500 Startups PR director launches her own communications startup

The bug to start up a business afflicts many people in Silicon Valley, including those in communications.

The latest PR person to hang out a shingle is Kelsey Cullen, who has been PR director at 500 Startups for the past two years, heading up the firm’s global communications strategy.

Cullen, 29, said she has launched her own agency, KCPR, which will specialize in representing VC firms and tech startups. KCPR’s initial clients are Talkdesk, a developer of cloud-based call center software, and 500 Startups.

Cullen told VCJ that later this month she is leaving her full-time position at 500 Startups. But she said 500 Startups has no immediate plans to hire an in-house successor since she will fulfill the role externally.

Cullen added that the PR team at 500 was she and co-founder Dave McClure: “I expect that dynamic will continue.”

She noted that in the past year she traveled to 20 countries in her work for 500, which operates microfunds and startup programs in 50 countries.

Cullen previously was with Sparkpr, where she worked with such VC firms as DCM Ventures and General Catalyst. Before that, she was at Access Communications, whose clients included Foundation Capital.

She said she’s also on the brink of landing a couple of other VC firms as clients, as well.

“There are a significant number of new VC firms launching — for example, former founders switching over to the VC side — and international VC firms who are trying to build their Silicon Valley presence,” she said. “I’ll also be working with local firms that are well-known but more so elevating their partners within the firms.”

Kelsey Cullen, head of the communications firm KCPR.