500 startups later: Dave McClure rates his own startup and the “genius emerges slowly” theory


When you come to a 500 Startups demo day event, you’d be hard-pressed to miss Dave McClure. Clad in his black 500 Startups t-shirt, jeans and flip-flops, he is a force on stage. McClure grabs the mic to introduce each startup before its pitch, jamming with the founders when their intro music comes on, and heckling a few of them in the process. That means that in the span of a few hours, it’s not uncommon to see McClure do the robot or dance as hard as the founders themselves.

This past June, McClure and his team had reason to celebrate — 500 Startups, the seed investment venture capital firm he founded in 2010, hit its namesake number of investments. But more broadly, McClure and his team are growing into their role as investors, figuring out how to scale the business. My colleague Katie Fehrenbacher profiled McClure’s investment thesis…

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Are these the hottest startups around, or the next billion-dollar exits?


LinkedIn (s lnkd) has released its second-annual ranking of the startups that Silicon Valley engineers most want to work for, and enterprise IT carried the day. Hadoop and flash storage seem especially hot, with Cloudera topping the list. However, the rankings (assuming they really do say what they purport to say) might suggest more about where seasoned engineers think they can cash in on an acquisition or IPO than they do about what technologies engineers really want to work on.

Here’s the list in its entirety, along with anecdotal evidence to support my claim:

  1. Cloudera (hired new CEO, has raised boatloads of money and talking IPO)
  2. Dropbox (has raised boatloads of money and is talking IPO)
  3. Violin Memory (has raised boatloads of money and talking IPO)
  4. Nimble Storage (has raised boatloads of money and talking IPO)
  5. Hortonworks (has raised quite a bit of money

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