel Opportunities with Square at Founders Day


This post is by Guest Author from 500 Startups

Guest Post: The following post is a sponsored guest post by Square, Inc. All views and opinions represented in this post are the views and opinions of Square, Inc. and do not represent those of 500 Startups or any of its staff or affiliates. For many startups in the 500 portfolio, understanding how they can make the easiest, most seamless transactions possible is a top priority. They don’t want to have to worry about their customer not being able to find an easy way to complete a sale due to credit card processing issues. Instead of just introducing them to some of the top credit card point-of-sale companies, we wanted to bring together both parties for a conversation around what’s …

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How We Created our Digital Demo Day Experience


This post is by Natalie Riso from 500 Startups

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the entire startup ecosystem, and in the name of safety and support of our founders, we hosted our first-ever Digital Demo Day last week. This was a whole new take on demo day for us, and the end result was a unique and inspiring experience for both our startups and investor community. Making the switch to an online demo day was no easy task. However, as concerns grew over our international founders needing to return to their home countries and not being able to attend Demo Day in-person, we made the decision early on to have all of the startups pre-record their presentations remotely. To help them with this process, we created a Zoom Guide …

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How Startups Can Navigate the Change in Investment Climate Due to COVID-19


This post is by Tim Chae from 500 Startups

With the rise in regulations and restrictions surrounding COVID-19, we’ve entered unprecedented times on a global scale. On our end, we hosted our first-ever Digital Demo Day to ensure the safety and protection of our team and founders. Using YouTube Live and recorded presentations, as well as an investor-founder Slack channel, we found success in this new format. We registered over 5K unique views during the Demo Day live stream, and over 1,300 investors joined the Slack channel to chat with our founders. If you missed the event, watch it here. The challenge remains, however, of navigating the current investment climate, and we want to help our founders as much as possible in this unknown landscape. To do so, we …

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How the 500 Startups Community Is Helping Those Affected By COVID-19


This post is by Christine Tsai from 500 Startups

We at 500 are focused on helping the global community during these unsettling and unprecedented times. We are hosting roundtables and webinars with our partners and founders to address relevant topics, including the state of financing with our portfolio, and tips on how to manage a team remotely. Our goal is to offer resources to our founders, fellow investors, and the greater tech community.  Many of our global portfolio companies are also dedicating resources and time to be part of the solution to the COVID-19 crisis. These companies are addressing urgently important solutions like helping healthcare workers on the front lines, increasing awareness of preventative measures, and alleviating some of the financial burden on some of the hardest-hit industries.  Helping …

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Tools and Tips for Working Remotely From 500 & GitLab


This post is by Natalie Riso from 500 Startups

On March 16th, 500 had the opportunity to lead a chat with Darren Murph, the Head of Working Remote at GitLab. Due to the novel COVID-19 virus, many companies are adapting their workforces to be partially, if not completely, remote. GitLab is currently one of the largest all-remote companies with the world, and we love just how transparent they have been regarding best practices and company policies. Here’s what they had to say to 500 portfolio companies looking for some advice in these rather unusual times. Tips From GitLab’s Head of Remote The biggest question when working remotely is how to hire and onboard someone new. What you should look for in an interviewee: Look for someone who is a …

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Ones to Watch in Esports


This post is curated by Keith Teare. It was written by Emily King. The original is [linked here]

Esports continues to be a leader in advancing media technology, yet the gaming community continues to struggle in creating a singular hub for viewers to check out all their favorite games and for there to be a singular hub for gaming education. With the market as large as ever and continuing to grow, Batch 26 companies Gamerzclass and Juked are working towards creating the next big hubs in esports.  Giving You The Coach You Always Wanted – Gamerzclass Professional esports players know how challenging and competitive teams can get, from local club teams to college to the professional level. Compared to more traditional sports like football or baseball, esports does not have the same kind of established coaching and educational …

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Ones to Watch in Esports


This post is by Emily King from 500 Startups

Esports continues to be a leader in advancing media technology, yet the gaming community continues to struggle in creating a singular hub for viewers to check out all their favorite games and for there to be a singular hub for gaming education. With the market as large as ever and continuing to grow, Batch 26 companies Gamerzclass and Juked are working towards creating the next big hubs in esports.  Giving You The Coach You Always Wanted – Gamerzclass Professional esports players know how challenging and competitive teams can get, from local club teams to college to the professional level. Compared to more traditional sports like football or baseball, esports does not have the same kind of established coaching and educational …

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Using Design Strategy to Unlock Growth


This post is by Guest Author from 500 Startups

Guest Post: The following post is a sponsored guest post by Noteh Strauss. All views and opinions represented in this post are the views and opinions of Strauss and do not represent those of 500 Startups or any of its staff or affiliates. As a designer with my own agency and a mentor to dozens of Silicon Valley startups, I’ve come across my fair share of design challenges. Though every client or startup I advise is different, I’ve spotted some patterns of design issues that founders seem to miss. Despite the fact that my design career began with a personal interest in design and aesthetics in Kazakhstan, most of my work was centered around North American companies with North American …

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The Female Trailblazers Impacting Mental Health, Analytics, GovTech, and More


