Welcome Garry and Aaron

Y Combinator is pleased to announce two new venture partners, Garry Tan and Aaron Iba.  They're both YC alumni, both formidable hackers, and both really nice people.

Garry was one of the founders of Posterous, which we funded in 2008. He's one of those rare individuals who can both design and program. Garry started out as YC's designer in residence, but we and the startups we funded found him so valuable that we recruited him to work for YC full time.

Aaron was one of the founders of Appjet, probably better known as Etherpad, which we funded in 2007 and was acquired by Google in 2009.  He's one of the best hackers among the YC alumni, so we're delighted we were able to get him for YC itself.

Codecademy and The White House Announce Code Summer+ Youth Education Program

Today, Codecademy in conjunction with The White House announced a new program to educate the nation’s underprivileged and disconnected youth: Code Summer+.

The announcement was made at an event held by Twilio and hosted by US CTO Aneesh Chopra. There, Codecademy’s co-founder Zach Sims explained that as part of Obama’s larger Summer Jobs+ initiative, Code Summer+ will offer a “condensed version of our curriculum to get [youth] on track to become engineers.”

Summer Jobs+ is designed to help the government connect young people with jobs. President Obama announced Summer Jobs+ earlier this month, describing it as “a joint initiative that challenges business leaders and communities to join my Administration in providing hundreds of thousands of summer jobs for America’s youth."

GrubWithUs launches iPhone App, now making it even easier to eat with cool people

The idea behind GrubWithUs can seem strange at first — but once you’ve had your first meal with them, everything just sort of clicks. You pay, you sit, you eat, you meet people, and you leave. They handle all of the annoying bits (the check splitting, the tipping, the … finding people for you to eat with) and you handle the eating. Easy.

Making things even easier, GrubWithUs has just launched a shiny new iPhone app. Emphasis on “shiny”.

Also see coverage in Mashable.

YC alum COLOURlovers launches CreativeMarket: Etsy for mousemade designs (patterns, shapes, photos, fonts, gradients)


If you haven’t heard of COLOURlovers, you’re probably not a design fiend. Judging by its traffic growth over the past seven years, however, it’s built a pretty loyal following among its one million right-brained registered members. The Y Combinator grad also counts community-building experts, like Matt Mullenweg from WordPress and Alexis Ohanian from Reddit, as angel investors. They joined Founder Collective, Charles River Ventures, 500 Startups and others in a $1 million seed round last March.

Today on the company’s blog, “Chief Lover” Darius A. Monsef IV (who goes by the name Bubs and founded the site while still working at Microsoft) announced the private beta launch of an Etsy-like exchange called CreativeMarket that will enable its users to share and sell their “mousemade goods” like patterns, shapes, photos, fonts, and gradients. Although the team works remotely, co-founder Aaron Epstein, the brains behind ColorSchemer.com which eventually merged with COLOURlovers, lives right here in New York. “We’ve been trying to get as many New York people as possible,” Mr. Epstein told Betabeat.

With this new product, COLOURlovers is boldly making the world a more well designed place. If you're a designer, they're a must-watch website for 2012.

Blackhawk Network Buys Gift Card Marketplace Cardpool (W10)


Y-combinator-backed gift card marketplace Cardpool has been acquired by Blackhawk Network, a subsidiary of Safeway and one of the largest distributors of gift cards in the world. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Cardpool, which launched in 2010, buys people’s unwanted gift cards, and sells gift cards at large discounts. They judge the buyback and selling amount by how desirable the cards are. For example, you can sell a BestBuy’s gift card, which is highly desirable, to CardPool for 90 percent of its value. And on CardPool’s site, you can find a Best Buy gift card for 5 percent off its original value. On the other hand, 1-800-Flowers’ gift cards, which are not as popular as Best Buy’s cards, are discounted by 30 percent on the site.

Read full article via techcrunch.com