Apple won't buy your smashed old iPhone, but iCracked (YC W12) will— and they'll pick it up from you too

Apple is expected to announce iPhones this week, and some people are already lining up to get them.

The mania surrounding the anticipated iPhone 5S and 5C will prompt many to upgrade their phones, but what if yours is in less than pristine condition? As in, smashed in a thousand pieces?

No worries. A California startup called iCracked can fix it on the spot for you. And now it's launching a full-scale buyback service for older Apple devices.

iCracked began as a casual college repair service but now has a network of hundreds of repair technicians called iTechs who make house calls. They can meet you and revive your busted-up iPhone, iPod, or iPad, even if it's in shockingly bad shape. They can also buy your device.

"We think buyback is going to be the biggest part of our business," iCracked co-founder Anthony Martin tells CNET. "Out ultimate goal is to manage the complete life cycle of your device."

iCracked has licensed affiliate technicians in the US and 10 other countries. They undergo intensive training before they can be summoned for on-the-spot repairs, which typically take 10 to 30 minutes and cost anywhere from $70 to $170. Starting next week in the San Francisco Bay Area, they will offer in-person buyback services too.

In an increasingly crowded marketplace for used devices, that's a convenient way to sell your old iPhone. But iCracked is also hoping to offer protection plans for about $6 a month with a $20 deductible.

Zapier (YC S12) brings integration with 200 web services to Google Glass

If you’re one of the few lucky (and rich) people to be on-board with Google Glass, you may be happy with the handful of official apps available on the fledgling platform. But then again, you’d probably like more.

Though there is a slew of cool and quirky third-party apps available for Google Glass, most of the big-brand digital companies have yet to embrace Google’s connected specs because, well, not many people are using them. However, for those that are already walking the streets yelling instructions into thin air, the good folks at Zapier are looking to help.

Much like IFTTT, Zapier is a service designed to sync data between Web apps through pre-established triggers and actions. Why? So you can automate tasks between online services without having to wait for developers to roll-out integrations themselves. And last week, the company switched on its own integration with Google Glass.

Read the full article at The Next Web

SpoonRocket (YC S13) in the Mercury News: Healthy meals delivered in 10 minutes for $6

There's a new business in town whose name, SpoonRocket, suggests the duality of food and speed, letting customers know they'll get meals delivered quickly. Founders and UC Berkeley graduates Anson Tsui and Steven Hsiao have developed a model that promises to deliver healthy, organic meals to your door in 10 minutes or less.

Add to the equation that the food is tasty and healthy and only costs $6 and it's not hard to understand why the SpoonRocket concept is taking off.

Delivery time and cost are the attention-getters, but the food itself is what keeps customers asking for more. Two dishes are offered every day, including one vegan or vegetarian. Executive-chef David Cramer designs and creates the menu daily, working from scratch with fresh ingredients -- local, organic, seasonal produce from GreenLeaf and all-natural, free-range, and meats free of antibiotics and growth hormones.

Entrees such as ginger soy vegetarian stir fry, cola carnitas, crimini brochette and osso buco of pork catch the eye of menu browsers.

Tsui and Hsiao got their first taste of the food business in college, when late-night, inebriated hunger pangs led them to start Pho Me Now, an instant success delivering Vietnamese food. Upon graduation they combined all their financial resources to add Munchy Munchy Hippos, burritos and eventually an online food court.

"We continued for 3½ years, doing well and making money but we realized that essentially we were selling junk food to children," Tsui said. "We felt really bad because we understand how important good nutrition is. We needed to come up with something that was healthy, fast and cheap."

SpoonRocket, a new model of delivery service, allows them to do it all.

Read the full article at SJ Mercury

Rent Metrics (YC S12) helps landlords set rents with better data: Capturing 500M data points boiled down to 6M listings

Setting rents features prominently among the slew of challenges that landlords and property managers face in managing their inventory.

They must spend significant time trawling listings and pumping sources — sometimes even posing as renters — in order to figure out how to competitively price their units.

Enter RentMetrics.

The data aggregator aims to cut the legwork out of setting rents by distilling a mountain of listing data into accurate pricing information.

Read the full article at Inman News

Facebook VP of Platform Mike Vernal on why they bought Parse (YC S11)

VentureBeat: Facebook has a history of making and often open-sourcing great developer tools. How does Parse fit into that?

Vernal: I think about Facebook’s mission as helping people connect, wiring up the world. For our developer mission, we want to extend the same thing to them. We want them to be able to build apps and reach everyone in the world.

On the build side, we know from our own experience how painful it is to have to maintain five or six apps. One of the things we want to do is make it easy to build for all platforms and reach all people on Earth.

The biggest challenge today is supporting all the different platforms that exist, and Parse makes that really easy.

Read the full article at VentureBeat

Alexis Ohanian embarks on an epic 100 stop college tour promoting entrepreneurship: Coming to a campus near you!

Y Combinator Ambassador-to-the-East Alexis Ohanian writes about his upcoming book tour on the Reddit Blog:

I'm about to embark on an epic 100 stop, 65 college, 5 month long tour promoting internet entrepreneurship. Sure, it’s technically for my book, Without Their Permission, which is both a blueprint and a rallying cry for the open internet and entrepreneurship, but what I want to promote is how our generation has a tremendous opportunity to do amazing things online. We're all still figuring out just what kind of an impact the internet will have on the world -- let's be the ones doing it.

This isn’t just my story, it’s the stories of your successful alums as well as current students, all learning from and contributing to the greatest platform for ideas the world has ever seen (the internet). All told, the student bodies of all the schools I’m visiting is just shy of 1,000,000! I told you it’s going to be epic.

