Announcing Rainbow Round – A Monthly Series of Inspiring Talks from LGBT People in Tech PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 28 2014

I’ve been at 500 for just over a year now. One of the things that first drew me to 500 is how many different kinds of people are in our #500Strong community of 1000+ founders, 600+ companies, and 200+ mentors. A huge part of what make makes this place so great is how all these different people come together to share knowledge, support each other, and learn from each other’s mistakes.

 

LGBT founders, employees, and mentors, are an incredibly important part of the 500 family.  Last fall, we held our first LGBT meetup in Mountain View to invite some of our founders to share their startup stories. It was a huge success, so we decided to go even bigger in 2014. We’re launching a monthly speaker series called Rainbow Round where LGBT founders, employees, investors, and others will give inspiring talks about what they do in tech.

 

We’re proud to have Kortney Ryan Ziegler, founder of Transh4ck, join us as our inaugural Rainbow Round speaker. Like Kortney, we think there’s a lot of work to be done in tech (and the LGBT community) around transgender acceptance, education, and support. Following his talk, there will be drinks, food, and networking. You canregister here.

 

We’ve partnered with two great organizations to make Rainbow Round happen:StartOut, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating great business leaders by fostering Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender entrepreneurs, and Galvanize, a tech entrepreneurial eco-system that incorporates capital, curriculum, and community.

 

At future talks, we’ll bring in startup founders, big names in Venture Capital, and leaders from other tech companies and organizations to tell us about what they’re working on. Register for our first talk on 3/19, and follow @RainbowRound on Twitter for updates about future events. If you’d like to nominate someone to speak at our next event, just send me email at mark@500.co

 

I think this will be a great way for us to highlight all the amazing work the LGBT people are doing in our industry, while also providing a space for entrepreneurs to meet, share ideas, and help each other. We hope to see you at our first event!

Categories All

8 Things You Must Do To Support Pregnant Startup Employees

A few months after my first child was born, I wrote a post likening parenthood to entrepreneurship called “Startuphood and Parenthood: Not for the Faint of Heart.” Two and a half years later, I’m expecting my second. I was quite guarded about my first pregnancy (especially on social media), so aside from that blog post, I shared very little about the experience. This time around, I’ve been much more open about it and felt inspired to write thoughts and observations I’ve had over the last few months.

Given the endless controversy about sexism, women in tech, working moms, women founders, gender roles, etc, I was initially hesitant to write this post. Anything and everything is fuel for someone’s fire. However, it’s important to be vocal about these things (in a constructive manner, of course) and put it out there. Being a pregnant VC may sound less than desirable, given how male dominated the industry is. You could argue the same applies to tech companies and startups. There are tales of companies not wanting to hire women of a certain age for fear they’d get pregnant and be out of commission for a few months. As we see more women running companies, in leadership roles, and also on the other side of the table as investors, this will hopefully become a non-issue.

Companies like Google and Facebook offer great maternity and paternity leave. However, when you’re a startup, it can be nebulous especially if you’ve never had a pregnant employee on the team. Many startups don’t have a maternity (or paternity) leave policy in place. But as your company grows and/or women on the team have children, this changes. In fact, more than just coming up with a policy, it’s absolutely critical to ensure that you retain these employees. The last thing you want is to lose talent because your company culture is a hindrance to parents.

With that, here are a few tips I’ve come up with (in no particular order). My suggestions have more to do with how to treat expectant moms versus how to develop your actual leave policy:

1. Uphold a company culture that supports pregnancy and working parents

This is first and foremost the most important thing, because once you have this then everything else falls in line. Oftentimes companies (especially small ones, where resources are stark) will view pregnancy as a burden. Some are even reluctant to hire women for that reason, especially married women of childbearing age. Don’t be that company. You’ll only do yourself a disservice and miss out on amazing talent.

 

2. Be flexible

Pregnant women have to somehow make it through the day and also deal with physical changes, unpleasant symptoms of pregnancy, and a barrage of doctors’ appointments and lab tests that will often happen during work hours. If you need to re-arrange meetings or schedule around your team member’s appointments, do it. These appointments are all important and oftentimes are time-sensitive.

