Ready For Zero (YC S10) in Palo Alto Online: helps people get out of debt, especially student loan debt

Numerous start-ups are trying to address the debt problem in innovative ways, such as San Francisco-based ReadyForZero, which is an online space where users can manage all of their debt. Free of charge, the company pulls together all of a user's financial information — credit card debt, student loans, income, etc. — and creates a financial plan based on his or her ability to pay. For a premium of $7 a month, users can use ReadyForZero to schedule and make payments on their loans.

ReadyForZero's "fastest growing segment" is student-loan debt — $250 million out of about $1 billion total, said co-founder Rod Ebrahimi. He said that's because there is a "need for people to just figure it out" but also because ReadyForZero's target audience is people in their 20s and 30s, an age where one's debt is likely to be from student loans.

The idea for ReadyForZero was inspired by Ebrahimi's girlfriend, who one day asked him and his tech friends: "Where do I go to manage all my debt?"

"And we had no answer," Ebrahimi said. So they created the website, which tracks a user's payment progress, total debt, next steps to take, credit score and more.

"I know it seems very small, but just seeing (her debt) visually going down" helped, he said. "And we provide that. She was in the six-figure range in total, so just seeing that number didn't motivate her to pay it down. (She) just felt like, 'I can't do it.' ReadyForZero made it a little more tangible: 'This payment will save you this much in this much time'; 'make an extra payment'; or 'set up a recurring payment.'"
Read more at Palo Alto Online

Docker (YC S10) partners with RedHat OpenShift

DotCloud is a great example of a startup with a pivot that worked. The proof of that is in a new partnership that marries its Docker open-source app portability project with Red Hat and its OpenShift platform-as-a-service (PaaS).

Docker is a lightweight Linux app container that DotCloud originally developed for its multiple-language PaaS.In March, DotCloud launched Docker as an open-source project. With Docker, apps are essentially transported in virtual containers by developers who often use them to sync between their laptops and the cloud.

Until now, Docker and Red Hat have had incompatible versions of the Linux kernel. Today’s partnership fixes that, making it possible for developers to use Docker containers in OpenShift to easily move code between different infrastructures without the heavyweight requirements that come with moving around virtual machines and operating systems.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Kamcord (YC S12) launches gameplay video library for Android games

Just about every time I’ve spoken to Kamcord founder Matt Zitzmann in the year since the company launched, I’ve asked one question toward the end of our conversations to gauge the team’s progress: “Have you guys figured out Android support yet?” Every time the answer has been “no.”

The ability to record gameplay videos on a mobile device without causing performance to nosedive has been a tricky proposition for Kamcord, and getting it to work as well as it does on iOS took months of polish. However, when I spoke to Zitzmann this time, the answer was “yes”; the team just opened up its beta SDK for Android developers to start tinkering around with.

Deadline to apply to Startup School is tomorrow

Y Combinator's 9th Annual Startup School is set for Saturday, October 19th at the Flint Center in Cupertino. 

This year's speakers include: 

Chase Adam (Watsi), Nate Blecharczyk (Airbnb), Ron Conway (SV Angel), Chris Dixon (Andreessen Horowitz, Hunch, SiteAdvisor), Jack Dorsey (Square, Twitter) , Diane Greene (VMWare) , Phil Libin (Evernote, CoreStreet), Dan Siroker (Optimizely) , Balaji Srinivasan (Counsyl), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)

Don't miss the application deadline tomorrow, September 20: click here to apply!

Fast Company interview with 99 Dresses founder Nikki Durkin (YC W12)

As a journalist, you usually see the same patterns in people’s stories. Each story is impressive it its own right, but you rarely find a new pattern. But that changed with the last interview I did. The company is called 99dresses, and it's an online trading network for women’s clothing.

At 20, CEO Nikki Durkin-–who had no programming skills or a fancy MBA–-applied to Y Combinator and got accepted. Now three years later, 99dresses is making its North American debut on the iOS App Store on September 23. Here’s what she had to say about solving problems, learning on the job, and being a woman at Y Combinator.

