tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:/posts Y Combinator Posthaven 2015-07-06T21:40:07Z Y Combinator tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/878058 2015-07-06T21:40:07Z 2015-07-06T21:40:07Z Gemnote (YC S15) Launches To Give Corporate Gifts A Personal Touch

Businesses in the United States spent a whopping $19 billion last year on gifts and promotional items for their clients and employees. But among all the cheesy fruit arrangements and overstuffed gift baskets, nothing stands out quite like an upscale, thoughtful gift accompanied by a handwritten note. 

Gemnote is a startup that just launched out of our Summer 2015 class that makes it easy for companies to send personalized gifts that seem like they've been selected by hand along with handwritten notes.

You can read about Gemnote's offerings in TechCrunch:

"The startup offers four regularly updated gift boxes, ranging in price from $80 to $175, as well as custom options, and cards that are handwritten in English, Chinese, or Spanish and mailed by a network of freelancers, called 'scribes' by the company, around the United States.

...Packages occasionally include food, but most products—like leather coasters, Fitbits, Bose headphones, USB cords, and external batteries—are meant to be kept and used frequently... Gemnote usually looks for gender-neutral items, but it also creates custom boxes. For example, a company that serves new moms might send out packages with organic toiletries, robes, or baby swaddles."

Gemnote was founded by Ashley Wong, who was previously the head of product at Spoonrocket. While at Spoonrocket, she once wrote and sent out around 100 handwritten cards and gifts to the company's investors and advisors -- and quickly realized how difficult it is for a company to maintain a "personal touch" as it scales. Wong told TechCrunch that Gemnote's online portal makes it so that sending out a personal designer gift is as easy as firing off an email.

Gemnote is currently being used by about 30 companies in the United States, and plans to expand into China next year.

Read more about Gemnote's launch in TechCrunch, and check them out on Product Hunt and Hacker News.


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Colleen Taylor
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/877994 2015-07-06T19:10:40Z 2015-07-06T19:50:05Z Roomblocker (YC S15) Makes Booking Hotels For Groups And Events A Snap

The latest startup to launch out of the Summer 2015 class of Y Combinator is Roomblocker, which has developed an easy and modern way to book discounted blocks of hotel rooms for groups and events.

Even though the Internet has revolutionized nearly everything about the travel industry, the practice of booking blocks of rooms for events like weddings or corporate outings has remained a surprisingly offline process. Typically, event organizers book group travel accommodations the old fashioned way: Calling various hotels, finding out if there is availability for certain dates, inquiring about group rates, negotiating discounts. It's a lot of legwork.

That's where Roomblocker comes to the rescue. With Roomblocker, all an event organizer has to do is fill out a quick survey about his or her group's needs. The app then hooks up the event planner with a dedicated concierge, who does all the work of finding available hotels, negotiating the best rates and ironing out various details. All the best options are presented on an easy-to-navigate dashboard, where the planner can select the hotel and package that suits them. Guests can then book their rooms themselves, via SMS, phone, or a customized group reservation webpage.

While Roomblocker obviously makes life much easier for event planners, it's also great from the hotels' perspective -- it streamlines a significant part of their business. Room blocks account for around 25 percent of all hotel reservations made annually, adding up to some $137 billion in sales worldwide.

You can read more about Roomblocker on TechCrunch, and on Hacker News.


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Colleen Taylor
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/875191 2015-06-29T19:24:17Z 2015-07-01T07:35:45Z Livecoding.tv (YC S15) Is Twitch For Coding

Livecoding.tv is launching today as part of the Summer 2015 batch of Y Combinator. 

Livecoding.tv is a livestreaming platform where you can watch people code products live. It's like Twitch for coding. 

Read more about them in TechCrunch

"The way Livecoding works is pretty simple. Developers stream live video of themselves coding, and users watching can ask questions or give feedback.

Since launching a beta in February, Livecoding has seen 40,000 people sign up across 162 countries. Users have streamed in a variety of spoken languages, including Portuguese, Russian, and German, and coding languages, including C#, Python, and PHP.

Anyone who wants to stream about coding can do so, from expert coders to 11-year-old kids building their first Java game."

You can visit the site any time of day or night to learn from developers who are building games, mobile apps and websites. Streamers come to share the projects they are working on, get feedback or help from viewers, and share their knowledge. 

Livecoding.tv was founded by Jamie Green and Michael J. Garbade. What they've built is a new type of educational platform.“Live education is the key to the future,” Green told TechCrunch. “Verticals like design could be very interesting to engage with this model.”