 

 

3. Do not make assumptions or decisions on her behalf

We all make assumptions about pregnant women, either based on having been through it directly, indirectly, or pure conjecture. “She’s probably too tired to do X,” “She’s not going to want to travel because she’s pregnant,” “Her due date is Y so she won’t want to take this on so I’ll ask someone else to do it,” etc. While your intentions may be good, this is something every expectant working mom fears – being phased out. I’ll put myself out there and admit this has/is a fear of mine. Let her be the one to decide whether something’s too much for her to handle or not. Let her lead the conversation and decision making around what her maternity leave plan is, especially if it has to do with transitioning work and hiring people – or at the very least, make sure she is directly involved.

 

 

4. Assume that pregnancy changes nothing about her role in the company

I’ll refrain from opening a can of worms and get into the working mom vs. stay-at-home mom debate. But from personal experience and from the many working moms I know, we’d rather that people assume we’re going back to work after maternity leave. In fact, some women will actually want to stay plugged in with what’s going on while they’re on leave. Don’t question whether she’s returning to the company once the baby arrives. Don’t be an asshole and take the position away from her while she’s out.

 

 

5. Offer awesome maternity leave

There is a minimum requirement every state mandates for companies (usually of a certain employee size). My 2 cents – of course companies should comply with what their state law requires. However, depending on the state, it might be rather stingy and it’s in your best interest to go above and beyond what you’re “required” to do. Startups may think they can’t afford to have an employee out for too long, let alone pay them during that time. But remember that it’s temporary and most likely it won’t have a significant impact on the bottom line if you were to (for example) provide fully paid leave. Being as generous as possible will go a LONG way in both retaining and attracting talent for both moms and dads. Also, good employees will feel just as invested in making sure things don’t go awry while they’re out and not leaving teammates in the lurch.

 

 

6. Do NOT touch her stomach

This may seem like common sense. But many people don’t get it. Yes, it’s not every day you see a round, beach-ball shaped stomach. But think of it this way – would you touch her stomach if she weren’t pregnant?

 

 

7. Remember the dads

Pregnancy is usually all about the mom because she’s the one carrying the baby for 9 months. However, realize that expectant dads are going through a lot too. I love the fact that Facebook offers equal leave for moms and dads. Consider that for your company. Offering unequal leaves just reinforces the longstanding notion that parenting responsibilities aren’t equal, and that doesn’t help anyone.

 

 

8. Remember that It doesn’t just end with maternity leave

I’ve heard of companies offering great maternity/paternity leave, only to be oddly inflexible when it comes to working parents’ schedules. This all goes back to your company culture. You may have a company where telecommuting, leaving the office early, and working from home are frowned upon. That’s your prerogative. But if you want to be more inclusive of working parents, then revisit these policies and make it easier for parents to juggle their two full-time jobs. (Yes, parenting is a full-time job even if you work at a company too) And extra brownie points if you set up a mother’s room for moms when they return to the office! (500 did).

 

Categories All

How to Get Hired by a Startup (Even if You’re not Technical)

Joining the tech world might seem like a mysterious process, but I can assure that you don’t need magical powers, luck, or a blessing from Mark Zuckerberg to join a startup. Back in 2009, I was a completely non-technical recent grad (English Major, LOL) who didn’t know ANYTHING about startups. Somehow, I still managed to convince a now well-known file-sharing startup to hire me. If you don’t code or design, you probably won’t have the luxury of turning down offers from startups that are throwing themselves at you. But don’t let that discourage you; there are still plenty of ways to get a awesome startup to give you a chance. Here’s how:

 

Work your Network Like Crazy

 

Tech is small. Like really small. Even if you move from one major tech hub to another – say from SF to Boston or NYC – you’ll run into people who know the people you used to work with. That’s why it’s insanely important to tap into your networks to figure out who can give you an intro to that startup you want to work at.

 

This isn’t to say that knowing someone per se will get you the job. What will get you the job is a recommendation or intro from someone the founder or hiring person trusts, which is way more convincing than hearing from a random person or reading a recommendation on LinkedIn. If someone who knows the team or founder is willing to vouch for you, that’s a sign you’re worth serious consideration.

