Sign up for Summer YC Open Office Hours

Starting today you can sign up for June, July and August YC Open Office Hours. 

What are Open Office Hours? Learn more here

June 23: Gen­eral Open Of­fice Hours
All founders are wel­come to apply.

July 14: Black, Latino and Na­tive Amer­i­can Founders
Apply here by June 17

Au­gust 11: Fe­male Founders
Apply here by July 15

What to Ex­pect
Each com­pany who par­tic­i­pates will get 25-minute of­fice hours with a YC part­ner. You can do them in per­son at our of­fice in Moun­tain View, CA or re­motely on Skype.

Star­tups should use these of­fice hours to fig­ure out con­crete steps they can take to build their MVP (min­i­mum vi­able prod­uct), re­cruit a co-found­ing team, raise seed cap­i­tal, launch, mar­ket their prod­uct, and ac­quire their first cus­tomers. Ad­di­tion­ally, Ama­zon is gen­er­ously of­fer­ing $5k in AWS credit for all par­tic­i­pat­ing teams.

Questions? Send them to openofficehours@ycombinator.com.

Want to help us spread the word? Email kat@ycombinator.com and michael@ycombinator.com.

Meet Sam Altman in Krakow, Paris and London

YC's Sam Altman will be in Krakow, Paris and London from June 3-7.

Join him at any of the events below for a conversation about startups, technology, hard tech, YC and more.

June 3, 6PM 
Krakow Startup Community Talk at Estimote HQ
Krakusa 11 Street, Stare Podgórze, Kraków
Learn More 

June 6, 12PM
Sam Altman at TheFamily
25 rue du Petit Musc, Paris

June 7, 3PM
Fireside Chat with Sam Altman + Mosaic Ventures
Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle St., London
Learn More

Pluot (W16) Makes Affordable Video Conferencing Hardware That Just Works


With companies increasingly doing business across multiple cities and countries from day one, video conferencing is key. But video conferencing hardware is notoriously bulky, expensive, and designed for companies with full-time IT teams that can handle set up and management. Startups and smaller businesses are left behind, crowding around a single laptop during team meetings, investor pitches, and sales demos.

Pluot is a company that launched out of our Winter 2016 class that makes small, easy-to-set-up video conferencing hardware that just works, and that any company can afford. The company's mission is to democratize video conferencing -- to put useful, beautiful, simple video conferencing into every workplace in the world.

Setting up a Pluot takes just five minutes, and starting or joining a Pluot meeting takes ten seconds. Pluot hardware is free. Customers just pay $50/month per Pluot box, with no limit on users, minutes, or meetings.

In addition, Pluot's features leapfrog those of much more expensive options. Pluot can drive two TVs, so teams have more screen real estate to work with during meetings, and Pluot supports two simultaneous screen shares. Every Pluot connection is peer-to-peer, secure, and encrypted end-to-end. If you have a conference room, you need a Pluot

You can buy a Pluot for your conference room today at https://pluot.co/. There's no commitment, no hidden fees, and -- as a launch special -- shipping is currently free. You can also try out the web browser version of the Pluot experience any time. Visit https://pluot.co/new using Chrome. Your browser will be redirected to a new, unique, Pluot meeting URL. Copy that URL and send it to someone else. When they click on the link, they'll be able to join you in the meeting. (There's no software to download, and no sign-in to worry about or remember.)

Pluot's founders, Doug and Kwin, have known each other for 20 years, worked together for 15, and been obsessed with video conferencing and collaboration for a decade. Doug and Kwin bootstrapped Pluot by designing high-quality hardware that can be manufactured in small quantities. The company assembles Pluots in a garage in San Francisco.

Restocks (YC W16) Helps You Track and Buy the Most Coveted, Hard-To-Find Products

As more and more brands release products with extremely limited availability, consumers have resorted to camping out, spending hours in digital queues, or paying upwards of 400% over retail for coveted items like limited edition sneakers and apparel.

Restocks is a company that launched out of our Winter 2016 class that does all the hard work of finding he most in-demand items, with a subscription service which alerts users of the availability of popular but hard-to-find products. Restocks has created the first central place where stock information is stored and pushed out to the people who care most about it, with software that tracks 45,000 products in real time.

TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino wrote an in-depth review of Restocks this week:

"Over the past couple of months, I’ve purchased more items through Restocks than any other mobile commerce app aside from Amazon. And I’d wager that aside from a couple of statistical outliers each of those purchases were for more money on average.

Restocks is the answer to a simple question: What if you could target the world’s most ravenous purchasers at the exact moment they’re most likely to buy some of the world’s most sought after products?

Restocks is app that drives purchasing via push notifications when highly anticipated shoes and streetwear brands (for now) release or re-stock items. It’s also cost me hundreds of dollars over the few weeks I’ve been testing it. From limited release Nike shoes to boutique brands like Supreme, Reigning Champ, Concepts and Kith — each purchase is a push notification and a couple of taps away.

Restocks is on my home screen. Amazon isn’t even home screen worthy."

Read the full article here, and check out Restocks here.

First Fellowship Virtual Demo Day

Congratulations to the Fellowship teams who presented at the first Fellowship Virtual Demo Day! 

Find out more about the F2 Fellowship companies here: 

Awesound - AdWords for podcasts

BillionToOne - Fetal genetic testing in India

Bulletin - Airbnb for Retail

Cerplus - B2B marketplace for surplus produce

ConnectHealth - Telemedicine and prescription delivery in Africa

Ctzen - 311 for the developing world

GTRACK Technologies - Nanoparticle tracers for fracking

HDP Health - Helping clinical trials find patients using AI

Ilium VR - Rifle controller for virtual reality

Instrumentl - Concierge service for research

Mentat - Concierge service for jobseekers

Müvr Labs - Fitbit for your knees

OMG Digital- Buzzfeed for Africa

Palaround - Tinder for private networks

Pramp - P2P practice for livecoding interviews

Queen B Robotics - Drones for virtual reality content

Rent Scene - Apartment hunters for busy people

Sage - Uber for eldercare workers

SmartSite - Automated health monitoring for construction sites

Spotbot - Track website changes in Slack

Squire - OpenTable for barbershops

Suto - Personalized product recommendations on demand

Sway - Chatbot for company finances

The Flex Company - Menstrual product for mess-free period sex

Zube - Project management for Github issues

If you're an accredited investor who would like access to the Fellowship's Virtual Demo Day contact fellowship@ycombinator.com.


Gecko Robotics (YC W16) Builds Robots to Automate Infrastructure Inspections


Gecko Robotics is a company launching out of our Winter 2016 class that develops and operates robots to automate infrastructure inspections. Today, Gecko is focusing on power plant inspections.

Plants are required to shut down at least once a year to check for damage to their boilers. To do these inspections, crews install 150 foot tall scaffolds and climb up the walls in search of damaged areas in need of repair. These inspections are slow, inaccurate and dangerous. A typical inspection takes several days, and every hour a power plant is down costs tens of thousands of dollars -- in aggregate, power plant shutdowns cost power plants some $12 billion a year.

The Gecko solution is to send certified inspectors robots into these confined, dirty, and dangerous places.

TechCrunch's Sarah Buhr interviewed Gecko for a story published this week:

"Gecko’s proprietary magnetic adhesion technology works much like the sticky foot of a gecko, allowing its robots to crawl up walls to inspect for damage along the way.

A human would normally be the checker, but that presents an often dangerous situation. According to Gecko, most plants must shut down at least once a year to check for damage to the boiler. To do these inspections crews install 150-foot scaffolds and climb up the walls in search of areas in need of repair. On top of that, inspections can take up to seven days, with plants losing up to $1 million per day, says Gecko.

But for $50,000 to $100,000 Gecko deploys robots to do the work of human inspectors, saving time and money in the process."

Read the full story and see a video of the Gecko machine here.

NURX (YC W16) Prescribes and Delivers Medications On-Demand, To Your Door

NURX is a company launching out of our Winter 2016 class that aims to reduce the barriers to getting medications such as birth control for everyone, regardless of where they live.

NURX prescribes and delivers medication without you ever having to set foot in a doctor’s office. The company is starting by prescribing and delivering birth control and emergency contraceptives, and next plans to expand to offer HIV prevention medications Truvada and PReP.

7x7 Magazine wrote about NURX in a story published earlier this year:

"If you're a woman living in the United States, you already know that getting your hands on birth control can be a complex and expensive process. A new SF-based app called Nurx is offering a digital solution to getting your b.c. on time and at an affordable price. 