Livecoding.tv is free for both streamers and viewers

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/875270 2015-06-29T19:09:15Z 2015-06-29T19:09:15Z Instant eSports (YC S15) Is ESPN for Competitive Gaming

We're happy to welcome Instant eSports to the Summer 2015 batch of Y Combinator. 

Instant eSports is the ESPN for eSports. Their app makes it easy to keep up with eSports news and scores. 

In 2015, the worldwide eSports market reached 134 million viewers, and the viewership is growing every year. The 2014 League of Legends World Championship alone had an audience of 27 million—approximately the same number of people who watched the 2015 NCAA basketball final. This immense following translates to a market opportunity of $612 million worldwide. 

Instant eSports currently supports League of Legends and DotA 2 (with CS:GO and Hearthstone coming soon). The app is available in the App Store and will be coming to Google Play in July 2015.

Instant eSports is founded by long-time gamers Rick Ling, Jonathan Lin, and Sebastian Merz. Both Rick and Jonathan have worked in the gaming industry, and Sebastian was once a professional eSports commentator for ESL. They're avid players of League of Legends, DotA2, and CS:GO.

Download Instant eSports in the App Store
Read more about them on TechCrunch
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/875171 2015-06-29T15:10:07Z 2015-07-02T07:23:51Z Cymmetria (YC S15) Uses Virtual Machines To Decoy And Detect Hackers

Cymmetria (YC S15) is launching out of the Summer 2015 batch of Y Combinator. 

They are building an enterprise security system that puts attackers in a rat maze. 

Today, security solutions are either signature based (they look for known attacks) or behavior based (machine learning extracts info from big data). These solutions are static — you build a system in advance and wait for an attacker to reach you. These solutions put defenders in an endless game of cat and mouse, where the attacking side has complete situational awareness, and defenders have none.

Strategically, there is no reason why the defenders shouldn’t have the “home court” advantage, and this can be achieved by the deployment of decoy technology. 

Cymmetria is building a system that can shape an attacker's behavior by leading them toward decoys. You can read more about Cymmetria on TechCrunch
"Their focus is APT attacks. Aka: advanced persistent threats — where attackers, perhaps State-sponsored, are aiming to get into a network and lurk undetected for a long time in order to steal large amounts of data.

'The first value proposition is essentially one alert — one critical alert,' he (founder Gadi Evron) says, explaining how Cymmetria works. 'Current solutions generate thousands upon thousands of alerts every day. We generate one because our decoys are real machines and nothing should run on them except for what we put on them. Which exactly means that if anything now runs on that computer that is not ours that is a 100 per cent indication there is an attacker now in the network. There are no false positives.'

At that point Cymmetria also performs forensic analysis on the attack, and offers an action plan on how to mitigate it — using a company’s existing systems and security infrastructure, with which it integrates."

Cymmetria is founded by Gadi Evron, Dean Sysman and Ran Harel. Gadi worked as VP of Cybersecurity Strategy at Kaspersky, headed PWC's Cyber Security Center of Excellence in Israel, and led the Israeli government Internet security operation. He sits on advisory boards with the Cyber Threat Intelligence Alliance and the Israeli CERT. Dean was formerly an officer and commander in unit 8200 in Israeli military intelligence. Ran was formerly a senior expert for a nation-scale cyber defense system and has over 10 years experience in enterprise security including global banks and financial organizations.

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/874239 2015-06-26T16:10:43Z 2015-06-26T16:10:43Z YC Digest - 6/19-6/25 Top Stories from the YC World - June 19-June 25, 2015

YC News
Startup School Radio: Ep 7 with YC's Kevin Hale and Johnny Chin of Bannerman (YC S14) is live on SoundCloud and iTunes

Launches
YC W15: Smyte Launches To Fight Online Fraud

Essays
We need to rethink employee compensation by Aaron Harris

YC Alum Updates
Docker (YC S10), CoreOS (YC S13), Google, Microsoft, Amazon Come Together To Develop Common Container Standard

FarmLogs (YC W12) in the NYT: "The problem we’re solving is that the world needs to feed nine billion people by 2050, and we’re not going to get any more farmland." 

