Learn the ins & outs of moving to Mountain View – make the most of your time in the 500 Startups program.
By Courtney Powell (Founder & CEO, PublikDemand)
The start of the new 500 Startups cohort is approaching quickly.
Prior to the start of our batch, I found myself scrambling to learn the ins and outs of moving to Mountain View and finding ways to make the most of our time in the program.
Big thanks to all of the 500 family that made us feel at home!
My cofounders and I decided to keep a list of tips for future 500 founders in hopes of making your soon to be busy lives a bit easier. Feel free to reach out if we can help in anyway. #500strong :)
31 Practical Tips for Future 500 Startups Founders
- Rent your place and buy your furniture from a previous 500 team
- Live as close as possible to the office
- Outsource cooking and cleaning as much as possible
- Eat at Vive Sol if you like real Mexican food
- Be nice to the bartenders at St. Stephens
- Don’t jokingly panhandle at Mervs
- Hookah Nites in Palo Alto
- Make a list of target mentors and maximize your office hours with them
- Don’t try and meet with everyone
- Book the conference room
- Best working hours are from 8am-10am and 9pm-2am
- Get to know as many of the other founders as possible, as early as possible
- Share your challenges and be honest with other founders
- Take advantage of 500’s platform relationships
- Ask your batchmates for intros to investors that they believe would be interested in your deal
- Get out of Mountain View for the weekend
- Amber India is the best Indian – order the Gobi Manchurian for an appetizer
- Caltrain is easier than you think
- SJC is your friend
- Jump in the Pacific with your team at least once
- There’s no A/C in the building on the weekends, dress accordingly
- Be nice to Melissa, she’s the nicest, most helpful person ever
- Review past demo day slides and video on SlideShare and LiveStream/500Startups
- Record your pitch and watch it
- Get to demo day early to do the run throughs
- Make sure to have business cards and t-shirts by demo day
- Start fundraising well ahead of demo day
- Lead with traction if you have it
- Celebrate the little wins and don’t beat yourself up (my slides did not work at all on preview day)
- Ship, ship, ship
- Take all advice with a grain of salt
This post was originally posted at Courtney Powell’s blog.
About the guest blogger: Courtney Powell is Founder and CEO of PublikDemand, giving individuals a voice against large corporations and giving corporations an incentive to put their customers before their profits. Her passion for starting companies began at age 20 when she joined Boundless Network, a fledgling startup that quickly become one of the fastest-growing companies in America. She founded LeedSeed in 2009, a marketing automation firm for leading companies. Follow her on Twitter at @CourtneyPowell.