Y Combinator provides seed stage capital and a 10 week startup boot camp for budding entrepreneurs. At the end of the 10 week session Y Combinator invites VCs and Angels to an investor day/demo day. Today YC unveiled 26 new startups to about 80 Silicon Valley elite VCs and investors.
Each startup has four minutes to pitch their company, including a short demo. This is the “elevator pitch” at its best, and these guys are really good. After 4 minutes investors could get an understanding of the problem they were solving, their unique approach, and a quick demo of the service in action. There was plenty of time after the event to follow up with questions.
My favorites – FlightCaster – a service that predicts if your flight will be late or delayed. DailyBooth – described as “Twitter for pictures”, already has 3.5 million unique visitors after just 6 months, and growing 30% per month. HighlightCam – finds the interesting events in long form video. For example, it detects motion, sounds, or events in a 24 hour security video feed, or finds the highlights in a long form film. Bump Technologies – Lets you share files of any kind between two mobile phones be literally “bumping” them together. No need to type information, just click on what you want to share. They already have 2 million users. FanChatter – share photos from your mobile phone while at sporting events. The best photos get displayed on the Jumbo-Tron at the event and all photos are displayed on a special event web site.
About half the companies that presented were not yet ready for a public launch or they just wanted to stay in “stealth mode” for a while longer. Several of them are focused on very profitable niche markets and want to fly under the radar until they have captured significant market share. Several of them would have made my “favorites” list, but they asked that we not write about them.
Just a few months old – Most of these startups are just a few months old. If you had seen Google, Facebook, or Twitter, at 3 months old you wouldn’t have been impressed either. But, to the trained eye, it is possible to envision where they will be and how the marketplace will react. That is what VC investing is all about. VCs can’t always predict the winners, but they are very good at predicting what will lose…and avoiding investment. That said, VCs fully expect that on average, 50% of their investments will fail, they just don’t know which 50%.
TechCrunch wrote a more detailed review of the 13 companies that presented and were ready for public launch.
TechCrunch50 Conference will launch 50 more startups on September 14th and 15th in San Francisco. Get more information and registration details here.