Instacart (YC S12) Reclassifies Part of Its Workforce Amid Regulatory Pressure on Uber

Fundraising
Tech In Asia (YC S15) Raises $4M To Grow From Tech Blog Into Startup Hub

Car app developer Automatic Labs (YC S11) raises $24 million

Matterport (YC W12) Captures $30M To Scan Rooms Into Virtual Reality
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/871280 2015-06-19T16:05:03Z 2015-06-25T17:54:09Z YC Digest - 6/12-6/18 Top Stories from the YC World - June 12-June 18, 2015

YC News
Welcome Amy, Susan, Colleen, and Steven

Tell HN: Kevin Hale will be on Show HN today (Friday, June 18)

Episode 6 of Startup School Radio w/ Marco Zappacosta of Thumbtack & Sanjay Dastoor of Boosted Boards is now on iTunes and SoundCloud

Launches
YC S15: 100 Homes In 100 Days: How New Story Plans To Rebuild Haiti Where The Red Cross Failed

YC Alum Updates
BloomThat (YC S13) Grows Beyond Flower Delivery To Gifts With $5.5M

Move Loot (YC W14) expands to NYC and LA to help you buy and sell used furniture

Fundraising
“Optimize Everything” Startup SigOpt (YC W15) Raises $2M From A16Z And Data Collective


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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/870543 2015-06-17T19:12:35Z 2015-06-19T14:36:44Z Welcome Amy, Susan, Colleen, and Steven I’m delighted to announce four new additions to the YC team.

Amy Buechler is joining us as an associate, working closely with founders in the current investment cycle.  Previously, she got an M.A. in Counseling Psychology at the Wright Institute, led study abroad programs through the Bali Institute, and managed commercial real estate. 

Susan Hobbs is joining us as Director of Events.  Previously, she was at TechCrunch for four years where she focused on programming for the TechCrunch events, including Disrupt.  Before that, Susan was the first non-engineering hire at both Codian and at CoTweet.

Colleen Taylor is joining us as Editorial Director.  Colleen was most recently at TechCrunch, where she served as the editorial director for TechCrunch TV.  Previously, she worked as a reporter at GigaOM, the Financial Times' Mergermarket newswire, and the semiconductor industry newsletter Electronic News. 

Steven Pham is joining us as our office manager.   Steven was formerly Garry Tan’s Chief of Staff and has a BS in Biomedical Engineering.

Welcome to YC!

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Sam Altman
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/868780 2015-06-12T16:01:03Z 2015-06-19T17:22:19Z YC Digest - June 5-June 11 Top Stories from the YC World - June 5-June 11, 2015

Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia of Airbnb kick off YC S15 with the first Tuesday night dinner talk of the batch

YC News
Episode 5 of Startup School Radio is live on iTunes and SoundCloud: Ep. 5 features Dave Tisch and Alan Tisch of Spring, and Olga Vidisheva of Shoptiques 

YC Alum Updates
Product Hunt (YC S14) launches Product Hunt Games

SendHub (YC W12) launches Inbox - Gmail for Texting

Fundraising
Pachyderm (YC W15) Raises $2 Million To Power Big Data Processing For The Docker Era


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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/866027 2015-06-05T16:07:54Z 2015-06-05T16:07:54Z YC Digest - 5/22-6/4 Top Stories from the YC World - May 22-June 4, 2015

Sam Altman kicks off the first Camp YC 

"Culture starts when you're just two people." - Jessica Livingston on FounderLine

Startup School Radio Ep. 4 featuring PlanGrid and Campus Job is live on SoundCloud and iTunes


Gradberry (YC W15) Unveils A Recruiting AI That Analyzes Engineering Candidates And Their Code


Fundraising
Atomwise (YC W15) Raises $6 Million To Further The Advancement Of Artificial Intelligence In Drug Discovery

Lully (YC W15) Lands $2.1M In Seed Funding To Prevent Night Terrors


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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/861969 2015-05-28T15:30:14Z 2015-07-04T02:32:20Z Eden (YC S15) Launches To Offer On-Demand Electronics Repair And Installation

Eden, part of the YC Summer 2015 batch, brings on-demand tech support to your home. They announced their launch today on TechCrunch:

"There is no doubt that the technology of today, from smartphones to connected devices to WiFi everywhere, is making our world a more convenient and navigable place. But in many ways we’ve grown dependent on this type of lifestyle, which makes a busted device or a malfunction a debilitating experience.

YC-backed Eden is launching to solve this.

The company offers on-demand tech pros that will come to you, based on a specified time and location, and solve your tech problems. This ranges from fixing a cracked iPhone screen, mounting a TV or setting up a home theater, installing IOT devices (such as the Nest or the August Lock), solving WiFi issues, troubleshooting computer issues, and much more."

All Eden Tech Pros are verified experts who have gone through a 6-point background check, and if you're not happy with their service, you get your money back. 

