Preview: 500 Startups Demo Day

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The clock boldly stated 46:23:50. 46 days, 23 hours, 50 minutes. On the bottom right hand corner of the screen, an ominous button reads ADD MORE STRESS?  

“What does that do?” I wondered.

[Mouse over, CLICK] A counter for seconds appeared. Now the clock reads 46:23:50:43, 42, 41…

“That’s the amount of time we have left until demo day,” the founder stated with a smile.

To me, there’s been no conversation or scenario that has encompassed the feel of a startup accelerator quite like that. Exciting, fast-paced, and stressful on another level.

For top tier programs, there is a compelling combination of promise and mystique that creates a unique drive for entrepreneurs, who once accepted, become ready to put life circumstances on hold during program durations to grow their startups. The difference here, is the quick injection of capital and guidance to create bullet train-like growth.

Build, fail, learn, and improve FAST. It’s a new way to think “business” school. As Dave McClure, founder of 500 Startups quoted from the Economist puts it…

“I’d rather get $100,000 and be a case study than pay $100,000 to read case studies.”

Thursday: 500 Startups’ Batch 8 Demo Day…

And we’ll be right there to cover all the action!

We haven’t had the opportunity to sit in on a 500 demo day yet, but from what we know, the whole day event will be a combination of on-stage demos with scheduled floor time to get face to face with a room of high profile angel investors, VC partners, potential partners, and customers.

Only after seeing a few colleagues go through the gauntlet of an accelerator program can I now grasp (and appreciate) the meta behind the stress clock. One would think the application, interview, and highly competitive acceptance are the most intense parts of building a startup in an accelerator.

Really though, the program itself, leading into demo day is just the first leg of the race. “A sprint to the startling line,” as I’ve been told.

So for now, we can only catch a glimpse of what some of these startup founders are experiencing before Thursday’s all-important demo day, and we wish each of them all the best.

We’ll be right there to cover the action via Twitter and provide a recap of some of our favorite startups from the batch!

Introducing Batch 8


Tim Wut

Tim Wut was once in pursuit of a paper-laden career in bankruptcy law. He now writes for TechZulu, covering startups and founder stories. He explores the inspiration that drives entrepreneurs and shares lessons learned in the startup trenches. Writer by trade, storyteller at heart.

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