Tag Archives: 500 Startups

Startups are not like real estate. So why invest in them at all?

Another thing that’s a challenge is that sometimes a very simple bet on real estate has a much higher return than startups with a lower failure profile. In fact in many emerging markets investing in a real estate plays probably just an index better on the overall country’s growth and a simpler way to get access to that growth than startups. Continue reading

Silicon Valley’s Secret Revealed

Dave McClure founder of the famed Silicon Valley venture fund 500 Startups has played a key role in investing in startups around the world. 500 Startups has been instrumental in amplifying the startups ecosystem especially in emerging markets making small bets on startups that the world would probably have never heard of.

But according to Dave, entrepreneurs and investors in these emerging markets have got it wrong in their quest to be like Silicon Valley. While on stage at Startup Istanbul 2015 he broke down reasons why we are getting it all wrong.

What’s Silicon Valley’s secret is a question almost everybody is asking nowdays. Speaking on what it really is he said “The dirty little secret is that Silicon Valley isn’t really a place, it’s a state of mind. It’s a  belief in the face of insanity. It’s a belief that you will be successful in the reality of the story that 80% of sort of startups will fail.Probably more than 80% of startups”

Dave gave a classic example on what belief in taking risk is like in the Valley ”We are surrounded by crazy people who know the odds and still jump off the cliff. You look to the guy on the left that girl on the right, You know you guys gonna fail ! I’m gonna succeed!  You jump up off the cliff.”

He underlines that the key factor in these acts of insanity is that they are not just individual, they are collective. And so doing individual acts of insanity might not be seen but doing collective acts of insanity is seen in fact it’s smart.

“We have to convince other people to jump with us we have to jump off that cliff together hopefully with different types of planes and hopefully one of those planes start to fly” Dave says.

However entrepreneurs in Turkey,Pakistan,Kenya and in any other emerging market are mostly heard complaining about the lack of capital for their startups. Dave had this cracking answer to them “The biggest problem is not usually a lack of ability a lack of capital or a lack of opportunity the biggest challenge is a lack of confidence in your head. You think you’re not as good as Silicon Valley entrepreneurs”

Key takeaways from his speech are that Silicon Valley is comprised of people who have come to the Valley from other places. They are no better or worse than us. They are us. The only difference is that they have the insanity and the confidence that they might actually win and we need to capture that mindset as well.

Meanwhile he also states that it’s easy to build a business anywhere than it was to build a business in Silicon Valley twenty years ago. Twenty years ago people also weren’t excited to build businesses at Silicon Valley.

To sum it up “It’s cheaper it’s easier there’s more customers there’s more opportunity get up your ass and get started.

You can watch the whole talk here

Writer: Paul Njoroge

Startup Istanbul 2015 Stage Talk: Selcuk Atli

Selcuk Atli is currently Entrepreneur in Residence at 500 Startups. He also co-founded two companies in the Silicon Valley: SocialWire and Boostable, which is San Francisco based advertising platform for marketplace sellers backed by YCombinator. Selcuk was one of the speakers at Startup Istanbul 2015 Conference. Continue reading

Startup Istanbul 2015: Special Interview with Dave McClure

In a special interview for Etohum, the world-known angel investor and co-founder of the business incubator 500 Startups Dave McClure announced the launch of 500 Istanbul, $15M investment fund in Turkey. The micro-fund is focused on the Turkish entrepreneurs and the Turkish ecosystem and has the ambition to do 100 or more investments in the next few years. Continue reading

Andrea Barrica at Startup Istanbul 2015: 5 Lessons on How to Bootstrap a Startup After $1M

Andrea started with the story of inDinero, that although they were growing rapidly with a huge press support, traction and over 20k business customers, they weren’t making money. Steve Blank, one of their investors, gave the following advice: “Now that you know you failed, you can do something about it”.