Eden is taking on Geek Squad, Best Buy's tech support service that makes over $2 billion of annual revenue, despite getting an average score of 2 stars out of 5 on Yelp! According to TechCrunch, "Combining the larger SMB market with the consumer market, the industry is valued at about $30 billion annually."

Eden is founded by Joe Du Bey, Kyle Wilkinson, Guy Morita, and Susie Sun. 

Eden is currently available in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Ask the founders questions on Hacker News and Product Hunt
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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/859828 2015-05-22T16:19:50Z 2015-06-10T12:24:09Z YC Digest - 5/15-5/21 Top Stories from the YC World - May 15-May 21, 2015

YC News
Farewell TC, Hello YC - Susan Hobbs joins Y Combinator

Essays
Party (round) all the time? - by Aaron Harris

Launches
YC S11: InboxSDK launches —The Biggest, Most Unexploited API Frontier in 2015 is now open - Built by Streak  

YC S09: RealtyHop Helps Investors Find Underappreciated Rental Properties - Built by the RentHop team

YC S15: New Story Crowdfunds Houses for Homeless People - Meet YC's newest non-profit 

YC Alum Updates
Semantics3 (YC W13) launches the first push notifications API for e-commerce products 

Build apps for cars on the new Automatic (YC S11) developer platform

analyticsMD (YC W15) launches an index that's like Yelp for hospitals 

Gobble Says It Has Delivered 230K Easy-To-Cook Meals Since Launching Last Year

Fundraising
Videopixie (YC S11), A Video Production Startup That Connects Buyers And Creators, Raises $1.1M

Meteor (YC S11) Raises $20M To Build The One JavaScript Stack To Rule Them All

Payments company WePay (YC S09) raises $40 million to go global

Algolia (YC W14) Grabs $18.3 Million From Accel For Its Search API On Steroids

Mobile Optimization Startup Taplytics (YC W14) Has Raised $2.4M In Seed Funding

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/856708 2015-05-18T15:37:01Z 2015-06-19T00:09:21Z New Story (YC S15) Crowdfunds Houses For Homeless Families

Meet New Story, a non-profit in the Summer 2015 batch of YC. New Story crowdfunds houses for homeless families living in danger.

Here’s how it works:

  • New Story partners with organizations on the ground that identify families living in conditions exposed to dangers like rape, theft, and sanitation borne disease.

  • New Story tells the stories of these families on their crowdfunding platform.

  • Donors can give directly to a family, and when the home is built 2-3 months later, donors receive a video of the family they helped moving into their new home.

  • Local contractors build the homes, providing jobs and stimulating the economy.

In their first 6 months, New Story raised over $120k in donations, and funded 20 new homes in Leveque, Haiti. 

Part of what we like about New Story is their focus on creating a better giving experience. They built transparency and personal connection into the platform, along with features that make it easy for donors to share campaigns. 

To help donors understand where their money is going and what it is (or isn't) accomplishing, New Story posted a breakdown of what it costs to build one home on the site. 100% of every donation goes to building homes and so far, the team has funded its operations through private investors and YC. 

New Story is founded by Brett Hagler (who previously founded the socially conscious e-commerce company, Hucksley), Alexandria Lafci (a Teach for America alum with a decade of international development experience), and Matthew Marshall (a UX designer for charitable brands and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper). They believe, as we do, that this tech-powered donor experience is the future of philanthropic giving.

Read more about New Story on TechCrunch

Learn how to create a campaign here

The founders answer questions on Hacker News


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Kat Manalac
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/856562 2015-05-15T15:45:00Z 2015-05-25T07:58:50Z YC Digest - 5/8-5/14 Top Stories from the YC World - May 8-May 14, 2015

YC News
One surprising hack to get into YC! by Sam Altman

Startup School Radio Ep. 2: Justin Kan and Mathilde Collin

Congratulations to PlanGrid's (YC W12) Tracy Young for being listed as one of Fast Company's "Most Creative People in Business 2015" 

Launches
Senic (YC S13) is building Nuimo, a dial for the internet of things 

Fundraising
PlanGrid (YC W12) raises $18 million from Sequoia to digitize construction blueprints - The team has already put over 17 million blueprints in the cloud

Women Power on Display in Career Site The Muse’s (YC W12) $10M Round

We’ve raised money to reinvent global trade - Paul Graham on Flexport: “Flexport is one of those rare startups that will not merely satisfy its market, but grow it. There will be more international trade because of Flexport, and international trade is a very big thing for there to be more of.”

