500 Startups week 4 wrap!

Personal Log Earth date 11-3-5774

Writing a bit later than usual this week.

Just got back from a whirlwind 48-hour trip to Vegas and LA celebrating a birthday and a wedding with a couple cousins. No pictures will be posted in this blog (it was Vegas after all).

So, back to week 4 at 500 Sstartups!

The fun continued this week. I’ll start with some shout-outs for our batch companies that had some achievements / recognition this week.

Our friends at ViralGains won the $100k mass challenge prize. You can read more about this here:  http://www.necn.com/08/30/13/MassChallenge-finalist-ViralGains/landing_business.html?blockID=851085 – great job and looking forward to having you back in the bay area.

Tom from 3 Sourcing (www.3sourcing.com) got written up in the SV business journal for his interesting life choice while out in the bay area :). More here:  http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2013/11/03/roughing-it-in-silicon-valley-a-man.html

We had our first field trips to Google and FaceBook this week. Unfortunately I missed these due to a few other meetings I could not miss but fret not, Duleep “d2” from Anyadir Education was kind enough to contribute to my blog.

Google trip: Forty 500 Startups batch-mates packed into a Google Bus to explore the land of the Google-ites. From the colorful red, blue, yellow, green Google bicycles that dotted the landscape to the colorful umbrellas in the various patios, it was like a kid in a candy store, as colors were in full display. We had lightening presentations on Google Wallet, Fundraising, YouTube and YouTube API, Google maps and Cloud Services. These were followed by parallel breakaway sessions on each of these topics for about 45 minutes. It was fast, short, sweet and simple. We wrapped the visit with a walk through the sprawling Google campus, a trek through time with a visit to the site where we learned of the Wrath of Kahn footnote, and we stood on the very site where if you looked right you saw Mozilla and if you turned left you saw Chrome, the two most popular browsers were created. And how could one forget the short history on the birth of Adobe, the naming of Acrobat, and then there we were face to face with our android dessert! At the end of it all, 40 happy faces clutched their new prized Google Tshirt, a small memoir of a day spent in Google-dom!

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D2 looks very happy with his Google bicycle here:

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Monday evening was the Facebook visit. D2 reports: A packed room with 150 folks who wanted to learn everything about mobile ads. A smart team of presenters dressed in FB Blue in quick succession walked us through what has been developed and how we can leverage FB mobile ads for our respective businesses. The nearly one hour presentation was followed by a quick dinner, and then out trooped all the young experts who discussed 1-1 all possible situations and questions one could possibly have in a 30 minute time span. The established well funded companies were there as were several of the 500 start ups. For many (if not all) of us, it was more about questions related to FB marketing since none had still ventured into the mobile ad space. Something to think about! BTW, you can read the Anadir blog here: Anyadir.quora.com

We took a little breather from mentor meetings this week. Instead we started working with our batch co-founders to get their feedback. Some great learning interacting with the other companies in the batch. Very much looking forward to continuing that this week.

We had the first 500 Startups Halloween party on Thursday. Many famous guests showed up. See if you can spot anyone you’ve seen in movies recently here…

Haloween party

On Saturday the batch had a little social BBQ hosted by Alex from Grata and others who live at the Avalon close to the office. Some great time for bonding and talking about everything not related to startups, pitching or fundraising. These words were banned from the discussion…

1398676_10202070585466750_1559058680_oThere are a lot of events coming up next week and we need to start focusing on our presentation at the PhocusWright Travel Innovation Summit coming up in a couple weeks. OLSET is one of a few startups selected to present at this prestigious travel event. More details here: http://phocuswrightconference.com/travel-innovation-summit

Looking at my post you would think we don’t have any time to get stuff done. Amazingly enough the team does find time to focus and we are ready to launch with our first partner (GetGoing) this week.

4-weeks in, the ride continues….

Have a great week!!!

 

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