Via this announcement, 500 startups will be more aggressive in India and NYC. Why? “They’re both teeming with vibrant growth and change, not just in technology and business, but also in culture, fashion, sports, music, and media. This growth has been matched recently by a tremendous burst of innovation in tech startups, and people using this technology to solve real everyday problems,” believes 500 Startups.
Pankaj Jain has been involved in the Indian startup scenario for the last five years as an entrepreneur, community builder at Startup Weekend, mentor and investor. Most recently, Pankaj was consulting for the TLabs accelerator in the New Delhi area where he was focused on deal sourcing and running the accelerator. Prior to moving to India in 2007, Pankaj spent over ten years running technology and operations in NYC for multiple hedge funds, including LTCM. Pankaj will be focusing on investing in Indian startups, investor relations and building community across India.
Shai has worked a lot with early stage startups and venture capital firms for over 10 years. Shai was most recently with Silicon Valley Bank, running their early stage startup outreach group in NYC, which included managing relationships with accelerators, co-working facilities, angels and seed funds. Shai will continue to be based in NYC, expanding the reach of 500 Startups. Shai's role will be combination of investing in NYC/ Boston startups, cultivating L.P. relationships, improving operations, assisting portfolio companies and community building in NYC.
With the addition of Shai and Pankaj, the 500 investment team has grown to a total of 9 people (in addition to Dave McClure, Christine Tsai, Paul Singh, Bedy Yang (Brazil), George Kellerman, Cesar Salazar (Mexican.VC), and Santiago Zavala (Mexican.VC)).
500Startups has around 50-75 investments in NYC, including MediaLets, Snapette, MakerBot, Bombfell, 72Lux, Chalkable, Simple, DailyWorth. We also have ~10-20 mentors based in NYC.
The firm also has 10+ investments in Indian companies, including Teliport.me, MyGola, CucumberTown. 500 Startups is increasing activity in India, most recently in collaborating with Rajesh Sawhney’s GSF India Accelerator. The newest accelerator batch kicks off Thursday 10/4. They’ll be announcing them later this month (> 50% international) and this was also the first group with which we used an open application process.
More on the 500 Startups blog.