On-Demand Laundry Service Cleanly Hangs Up $2.3 Million In Seed Funding

Smarking (YC W15) Raises $3 Million to Help Parking Providers Fill Every Space

YC Alum Updates
Sidecar and Meadow (YC W15) partner to bring you faster on-demand weed delivery

Recurse Center (YC S10) is building a research lab focused on discovering better ways of making software

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/854520 2015-05-11T17:53:13Z 2015-06-15T18:31:25Z One surprising hack to get into YC! People often ask us what they can do to improve their chances of getting into YC.  The truth is there isn’t much other than “have a good idea, a market that may become huge, and a great team”.

However, there is one thing that helps, and so we’re making it official.

If you’ve worked at a YC company, and get a good recommendation from the founder of that company, we’ll give your YC application extra consideration.  References are very helpful in any decision about who to work with—there’s so much value in understanding how someone performs and improves over years on a job. 

You certainly don’t need to do this, of course.  Most of the founders we fund are totally unknown to any YC partner and have never worked at a YC company.  The fact that we are willing to look at people totally unknown to us is key to why we do well, and not something we’ll ever stop doing.

(If you’re an engineer interested in working at a YC startup, go here: https://triplebyte.com)

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Sam Altman
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/853352 2015-05-08T16:20:42Z 2015-05-08T16:20:42Z YC Digest 5/1-5/7: Work at a YC Startup, SUS Radio and Zenefits Top Stories from the YC World - May 1-May 7, 2015

YC News
Work at a YC Startup v2 - Apply for a job at a YC startup without a resume. 

Startup School Radio is now a podcast - Hear YC partner Aaron Harris get stories and practical advice from founders and investors. Learn how they got started, what went wrong, what surprised them, and what happened as their companies grew.

Launches
YC S15: Former YC Partner Harj Taggar Is Building The New Technical Hiring Pipeline With TripleByte 

Essays
Things that aren't work by Aaron Harris 

Fundraising
Zenefits (YC W13) Just Raised $500 Million At A $4.5 Billion Valuation 

Updates 
Estimote (YC S13) now lets you track the indoor location of several people in real-time with their cloud-based API

Zidisha (YC W14) launches in Haiti

YC Alum Stories
From Communal Living to Peer-to-Peer Construction Rentals - EquipmentShare (YC W15) in WSJ

This Man Turned His Dirty Laundry Nightmare Into a Startup - Cleanly (YC W15) in Fast Company

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/852639 2015-05-07T18:00:04Z 2015-07-03T12:39:26Z Work at a YC Startup v2 Hiring is the biggest problem our startups face once they finish YC.  In the past, we've held Work at a Startup events with the goal of connecting our companies to great programmers. Unfortunately, scaling recruiting events is very hard and requiring applicants to show up in person significantly reduces the pool of potential hires. As a result, we're bringing back the Work at a Startup idea but this time we're going to use a new YC startup to power it.

Triplebyte (YC S15) is launching a common application to apply for a job at any YC startup.  You don't have to go to an event or submit a resume. Emailing thousands of resumes to our portfolio companies is not a good solution. It puts programmers who don't have impressive resumes at a disadvantage and puts the burden on our YC companies to filter through thousands of applicants. With the new YC common application, you answer some simple programming questions online, followed by a 15 minute phone screen, and then a set of online technical interviews. If you pass, they'll help you search across all YC startups, select up to five you'd like to work for, and help you get a job.  

Not only does this help us address a problem that all YC startups face as they grow, it also provides a fair and open process for people from diverse backgrounds to move to the Bay Area and join the startup world. Apply to work at a YC company here.



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Michael Seibel
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/850015 2015-05-01T15:45:03Z 2015-05-01T15:45:03Z YC Digest - 4/24-4/30 Top Stories from the YC World - April 24-April 30, 2015

Watch
PlatziConf brings YC to Mexico: Watch the livestream here starting at 9am CDT on Saturday, May 2 

Essays
Subtle Mid-Stage Startup Pitfalls by Jessica Livingston

The days are long but the decades are short by Sam Altman

Launches
DroneBase (YC W15) Lets Any Business Rent A Drone And Pilot

Fundraising
ShipBob (YC W15) Raises $1M To Help Small Businesses Deliver Orders On Time

Campus Job (YC W15), Connecting College Students With Employers, Raises $7.8 Million In Series A

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/849117 2015-04-29T21:48:08Z 2015-06-05T16:10:04Z DroneBase (YC W15) Lets Any Business Rent A Drone And Pilot

YC W15's DroneBase is a marketplace for drone services founded by Dan Burton and Eli Tamanaha. 