 

Like I said, tech is tiny, so you probably have more connections to startups than you think. Don’t be annoying about it, but always take advantage of any opportunities to network or meet new people who might give you an intro to someone down the line. If you meet someone interesting in tech at a party or through friends, stay in touch with them! And don’t be embarrassed to outright ask them if they know a startup that’s looking for someone like you.

 

Have Side Projects

 

A cool side project is a million times more impressive than a nice resume. If you’re non-technical, chances are you’re looking for a marketing or creative role, so this is your opportunity to show off your skills, personality, and ability to execute.

 

Side projects can be anything that requires a regular commitment from you, like a blog, podcast, app, whatever. For example “I’m passionate about food” is way more believable when you have a YouTube channel dedicated to funny, entertaining food reviews. Even if you don’t have a ton of views, it shows that you’re willing to stick to a project and see it through to completion.

 

Whatever your passion is, demonstrating that you’ve spent real time and effort on it (as opposed to just talking about it), shows startups that you don’t just talk about things – you do them.

 

Know More than Expected

 

Not being technical doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know startup basics. Startups run lean, so any extra skills you have – even if unrelated to your core expertise – make you a much more enticing hire.

 

Thanks to the internet, teaching yourself the basics of coding, design and distribution is incredibly easy (and free!). TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS.  Spend an hour a day on YouTube, Udemy, and other sites to beef up your skills. Other things being equal, having some technical knowledge might be what tips the scale in your favor.

 

Be Humble

 

Startups aren’t glamorous. The pay is low, you work long hours and fail a lot. You’ll also be doing a lot of menial stuff if you work at a very early-stage company. For example, if you work for a fashion startup that ships out clothes every week – surprise – you’ll probably get to help pack a lot of boxes and iron clothes. Don’t think that joining a startup is going to automatically mean free food, awesome perks, and millions of dollars.

Even if you’re amazing at marketing, writing, or whatever, be humble. Don’t give the impression that you aren’t willing to do all the boring, crappy stuff that comes along with working at a startup. The smaller the startup, the more likely you’ll have to do things that aren’t technically “your job.”

Working at a startup is still work, and sometimes it really sucks. If you join an early-stage company in  a non-founder role, your salary probably wont be that competitive, especially compared to large companies like Google, Twitter, Apple, etc.  Make sure you find  something you’re really passionate about, otherwise the trade-offs – long hours, tiny office (or no office), extreme ups and downs – wont be worth it.

I’d recommend using AngelList to start your search. You can filter openings by all sorts of interesting criteria to find something that’s right for you. Here’s a list of all the openings at companies that 500 has invested in. Good luck!

Categories All

A Piece of the Action: Announcing 500 Syndicates

With any good story, once it starts working… everybody wants a piece of the action.

 

Today, 500 Startups is launching our very own AngelList syndicates. We view syndicates as a way to double down on great 500 portfolio companies AND enable other investors to co-invest with us more quickly and easily. So we’re kicking things off with two to start: the 500 Startups Syndicate, and the 500 Women Syndicate.

 

How will it work? For each syndicate, 500 Startups will allocate ~$1M to invest in ~10 companies over the next 12 months, or about $100K in one company every month. Each company will receive ~$100K investment from 500 Startups (our normal amount), and they will also get additional capital from the backers of each syndicate, depending on how much is available and how much the company wants to accept.

 

We believe AngelList (also a 500 portfolio company) is a great platform to help our startups get access to more capital and more investors, and help them build their business. And now with AngelList Syndicates, it’s also a great way for us to share some of our best companies with other investors who share our investment philosophies.

 

But this is just the beginning. In the future, expect to see more 500 syndicates that are focused on specific locations, industries, themes, and other stuff we care about.

Interested in being a backer for either or both of these syndicates? Visit the 500 Startups Syndicate and the 500 Women Syndicate pages to apply.

