tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:/posts Y Combinator Posthaven 2014-08-31T18:28:36Z Y Combinator tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/733886 2014-08-29T20:36:09Z 2014-08-31T02:30:20Z BillForward (YC S14) Wants To Change The Way You’re Charged For Subscriptions

Amazon Prime, Netflix, utilities, the New York Times, HBO Go, the gym…

When you stop and think about all the subscriptions you have, the list probably is a bit longer than you thought.

But even as more subscription services become available, from ride shares to make up kits, it seems companies still offer customers limited subscription options due to constraints with their billing systems. Subscriptions rarely take into account how much you actually use them (If they did, most of us would probably be paying a lot more for Netlfix and a lot less for the gym).

Calling themselves “Stripe for subscription billing,” BillForward helps companies create customized billing services. BillForward CEO and co-founder Mark Parry said current subscription billing service software is outdated or difficult to use, and its time consuming and costly for companies to build their own.

Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/732075 2014-08-25T18:00:03Z 2014-08-31T18:28:36Z San Francisco Open Exchange (YC S14) Aims To Be The E-Trade Of Bitcoin

Y Combinator-backed startup San Francisco Open Exchange (SFOX) is an online trading platform that helps people find the best bitcoin prices at various exchanges. In other words, it would like to help you buy, sell and invest in bitcoin exchanges kinda like and investor buys and sells stock on E-Trade.

Co-founder Akbar Thobhani left his job at Airbnb to create this platform. However, he soon found that using bitcoin was even more expensive than using credit cards. This is because there’s not a lot of transparency. So he started thinking that if he could find a way to compare prices this would help drive widespread adoption for the bitcoin market.

Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/732055 2014-08-25T16:33:23Z 2014-08-30T17:29:59Z Applications for YC W15 are open We are now accepting applications for the Winter 2015 batch. You can apply as a startup or as a non-profit

If you want to apply, submit your application here by 8pm PT on October 14. 

For more information on the process, read How to Successfully Apply to Y Combinator

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/729125 2014-08-18T23:40:27Z 2014-08-29T13:26:51Z 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.

Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/729088 2014-08-18T23:30:02Z 2014-08-26T01:45:32Z 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.

Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/729047 2014-08-18T23:00:06Z 2014-08-18T23:00:06Z 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

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/729084 2014-08-18T22:30:03Z 2014-08-18T22:30:04Z 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

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/729041 2014-08-18T22:00:03Z 2014-08-18T22:00:03Z 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.

Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/729049 2014-08-18T21:30:05Z 2014-08-19T09:13:51Z 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]]>
Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/729039 2014-08-18T21:00:04Z 2014-08-18T21:00:05Z 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.

Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/729037 2014-08-18T20:04:13Z 2014-08-18T20:04:14Z 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.

Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/727931 2014-08-15T20:00:05Z 2014-08-15T20:00:05Z 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.”

Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/727930 2014-08-15T18:43:22Z 2014-08-15T18:43:22Z 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.

Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/727853 2014-08-15T16:10:05Z 2014-08-15T16:10:05Z One Codex (YC S14) Wants To Be The Google For Genomic Data

As hospitals and public health organizations switch to using genomic data for testing, searching through genomic data can still take some time. Y Combinator-backed startup, One Codex, wants to help researchers, clinicians and public health officials, who have sequenced more than 100,000 genomes and created petabytes of data, to search this data.

Founded by Nick Greenfield, a former data scientist, and Nik Krumm, who has a PhD in Genome Sciences from the University of Washington, One Codex is a service platform for genomics driven by the genomic sequencing revolution.

Apart from using search technology, the platform also acts as an indexed, curated reference. One Codex, which is currently in open beta, can search its growing database of 30,000 bacteria, viruses and fungi in real time and identify data sets in minutes (millions of DNA base pairs per second).

