YC Digest - 5/15-5/21

Top Stories from the YC World - May 15-May 21, 2015

YC News
Farewell TC, Hello YC - Susan Hobbs joins Y Combinator

Essays
Party (round) all the time? - by Aaron Harris

Launches


YC S15: New Story Crowdfunds Houses for Homeless People - Meet YC's newest non-profit 

YC Alum Updates




Fundraising





New Story (YC S15) Crowdfunds Houses For Homeless Families

Meet New Story, a non-profit in the Summer 2015 batch of YC. New Story crowdfunds houses for homeless families living in danger.

Here’s how it works:

  • New Story partners with organizations on the ground that identify families living in conditions exposed to dangers like rape, theft, and sanitation borne disease.

  • New Story tells the stories of these families on their crowdfunding platform.

  • Donors can give directly to a family, and when the home is built 2-3 months later, donors receive a video of the family they helped moving into their new home.

  • Local contractors build the homes, providing jobs and stimulating the economy.

In their first 6 months, New Story raised over $120k in donations, and funded 20 new homes in Leveque, Haiti. 

Part of what we like about New Story is their focus on creating a better giving experience. They built transparency and personal connection into the platform, along with features that make it easy for donors to share campaigns. 

To help donors understand where their money is going and what it is (or isn't) accomplishing, New Story posted a breakdown of what it costs to build one home on the site. 100% of every donation goes to building homes and so far, the team has funded its operations through private investors and YC. 

New Story is founded by Brett Hagler (who previously founded the socially conscious e-commerce company, Hucksley), Alexandria Lafci (a Teach for America alum with a decade of international development experience), and Matthew Marshall (a UX designer for charitable brands and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper). They believe, as we do, that this tech-powered donor experience is the future of philanthropic giving.

Read more about New Story on TechCrunch

Learn how to create a campaign here

The founders answer questions on Hacker News


YC Digest - 5/8-5/14

Top Stories from the YC World - May 8-May 14, 2015

YC News
One surprising hack to get into YC! by Sam Altman

Startup School Radio Ep. 2: Justin Kan and Mathilde Collin

Congratulations to PlanGrid's (YC W12) Tracy Young for being listed as one of Fast Company's "Most Creative People in Business 2015" 

Launches
Senic (YC S13) is building Nuimo, a dial for the internet of things 

Fundraising
PlanGrid (YC W12) raises $18 million from Sequoia to digitize construction blueprints - The team has already put over 17 million blueprints in the cloud

Women Power on Display in Career Site The Muse’s (YC W12) $10M Round

We’ve raised money to reinvent global trade - Paul Graham on Flexport: “Flexport is one of those rare startups that will not merely satisfy its market, but grow it. There will be more international trade because of Flexport, and international trade is a very big thing for there to be more of.”



YC Alum Updates


One surprising hack to get into YC!

People often ask us what they can do to improve their chances of getting into YC.  The truth is there isn’t much other than “have a good idea, a market that may become huge, and a great team”.

However, there is one thing that helps, and so we’re making it official.

If you’ve worked at a YC company, and get a good recommendation from the founder of that company, we’ll give your YC application extra consideration.  References are very helpful in any decision about who to work with—there’s so much value in understanding how someone performs and improves over years on a job. 

You certainly don’t need to do this, of course.  Most of the founders we fund are totally unknown to any YC partner and have never worked at a YC company.  The fact that we are willing to look at people totally unknown to us is key to why we do well, and not something we’ll ever stop doing.

(If you’re an engineer interested in working at a YC startup, go here: https://triplebyte.com)

YC Digest 5/1-5/7: Work at a YC Startup, SUS Radio and Zenefits

Top Stories from the YC World - May 1-May 7, 2015

YC News
Work at a YC Startup v2 - Apply for a job at a YC startup without a resume. 

Startup School Radio is now a podcast - Hear YC partner Aaron Harris get stories and practical advice from founders and investors. Learn how they got started, what went wrong, what surprised them, and what happened as their companies grew.