Let's hang out IRL, high-5, and I'll doodle you a reddit alien while you alternate between asking me anything and telling me about your favorite subreddit.

School Status Date Alum Interview Subreddit
Cooper Union Yes! 10/7/2013
University of Michigan In Progress 10/21/2013
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Yes! 10/23/2013
University of Minnesota Yes! 10/24/2013
Washington University - Saint Louis In Progress 10/28/2013
Vanderbilt In Progress 10/29/2013
University of Texas At Austin Yes! 10/30/2013
Tulane In Progress 11/1/2013 Erik Martin
George Washington University Yes! 11/4/2013
Georgetown University In Progress 11/5/2013
University of Maryland College Park Yes! 11/6/2013
University of Virginia Yes! 11/8/2013
College of William and Mary In Progress 11/9/2013
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Yes! 11/11/2013
Duke University Yes! 11/12/2013
Wake Forest University In Progress 11/14/2013
Rutgers University Yes! 11/14/2013
Virginia Tech Yes! 11/15/2013
Georgia Institute of Technology Yes! 11/17/2013
University of Georgia In Progress 11/18/2013
University of Miami Need Help! 11/20/2013
Princeton University Yes! 11/20/2013
University of Waterloo Yes! 11/22/2013
University of Pennsylvania In Progress 12/2/2013
Johns Hopkins University In Progress 12/3/2013
Swarthmore College Need Help! 12/4/2013
Yale and Wesleyan In Progress 12/5/2013
Brown In Progress 12/6/2013
Harvard, MIT, Tufts In Progress 12/7/2013
BU In Progress 12/9/2013
Amherst In Progress 12/10/2013
Skidmore In Progress 12/11/2013
University of Toronto Need Help! 1/13/2014
Northeastern In Progress 1/14/2014
University of Notre Dame In Progress 1/15/2014
RISD In Progress 1/16/2014
University of Florida In Progress 1/17/2014
Harvey Mudd College Yes! 1/21/2014
California Institute of Technology Yes! 1/22/2014
USC In Progress 1/23/2014
UCLA Yes! 1/24/2014
Stanford University In Progress 1/27/2014 Paul Graham
University of California Berkeley In Progress 1/28/2014 Paul Graham
University of Oregon In Progress 1/29/2014
Oregon State University Need Help! 1/30/2014
Colorado College In Progress 2/1/2014
Dartmouth In Progress 2/3/2014
Syracuse Yes! 2/4/2014
Cornell Yes! 2/5/2014
SUNY Binghamton In Progress 2/6/2014
Penn State In Progress 2/7/2014
The Ohio State University In Progress 2/10/2014
University of Cincinnati In Progress 2/11/2014
Xavier University Need Help! 2/12/2014
Indiana University Bloomington In Progress 2/13/2014
Purdue University Yes! 2/17/2014
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign In Progress 2/18/2014
Northwestern University In Progress 2/19/2014
University of Wisconsin-Madison Yes! 2/20/2014
UMass In Progress 2/23/2014
U Ohio Yes! 2/24/2014
Carnegie Mellon University In Progress 2/25/2014
NYC Colleges (NYU, Columbia, New School) In Progress TBD
Read the full story on the Reddit Blog

SendHub (YC W12) raises $3M Series A from Bullpen Capital for its mobile-optimized business phone systems

SendHub, a business-focused call and messaging solution with a long-term goal of replacing PBX systems with mobile apps and online dashboards, has raised $3 million in Series A funding, the company is announcing today. The round was led by Bullpen Capital, and included participation from Menlo Ventures, Kapor Capital, 500 startups, China Rock Capital, plus angels Alexis Ohanian, Garry Tan, Harj Taggar and Kenny Van Zant.

The company had previously raised $2 million in seed funding from Menlo, Kapor, 500 Startups, and others, as well as an undisclosed investment from former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush.

SendHub provides businesses with phone numbers, including toll-free lines, which can route calls to personal cell phones, similar to Google Voice. It also supports a variety of advanced options, like voicemail transcriptions, call forwarding and transfer, contact sharing, group texting, SMS short codes, and more. Today, it’s adding support for file attachments, too – a feature that allows users to send any file type – PDFs, Office documents, etc. – via SMS.

Read the full article at Techcrunch

Lanyrd (YC W11) acquired by Eventbrite

After 7 years and $135 million, popular online ticketing service Eventbrite is finally making some acquisitions.

Eventbrite has acquired Lanyrd, a startup that provides a social directory of conferences and other professional events, and Latin American ticketing service Eventioz.

London-based Lanyrd’s database includes thousands of events around the world. You can see what events people in your social and professional networks are attending and/or speaking at, and browse events by topic or location. Users can use Lanyrd to track what’s going on at an event, share their schedule, and find content about the event afterwards.

Lanyrd wrote in a blog post this morning that it will continue to operate independently of Eventbrite, but will offer deeper integrations.

“One thing that was very important to us: Eventbrite has no plans to shut Lanyrd down,” the company said. “Our vision for improving events has always been about making events better — for attendees, organisers, speakers, and companies [ …] Eventbrite’s vision sits well with ours.”

Alexis Ohanian interviews (YC W13) founder Chase Adam: Meet the future of philanthropy

Alexis Ohanian sat down with Chase Adam of recently is one of the most impressive non-profits I've seen and also the first to go through the ranks of Y Combinator. The work they're doing to crowdfund life-changing medical care for anyone in need for as little as $5 at a time is absolutely awesome.

How awesome? 100% of every donation funds medical care and the org is so dedicated to complete transparency they've got a live public spreadsheet online with every financial record.

Meet the future of philanthropy. With accountability like this, you'll never drop another nickel in a random jar.

Read the full article at LinkedIn