Read more about DroneBase on TechCrunch:

"DroneBase lets you commission a drone and its pilot for commercial jobs. You just submit your request online, DroneBase finds someone who can do the gig, they come fly and send you the media and data needed.

DroneBase has the potential to both disrupt old ways of getting aerial imagery or doing heavy industry inspections, but also open up options to businesses that couldn’t afford it. Now after graduating from Y Combinator, DroneBase has raised a seed round from Union Square Ventures, SV Angel, Rothenberg Ventures, and Launchpad LA."

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/843698 2015-04-20T21:36:08Z 2015-05-23T04:10:13Z Rickshaw (YC W14) Provides An API For Local Deliveries

Rickshaw, the same-day delivery platform, launched today on TechCrunch after operating in stealth since the Winter 2014 batch of YC: 

"Ever since Uber launched to enable users to hail a ride with a mobile app, any number of on-demand and same-day delivery services have emerged. In most cases, those companies end up building out their own logistics infrastructure and hiring their own delivery drivers.

But why keep reinventing the wheel if the delivery and routing part of the service isn’t a part of your core competency? That’s the thinking behind Y Combinator-backed Rickshaw, which hopes to enable companies to outsource the logistics layer of the local delivery process in a way that will make same day pickups and drop-offs more efficient for all.

Rickshaw was founded by Divya Bhat and Gautam Jayaraman, two MIT grads who have backgrounds in operations research and computer science. They began building Rickshaw, Bhat says, after she considered working on a startup that would require a fleet for deliveries. Rather than building such a fleet just for their own usage, or reaching out to others to rent capacity on their delivery fleets, the Rickshaw founders thought it made more sense for to work on solving the delivery problem for a bunch of different companies."

Read the full story on TechCrunch

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/840158 2015-04-13T17:01:01Z 2015-05-11T17:49:30Z Welcome Luke and Rick We are happy to announce two new additions to the YC team.

Rick Morrison is joining us as a part-time partner.  Rick is the founder and CEO of Comprehend Systems.  Comprehend makes multi-datasource analytics and collaboration tools for the life sciences industry.  Rick will focus on advising our enterprise companies.

Luke Iseman is joining us to help our hardware companies.  He was the cofounder of Edyn from W2014, and he cofounded the boxhouse open-source shipping container home project.  Luke will be responsible for all of our hardware partnerships as well as advising hardware companies on how to get their prototypes and products built.

Welcome, Luke and Rick!
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Sam Altman
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/835459 2015-04-03T19:36:01Z 2015-06-07T10:52:43Z New Hacker News Guideline The HN team members are some of the most thoughtful people about online communities I’ve ever met. So I’m always excited when they have a new idea to try.

This idea is simple. We’re updating the guidelines to add: "Avoid gratuitous negativity."

Critical thinking is good; shallow cynicism, on the other hand, adds nothing of value to the community. It is unpleasant to read and detracts from actual work. If you have something important but negative to say, that's fine, but say it in a respectful way. 

Negativity isn't the problem--gratuitous negativity is. By that we mean negativity that adds nothing of substance to a comment. This includes all forms of meanness.

Sharp readers may point out that the HN guidelines have always excluded those things. That's true. But it's still enough of a problem in HN threads that this is a clarification worth making. We tried it out last year when we released special guidelines for Show HNs. It worked well there, so we're extending it to the whole site.

New work and new ideas are fragile. Too much gratuitous negativity might be the difference between someone giving up on a crazy idea and building the next Airbnb. Obviously, we want Hacker News to help startups and people doing new work, not hurt them. Building stuff is hard, and you'll always need a thick skin. But we see no need for Hacker News to make the problem worse.
 
The human trait of being unhappy with other people's success is something we’ve all felt and should all try to avoid. Similarly for piling on to others' mistakes. These things feel good in the moment, but they're harmful and lazy. HN is a community of smart people. Let's all apply our smartness to *not* being like that, and see what new and interesting things emerge.
 
How are we going to enforce this? By asking the community to do so. Gentle reminders by peers are the best way we know to make the culture better.
 
HN can never be all things to all people. If you want to be relentlessly negative on the internet, there are other places you can go to do that.
 
I’m excited about this change; the increase in gratuitous negativity as Hacker News has gotten bigger is the thing I’ve liked the least.
 
