Paul Singh, the Washington DC based entrepreneur, who became a household name in many startup circles while he was a partner at 500 startups, has began sharing much more about his startup Dashboard.io. We had started hearing rumors that Singh was stepping down at 500 startups during SXSW and it was confirmed in March.
Singh returned to his DC roots to continue growing dashboard.io a project he says he started on the back burner. Dashboard.io quickly grew into a huge tool that 500 startups founders and other accelerator startups could use to reach investors, share information and talk with each other.
We recently took a trip to Silicon Valley and had the chance to talk with several 500 startups founders who found the dashboard extremely useful.
Singh explains on the dashboard.io blog how the idea came about:
It began with the innocuous “initial commit” and a pitch of “Let me peek at your traffic data. I promise to keep it private, and I’ll anonymously show you how you stand up to everyone else on the platform.”
Once he started the initial project and it made it’s way on to Hacker News over 300 startups started flooding the system and adding their data. Soon after that Singh “turned off the spigot” and went back to focusing on 500 Startups. 500 was still young at the time and they resorted to using Google Groups to communicate with founders and mentors.
“The turning point came when a well known founder and mentor had enough and, frustrated and angry, handed in their resignation. They couldn’t see through the clutter to mentor our community, and just like that, one of our best was gone. That same night I revived Dashboard.io with a renewed mission — to build a better platform for the 500 family.” Singh writes.
As 500 startups grew, so did the internal dashboard system. The dashboard system has allowed 500 Startups founders, and 400 accelerator companies to communicate internally with VC’s, Angels and Mentors. Sarah Ware, CEO and Founder at 500 Startups alum Markerly, told us “The dashboard system gives us access to people that may not necessarily correspond with us outside of the system.” Being a 500 Startups company certainly gives a startup credibility but Ware added “potential investors and mentors get back to us quicker when the message comes through the system.”
Fast forward to today and Singh seems motivated by the ability to really help young companies grow through the use of dashboard.io. The tool, coupled with AngelList provides an unparalleled resource for startups. The best part is it’s free.
Singh recently explained in a Facebook post how dashboard.io will make money.
“we give the software away completely free — and in a Yammer-like way. We use the aggregate anonymous data to create content and sell portions of it. Think of us as the Bloomberg / Motley Fool of the private markets. We give away a ton of content (soon) via our blog and then monetize on the extremes”
One of Singh’s biggest priorities is confidentiality and privacy making two big promises to the Dashboard community.
- I will keep your information safe. I will never sell or share your data with anyone, including your investors.
- I will use that data anonymously to benefit our entire industry and move it forward.
Check out Dashboard.io here.