Read the full story in TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/727619 2014-08-14T23:30:02Z 2014-08-15T13:02:24Z Naytev (YC S14) Enhances Social Media Shares To Drive Website Traffic

Digital publishers are increasingly reliant on content shared with social networks like Facebook and Twitter to drive readers to their sites. Naytev hopes to optimize the way content is shared by A/B testing headlines and images that make their way to those networks.

The Y Combinator startup helps digital publishers increase their traffic and engagement by improving the content that readers share on their social networks.

Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/727524 2014-08-14T22:30:04Z 2014-08-14T22:30:05Z Bumped From Your Hotel? WalkSource (YC S14) Aims To Find You A Free Room Fast

You’re probably familiar with getting bumped from a flight. But have you ever been “walked” from a hotel?

Like airlines, hotels book more reservations than they can accommodate to ensure they are always operating at maximum capacity. But sometimes they overbook and have to “walk” their customers — transfer them to another hotel.

When Brett Leonard was working at a hotel in San Francisco, he often spent hours trying to find other hotels to walk customers to. He said they would become disgruntled and angry when it would take him hours to find them alternative hotels, sometimes as far away as Napa and Walnut Creek.

“This happens all the time,” Leonard’s partner Vladimir Blumen said. “When you run a really large hotel, it’s part of running this business.”

That’s why Leonard and Blumen joined Max Izmaylov and Jakub Vysoky to create WalkSource.

Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/727514 2014-08-14T21:30:04Z 2014-08-14T21:30:05Z Onename.io (YC S14) Aims To Streamline Bitcoin Transactions

If you wanted to send me bitcoin right now you could either type in ‘1JPrpxRagtzuzY4KWCNV2hBhybqyaTrVwA’ or just look for “johnbiggs” on Onename. That’s what two Princeton grads are hoping you’ll do, anyway.

Onename.io was founded by Muneeb Ali and Ryan Shea, two engineers who thought they could fix bitcoin transactions. The goal is simple: to offer a single page that allows you to send and receive money from other bitcoin users. Instead of QR codes and long wallet addresses, the pair want to offer a verified “name” page where users can click a single button and a name that you can type into a wallet application instead of a string of gibberish.

Read the full story on TechCrunch

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/727503 2014-08-14T20:40:27Z 2014-08-14T21:44:21Z Backpack (YC S14) Connects You With Travelers So You Can Purchase Items In Other Countries

Imagine if a certain type of medication you needed wasn’t available in your country and was expensive to ship or acquire. Many people rely on friends or relatives traveling to these countries to bring back items that cannot be purchased in their country, whether it’s jamon or an iPhone. Backpack connects users with travelers who can bring desired products back at discounted prices.

Backpack, a Y Combinator-backed startup, is a peer-to-peer marketplace that connects shoppers and travelers to empower consumers to buy overseas products at a discount. Shoppers get access to foreign products by paying travelers coming to their country a fee to purchase and deliver the items.

Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/727442 2014-08-14T18:39:42Z 2014-08-14T18:51:49Z ShipBob (YC S14) Helps Small Business Owners Avoid Post Office Purgatory

Unless you are a philatelist or have a strong tolerance for boredom, standing in post office lines is a pain. This is especially true if you have to do it over and over and over again for your job. ShipBob, a startup backed by Y Combinator, wants to help small business owners and online sellers with a service that not only takes items to the post office, but also handles packaging and tracking.

Before starting ShipBob, which is currently available in Chicago and plans to launch in San Francisco next, founders Dhruv Saxena and Divey Gulati ran a small e-commerce company called SnailMailPics, which meant they spent a lot of time preparing packages and waiting in the post office.

Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/727410 2014-08-14T17:20:10Z 2014-08-14T17:20:11Z Y Combinator And Mithril Invest In Helion (YC S14), A Nuclear Fusion Startup

Building a nuclear fusion reactor that can generate more energy than is put in to make it work is one of the biggest challenges facing engineers today. Like quantum computing, decades of research have mostly resulted in proofs of concept, not hardware that can be rolled out commercially.