To support this, Daniel and the HN team are working on another new idea I'm very excited about--code-named "Modnesty"--to turn more moderation power over to the community. We'll be sharing more on that in the coming months.

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Sam Altman
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/835220 2015-04-03T15:38:17Z 2015-04-10T23:52:06Z YC Digest - 3/27-4/2

YC W15 at their last dinner (Photo credit: Pretty Instant)

Top Stories from the YC World - March 27-April 2, 2015
What Happens After Y Combinator: The Marathon After the Sprint (Fast Company)

Launches

Essays
The Magic Thread by Geoff Ralston

Silver Bullets by Jeremy Yamaguchi (Lawn Love YC S14) 

Fundraising


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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/834298 2015-04-01T17:15:37Z 2015-05-02T04:42:02Z Congratulations to YC W15

YC W15 at their last Tuesday night dinner. Photo credit: Pretty Instant

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/833872 2015-04-01T00:11:29Z 2015-04-01T00:11:29Z Neverfrost (YC S14) Wants To Kill Windshield Frost And Keep Rocks From Ruining Your Day

Neverfrost, a company that's been operating in stealth since the Summer 2014 batch, announced their product today in TechCrunch: 

"Neverfrost, a YC-backed company that has been working away quietly up in Waterloo for the past few years, wants to beef up your windshield’s ability to handle the stray rocks that may come its way — and while they’re at it, they want to end windshield frosting and help drivers save fuel by keeping their car’s interior cooler."

Read the full story in TechCrunch

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/831609 2015-03-27T15:51:33Z 2015-04-15T06:04:43Z YC Digest - March 20-26, 2015 Hello from the YC Team at Demo Day (photo credit: April Buchheit)

Top Stories from the YC World - March 20-26, 2015
The deadline to apply to YC S15 is tonight at 8pm PT!

Here Are The Companies That Presented At Y Combinator Demo Day 1 - TechCrunch

47 Startups That Launched At Y Combinator Winter 2015 Demo Day 2 - TechCrunch

Ebola Drugs, Prison Inmates, Real, Live Rockets: Y Combinator's New Launchpad - Fast Company

I Am Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator. AMA - Hacker News

Sam Altman: Why Hardware Could Yield the Next $10 Billion Startups - WSJ 

How Platzi (YC W15) bootstrapped its way into Y Combinator to build the future of education - TNW

A Look Inside Transcriptic’s (YC W15) New Biotech Testing Facility - TechCrunch

Launches
YC S14: Nightingale Launches Its Support Platform For Autism Therapy

YC W15: Pigeon.ly, A Startup Focused On Serving The U.S. Prison Population, Joins Y Combinator

YC W15: SmartSpot’s Tale: From A Farm In Egypt To Building A YC Computer Vision Startup For Fitness

YC W15: Cribspot (YC W15) Helps University Students Find Rentals In Time For School To Start

YC W15: Razorpay Offers Stripe-Style Payments Focused Squarely On Indian E-Commerce Plays

YC W15: HigherMe Promises A Smarter Approach To Applying For Retail Jobs And Other Hourly Work

YC W15: Online Learning Service Platzi Wants To Give You Useful Tech Skills, Not Diplomas

YC W15: Instavest Wants To Help Investors Make Smarter Trades

YC W15: SmartHires Helps Startups Find Tech Talent Within The Same Investment Portfolio

YC W15: GiveMeTap Offers Free Water And Footfall Data For Stores, And It Helps Africa

YC W15: Introducing Priime - a new way to edit photos on your iPhone

YC W15: Kickpay Is A Marketplace For Invoices That Helps SMEs Get Paid Quickly

YC S14: uBiome Is Now Doing An Indiegogo Campaign To Check Out Dental Bacteria

YC W15: Taskpipes Is SaaS To Simplify Using Lots Of (Other) SaaS Platforms

YC W15: SlideMail Is An Intelligent Email App For The Rest Of Us 

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Y Combinator
tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/829628 2015-03-24T17:38:39Z 2015-05-11T16:44:34Z Pigeon.ly (YC W15), A Startup Focused On Serving The U.S. Prison Population, Joins Y Combinator

YC welcomes Pigeon.ly to the Winter 2015 batch. Pigeon.ly is building a profitable new category of services for the 20M ppl with family in prison. Read more about Pigeon.ly on TechCrunch:

"Hutson says that 1 percent of the U.S. population has a loved one who is in prison, given the scale of the U.S. mass incarceration system. He estimates it’s a $2 billion market. If you look at competitors, Securus sold to a private equity firm in 2013 for about a half-billion dollars while JPay told CNBC it had $50 million in revenues last year. 
While Pigeon.ly is definitely farther along in terms of product and growth than some of its peers in the YC program, Hutson said it was valuable to join the program anyway. YC partner Michael Seibel, who co-founded SocialCam and Justin.tv, heavily recruited Hutson and has been a big advocate for diversifying each batch of companies
'Being a minority founder building a company, Y Combinator can help. You need to have the right affiliations. You need to be in the right circles. We looked at this as an opportunity to get access to investors and talent.'"