Categories All

500 Women – Funding #Flawless Female Founders

Soundtrack (press play before continuing)

Team 500 lives and breathes diversity. It isn’t just something we say in press to make ourselves look good, or a poster we put up in our office. It is in our DNA. When it comes to women, leveling the playing field is something we’re insanely passionate about –  supporting both women founders AND women investors. In the last 4 years, we’ve backed over 100 women-led companies like Wildfire, TaskRabbit, SlideShare, Viki,Moonfruit, TheRealReal, and ipsy. We even have a significant number of women on the 500 investment team (myself included).

 

But we’re not satisfied. We want to do MORE.

 

So today, as we roll out our own AngelList syndicates, one of the first syndicates we’re launching is 500 Women. Female founders have proven that they know how to build great businesses that make money, especially in markets that male founders (and male investors) tend to ignore.

 

Over the next year, 500 Startups will invest $1M total in 10 women-backed companies (or about $100K each), plus the 500 Women syndicate backers will invest additional capital as well.

 

We also want to challenge more women to take a seat at the other side of the table – as investors. So far, 500 Women syndicate backers include Rashmi Sinha (CEO of SlideShare), Prerna Gupta (CEO of Khu.sh), and Wei Hopeman (Asia head of Citi Ventures). Interested in backing the 500 Women syndicate? Visit angel.co/500-womento apply.

VC has always been a boys’ club. Let’s change that, ladies. Remember – we woke up like this.

gif
Categories All

500 Takes Over the City of Brunch, Bikes & Burritos – Introducing Batch 8

After months of planning, picking startups, and drinking Blue Bottle Coffee, we’re excited to unveil our very first San Francisco batch of startups! While we love and adore all our companies down south, we can’t wait to start our San Francisco adventure. We’ve already stocked up on PBR and bought Warby Parkers for everyone.

 

Our new companies started working out of our brand-spankin’-new SOMA office (called “500 Del Norte” since we’re international and stuff) last week, and we can’t wait to see them ride the startup surfbort all the way to Demo Day. Even though they’re up north, they’ll have access to all the resources, mentors, events and programs as the OG startups in Mountain View.

 

So, what’s awesome about this Batch? The 28 companies come from all over (as usual), but this time around we have to give special shoutouts to Canada and France, with 2 startups apiece in this cohort. We’re feeling classier and more polite already. Other countries represented are Spain, India, Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Brazil, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Our local brethren hail from Las Vegas, Austin, NYC, SF, Sunnyvale, Detroit, Oakland and Mountain View.

 

Batch 8 is pretty eclectic, with companies that do everything from exclusive restaurant experiences to massage on demand and online rap battles. Seriously.

 

Is all this startup talk making you wish YOU were #500Strong? Apply for our next accelerator NOW: bit.ly/Getin500

 

Maybe you’ll see your startup’s name here later this year ;).

 

Here’s a full rundown of all our Batch 8 companies:

 

BidAway

 

BidAway

 

eBay for vacations – we match the excess capacity in the luxury leisure industry with discerning customers through real-time online auctions.

 

AngelList: angel.co/bidaway
Founders: Brian Reichle, Luca Carlucci
From: Barcelona, Spain
Fun Fact: We already have exclusivity contracts with more than 2,500 4-5 star hotels.

 

primeloop

 

primeloop

 

pimeloop.co makes it easy for brands and agencies to clip all their press, measure the value of PR, and re-engage in public conversations to build trust and loyalty.

 

AngelList: angel.co/primeloop
Founders: Thomas Knoll, Mike Ciklin
From: Las Vegas, NV
Fun Fact: One of our co-founders, Thomas Knoll, was previously the Community Architect at Zappos.com

 

CultureAlley

 

CultureAlley

 

Learn languages via interactive videos & practice them on your own Facebook wall or Twitter feed! Transforming your everyday social media browsing into a language lesson!

 

AngelList: angel.co/culturealley-com
Founders: Nishant Patni, Pranshu Bhandari
From: Jaipur, India
Fun Fact: CultureAlley has taught Spanish and Mandarin to over 430,000 learners in 220+ countries

 

Doorman

 

Doorman

 

Package delivery on demand until midnight, 7 days a week. Never miss a delivery again.

