GroupAhead (YC W15) Gives Member-Based Organizations Their Own Mobile App

"There are a number of ways member-based organizations can network online – Facebook, shared calendars, Meetup.com, etc. – but these groups today still struggle to keep members engaged and informed about upcoming events and other activities. A startup called GroupAhead is working to solve those challenges by introducing a platform that allows any organization to have their own dedicated mobile app for communicating with members.

The Y Combinator-backed company was founded in 2013 by ex-Googlers Brian Glick and Julian Frumar, who met while at working at YouTube. And Glick more recently was involved in launching the Google+ Communities platform, which gave him further insight into how groups communicate.

“We spent a lot of time looking at the space and thought there really aren’t good solutions for very close-knit, very personal, very intimate communities that get together in person,” explains Glick. “And we’re also living in a world now where smartphones and tablets are in everyone’s pocket or in everyone’s home, and they offer a way to connect in a tighter way than was possible before,” he adds."

eBrandValue (YC W15) wants to show social media’s impact on your sales — in real time

"Monitoring brand mentions and even sentiment on social media is all well and good, but what about seeing how social media translates into a brand’s financial value in real time?

That’s exactly what eBrandValue, a company in Y Combinator’s current batch, helps brands do, and today it’s announcing its launch.

Founded by Ayse and Tolga Akcura in 2012, eBrandValue is about telling brands how consumer sentiment in social media correlates to sales, in real time. It juxtaposes social media data about a client’s brand assets (product names, etc.) taken from data providers like Gnip and others, with financial and sales information they provide to eBrandValue. The result is a dashboard that shows metrics such as customer comments on social media, how each changes brand preference over time (or not), and how comments correlate to sales and financial value." 

Read the full story on VentureBeat

Smarking (YC W15) Drives Big Data To Parking Industry

"Y Combinator-backed Smarking found a technology gap in parking industry, and the three founders decided to fill it with a smart parking solution.

Designed for parking garages, the Smarking service, making use of big data, analytics and the cloud, to help parking managers maximize pricing and availability based on usage patterns and other factors that could affect demand like weather, flight schedules and special events.

Co-founder and CEO Wen Sang says the parking issue caught his attention for a number of reasons, mostly because nobody had thought to this point to apply modern data analytics to parking garages. This, in spite of the fact that they had been collecting data for years."

YC Digest 1/23-1/29

Top Stories from the YC World - 1/23/15-1/29/15
Getting the Band Back Together: Why The Justin.TV Mafia Returned to Y Combinator

DoorDash (YC S13) is now delivering in San Francisco! 

Pushbullet (YC W14) Can Now Send Your iOS Notifications To Your Mac, Raises $1.5M

5 Startups Changing the Way We Eat Through the Seasons - featuring Instacart (YC S12) and GrubMarket (YC W15) 

Essays
Cofounder management by Aaron Harris

Launches
Pachyderm (YC W15) Launches Out Of YC To Be The Data Processing Tool For The Docker Generation

YC-Backed Pomello (YC W15) Helps Teams Determine Whether Job Applicants Will Fit In

Bluesmart (YC W15) Raises $2 Million For Its Self-Tracking Suitcase

How SF-Based Shuttle Startup Chariot (YC W15) Crowdsourced Its New Commuter Route





AnalyticsMD (YC W15) Applies AI To Optimize The ER

"AnalyticsMD, which is launching out of Y Combinator‘s latest batch, is a startup tackling a difficult but very worthwhile problem: how to boost the operational efficiency of hospitals and improve patient care by helping staff make better choices about how resources are allocated. Its founders liken their product to an “air traffic controller for the hospital and healthcare system”.

Their real-time analytics platform predicts changes in demand so that resources such as extra staff and beds can be brought in before they are needed to prevent scenarios such as emergency room waiting times spiraling outside target limits or the quality of patient care suffering. The HIPAA compliant SaaS software has been rolled out to several paying customers in the U.S. healthcare sector so far, including a major San Francisco Bay Area hospital system."

Spoil (YC W15) Takes The Hunt Out Of Gift-Giving

"Y Combinator-backed Spoil is looking to take the pain out of gift-giving with the launch of its personalized gift concierge service...