Launches
YC S15: Former YC Partner Harj Taggar Is Building The New Technical Hiring Pipeline With TripleByte 

Essays
Things that aren't work by Aaron Harris 

Fundraising

Updates 

Zidisha (YC W14) launches in Haiti

YC Alum Stories
From Communal Living to Peer-to-Peer Construction Rentals - EquipmentShare (YC W15) in WSJ

This Man Turned His Dirty Laundry Nightmare Into a Startup - Cleanly (YC W15) in Fast Company

Work at a YC Startup v2

Hiring is the biggest problem our startups face once they finish YC.  In the past, we've held Work at a Startup events with the goal of connecting our companies to great programmers. Unfortunately, scaling recruiting events is very hard and requiring applicants to show up in person significantly reduces the pool of potential hires. As a result, we're bringing back the Work at a Startup idea but this time we're going to use a new YC startup to power it.

Triplebyte (YC S15) is launching a common application to apply for a job at any YC startup.  You don't have to go to an event or submit a resume. Emailing thousands of resumes to our portfolio companies is not a good solution. It puts programmers who don't have impressive resumes at a disadvantage and puts the burden on our YC companies to filter through thousands of applicants. With the new YC common application, you answer some simple programming questions online, followed by a 15 minute phone screen, and then a set of online technical interviews. If you pass, they'll help you search across all YC startups, select up to five you'd like to work for, and help you get a job.  

Not only does this help us address a problem that all YC startups face as they grow, it also provides a fair and open process for people from diverse backgrounds to move to the Bay Area and join the startup world. Apply to work at a YC company here.



YC Digest - 4/24-4/30

Top Stories from the YC World - April 24-April 30, 2015

Watch
PlatziConf brings YC to Mexico: Watch the livestream here starting at 9am CDT on Saturday, May 2 

Essays
Subtle Mid-Stage Startup Pitfalls by Jessica Livingston


Launches

Fundraising


DroneBase (YC W15) Lets Any Business Rent A Drone And Pilot

YC W15's DroneBase is a marketplace for drone services founded by Dan Burton and Eli Tamanaha. 

Read more about DroneBase on TechCrunch:

"DroneBase lets you commission a drone and its pilot for commercial jobs. You just submit your request online, DroneBase finds someone who can do the gig, they come fly and send you the media and data needed.

DroneBase has the potential to both disrupt old ways of getting aerial imagery or doing heavy industry inspections, but also open up options to businesses that couldn’t afford it. Now after graduating from Y Combinator, DroneBase has raised a seed round from Union Square Ventures, SV Angel, Rothenberg Ventures, and Launchpad LA."

Rickshaw (YC W14) Provides An API For Local Deliveries

Rickshaw, the same-day delivery platform, launched today on TechCrunch after operating in stealth since the Winter 2014 batch of YC: 

"Ever since Uber launched to enable users to hail a ride with a mobile app, any number of on-demand and same-day delivery services have emerged. In most cases, those companies end up building out their own logistics infrastructure and hiring their own delivery drivers.

But why keep reinventing the wheel if the delivery and routing part of the service isn’t a part of your core competency? That’s the thinking behind Y Combinator-backed Rickshaw, which hopes to enable companies to outsource the logistics layer of the local delivery process in a way that will make same day pickups and drop-offs more efficient for all.

Rickshaw was founded by Divya Bhat and Gautam Jayaraman, two MIT grads who have backgrounds in operations research and computer science. They began building Rickshaw, Bhat says, after she considered working on a startup that would require a fleet for deliveries. Rather than building such a fleet just for their own usage, or reaching out to others to rent capacity on their delivery fleets, the Rickshaw founders thought it made more sense for to work on solving the delivery problem for a bunch of different companies."

Read the full story on TechCrunch

Welcome Luke and Rick

We are happy to announce two new additions to the YC team.

Rick Morrison is joining us as a part-time partner.  Rick is the founder and CEO of Comprehend Systems.  Comprehend makes multi-datasource analytics and collaboration tools for the life sciences industry.  Rick will focus on advising our enterprise companies.

Luke Iseman is joining us to help our hardware companies.  He was the cofounder of Edyn from W2014, and he cofounded the boxhouse open-source shipping container home project.  Luke will be responsible for all of our hardware partnerships as well as advising hardware companies on how to get their prototypes and products built.

Welcome, Luke and Rick!