Live From The Y Combinator Demo Day
Hurrah! After a not-so-quick battle through traffic, we're live at Y Combinator's first Demo Day of 2012, where roughly 60 companies will be debuted to the world. Couldn't make it out to the West Coast? Couldn't get an invite? Don't worry — I'm taking live notes on the companies as they present throughout the day. Check 'em out below.
Notes will be updated throughout the day, so check back!
The Companies So Far:
10:25 am - Medigram: HIPAA-compliant text communication for doctors. Lets doctors chat with their teams and colleagues on any platform without breaking all kinds of patient-confidentiality laws.
10:30 am - Flutter: They claim to be like "Kinect Without The Hardware," using your webcam for gestures instead of specialized hardware. "How did we pull this off well when a full team in a lab at Microsoft couldn't? Because we're awesome," they say.
10:35 am - Off The Record company (meaning that they've requested that no one talks about them publicly just yet).
10:38 am - SendHub: "SMS for Organizations." Lets companies easily text large customer bases. Examples given: doctors texting patients, gyms texting members, etc. Currently sending around 120,000 texts per month. Will eventually move into messaging via email, Facebook, and other platforms to let organizations send one message to many inboxes.
10:41 am - Screenleap: One button, HTML5-based screen sharing. Click a button, get a link, and anyone you share that link with can see your screen. No plugins to install for viewers. (Update: as a commenter points out, a Java applet is required for the screensharer.) Their average screensharing session so far is over 20 minutes long.
10:44 am - Coderwall - "We're taking the text-based resume, and turning it into achievements." Lets hackers/coders share what they've built on a profile page, with badges representing certain things (like having an established project repository for something built in Ruby, or in Java, etc). See a profile demo here. So they're, er, gamifying the resumé? Not sure I get it.
10:49 am - LVL6 - LVL6 claims to have found a "formula" for building mobile games that succeed, citing their first game for hitting #1 in the App Store. They want to be the "Zynga for Mobile" (Wait — isn't Zynga sort of the Zynga for Mobile?), with their next game being "World Of Warcraft for casual gamers."
10:50 am - Quick break!
11:10 am - We're about to move into session 2.
11:20 am - First two companies of Session 2 are off the record, so pardon the pauses. (Update: In fact, many of the companies in this session are off the record. Check back in a bit.)
11:30 am — Midnox: "A professional video camera in your pocket." They've built an app called Luma, which drastically removes shake in real time. They claim to outshoot the stabilization of full-blown desktop editing suites, and are working on a cloud-based video storage backend. (Neat fact: It's built by three brothers.)
11:35 am — 42Floors: Like Padmapper for business/office space listings. They scan real estate listings, Craigslists, etc., and put listings on an easy to search map. They're also working on direct-to-tenant marketing services, like helping office spaces find interior designers and builders. They aim for $24k in revenue per tenant.
11:37 am — Off The Record
11:42 am — Sonalight: Voice texting while driving. They call themselves "Siri On Steroids," and their demo killed. Without pushing any buttons, they sent a text from a phone in the demonstrator's shirt pocket. Assuming it wasn't canned, it was a really, really great demo. Lightning fast. Built by a team that won MIT's programming competition two years in a row. You know I love this idea.
11:45 — Another series of off the record companies.
11:55 am — Your Mechanic: They call themselves the "AirBnB of Car Repair." They bring their mechanics to you. Car trouble? The mechanic comes to your home. They claim to be able to get work done for 30% cheaper than what you'd get in a shop. "The only reason a mechanic works in a shop is because they don't know how to get customers. We give them customers, insurance, and parts."
12:00 pm — Looks like we've got another series of Off The Record companies, then lunch. There's a bunch of ON the record companies after lunch, though. I'll Tweet from the PandoDaily account as soon as we're back live.
1:10 pm — We're coming back in from lunch right now. The live blog should resume shortly.
1:11 pm — Crowdtilt: Like Kickstarter for pooling money amongst small groups and organizations, for things like funding concerts and renting party buses. I want to rent a party bus.
1:15 pm — Flypad: Turns your iPhone into a game controller for PC, Steam, and various inde games. Currently supported by a handful of games, including the absolutely incredible Nitronic Rush. (Seriously, check out Nitronic Rush.)
1:16 pm — Carsabi: Blyeck, don't like the name. They do car search, calling themselves the "Kayak of cars." They crawl classifieds and independent auto dealers to show 1.5 million car listings per month. Automatically determines if a specific car sale would be a good deal, and how its price compares to industry averages.
1:20 pm — AnyPerk: Offers perks for employee retention. The longer you stay at a company, the more discounts you get at various partners. 1,200 customers have signed up as customers in 4 weeks. Costs $5-10 per employee per month.
1:25 pm — Two more off-the-record companies.
