Dave McClure is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist known as a super-angel investor, which is basically an angel investor who makes investing in startup and emerging companies his or her primary occupation. McClure has founded several technology companies and invested in countless startups and emerging companies; his venture capital firm 500Startups specializes in startup acceleration. Furthermore, he’s held corporate positions at a variety of well-known companies and he’s worked as consultant or advisor for dozens more.
Dave McClure grew up in West Virginia and went to Johns Hopkins University, where he graduated in 1988 with an engineering degree in mathematical sciences.
A few years later, he settled in Silicon Valley and, in 1994, as the Web was in its infant stages, he started an Internet and e-commerce consulting firm called Aslan Computing. After much success building the company, McClure sold Aslan four years later to Servinet/Panurgy.
All Over Silicon Valley
For several years afterward, Dave McClure held various programming and consulting positions with Silicon Valley giants like Microsoft and Intel. He had a corporate position as marketing director at PayPal from 2001 to 2004. In 2005, he launched Simply Hired, an online job search site, and ran its marketing until 2006.
McClure continued consulting and, in 2007, helped teach a class at Stanford on Facebook and other social networking sites, the country’s first class of its kind. After that, he worked for Facebook and Founders Fund running both their startup incubator program called fbFund and seed investment program FF Angel.
After his experience running those startup incubator programs, Dave McClure decided to launch 500Startups.com, a venture capitalist firm that invests in and advises startups and emerging tech companies.
According to McClure’s own blog, 500Hats, his startup accelerator firm has invested in hundreds of companies worldwide. The following is a partial list:
· Credit Karma
· Wildfire Interactive
He’s helped raise billions of dollars for these companies or helped raised their value so much that other, bigger companies could purchase them for extraordinary sums. For example, Twilio raised well over $100 million, Mint.com was acquired by Intuit for $170 million, and Credit Karma was valued in 2015 at over $3 billion.
A Multi-Faceted Man
The question really should be “What is David McClure NOT interested in?”
He’s spent nearly 3 decades in Silicon Valley as, he states on 500Hats, a self-described “internet marketing nerd” as well as an entrepreneur, blogger, developer, programmer, investor, startup advisor, and more. He travels the world advising companies and giving speeches at technology seminars or entrepreneurial conferences.
With all these interests, it’s almost impossible to imagine where his next idea will come from or in what field. He’s widely read in microfinance and economic innovations and he’s always on the forefront of the next big thing.
One thing is definite – if you have a great idea for a tech startup and it’s got real promise, you might be hearing from Dave McClure.