Listen to Planet Money's episode on Pigeon.ly: Episode 610 The Prisoner's Solution
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    Y Combinator
    tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/828936 2015-03-23T17:44:04Z 2015-04-02T20:32:59Z SmartSpot's Tale (YC W15): From A Farm In Egypt To Building A YC Computer Vision Startup For Fitness

    SmartSpot is launching out of the Winter 2015 batch of YC. SmartSpot makes a smart mirror for gyms that tracks your form as you work out and provides live correction. They help people improve their exercise form and prevent injury.

    The vast majority of gym-goers don’t know how to exercise properly and safely. Many quit after only a month because they don’t see improvement. Although personal training is one solution, at $80 an hour or more, personal trainers are out of reach for most people. SmartSpot's founders believe that personal training should be something anyone can afford.

    They have launched in 3 gyms in San Francisco where they've worked closely with early users to make a product that can become part of a routine for people with a variety of fitness goals.

    SmartSpot is founded by Moawia Eldeeb and Josh Augustin. 

    Read more about SmartSpot's story on TechCrunch:

    "Moawia Eldeeb grew up with his family on a village farm bordering the Nile, growing rice in the summers and vegetables in the winters. It was the way things had been for years, decades even.

    But when Eldeeb’s brother was born with a rare genetic condition called ectodermal dysplasia, everything changed immediately. Because of the condition, Eldeeb’s infant brother couldn’t sweat. And given Egypt’s humid climate, this meant a certain and swift death.

    His father, who had been applying every year for a green card for the past 15 years, fortunately had won one in the lottery. Roughly two weeks after Eldeeb’s brother was born, they left everything they had ever known behind.

    Read the full story on TechCrunch
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    Y Combinator
    tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/828874 2015-03-23T15:44:02Z 2015-03-25T03:22:35Z Cribspot (YC W15) Helps University Students Find Rentals In Time For School To Start

    Cribspot launches out of the Winter 2015 batch of YC:  

    "Finding a decent apartment can be tough, which is why we’ve seen a recent increase in the number of startups that are aiming to serve a woefully underserved market. But finding an apartment when you’re a college student can be even tougher. Aimed squarely at the university market, a Y Combinator-backed startup called Cribspot hopes to alleviate at least some of the pain associated with finding rentals and sublets.

    Compared to the broader housing market, college rentals are unique in that many units are booked a semester or more in advance. Furthermore, even when listings are available, they can typically only be found on campus bulletin boards or by walking around a college town and looking for “for rent” signs. All of that can make it difficult for students to find housing, especially on short notice.

    Cribspot hopes to change that, by creating the most comprehensive search engine for apartments on or near university campuses. It’s doing that by collecting rental information from thousands of different sources and working directly with landlords who don’t have websites or other ways to find out about their apartments." 

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    Y Combinator
    tag:blog.ycombinator.com,2013:Post/828869 2015-03-23T15:37:18Z 2015-03-24T06:19:54Z Razorpay (YC W15) Offers Stripe-Style Payments Focused Squarely On Indian E-Commerce Plays

    Razorpay launches out of the Winter 2015 batch of YC:

    "The rise of companies like FlipkartSnapdeal and Ola have put a spotlight on the e-commerce opportunity in India, where the growth of catchy businesses is being fuelled by consumer demand, improving Internet connectivity and generous VC funding. Now, a new startup called Razorpay — part of the current Y Combinator class — is hoping to ride that trend, by giving more startups and larger tech companies in the country the ability to make it easier to integrate payments into their services.

    Razorpay is not unlike Stripe — a YC alum itself — in that it provides a very simple interface and gateway for businesses that want to take payments for goods or services online. Using Razorpay’s APIs, a company can add payments with a few lines of code, and consumers can then pay using a credit card, a debit card or net-banking (online bank transfers, one popular payment option in India). What makes Razorpay special, however, is that it’s made by an Indian team and specifically for businesses that operate in India."

    Read the full story on TechCrunch

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    Y Combinator