Personal Log earth date 1-2-5,774,
Our batch 007 hasn’t even wrapped up and this week batch 008 kicked off up in San Francisco. This is the new 500 Startups strategy. 4 batches a year, 2 in Mountain View and 2 in SF.
So, what did we have this week?
Most of the focus was on prep for next week’s demo day – woo hoo, but as usual at 500 there were a lot more afoot…
But, before the week actually kicked off, many of our batch-mates got together at the BTCJam complex to celebrate a beautiful weekend in the Bay Area with food and much drink.
Due to the batch 8 kickoff, batch 7 got no love on Monday and this was the first time we did not have a Monday batch meeting. Well, we will really be in trouble if we can’t do without them as we only have 1 left before we leave the nest.
Apparently the 500 S office in the city is not quite ready yet so their kickoff was a bit improvised…
We were compensated by having Stephanie Palmeri
@stephpalmeri from SoftTech VC ran pitch prep on Monday and provided some great feedback to many of the teams.
On Tuesday we had a bunch of meetings in SF so did not make it down to Mountain View but there were many things going on. We did manage to remotely join the fireside chat with Pierre-Olivier Latour from EverPix:
Pierre shared a lot of valuable information regarding what to do, what not to do and what could be done better based on his experience!
Our team huddled in our shared office @WSGRSoma to view the live stream:
On Wednesday afternoon there was more pitch prep followed by the formal batch 8 kickoff. Great opportunity to share our knowledge and catch up with founders from past batches and the newbies from batch 8. We heard their initial pitches and while they have a LOT of work ahead of them (wow, did we ever sound that green?), there seem to be some awesome companies in this batch.
Parker Thompson did a great job corralling a horde of founders and keeping us on track.
The kickoff was at the very pimped out Pivotal labs office…
Thursday was the Chinese New Year. Goodbye year of the Snake, Hello year of the Horse! The BoutyHunter team celebrated the year with some the customary ping pong game (well, I am quite sure this had nothing to do with the New Years but notice how quickly Hana moves) and great Chinese food.
And those of us who couldn’t make it to the dinner went to a Mongolian BBQ to prepare for the nightly pitch prep.
Great catching up with the EquityZen, PopBasic, Populr, OLSET and WePlann teams over dinner and surprisingly fantastic ice cream.
And then we had the traditional Thursday night pitch prep with Maneesh Arora and James Cham.
Maneesh and James provided extremely valuable feedback, focused on why our products are better and how we can better convey our messages.
Massimo from AdEspresso won the prize for best visual deck.
The last pitch prep session was on Friday and we also got the new OLSET shirts:
The other exciting news for the week is that we found an office in San Francisco that we will be moving into on Feb 17.
2 More weeks to go!
Wish us luck with demo day on Wed!
Have a great weekend.