Dave McClure, founder of incubator and venture fund 500 Startups, says his firm helps its companies succeed in ways other venture firms do not.
Unlike other incubators, 500 Startups offers seed investments and a new micro-fund model along with design, data, and distribution expertise via its network of mentors with strong ties to prominent Silicon Valley companies. Likewise, Greenough Consulting Group helps its clients succeed in ways other outsourced financial and accounting firms do not. In the case of 500 Startups, GCG helped with everything from structuring the fund to leasing the office space.
McClure engaged GCG early, even before his fund’s first close, recognizing the significant assistance a trusted advisor and colleague could make at that stage. “As a startup ourselves, we needed a partner who could both help with our complex fund issues as well as with our portfolio companies. GCG’s guidance and counsel began when 500 Startups was just an idea, and it’s continued to this day. In a fast-paced environment like ours, I need to know that I have reliable and professional support. We couldn’t operate without that.”
With a portfolio of more than 120 companies so far, 500 Startups are investing at a rate faster than any other venture fund. And GCG is there every step of the way, essentially acting as CFO, accounting, and human resource departments, that handle the financial and administrative matters so that McClure can concentrate on finding and nurturing the portfolio companies.
“When you’re running this fast in startup mode, it’s incredibly helpful to have someone else keeping an eye on the budget and finances,” says McClure. “At the same time, we need flexibility and creativity to help us reach our business goals. GCG does all of that for us.”