So it came as a surprise to hear that Y Combinator and Mithril Capital Management are investing $1.5 million in Helion Energy, a Redmond, Washingon-based startup that says it has a plan to build a fusion reactor that breaks even on energy input and output, a challenge whose solution has been considered decades away for, well, decades. Helion CEO David Kirtley says that his company can do it in three.

Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/726944 2014-08-13T21:00:10Z 2014-08-17T17:46:22Z VizeraLabs (YC S14) Projects New Materials Onto Any Surface

Let’s say you’re at a furniture store and see a couch you like. It has the number of seats you need for your living room and the cushions are comfortable. But the model in the store is cotton, and that just won’t do — you wanted leather. How are you supposed to know if you like how it looks in person?

At stores with Y Combinator-backed VizeraLabs’s projector installed, you can see what every fabric looks like on a display model instantly. The company wants to replace the books full of different fabrics you can look through at furniture retailers with a projector paired with Microsoft’s Kinect hardware and pretty much any device that can connect to its growing database of materials and patterns in the cloud.

Read the full story on TechCrunch]]>
Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/726909 2014-08-13T20:00:01Z 2014-08-15T01:02:40Z Shout (YC S14) Is A Real-Time Classifieds App That Lets You Exchange Anything

Craigslist has come to be known as a modern take on the classifieds section of a newspaper, but Zachariah Reitano and Henri Stern want to go further and provide a real-time exchange service. That’s where Shout comes in.

Shout is a real-time classifieds that lets individuals exchange anything with others on the service. The iOS app lets users offer up something for sale, such as a ticket or a reservation, or make a request, such as a delivery. “Shouts” are linked to a location, a price and a short description and can either be free or cost a specific amount.

Read the full story on TechCrunch

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/726906 2014-08-13T19:00:03Z 2014-08-13T20:45:25Z Local Lift (YC S14) Is A Kickstarter For Local Businesses

Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other crowdfunding platforms have been a big hit with product makers and creative types, but a new company called Local Lift wants to now bring the power of crowdfunding to those in the local, small business community, too.

With the Local Lift platform, business owners are able to raise funds directly from their customer base and the community at large by running 30-day campaigns for small amounts of funding, usually averaging around $7,000-$8,000, based on early trials.

The idea for the startup comes from a team with financial and business backgrounds, including former Harvard Business School grads, Broderick McClinton, who previously worked at BlackRock and spent time in New Orleans working on economic development issues; and Eric Sonnier, previously of Deloitte and mobile ad startup MdotM. Meanwhile, CTO Matt Christen’s background involves development work on high-frequency trading platforms.

Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/726899 2014-08-13T18:17:54Z 2014-08-27T23:37:21Z Startup School 2014 applications are open Applications for Startup School 2014 are now open. Apply here

The deadline to apply is September 12.

Startup School Silicon Valley
October 11, 2014
Cupertino, CA

Startup School is Y Combinator's free to attend, one day conference where you'll hear stories and practical advice from founders and investors. They'll tell you how they got started, what went wrong, what surprised them, and what happened as their companies grew. 

We hope to see you there! 

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/726837 2014-08-13T16:00:00Z 2014-08-13T20:04:40Z BitAccess (YC S14) Launches To Make Bitcoin ATMs Ubiquitous

Trying to make access to the world’s largest cryptocurrency automatic for the people, BitAccess is looking to build a network of automated Bitcoin banking machines available worldwide.

The concept of a Bitcoin ATM isn’t new, with companies like Robocoin Technologies,GenesisCoinLamassu Bitcoin Ventures, and BitXatm all launching variations on bitcoin transaction hardware, but BitAccess touts an incredibly easy interface, a broader vision of how new hardware can be used, and the fact that it is the only player manufacturing its own transaction hardware.

“All you need is a phone number and a dollar,” to get a unit of Bitcoin says Haseeb Awan, one of the four co-founders behind BitAccess.

