500VN July 2017 Newsletter

Three days ago, we were made aware of behavior by Dave McClure, co-founder of 500 Startups, towards some number of women in the tech industry.  After mention of one incident in a New York Times article500 Startups top management shared a blog post that they had already become aware of allegations a few months ago and had transitioned Dave out of day-to-day operations.  Dave followed up a day later with his own blog post taking responsibility for his actions and apologizing to all affected.  But as it became clearer that more needed to be done, Christine Tsai (co-founder and CEO of 500 Startups) asked for and received Dave’s resignation.  Meanwhile, more incidents by Dave continue to surface.

We at 500 Startups Vietnam have no tolerance for that sort of behavior.  We empathize greatly with those who are directly harmed by it every day all around the world, in every industry.  So to hear about it coming from someone “so close to home” makes it all the more disappointing and shocking to us.

That said, 500 Startups is much bigger than any one person.  We have no reason to believe that there is a pattern of harassment at our company. Moreover, we think the company remains committed to our shared and enduring belief that innovation can come from anyone, anywhere.   This belief is reflected in how half of our managing partners are women and more than 400 of our portfolio companies are female-founded.  This is also reflected in a number of women coming out with their own stories of support.  For example, as shared by Ran Ma (co-founder, Siren Care, Batch 18):

“I believe that 500 Startups stood for and continues to stand as a bastion of inclusiveness in tech. 500 may have been founded by Dave McClure, but today, 500 is made up of 100+ diverse individuals, and 1000s of diverse founders. 500 serves as a vital source of early stage funding and a welcoming community for many female, minority, international, LGBTQ and otherwise underrepresented founders. Let us remember this.”

Such stories in no way condone or excuse Dave’s behavior that has come to light.  But they do serve as helpful reminders of our efforts, just as Dave’s behavior reminds us that there’s still a lot of work to do.  We eagerly roll up our sleeves and get back to work.


Team 500 Startups Vietnam

Vietnam in the News

  • Vietnam Rejoins Club of 6%-GDP-Growth Nations as Exports Surge.Bloomberg. 6/29
  • Vietnam manufacturing picks up in June. “Vietnam’s manufacturing sector picked up last month…thanks to a sharp rise in new orders and production.” Financial Times. 7/2
  • Vietnam named among world’s fastest growing travel destinations. A report by the United Nations World Tourism Organization ranked Vietnam’s tourism growth as seventh in the world. VN Express International. 6/30
  • How Vietnam learned to stop poaching and love its beasts. An OZY feature on the decline of the poaching trade in Vietnam. OZY. 6/28.

500 Startups + INSEAD: VC Unlocked Asia
November 6-10 at the INSEAD Asia Campus in Singapore

Join us at the next session where INSEAD faculty and 500 Startups partners will lead current and aspiring investors through a comparison of the startup investing landscape across different countries in Asia. Spots are limited. Apply now here.

Vietnam Tech in the News

  • Focus on impacting human lives rather than trying to be a unicorn.Eddie is interviewed by e27 regarding Vietnam’s dynamic startup culture, 500 Startups’ future plans, and his key learnings. e27. 6/21
  • Turner makes ‘significant’ minority stake investment in POPS Worldwide. POPs manages the country’s top YouTube channel with a music station that boasts 3.3 million subscribers and 3.6 billion lifetime views. e27. 6/23
  • Uber and Grab Changing Vietnam’s Motorbike Culture. Some Xe Om, or motorbike taxi, drivers lose out on business. VOA. 6/28

Upcoming Events

  • SURF 2017, July 21-22, Da Nang. Hosted by the Da Nang Business Incubator (DNES), SURF features businesses and startups in Da Nang, Vietnam and other emerging communities. Event Page
  • Batch 21 Demo Day, August 1, Computer History Museum, Mountain View. A one-day event for active & accredited investors to check out our hottest accelerator & Series A portfolio companies. Event Page
  • Pre-Money, September 7, San Francisco, CA.A one-day event about the most disruptive strategies, models & technologies for the future of venture capital. Event Page
  • Innovatube Frontier Summit, July 30, Hanoi. Covering 4 sectors of smart tech, including AI, IoT, Blockchain and VR/AR. This event gathers bright minds to share their knowledge in frontier technologies & how to implement them in real-world projects. Event Page
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