Founded by Hans Gangeskar and Dr. Edvard Engesaeth, Nurx is the newest white glove service to offer home delivery in the Bay Area. But instead of clothes or food, Nurx is offering to deliver the ring/pill/patch straight to your door in less than 48 hours. Plus, it's free to use with insurance. 

'Research shows that the easier and more affordable birth control is, the more women will use it. Women should not have to jump through unnecessary hoops, just to access birth control,' said Dr. Edvard Engesaeth, co-founder of Nurx.

Here's how it works: You choose your preferred brand of birth control, answer a few questions, enter your insurance information, and place your order all on the website. A Nurx physician will review your order and write your prescription, and the medication is delivered to you at no cost, if you have insurance. If you don't have insurance, the prescription and delivery are still free, and the medication itself starts at $15. It's that easy."

Read more about NURX in 7x7, CNN, and Elle, and visit their website at Nurx.co.

TRAC (YC W16) Brings Race Timing and Analytics Into the 21st Century

Over 26,000 running races occur within the United States each year, and worldwide, road races generate an estimated $8 billion annually in fees. However, this fast-growing segment of the sports industry has missed out on advances in innovation that have begun to transform other parts of the entertainment and wellness industries.

TRAC is a company launching out of our Winter 2016 class that wants to finally bring race timing and analysis into the 21st century, with a proprietary, flexible, on-demand race timing solution.

Deborah Gage at the Wall Street Journal wrote a story about TRAC this week:

"In a sparsely furnished apartment in Mountain View, Calif., Griffin Kelly and Elliot Hevel, both 24 and shoeless, are working on their first startup --Timing and Racing Around the Clock Inc., which makes a timing device, TRAC, that measures runners’ speed.

Both are runners who graduated from Northwestern University in 2013 with masters’ degrees in engineering. They have made a software-powered device that can be mounted on a tripod and operated by a smartphone, remotely if necessary, reading runners’ RFID chips as they cross the finish line and at various points along a race to calculate their times."

Read the full story here.

StrongIntro (YC W16) Boosts Employee Referrals for Finding and Hiring Engineers

Recruiting is hard, especially for technical employees. Everyone in the startup world knows that.

The best way to tackle this problem is to tap into the personal networks of your existing team members. In fact, employee referrals are often referred to as "hiring gold" because they build culture, retention, and engagement, all at a cheaper cost and faster-to-hire rate than alternative recruiting pipelines. The problem is, most companies don’t have the bandwidth or resources to create a robust referral program that competes with larger industry players.

StrongIntro is a company in our Winter 2016 class that wants to be a startup’s secret weapon, helping them bring in employee referrals and hire as effectively as top companies.

StrongIntro hosts a sourcing party at a startup's office, and uses its software to parse staffers' social connections to intelligently identify engineers and enable employees to easily recommend connections. This approach sources between 50 to 100 warm candidates for every five employees. StrongIntro also provides a dedicated recruiter to help build the key components of a successful referral program, including customized outreach, education of employees, and implementing best practices.

Using StrongIntro has zero upfront costs  -- they only take a performance fee if one of their referrals is hired.

StrongIntro has funding from the Thiel Fellowship, YC Fellowship, and YC Core, and has already helped companies like Segment, Raise.me, and Teespring discover and engage hundreds of new candidates. For more information or to book a sourcing session see http://www.strongintro.com.

Q&A with YC/Imagine K12's Geoff Ralston and Tim Brady

Geoff Ralston and Tim Brady, YC partners and Imagine K12 founders, hosted a Twitter chat and AMA on r/entrepreneur last week to answer questions from edtech startups applying to YC. Here are the highlights below:

1. The criteria for being accepted into YC or IK12 haven't changed.


2. We work with edtech startups that are considering all kinds of revenue models: freemium, direct-to-schools, parents, or otherwise.


3. We work with edtech startups that serve the entire spectrum of the learning process (pre-K, K-12, post-secondary, life-long learning) and any geographical market (US and International). 

5. And some final application tips.

For a more comprehensive look at the conversations, visit the archived Twitter chat and Reddit AMA.

The application deadline for the Summer 2016 batch is March 24. Apply now.

Good luck edtech applicants, hope to see you at interviews!