1:28 pm — TiKL: No idea how to pronounce this one. (Update: Oh! It's "tickle".) It's a real-time push-to-talk system for iOS and Android that also does text, voicemail, and images. Actually launched 20 months ago, but already seeing 22 million users. Zero money spent on marketing, they claim.
1:31 pm — Dealupa: Indexes "every daily deal on the Web," highlighting deals that match a user's interests. While they don't actually seem to offer any deals themselves, they claim "10x more deals than GroupOn." "[User] targeting is where daily deals fail. We've figured it out." Because they're just indexing, they say that operation costs are nearly non-existent.
1:33 pm — Priceonomics: The "Price Guide For Everything." Type in any product, and it'll tell you the market price. Crawls hundreds of millions of online listings to determine real-time price averages.
1:36 pm — Another off the record company.
1:40 pm — Kyte: Turns an Android phone "into a kid phone." Start Kyte on your Android phone, hand it to a kid, and they can't get out. Only gives them access to kid-friendly features, including built-in games.
1:42 pm — EveryArt: Art commissioning market place. You tell an artist what sort of things you like, what your room looks like, etc., and they'll make you a custom piece of canvas-printed art. That's cool — but can I just buy the one in the shot above?
1:46 pm — Off the record company, then a quick break before session 4.
2:15 pm — We're about to roll into session 4.
2:15 pm — Shoptiques: Gets "one-of-a-kind inventory" from boutiques and indie shops, puts it online. Launched days ago with 50 retailers, and 12,000 products.
2:20 pm — Pair: Pair launched four days ago, but it's by far one of the most buzzed about launches at the event so far. In four days, they've seen 50,000 users. It's a social network for two; a private timeline for couples. It's beyond adorable.
2:30 pm — DailyMuse : Lets companies "show, not tell" potential hires how things work in their office. It's a job ad, designed like a profile page. Companies can share videos of the work experience -- "This is Tom! This is Tom shotgunning a beer!" -- and highlight employees with separate profiles. Already counts the likes of Dell, Pinterest, and Giorgio Armani as customers.
2:35 pm — AnyVivo: Sells and ships living things. Current primary product is the "Jellyfish Tank" which is... a tank full of jellyfish. Interesting.
2:37 pm — Per Vices: Software-defined radio. In other words, one piece of hardware that they say can replace "any wireless device." Want it to be a radio? Sure. A WiFi router? Sure.
2:45 pm — iCracked.com: A network for iOS repair technicians. They've got local technicians, a mail-in service, and a D.I.Y kit. They repaired a busted iPhone 3GS on-stage during their demonstration.
2:49 pm — Socialcam: Launched a few weeks back as a spinoff from Justin.TV. I won't dive too deep, as it's been around a while, but in a nutshell: It's Instagram for video, led by a bunch of video streaming veterans.
2:50 pm — One last break, then we're moving into the final session. It looks like there are some great companies in Session 4, and most of them are on-the-record.
3:24 pm — And we're back!
3:29 pm — FamilyLeaf: "Facebook for families." Playing on the idea that no kid wants to be friends with their parents on Facebook, FamilyLeaf builds private networks just for families. Lets you share contacts, stay up to date on birthdays, and send photos.
3:32 pm — Ark: A people search engine, built after the founders asked, "What would happen if Google and Facebook worked together to build something?" Searches through over 1 billion people, sorted by up to 30 filters (location, highschool, employer, etc).
3:37 pm — Chute — Image/video handling as a service. Helps web services capture, manage, and display photos/videos from users, with none of the media ever hitting the service's own server.
3:40 pm — The next two startups are off the record. Pardon the pause.
3:44 pm — Minefold: Multiplayer game hosting. Launched a few days ago, focusing on hosting Minecraft servers first, hence the name. "Most gamers aren't CS majors. They dont want to deal with their own servers. So they have all the fun, we handle the servers."
3:45 pm — Exec: If you read Pando much, you know about Exec. We covered their launch here, and debriefed co-founder Justin Kan on the first two weeks of Exec here. It's like TaskRabbit meets Uber. Push a button, and an executive assistant shows up to work for a flat rate of $25 an hour.
3:51 pm — 99Dresses: Lets women trade clothes. You sell your clothes for a virtual currency called "Buttons," which can in turn be used to acquire other clothes. Each button is worth roughly a dollar. Says the female founder, "It's guilt-free shopping. I have created crack for women."
3:56 pm - MatterPort: Last one of the day, and it's quite rad. They're building a handheld sensor that lets you scan 3D space, allowing you to build a 3D map of a room simply by walking around it. I've seen a few homebrew Kinect hackers working on things like this, but this is the first team I've seen try to spin it into a business.
And that's a wrap! Hope you've enjoyed it, and thanks for tuning in!