This post is by Emily King from 500 Startups

“Out of every ten investors that you’ve pitched, how many of them were female?” When we polled the female founders of Batch 26, the answers ranged from only one out of 10 to upwards of seven out of ten. For those that had over half of their pitches with female investors, they each cited having to actively seek out female investors in order to keep the number high.  We are proud to have 30% of Batch 26 with at least one female founder. We sat down with the founders of Batch 26 to chat about their startups and their experience fundraising as a female founder.  Pluto  Almost everyone has experienced the pain of sleeping on a bad pillow. A good …

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Tax Filing is Approaching, Here’s How Your Business Can Save


This post is by Guest Author from 500 Startups

Guest Post: The following post is a sponsored guest post by Scott McCutcheon of incentAdvise. All views and opinions represented in this post are the views and opinions of incentAdvise and do not represent those of 500 Startups or any of its staff or affiliates.  As startups and established companies continue to scale, there are exciting benefits awaiting them that can uncover hidden cash. First introduced as a temporary measure, the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit was passed in 1981 and worked to help stimulate the economy. The credit ultimately acted as an incentive to encourage investment within the United States. After years of extensions due to its success, the act was eventually made a permanent part of the …

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Ones to Watch in Sensors and AI


This post is by Emily King from 500 Startups

In the golden age of data, businesses in media, communication, and commerce were some of the first to adapt their operations to work directly with the newfound aggregation of consumer data. Sensors and AI, in particular, have become ubiquitous parts of the tech startup zeitgeist. We have a few startups in Batch 26 that are trying to not only demystify the overuse of terms like sensors and AI, but also utilize the technology for substantial change in the realms of travel, retail, and more.  Taking the Headache Out of Flight Delays – Pilota Not many founding teams can say that they have visited over 100 countries before diving into the travel business. The founding team at Pilota has an immense …

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Hospitality Tech as a Service


This post is by Janelle Apaydin from 500 Startups

As sector agnostic investors, we get a first-hand look at tech-enabled startups across a number of different verticals. One which you may not have heard much about is HTaaS — or Hospitality Tech as a Service. We’ve recently partnered with LA Fund, an innovative hospitality-focused venture fund, to launch a bootcamp for startups building products that have the potential to disrupt this space.  Recognizing the lack of support for tech-enabled hospitality companies, the LA Fund was created to help these startups fast-track their growth and connect them with the right industry leaders who can help them scale. We recently sat down with the founders of LA Fund, Lev Filiminov and Alex Balaban, to learn more about their inspiration for the …

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Meet the Startups of Batch 26


This post is by Aaron Blumenthal from 500 Startups

We are excited to announce our 26th batch of companies to join our flagship seed accelerator in San Francisco. From social media analytics to sensors and AI and more, this group of 29 companies was chosen from over 3,000 applicants, representing a less than 1% acceptance rate.  As with every batch, we are continuing our commitment to discovering and backing the world’s most talented entrepreneurs, and recognizing that great founders come in all shades, genders and nationalities. Of the 29 companies in Batch 26, 37% come from outside of the U.S., including Brazil, Nigeria and India. 30% of the companies have a female founder and 70% have one or more founders who identify as a racial minority. Without further ado, …

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Enterprise customers want to work with startups. Here’s how to get in the door.


This post is by Guest Author from 500 Startups

Guest Post: The following post is a sponsored guest post by Perry Light, the Market Connect Lead, North America of Oracle for Startups. All views and opinions represented in this post are the views and opinions of Oracle for Startups and do not represent those of 500 Startups or any of its staff or affiliates. If you would like to join Oracle for Startups, apply and use the code “500 Startups”.  As a startup founder, you are an evangelist. You mesmerize your audience with your conviction and entice them with visions of a better world that is available through an offering that only you can provide. Rather than salvation, it’s savings you dangle before a rapt audience—a paradise of pain …

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Market Research for Startups: 3 Steps to Success


This post is by Guest Author from 500 Startups

Guest Post: The following post is a sponsored guest post by SEMrush. All views and opinions represented in this post are the views and opinions of SEMrush and do not represent those of 500 Startups or any of its staff or affiliates.  When you’re researching a market for the first time, it’s essential to find out what companies operate in your niche. And it’s no less important to understand how these businesses made it to the list of top industry players and what marketing strategies they follow. You also need to research target audience characteristics and preferences, regional opportunities, competitors’ offerings, and overall market development in dynamics. The question is, how are you going to do all that? Most startup …

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5 Fast Ways To Know You’re Underpriced & How To Fix It

I see this far too often: earnest company joins me on an introductory call seeking advice on how to grow revenue and profit quickly. I ask them how they arrived at their current price for their product/service. Some fuzzy answer emerges. This gives me the opportunity to share my favorite “growth hack”—increase prices.  As long as the company is open-minded enough to fully hear me out and willing to develop a game plan with me, prices can be increased shortly with no downside risk. I’ll say that again: no downside risk. Look, I’m really lucky to be a part-time Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) at 500 Startups, one of the most active seed-stage investors on planet earth. From my vantage point as their …

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The Value of the 500 Seed Accelerator in 2019

Going into 2020, 500 will be entering it’s tenth year of operation. It’s been a crazy journey for us from a small first batch of startups in our Silicon Valley Accelerator to running accelerators across the globe and investing in founders from over 76 countries. While we have undoubtedly matured as a company, we continue to strive to make our Seed Accelerator one of the top programs to support founders and help them build companies at-scale.  Over the past nine years, the venture capital landscape has dramatically changed. What previously defined a “seed” stage is no longer the case, as the average seed investment has gone from $0.5M to $2M.   We’ve also seen an ever-expanding set of options for …

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