Give Spoil a description of a friend, acquaintance, or relative’s interests and personality, and they’ll send them a gift picked out by a dedicated shopper who knows a specific category of products very well.

As a gift-giver, you don’t know what your recipient will get until they do. All you know is which gift tier you paid for on the site, with prices currently ranging from $35 for the entry-level package to $500 for the “Black” tier...Spoil co-founder Cristian Asenjo compares using the service to getting someone a gift card. You know how much you’re putting on the card, and you know roughly where they’d like to spend that much money, but you’re not picking out the exact gift they’ll receive."

Read the full story on TechCrunch

Final (YC W15) Raises A Million For Its Fraud-Fighting Credit Card

"Credit card startup Final, which is focused on combating fraud online and off while giving consumers more control over their spending, has raised $1 million in seed funding from investors including Ludlow Ventures, T5 Capital Partners, Y Combinator and other fintech angels, in advance of the launch of its 2015 pilot program.

The company tells us it already has 37,000 consumers signed up on the waitlist to try the new card when it becomes available.

Final was founded a year ago by a team whose background includes experience in I.T., mobile payments, and various startups, including Boulder-based Simple Energy."

With $2.1M In Funding, GrubMarket (YC W15) Connects Consumers With Local Farms And Food Producers

YC W15's GrubMarket now delivers to the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, Sacramento, and Detroit. 

"If you love farmers market produce but hate going to the farmers market, then GrubMarket is a thing you should check out. Its marketplace connects consumers with locally sourced and organic food from nearby farms and producers in a number of cities around the country.

GrubMarket hopes to take advantage of a couple of larger trends that are happening among consumers. First, a growing number of consumers have become more conscious of where their food comes from, and are trying to support local producers. The second big trend is consumer laziness, and a general desire to have all things delivered to them.

To capitalize on those trends, GrubMarket offers up a marketplace through which consumers can buy food from local farms and producers. Once they’ve chosen from various different options, GrubMarket does the work of picking up those products from local producers and delivering them to consumers."

One Codex (YC S14) wins the CDC's "No-Petri Dish" Challenge

Congratulations to the One Codex team! Read about the "No-Petri Dish" Challenge on their blog

"We're excited to announce that the CDC's Advanced Molecular Detection initiative has named One Codex as the winner of its $200K "No-Petri-Dish" Challenge! We are thrilled to be recognized by a world-leading public health agency and excited to begin offering solutions for next-generation public health and epidemiology.

The "No-Petri-Dish" Diagnostic Test Challenge asked participants to develop a fast "straight-to-strain" method for identifying a type of E. coli known as STEC (a common cause of severe foodborne outbreaks). Current tests available to public health officials fall into two major categories: "culture-based" tests, which require growing a bacterial culture and can take days or weeks to complete; and faster, but significantly less informative tests for specific pathogens or toxins (e.g., PCR-based tests).

Our approach uses next-generation sequencing (NGS) data to offer fast, high-resolution diagnostic results. We developed a unique solution that is effective even for metagenomic samples with extremely low concentrations of E. coli or other pathogens (<= 1X coverage). This ultimately promises to help public health officials identify, track, and monitor outbreaks in near real-time."

How SF-Based Shuttle Startup Chariot (YC W15) Crowdsourced Its New Commuter Route

YC W15's Chariot is opening its third route today in San Francisco. The "Cole Valley Cruiser" will offer trips from the Cole Valley and Haight-Ashbury neighborhoods to Downtown SF and SoMa.

"If you live in San Francisco, you’re probably well aware of how bad the public transportation system is here.* While the growth of on-demand transportation services like Uber and Lyft has eased some of the pain of traveling around the city, those options aren’t exactly cost-effective for the average commuter just trying to get to and from work.

A private shuttle startup called Chariot is hoping to improve transportation options for San Francisco residents, and it’s doing so by letting them tell it where they need service.

Chariot launched a beta version earlier this year to run a series of private shuttle routes between neighborhoods that are poorly served by current public transportation options in the city. The company hopes to provide a service that will be faster and more convenient than public bus lines, at a price to consumers that is competitive with those options. It does this by running 15-passenger vans on regular routes users can sign up for through its website or a mobile app."