Crohnology (YC S12) lets patients are collaborating for better health: A social network for Crohn's disease

Not long ago, Sean Ahrens managed flare-ups of his Crohn’s disease—abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea—by calling his doctor and waiting a month for an appointment, only to face an inconclusive array of possible prescriptions. Today, he can call on 4,210 fellow patients in 66 countries who collaborate online to learn which treatments—drugs, diets, acupuncture, meditation, even do-it-yourself infusions of intestinal parasites —bring the most relief.

The online community Ahrens created and launched two years ago,, is one of the most closely watched experiments in digital health. It lets patients with Crohn’s, colitis, and other inflammatory bowel conditions track symptoms, trade information on different diets and remedies, and generally care for themselves.

The site is at the vanguard of the growing “e-patient” movement that is letting patients take control over their health decisions—and behavior—in ways that could fundamentally change the economics of health care. Investors are particularly interested in the role “peer-to-peer” social networks could play in the $3 trillion U.S. health-care market.

Read the full article at the MIT Technology Review

Estimote (YC S13) Wins Best Hardware Startup At TechCrunch Disrupt SF

Manufacturing and logistics giant PCH International alongside hardware incubator Highway1 have announced that Estimote, a tool for helping retail spaces interact with customers, has been chosen for Best Hardware Startup at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013.

“I was excited to see a company jump on Apple’s ibeacon technology so quickly to make a location service,” said Brady Forrest, VP of Highway1. “Estimotes are part of the new breed of hardware startups – one that uses hardware to build a unique data set & charge money for web services. We think that touring Shenzhen will help them expand their supply chain.”

Estimote is selling a small device called the Beacon. It allows customers to interact with a retail space using their smartphone and supports touchless payments and will push discounts and information to phones at the customer’s request.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Crowdtilt (YC W12) launches first mobile app - Crowdfund anything while on the go

As we’ve discussed before, thanks to a handful of names, including Kickstarter and Indiegogo and the gaggle of startups that have emerged in their wake, crowdfunding is on the “Big screen.” Yet, the team behind Crowdtilt — also known as the Y Combinator-backed startup building a “group fundraising” platform for projects that don’t work on Kickstarter — believe that this is just the beginning.

The Kickstarters and Indiegogos have owned most of the headlines about crowdfunding, but there’s more and more spillover from projects that don’t fit, with many bypassing platforms altogether. That’s why Crowdtilt launched Crowdhoster last month — an open-source, customizable crowdfunding platform to let anyone and everyone launch their own campaign without having to touch a line of code. Called the “WordPress for Crowdfunding” and using Crowdtilt’s API, Crowdhoster allows you alone or groups of friends to build and launch their own crowdfunding pages all on their own.

Today, the startup is taking Crowdhoster and Crowdtilt into phase two, with the long-awaited mobile piece of their platform, designed to continue following through with the company’s mission to build the most open and accessible crowdfunding tool out there. It’s an ambitious mission, and Crowdtilt is beginning with an iPhone app that puts Crowdtilt on your phone, and slowly see Crowdhoster woven into the feed after launch. Yes, the app itself isn’t live yet, but it is coming to the App Store next week and to Android (and Google Play) in the near future.

Read the full article at Techcrunch

Regalii (YC S13) is changing the way people send money to family abroad

Those who emigrate to countries like the U.S. come for a shot at new lives and new opportunities, but many of them still keep close ties back to their families at home, including sending money to help them financially. However, current methods leave much to be desired. As the sender, you cannot guarantee that the money will always go towards what you intended. And when you are the receiver and live in precarious circumstances (the same ones that may have pushed your family members to move abroad), receiving cash can be a risk. And that’s before even considering the costs involved.

Enter Regalii, a Battlefield finalist presenting today at TC Disrupt. The company has devised a way for people, via their mobile devices, to send remittances to their families back home, which are received in the form of credits to pay bills, or to buy groceries.

The company has already been operating in limited beta between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic. Today, it’s extending that service to Mexico, and CEO and co-founder Edrizio de la Cruz tells me the company is now busy raising a seed round to extend that further, including remittances between countries that do not originate in the U.S. One investor that’s already committed: Maverick Capital. It’s been helped on that front by virtue of also having been part of the recent class of startups to have come through the Y Combinator incubator.

“We see this as a global play, with a lot of interest for this already in Europe and SE Asia. It’s not just an American but a global problem,” De la Cruz says.

Read the full article at Techcrunch (YC W08) open-sources its cross-platform dev libraries as OpenForge makes it simple for web developers to create native mobile apps for iOS and Android using JavaScript. But early on in our company’s history we also created a cross-platform browser add-on framework for Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer.

We are now open-sourcing that codebase, calling it OpenForge.

This codebase will be far from stale – development of the browser add-on framework will continue with a full-time maintainer who will also provide support. In open-sourcing the framework we have also provided the ability to build locally without reliance on infrastructure.

Read more on the Blog

ZDNet selects HelloSign (YC W11) and HelloFax as Top Business App for iOS

In business, while you trudge from meeting to meeting, you may be required to scan and sign documents on the go. To this end, apps like HelloFax can make your life easier.  

This app can be used to import emailed .pdf files or take an image of the document you need to sign. Once this is done, you can use your finger to create a realistic signature, and send the document on via email. 

Read more at ZDNet

Download HelloSign for iOS

Solomon Hykes of Docker (dotCloud, YC S10) featured in Wired: Building a computer the size of the Internet

Google runs its web empire on computers the size of warehouses.

Inside the massive data centers that drive things like Google Search and Gmail and Google Maps, you’ll find tens of thousands of machines — each small enough to hold in your arms — but thanks to a new breed of software that spans this sea of servers, the entire data center operates like a single system, one giant computer that runs any application the company throws at it.

A Google application like Gmail doesn’t run on a particular server or even a select group of servers. It runs on the data center, grabbing computing power from any machine than can spare it. Google calls this “warehouse-scale computing,” and for some, it’s an idea so large, they have trouble wrapping their heads around it.

Solomon Hykes isn’t one of them. He aims for something even bigger. With a new open-source software project known as Docker, he wants to build a computer the size of the internet.

Read the full article in Wired

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