Quartzy Brings Order To Science Lab Supply Cabinets

When we think of scientists, we often picture distinguished researchers in white coats, methodically conducting experiments in labs that run like well-oiled machines.

Unfortunately things are usually less glamorous. Science labs have a lot going on, and while they’re generally very focused on making sure safety protocols are followed and contamination is minimized, there are some things that are a little less organized. Like ordering supplies — oftentimes reagents are either ordered in excess (resulting in waste) or forgotten about until they’re needed (resulting in delays).

Quartzy, a startup that’s part of the most recent Y Combinator batch, is setting out to fix that problem. The company launched around 18 months ago and has 4,500 scientists worldwide using the service — and there are plenty more who could use help keeping their supplies in check, many of whom are spending thousands of dollars on supplies every year.

Read full article via techcrunch.com

 

ZeroCater (W11): Because Lunch At The Office Doesn’t Have To Be A Complete Pain

Lunch at the TechCrunch office has always been an interesting affair. We’re fortunate enough to have it paid for by the company several times a week, but the logistics involved — in other words, ordering enough food for everyone while taking their taste preferences into account — cause a real headache. For a long time it was a game of chicken: we wouldn’t eat until one of us had their hunger pangs intensify to the point that they couldn’t take it any longer, and only then would they pick up the phone (I kept a stash of granola bars under my desk so that I could outlast the others). Things are much better now, largely thanks to TC alum Laura Boychenko, but it’s still a big time sink.

If only Y Combinator-backed startup ZeroCater had launched a few years ago.

Full article via techcrunch.com

 

Welcome Sam, Garry, Emmett, and Justin

We're trying something new at Y Combinator this cycle. We've recruited four YC alumni to be part time partners:  Loopt founder Sam Altman, Posterous founder Garry Tan, and Justin.tv founders Emmett Shear and Justin Kan.  They're going to do the same sort of work regular YC partners do advising startups, but only 1/5 of their time.

They've already been working with the summer batch, and it looks like this experiment is going to succeed.  The part time partners are the new founders' peers, and this gives their advice an immediacy we can't duplicate.

This may sound corny, but they also make YC a happier place.  We've known these guys for years (Sam, Emmett, and Justin were all in the very first YC batch in summer 2005) and have been through a lot with them.  They're good eggs, and it's nice to have them around.