Don’t Look Back

After she told her experience, she started with the first of the five lessons, “Don’t look back”. They had to make lots of difficult decisions, once they figured out what exactly wasn’t working. They needed to have difficult choices to preserve the little amount of money they had left to begin again. They fired everyone and delete all data for non-paying users. Continue reading

Dave McClure at Startup Istanbul: Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets

Dave McClure was one of the speakers at Startup Istanbul 2015 Conference. He spoke about the challenges, which the entrepreneurship ecosystems in emerging markets are facing and pinpointed some of the most problematic aspects as follows: the lack of investors; the lack of entrepreneurs; the lack of many paying customers; startups have no traction and have no idea how to get it; there aren’t many exits and most of the existing ones are small; in emerging markets sometimes investing in real estate is better bet than investing in startups; most accelerators are not that great; employees don’t understand equity; most of the startups never go global; and most founders and investors in the emerging markets don’t think that they are as good as the founders and the investors in Silicon Valley. Continue reading

Andrea Barrica Will Be at Startup Istanbul on 03-05 October

andreaAndrea Barrica, who is Venture Partner at 500Startups, an entrepreneur, pitch coach, co-founder of inDinero, and co-founder of SlideChef, will be one of the speakers at Startup Istanbul 2015 event. Don’t miss the chance to watch her stage presentation, fill your registration form now.

Watch the presentation of Andrea Barrica – The Art of The Pitch – at Portland Startup Summit in the video below.

Dave McClure Will Be at Startup Istanbul on 03-05 October

It is very exciting to announce that Dave McClure, who is entrepreneur, world-known angel investor and co-founder of the business incubator 500 Startups, will be on stage at Startup Istanbul 2015 event and, along with Steve Blank, will be member of the jury of Startup Istanbul Challenge.

The success of connected2.me, the winner of Startup Istanbul Challenge 2014, proved the unlimited opportunities, which Startup Istanbul event brings to the talented entrepreneurs. The winning of the 1st Award previous year was a great success for Connected2.me and didn’t only secure investment fromDave McClure and 500 Startups, but also led to the relocation of the company’s headquarter to the Silicon Valley. Later in 2014, the company received 515.000 USD  fund from several investors. If you want to be part of the challenge, register now by filling the Startup Application.

Startup Istanbul Challenge is the Path to Success: Connected2.me Announces 4 Million Users

The global social network connected2.me has just announced that they have reached the impressive number of 4 million users. They are also rapidly growing on mobile by reaching over 515 thousand monthly active mobile users. Connected2.me is available for Android and iOS devices.

Based in Silicon Valley, the company is now planning a new product, targeting specifically the USA market. It is expected Connected2.me to have by the end of the year a revenue of 1 million Turkish lira.

The winning of the 1st Award of Startup Challenge at Startup Istanbul 2014 was a great success for Connected2.me and didn’t only secure investment from Dave McClure and 500 Startups, but also led to the relocation of the company’s headquarter to the Silicon Valley. Later in 2014, the company received515.000 USD  fund from several investors.

The success of Connected2.me once again proves the unlimited opportunities, which Startup Istanbul event brings to the talented entrepreneurs. If you want to register for the challenge, click here.

Startup Istanbul Winner, Connected2.me got investment from 500 Startups

Startup Istanbul has finished with lots of beautiful memories, business connections and opportunities. The event was held at Lutfi Kirdar Convention Center with the participation of over 1,000 people. The finalist 15 startups made presentations in front of our grand jury ,Rahul Sood, Jason Ball  and Dave McClure.

The selected first 3 startups are:

1. Connected2.me (Turkey)
2. Lix Pen (Belgium)
3. Silkroad Images (Jordan)

And the great news is, Dave McClure, 500 Startups has invested connected2.me and the Founders’ll be moving to U.S in a few weeks.

Iranian startup, Zarin Pal took the honor award.

We would like to thank Startup Istanbul’s main sponsor SAP Innovation Center Turkey, Microsoft, IBM, TEB Private Banking, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, ICC, Turkcell, Mastercard, Amazon WS, PayPal, Seamless, Bilyoner, Sendloop, Inventram, Avantgarde Hotel, Secure Drive, Marginal Porter Novelli, Pozitiftv for performing live broadcast and also the team of Event Agency, KTH.