500 Startups week 10 Wrap – Let the pitches begin!

Personal log, earth date 12-14-5,774

Rumor has it this past week was the coldest we have had in the Bay Area in over a decade. It has now warmed back up but this is definitely reflected in the pictures from the batch meeting on Monday (notice the beautiful hats Max & Dave are wearing and Christine’s freezing stance…):

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Most interesting news in the batch meeting is that the demo day in NY is on! So we have a preview day on Jan 22 in Mountain View, Pitch day in MV on Feb 5 and then we are off to NY on Feb 13. We are going to book all the hotels for the batch using OLSET!

After the batch meeting we had a “pitch view party”. We looked at a bunch of pitches from previous batches and learned the good and the bad, Very interesting and insightful.

On Tuesday, Christine Herron from Intel Capital dropped by and told us all about how VCs operate. We missed this presentation as we had the first OLSET investor / advisor / team meeting at that time.

Christine

You can find a recording of the presentation here: http://new.livestream.com/500SAcc/events/2611496

Stephanie Hay came to 500 startups on Wed and Thu and raised a storm! Definitely a couple of the best presentations we had throughout the program and a very informative mentor session. Stephanie has a knack for cutting through any BS and getting right to the point. What is the value you provide, to whom and why the hell are you doing what you are doing?

On Wednesday Stephanie gave a pitch on content for startups and what we should, or shouldn’t have on your website.

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On Thursday Stephanie focused on our pitch on pitch day, what is important, what is not important (mainly what is not important…). Great insights!

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You can find Stephanie’s presentation here: http://new.livestream.com/500SAcc/kickasspitch

Rewind a bit to Wednesday evening. 500 S hosted the Blue Hawaiian accelerator pitch day in MV. We saw pitches from a few very interesting companies. There are some great ideas coming out of Hawaii. They also shared pictures of having board meetings on surfboards and catching waves. If anyone is interested in joining an accelerator in paradise, this is not a bad option (not much money but who cares?).

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They were kind enough to not only pitch but also share some Hawaiian Mai-Thais and Hawaiian food.

Here’s the CityBliss team after a few cocktails 🙂

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And me enjoying a drink:

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The drinks looked good (a bit froofy in my taste):

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On Thursday evening our very own Celso Pita, the CEO of BTCJam gave us a presentation on Bitcoin 101. Amazing how much we don’t know about Bitcoin. 

You can find Celso’s presentation here: http://new.livestream.com/500SAcc/Bitcoin

And then it was Friday and we had pitch practice! 

A few of us volunteered to pitch on this first day, get feedback (some positive, some negative, most very helpful and surprisingly nobody was hurt).

Nick Holland from Populr was the first to go (apparently he pulled an all nighter before this):

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Dave McClure was as gentle as a feather with his feedback (or not)…

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I went second. Fun times. I definitely recommend pitching early as you get the most feedback that way and can improve the most.

We wrapped up the week with a meeting with our POC Parker Thompson and planning the next couple weeks. The OLSET team is working hard this weekend making some final adjustments to our Any.Do partnership in preparation for the GA launch with them this week.

Rumor has it that a bunch of our batch-mates went skydiving this afternoon. I wonder if we should be concerned as we haven’t heard anything from them yet and no pictures were posted on Facebook.

Well, that wraps week 10. The next couple weeks will be quiet as many of the teams are heading home for the holidays.

Have a great weekend

Gadi

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