 

AngelList: angel.co/doorman-1
Founders: Zander Adell, Kapil Israni
From: San Francisco, CA
Fun Fact: Zander worked at Pixar & Kapil worked at IBM.

 

DOZ

 

DOZ

 

The first marketing agency in the cloud thanks to crowdsourcing principles and matching algorithms. DOZ helps online businesses to go international by automagically curating local marketers and putting them to work in an all-in-one platform.

 

AngelList: angel.co/doz
Founders: Anji Ismail, Faouzi El Yagoubi
From: Lyon, France
Fun Fact: We have +4000 qualified marketers in more than 45 countries, and have performed +200 campaigns in 30 countries.

 

Enchanted Diamonds

 

Enchanted Diamonds

 

Enchanted Diamonds is every couple’s best friend. Helping you discover the ring size and taste preferences of the one you love by launching the first-ever Engagement Ring Registry and delivering bespoke engagement rings tailor-made for the selected diamond and finger size at the best value.

 

AngelList: angel.co/enchanted-diamonds
Founders: Joshua Niamehr, Jonathan Las
From: New York, NY
Fun Fact: We use 3D printing to create our bespoke engagement rings. 3D printing and CAD allow us to tailor each ring for the persons finger size, center diamond, and side stones.

 

equipboard

 

Equipboard

 

An e-commerce platform that connects products to the influencers using them. Think IMDb for products.

 

AngelList: angel.co/equipboard
Founders: Giulio Chiarenza, Michael Pierce
From: Austin, Texas
Fun Fact: Founded by a gear-obsessed blues guitarist and signed Italian producer.

 

Famebit

 

FameBit

 

A marketplace that makes it easy for businesses to find, hire, and work with YouTube influencers for product and service endorsements.

 

AngelList: angel.co/famebit
Founders: David Kierzkowski, Agnes Kozera
From: Toronto, Canada
Fun Fact: We give businesses the power to work with YouTubers directly for a lower cost, and faster campaign deployment.

 

friendtrusted

 

Friend Trusted

 

We take the hassle out of home remodeling. Simply take a picture of your kitchen or bathroom, and see estimates from top rated contractors from the app.

 

AngelList: angel.co/friendtrusted
Founders: Darwin Widjaja, Brenton Marrelli
From: Sunnyvale, CA
Fun Fact: One of us has a pink house because of a bad contractor. That’s why we set out to make it easy to get estimates from top-rated contractors.

 

guidekick

 

Guidekick

 

A mobile interpretive tool that creates an immersive and engaging learning experience for visitors at high profile historical attractions.

 

AngelList: angel.co/guidekick
Founders: Mark Paddon, Joshua Holland, Garrett Lauringson, Aaron Rivera
From: San Francisco, CA
Fun Fact: We built the world’s first native Google Glass museum app for visitors at Hearst Castle.

 

Holidog

 

Holidog

 

The #1 European marketplace for pet owners. We’re selling dogs and cats happiness and fun!

 

AngelList: angel.co/holidog
Founders: Julien Muller, Stéphane Degré
From: Paris, France
Fun Fact: We have customers in 5 countries.

 

i3zif

 

i3zif.com (Play for Music Limited)

 

We teach users how to play musical instruments through video tutorials working with some of the best musicians in the Arab world. We’re the first to provide high quality online music education in Arabic, and the first to offer it in English for oriental and eastern instruments.

 

AngelList: angel.co/play-for-music-limited-i3zif-com-1
Founder: Bisher Abu Taleb
From: Amman, Jordan
Fun Fact: The founding team are all performing musicians; we have 2 Guitarists, a bassist, drummer, rapper, keyboard player, 3 percussions players, and 2 lead singers

 

marca_ja_entendi_profissoes_final-01

 

Já Entendi

 

An eLearning solution that leverages blue-collar workers in Brazil. With our innovative learning methodology, we transform content like books, booklets, and manuals into video lessons that accelerate the learning process.

 

AngelList: angel.co/ja-entendi
Founders: Wagner Bonfiglio, Gladys Mariotto
From: Curitiba, Brazil
Fun Fact: Gladys Mariotto (Ph.D) has won more than 30 prizes with our methodology.