Read the full article in Fast Company

Cube (YC W12) launches Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 credit card payment apps

Cube has launched their Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 apps this month and it too is currently available to download. Cube is a similar service to Square but they of decided to go wider in their support by embracing Windows Phone and Windows 8 (yes, you can even use it on your Surface).


Pick up Cube here in the Windows Phone Store or if on Windows 8, you can get that app here. You can learn more about Cube and their pricing from their website:

Read more at Windows Phone Central

Startup Portrait: Microryza (YC W13) — Discovering, funding and experiencing new scientific discoveries

If Microryza succeeds, how will the world be different?

Science will play a bigger role in people’s lives. Right now science is really closed off to people outside of academia. You're going to see scientists sharing research more openly, and see people who aren't in academia pursuing research projects. The science stack is going to look dramatically different in the next year. Now you can get funding through crowdfunding, you can outsource your projects through websites like Science Exchange, you can buy materials cheaply online. Scientists care more and more about open access publishing. However, lots of scientists don't know about these tools, but as they do, how research ideas come to fruition is going to change dramatically.
Read the full portrait at Startup Portraits on Medium

Goldbely (YC W13) raises $3M from Intel Capital, ACE & Co, 500 Startups, Tim Draper for artisan food delivery

Goldbely, the startup that delivers signature foods from regional establishments (think: Skyline chili from Cincinnati, Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza from Chicago, and so on) to hungry people throughout the United States, just gobbled up $3 million in a hearty seed funding round led by Intel Capital with the participation of Y Combinator (the Silicon Valley startup incubator from which it launched this past February), 500 StartupsDave McClureTim DraperACE & Company, andFundersClub.

The new cash will be used to further expand Goldbely’s operations nationwide, the company says.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Instacart (YC S12) growing 10% weekly, expands to Chicago with more cities on the way

Grocery delivery service Instacart today added its first new major market, expanding to Chicago. The company found its footing in the San Francisco Bay Area, growing its cadre of stores to include Costco, Trader Joe’s, and its own hybrid solution that in some cases can offer foodstuffs at prices lower than local grocery stores.

Unlike in the Bay Area, shoppers of Instacart in Chicago will only have access to Trader Joe’s at launch. But that will change in time, as Instacart digs deeper into the locale; it plans to add Whole Foods, Mariano’s, and Dominick’s in short order.

Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta told AllThingsD that his company built a “feasibility matrix” to determine which city it would expand to. Components of the matrix included what you might guess: car-ownership density and income. Weather was reportedly also a factor. Mehta tells TechCrunch that “33 percent of the year, Chicago has some form of precipitation” and that his company has learned in the San Francisco area that “people just do not like grocery shopping when it’s raining.” Seattle, you might be next.

Read the full article on Techcrunch

Future Advisor (YC S10) at Finnovate: Automatically manage your assets and portfolio for $19/mo

Even with the simplicity and low-cost characteristics of the increasingly-popular market of index funds, investing remains a complex task that requires more attention than the average investor can provide. Chores such as re-balancing and maximizing tax efficiency are often left undone. One financial startup, FutureAdvisor, aims to automate these investing “to-do’s.”

This week at Finovate, a financial technology conference, FutureAdvisor demonstrated a premium service that would automate the management of an investment portfolio.

For a flat $19 fee per month, FutureAdvisor will handle asset allocation, portfolio re-balancing, investment of new cash and tax-loss harvesting for investors with more than $50,000 in assets. Those with $50,000 or less in assets pay a $9 monthly fee but they don’t get automatic tax-loss harvesting.

For a premium user, FutureAdvisor will handle the transfer of assets in existing investment accounts to Fidelity Investments or TD Ameritrade, the two brokerage partners that will allow FutureAdvisor to make trades on a user’s behalf. FutureAdvisor may sell off existing holdings, and possibly incur trading costs, but FutureAdvisor will only buy commission-free low-cost index funds, including Vanguard mutual funds and iShares ETFs.

“We aim to serve people who don’t have a financial advisor today, including those who think their financial advisor is too expensive or simply don’t have have enough money to attract a typical financial advisor,” said Bo Lu, CEO and co-founder of FutureAdvisor, in an interview.

Read the full article at My Bank Tracker