New: Apply to Y Combinator without an Idea

Y Combinator is trying an experiment this funding cycle. We're going to have a separate application track for groups that don't have an idea yet.

So if the only thing holding you back from starting a startup is not having an idea for one, now nothing is holding you back. If you apply for this batch and you seem like you'd make good founders, we'll accept you with no idea and then help you come up with one. (We'll consider single founders too, but we prefer groups.)

Learn how to apply to YC without an idea here

HackPad (YC W12) is hooking you up with an awesome wiki for SXSW

There are lots of apps for finding the right people and parties at South By Southwest this year, but what about, you know, actually going to panels and sharing your thoughts about them? Well, there’s Twitter for short-form public sharing, and messaging apps like GroupMe for group chats. But HackPad has a more serious idea: actually taking notes about the panels and keynotes you go to, with other people who care.

The interface is nice and simple. You log in with Facebook, or with Google or by creating a new account.  Then you can just start creating and editing docs. Participating users appear on the right side of each page, and each person gets a unique color bar on the left side of where they’re typing. Live edits are in real-time, so you can watch other users pounding out their own notes while you’re busy sharing yours.

...

Two-man veteran engineering team Igor Kofman and Alex Graveley (who earlier in his career created Tomboy Notes) also created a special sub-site for SXSW. A list of every panel and talk  is available now at austin.hackpad.com, organized by hour and by day. If you’re here at the rain-soaked conference, or interested in any of the panels, be sure to check it out.

Loopt (YC S05) acquired by Green Dot for $43.4M

Mobile location start-up Loopt will be acquired by the banking company Green Dot, best-known for its prepaid cards.

The deal is worth $43.4 million in cash, though that includes $9.8 million set aside in retention payments for key Loopt employees.

Loopt’s products are to be shut down at an unspecified date, while its 30 employees will now comprise Green Dot’s Silicon Valley-based mobile product development team.

In a phone interview this morning, Loopt CEO Sam Altman described the deal as an opportunity to make location more accountable. “We’ve been doing cool stuff with deals, offers and loyalty, but we haven’t had a way to tie that to payments. Now, instead of being about check-ins, it can be about payments.”

Congrats to Sam Altman, Alok Deshpande and the whole Loopt team!

HireArt (YC W12) is fixing the traditional resume system

HireArt, a newly launched Y Combinator-backed company, is working to solve a major problem that all employers face today: resumes are bullshit. Job candidates often like to fluff up their experience, and sometimes they even outright lie about their abilities. Other times, potentially great employees are overlooked because they have unorthodox backgrounds that don’t match up with what an employer thinks they need in terms of experience. Sometimes these kinds of things are realized during the in-person interview. Unfortunately for many employers, they often don’t discover how much a particular candidate may have oversold themselves until they’ve been hired and can’t perform to expectations.

With its new applicant screening system, HireArt thinks it may have a solution: have the employees actually do the work first.

Here’s HireArt’s pitch in a nutshell: “You really can’t bullshit anymore.”

That’s per co-founder Elli Sharef, in explaining why the traditional resume system is broken.

Sonalight (YC W12) Lets Android Users Text While Driving Without Touching A Phone

Android users finally have a way to show up their iPhone-toting, Siri-using counterparts. With Sonalight Text by Voice, a new Y Combinator-backed startup, you can perform entirely hands-free texting. And by hands-free, I mean you don’t have to push a button, tap the screen, or perform any other actions that would require you to take your hands off the wheel. Yes, that’s right – Sonalight is perfect for texting while driving.

Songkick (YC S07) Secures Sequoia’s First Ever UK Investment With A $10M B Round

Songkick – which allows users to follow music artists, their live music events and book tickets – has raised a $10 million B round of financing from Sequoia Capital. This is Sequoia’s first ever investment in a U.K.-headquartered startup. The round takes Songkick’s total funding to date to around the $17 million mark. Previous backers include Y Combinator, SoftTech, The Accelerator Group and Index Ventures. Sequoia’s Greg McAdoo joins the board.

Work at a Startup 2012

Work at a Startup

May 15, 2012

Learn about Working at a Startup

If you're like a lot of programmers you may have considered one day joining a startup. But the prospect probably seems a bit mystifying. Most people know what the deal is with working for a big company. What's the deal with working for a startup?

Work at a Startup is a special evening event designed to explain that. How can you tell whether a startup would be good to work for? How much salary and equity should you expect from startups at different stages? What's the work like at different types of startups? Are there any danger signs you should watch for? We'll answer all these types of questions.

We'll begin with a presentation that explains in general what you need to know about working for a startup. Then we'll have series of rapid-fire presentations by YC-funded companies currently looking to hire programmers, explaining what it would be like to work for them specifically. After the event we'll have a barbeque where you can talk one on one with the founders of any company that interested you.

The event is free, but since more programmers may want to attend than we have room for, we're asking would-be attendees to apply by submitting a resume. Founders of the companies that will be there will read them and decide who to invite.

The application deadline is April 25. We'll issue invitations May 1.

Click here to apply

 

Chute (YC W12) Launches A Twilio For Photos

Chute, a new Y Combinator startup launching today, doesn’t just want to be another photo sharing or syncing app, it wants to the service every app developer and content producer uses to manage and enhance their photo capabilities. Chute is an Images-as-a-Service startup or, in other words, a cool API for photos. What does that mean?

Every time a developer or a site owner wants to build photo functionality into their app or website, they’re essentially forced to re-invent the wheel. Mobile developers aren’t always familiar with the ins-and-outs of web development, just as the same can be said for web developers, so Chute has built a system that works for both, handling the entire backend environment for uploading, processing, authenticating, resizing, and serving images.

This means big savings for developers, both in terms of time and money, as they don’t have to worry about managing servers, scaling, or dealing with multiple third-party APIs. Another way to think of Chute says co-founder Ranvir Gujral: “It’s like Twilio for photo infrastructure.”

Plangrid (W12) Builds A New Market For The iPad: The Construction Industry

Mark this up as one more crucial chapter in the much-thumbed book called “The Consumerization of IT”: a new app has launched from a Y Combinator-backed startup that offers builders the ability to store, manage and view blueprints on and iPad tablet.

The unique selling point for PlanGrid, as the app is called, is that it promises to present building blueprints in a far more efficient way than they have been presented before.

But on a more general level, PlanGrid is a sign of how the iOS platform is maturing and attracting a new wave of developers who target specific enterprise verticals with solutions tailored to their business needs.

...

How it works. PlanGrid is a cloud-based service that delivers blueprints as PDFs directly on the tablet; then people working in the field can use these instead of paper-based versions. When a modification needs to be made, that can be directly noted on the plan, in the app. That is subsequently updated into a new version. PlanGrid’s technology makes the rendering and scrolling of those blueprints significantly faster, too.