UPower (YC S14) Is Building Nuclear Batteries

Despite the promise of bountiful, cheap, and clean energy nuclear energy didn’t overtake fossil fuels like everyone expected them to in the middle of the 20th century. Among other things, fear of radiation leaks and waste products that have to be buried for hundreds of years turned the United States away from adopting it for more than a fraction of our energy usage.

Y Combinator batch company UPower Technologies is hoping to change that by offering reactors that cut out those factors at a scale where regulatory issues and billion-dollar construction costs aren’t a problem.

UPower founder and CEO Jacob DeWitte describes the company’s first reactor design as a plug-and-play nuclear thermal battery. The idea is that customers will order a reactor that will be shipped in a container with everything needed on the reaction side and then connected to a power conversion method that makes the most sense for the particular application. Some projects might hook it up to a steam turbine, while others might use it in concert with something much closer to a jet engine.

Women.com (YC S14) Is A Place Where Women Can Engage In Real Talk Online

From middle school girls’ sleepovers to more codified groups like the “Ladies’ Four O’Clock Club,” women have known for ages that there’s something special about the conversational dynamic that happens when a group of females get together. Above all, when women are in the company of other women that they trust, they often can be completely honest and comfortable in a way that they may not be in more mixed company.

A website called Women.com aims to be the go-to place where women can speak honestly with each other online, deliberately away from the male gender — a sort of Ladies Four O’Clock Club for the online world. The bootstrapped startup, which is co-founded by CEO Susan Johnson and CTO Neal Kemp, is launching this week out of the current class of Y Combinator.

Zenamins (YC S14) Mails You Personalized Vitamins

40 million Americans take three or more vitamins a day, yet both the pill bottles and the way we buy them haven’t changed in decades. Well they’re about to, thanks to new Y Combinator startup Zen Health and its customized vitamin pack delivery service Zenamins. Punch in what you already take and answer a few questions and Zenamins will send you a personalized pill pack. Staying fit is tough, but Zen Health wants to make the medicine go down easy.

Read the full story on TechCrunch

Doblet (YC S14) Plans To Be Everywhere Your Phone Charger Isn’t

We’ve all been there. You’ve been out all day and suddenly that low battery alert pops up on your phone.

If you’re lucky, the bar you’re at might have the right charger for your phone behind the counter. If you’re not, you’re walking or taking the bus instead of calling a car service.

But with Y Combinator-backed Doblet, you might be able to get a charge even when you don’t have an outlet. The startup is putting portable batteries that charge Android and iPhone 5 phones in bars, restaurants and coffee shops. Users have the option of paying either $3 for a single charge or $30 for an annual subscription to the service and unlimited charges.

Read the full story on TechCrunch

Vatler (YC S14) Wants To Be Your On-Demand Valet

If you drive to work in San Francisco, you probably know how difficult it can be to find an affordable place to park. Unless your office has its own parking, you’re likely paying to leave your car in a garage that’s not terribly close to where you work. And if you happen to work in SOMA, good luck paying less than $35 or $40 during Giants game days.

Vatler hopes to offer an alternative to having to deal with all that. It provides a way for you to order a valet through a mobile app, enabling you to drop your car off in front of your office and then request it whenever you’re ready to leave.

Hauteday (YC S14), a Gamified Shopping Site, Launches Out of Y Combinator

Out in California, a new site called HauteDay is hoping to gamify shopping to garner enthusiastic followers from a wholly different audience, women above the age of 30 — the kind who shop at Nordstrom and look up to Kate Middleton as a style icon. After a quiet beta phase, the startup will launch Tuesday at the tech accelerator Y Combinator's demo day. 

Read the full story on Fashionista.com

uBiome (YC S14) Raises $4.5M From Angel Investors, Andreessen Horowitz To Crowdsource Microbiome Research

Microbiome is the ecosystem of bacteria that lives within us, which outnumber the number of human cells 10-to-1. Microbes in the microbiome perform functions such as digesting food and synthesizing vitamins and have also been linked to human mood and behavior.

Y Combinator-backed biotech startup uBiome wants to generate data and research from results of learning about the microbes in our bodies. The company, which raised $351,193 of its $100,000 Indiegogo campaign last year, offers three different swab site kits, with which people collect a sample, insert it in a tube and ship it back.

uBiome raised $1.5 million from angel investors and $3 million from Andreessen Horowitz.

Craft Coffee’s (YC S14) Coffee DNA Project Is Designed To Find You The Perfect Cup Of Joe

It’s not easy finding the perfect cup of coffee. There are literally thousands of independent coffee roasters around the United States, and it’s nearly impossible to find one that you’ll love. Even if you do, not many are set up to take online orders. Y Combinator-backed startup Craft Coffee has come up with a way to connect its customers with roasters and beans that they’ll love.

Craft Coffee has been around since 2011, offering up a coffee subscription service designed to help users discover new roasts from around the country. It partners with dozens of different independent roasters to source beans and deliver them to customers that would probably never have heard of them.

The subscription commerce model for coffee by itself isn’t exactly novel. But what is interesting about what Craft Coffee is that it’s used data from all its previous sales, as well as what it knows about different roasters, to create a new discovery model based on what it calls the Coffee DNA project.

Neptune.io (YC S14) Wants To Help Network Admins Sleep By Fixing Common Issues Automatically

Nearly every network administrator has been on night duty when their pager buzzes or they get a smartphone alert of a network issue, one they’ve fixed a hundred times before, yet still forcing them to get out of bed to deal with it. YC backed startup, Neptune.io wants to change that by providing automated fixes for common networking problems, allowing those on-call admins to sleep just a bit better and only wake up for more serious issues.

Co-founder Kiran Gollu reports he used to work at Amazon Web Services, and he knows a thing or two about being woken several times a night because he’s had to deal with this very issue. “If the disk is full or a process breaks, you have to get out of bed and take a half hour or 45 minutes to fix it,” Gollu explained. “I worked at Amazon for five years. I was waking up and fixing these problems, and it was frustrating to do these things.”

Zen99 (YC S14) Makes Life Easier For Freelancers With Finance And Insurance Tools

Freelancers and contractors are a rapidly growing part of the workforce. Without benefits, however, many struggle with issues like figuring out how much of their earnings to withhold for taxes and finding insurance providers.

A new startup called Zen99 wants to help contractors with a free service. Backed by Y Combinator, Zen99 lets users sign up for health insurance, track earnings and expenses, and figure out how much to save for taxes on a single dashboard. It also offers advice through online guides at Zen99 University.