Read the full story on TechCrunch]]>
Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/726583 2014-08-13T01:44:14Z 2014-08-13T01:44:14Z TicketLabs (YC S14) Helps Small Music Venues Get More Fans Through The Door

Over the last few years, technology has steadily worked its way into the concert-going experience. Apps make the ticket purchasing experience a simple affair, while the endless flood of social data gives promoters and bands the ability to target their marketing efforts at those most likely to enjoy their particular style.

Y Combinator batch company TicketLabs wants to make that technology affordable and accessible for smaller artists and venues. So far, most of these improvements have gone to the high end of the market — companies like Ticketmaster were able to use its lock on the space to invest in improving the experience while collecting social data through social check-ins.

According to TicketLabs CEO Ian Roberts, the company put down its first lines of code on January 1 and brought in its first revenue on January 16. From there, the company expanded with the help of promoters in the Toronto area. By building for smaller players, it became obvious how to expand their product.
Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/726440 2014-08-12T18:49:59Z 2014-08-22T14:36:22Z Shift (YC S14) Is Developing A Debit Card That Lets You Spend Digital Currency, Loyalty Points And Regular Money

In the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere in the world, 100 people are testing out a debit card that lets them pay with bitcoin and Ripple, and, in the future, regular money and loyalty points. These users are part of a pilot program run by the Y Combinator-backed startup called Shift Payments, a company working to make it as easy to spend digital currencies, cryptocurrencies and loyalty points as it is to spend regular, fiat money.

Shift was founded by Meg NakamuraEugene Otto, and Greg Kidd – a team with backgrounds in payments, telecom and regulation, making them an ideal group for tackling something as complex as bringing digital currencies and loyalty points into the offline world, where they’re attached to a “normal” debit card.

Read the full story on TechCrunch]]>
Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/726364 2014-08-12T15:48:51Z 2014-08-21T07:16:32Z A Reminder to Investors Sam wrote about this in his recent blog post, but I've found that important and seemingly obvious things often bear repeating. So with Demo Day approaching, I'd like to make the following point explicit:

Y Combinator has a zero tolerance policy for inappropriate sexual or romantic behavior from investors toward founders.

Don't even think about doing it. I will find out. Y Combinator will not continue to work with you.

News also travels fast around the YC community. Past and future YC alumni will likely find out about your actions and find them equally unacceptable.

Nearly all the investors we know are completely upstanding and professional, but even one inappropriate incident is too many.

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Jessica Livingston
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/726118 2014-08-11T23:30:06Z 2014-08-12T22:07:30Z Theorem (YC S14) Aims To Be The Priceline For Fashion

At first, what Theorem does sounds like what a lot of other companies do: It’s an online marketplace for well-made, higher-end clothing and accessories. But Theorem comes with a very interesting twist: The price of each item is up for negotiation. Buying something on Theorem hearkens to the kind of back-and-forth haggling that’s been practiced in flea markets and bazaars for centuries, but brought online into the modern age and spruced up with a lot of smart technology.

At Theorem’s beta launch in April, the San Francisco-based startup had just two staffers — cofounders Ryan Jackson and Adam Roberts, pictured here — was completely bootstrapped, and only a handful of merchants had agreed to sell items through the site. But even in those early days, it was very apparent to me that Theorem had what it takes to be on to something big.

Read the full story on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/726096 2014-08-11T22:45:03Z 2014-08-29T14:17:36Z Rigetti Computing (YC S14) Raises $2.5M To Create Commercial Quantum Systems

Once confined to research labs and science fiction, quantum computing is finally reaching a point where researchers aren’t simply trying to find out what’s possible, but looking at how they can actually work the technology into commercial hardware.

Rigetti Computing, a member of the current Y Combinator batch, wants to be one of the companies that leads the effort to create an ecosystem around quantum computing. Founded by a former high-ranking researcher at IBM and Yale, the company plans to bring consistent performance improvements to the field through an iterative, simulation-driven prototyping process.

Read the full story on TechCrunch

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Y Combinator