 

pijon

 

Pijon

 

Reinventing college care packages and delivering the awesome supplies students love and need every month. We help college students stay happy and healthy, while keeping families connected.

 

AngelList: angel.co/pijon
Founders: Rob Caucci, Jeremy Pease, Adam Saynuk
From: New York, NY
Fun Fact: Time Magazine called Pijon one of the 10 great subscription boxes.

 

predictionIO

 

PredictionIO

 

An open-source machine learning server for software developers to create predictive features, such as personalization, recommendation, and content discovery.

 

AngelList: angel.co/predictionio
Founders: Simon Chan, Donald Szeto, Kenneth Chan, Thomas Stone
From: San Francisco, CA
Fun Fact: We were picked by Gilt’s personalization team as one of their favorite tools in 2013.

 

quest

 

Quest

 

Ask a question and get an answer within minutes. Available for iOS, Android, and any mobile phone via text message.

 

AngelList: angel.co/quest
Founders: Deepak Ravindran, Mohammed Hisamuddin
From: San Francisco, CA

 

raisy

 

Raisy

 

We partner with brands and services to provide easy and profitable online fundraising programs for schools.

 

AngelList: angel.co/raisy
Founders: Marc St Raymond, Will Crowthers
From: San Francisco, CA
Fun Fact: Over $4 billion is spent every year on “product fundraisers” for U.S. schools, where a school sells items like gift wrap, chocolate, and popcorn and receives a portion of the purchase price back.

 

raptfm

 

rapt.fm

 

Chat roulette for rap battles, but it’s going to be a comprehensive technology for artists to build fan bases, get discovered, give live concerts, and monetize.

 

AngelList: angel.co/rapt-fm
Founders: Erik Torenberg, Jamie Pitts
From: Detroit, MI
Fun Fact: We’ve had contests where rapt winners got to open for Royce Da 5’9/Girl Talk/Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony in concert and where one winner got a record contract with Tommy Boy Entertainment.

 

remark

 

Remark

 

A browser-based platform for video annotation.

 

AngelList: angel.co/remark
Founders: Taylor Hou, Sri Sonti
From: Austin, TX
Fun Fact: The team hails from Australia, Nigeria, India, China, Pakistan, and the USA.

 

Roamandwander

 

Roam & Wander

 

Roam & Wander makes games, apps, and toys for kids under the TuTu and DiDi brands.

 

AngelList: angel.co/roam-wander-1
Founder: Jason Warren
From: Taipei and Hong Kong
Fun Fact: We published the first game in the App Store that rewards kids for their achievements with real stickers delivered right to their door.

 

Shareroot

 

ShareRoot Inc.

 

The leading Social Marketing suite for Pinterest. We help large brands drive and measure Pinterest engagement.

 

AngelList: angel.co/shareroot
Founders: Marc Angelone, Noah Abelson
From: Oakland, CA
Fun Fact: Initial paying clients include Sony Pictures, General Mills, MGM Grand, Fox Search Light Pictures, Phillips, and Jim Beam, all of which propelled us to a profitable first year.

 

shippo

 

Shippo

 

We make international shipping easy and cheap for e-commerce businesses by aggregating shipping volumes and giving customers access to cheaper shipping providers.

 

AngelList: angel.co/shippo
Founders: Laura Behrens Wu, Simon Kreuz, Max Diez
From: San Francisco, CA
Fun Fact: We have a shipping volume of more than 1 million packages lined up for 2014.

 

simmr

 

Simmr

 

Simmr elevates the typical meal out by giving diners access to behind-the-scenes experiences at their favorite restaurants: think kitchen tours, meeting the chef or owner, learning how to make dishes on the menu, and special tastings, which give restaurants a profitable way to build a community and acquire loyal customers.

 

AngelList: angel.co/simmr-1
Founders: Neeharika Bhartiya and Wendy Lin
From: San Francisco
Fun Fact: Both founders know how to code.

 

soundbetter

 

SoundBetter

 

SoundBetter is the leading marketplace for music production talent. We connect millions of independent musicians with professional music producers, session musicians, mixing & mastering engineers.

 

AngelList: angel.co/soundbetter
Founders: Shachar Gilad, Itamar Yunger
From: Tel Aviv, Israel
Fun Fact: SoundBetter is the only place where you can directly hire the most Grammy award winners to work on your music.

 

UnwindMe

 

Unwind Me

 

Building the brand for accessible massage and wellness. We make it easier than ever for anyone to book and receive a high-quality massage, when and where they want, at an affordable price.

 

AngelList: angel.co/unwind-me
Founders: Akaash Achreja, Milan Thakor
From: San Francisco, CA
Fun Fact: We make a real difference in the lives of massages therapists as well – massage therapists on Unwind Me earn 2-3x what they make in the industry today.

 

VenueSpot

 

VenueSpot

 

An online marketplace where venues bid to host your events. Post your event, receive multiple bids, and choose your venue.

 

AngelList: angel.co/venuespot
Founders: Jerome Ng, Tom Chan
From: Vancouver, Canada
Fun Fact: We currently have over $250,000 worth of events which your venue can host.

 

whalepath

 

Whale Path

 

An on-demand research platform where professionals can order business research from a group of qualified and vetted top tier students. Our technology allows us to deliver research to customers in just a few days.

 

AngelList: angel.co/whale-path
Founder: Artem Gassan
From: Mountain View, CA
Fun Fact: Within 5 months we have conducted 52 research projects for 35 paid customers. Our customers include: Oracle, Siemens, HP, Woodside Capital and startups like TechFetch.

 

Wuzzuf

 

WUZZUF

 

We do intelligent job matching by simulating how “human” recruiters actually think, screen applicants, and communicate with both employers and job seekers.

 

AngelList: angel.co/wuzzuf
Founder: Ameer Sherif
From: Cairo, Egypt
Fun Fact: We managed to survive 3 tough years through the revolution in Egypt and bootstrapped until we reached profitability.

Categories All

500 Adds Super Mentor and Bitcoin Honey Badger to Investment Team

In case you haven’t heard, we’re now DOUBLING our startup efforts by running simultaneous accelerator programs in Mountain View and San Francisco. It’s gonna be a lot of work (goodbye sleep!), so we decided to convince two crazy people to join the ever-growing 500 Startups team:

Bitcoin Honey Badger

 

sean bitcoin

 

First up is Sean Percival, who’s a legit internet badass. He launched his first internet startup in 2006 for a mere $12, then sold it in 2009 at an 835,000% return on investment. He was also the CEO and co-founder of 500 Startups company Wittlebee, and spent some time at MySpace as the VP of Online Marketing.

 

Remember glitter font? He basically invented that.

 

glitter

 

Currently, he’s an advisor at Blockchain and the founder of BubbleCoin. Sean’s one of those crypto currency nerds (and a total overachiever), but that’s kinda why we hired him.

 

As a Venture Partner,  Sean will help us find awesome Bitcoin startups for our accelerator program. Bitcoin is the honey badger of money and 500 is the honey badger of startups, so it’s a perfect match really. Plus, he has really nice hair. We want to learn all his shampooing secrets so we can look half as fabulous as he does.

 

If you want to hear him talk about glitter font and Bitcoin in person, check him out at our our upcoming Bitcoin unconference on March 20.

 

Super Mentor

 

supermarvin

 

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope, it’s just Marvin Liao, a former 500 Startup Super Mentor who was in our office so often we just assumed he was already working for us full-time. We figured we might as well pay him for being here so much.

 

Marvin was at Yahoo for more than a decade (we promise we wont let him change our logo) and has worked in Sales, Biz Dev, Ad Operations, and Marketing all around the globe. He also spent 2 years running online marketing at e-commerce startup Alibris.com (now Monsoon Commerce).

 

As a Venture Partner, he’ll use his x-ray vision to help us find startups for our next 500 batches, and will keep our companies away from kryptonite (aka bad sales and crappy marketing).

 

Think Marvin and Sean would love your startup? Show ‘em what you got applying for our next batch in Mountain View. Do it here: bit.ly/Getin500 (applications close on Friday February 21 at 11:59PM PST!)

 

Join us in welcoming them to the team!

Categories All