[zz]Y Combinator presents 26 new startups
Startup incubator Y
Combinator is hosting its semi-annual Demo Day today. Twice a year,
the Mountain View, Calif.-based incubator parades its latest batch of
companies onstage to present before potential investors.
This afternoon, 26 companies will pitch their business plans.
Approximately half of them have not yet launched. We’ll be in Mountain
View to cover the ones that catch our fancy.
Y Combinator companies generally receive about $5,000 plus an
additional $5,000 per founder and are relocated to Y Combinator’s
Mountain View destination for three months, in return for a 2-10%
ownership. The program’s alumni include Loopt, Justin.tv, Weebly
Below are 21 of the companies presenting today that agreed to be
mentioned, along with descriptions that they provided. Five others are
still in stealth mode, and requested to go unnamed.
Founders: Alex Krupp, Allan Young
LaunchHear is a platform for introducing new & unreleased products
to digital influencers. We reduce the cost of sending free products to
bloggers and tweeters by 10x. We also host Swagapalooza, the first
invitation-only event for only the most-followed bloggers and tweeters
from across the country.
Founders: Paul Biggar, Nathan Chong
NewsLabs turns an experienced offline journalist into VentureBeat or
TechCrunch for their niche. We provide tools, traffic, monetization and
community to allow journalists to succeed as personal brands online,
while allowing them to focus on the writing and reporting.
Founders: Lloyd Armbrust, Jason Novek
A white-label Yelp for newspapers: Think Yellow Pages + Cars + Homes +
Craigslist all launched as one package for small US markets. We work
through local newspapers, TV or Radio stations to brand the product as
their own and make money through monthly fees and upsells.
Founder: Chad Etzel
Creating a mobile phone push notification platform which allows any
service/business/app/website/anyone to send instant notifications to
their users’ mobile phones without the need to develop applications for
specific hardware models.
Founders: Jon Dahl, Brandon Arbini, Steve Heffernan
Cloud services for video encoding, delivery, and monetization (AWS for
Founders: Thomas Pun, James Black, David Kelso
Nowmov shows you the hottest videos on Twitter RIGHT NOW. We discover
the most talked about videos well before our competitors do (YouTube,
Redux and Bitly.tv). Our user experience intentionally mimics TV
watching — discovery is passive, rather than requiring the user to click
around. Videos are presented continuously in an elegant user interface.
Users can skip and replay clips at any time just like surfing TV
Founders: Ryan Damico, Bennett Rogers, Peter Lai, Matt Long
Crocodoc makes it easy to collaboratively mark up and share documents
online. Our goal is to do to Adobe Acrobat what Gmail did to Outlook:
replace a popular desktop application with a better online version.
Founders: Kevin Lacker, Dan Silberman
We make social games. We launch faster, iterate faster, and use metrics
Founders: Anson Tsai, Tim Wong
Secondary market for the $100 billion / year gift card market.
Founders: Troy Kruthoff, Robert Bagley, Josh Unfried
Replace your twitter profile page with a custom website. Crowd source
and engage content from the tweet stream with language processing
technology to automatically identify questions, praise and complaints
mentioning your brand. Collaborate with team members, site visitors and
twitter users with our embedded multi-account twitter client and CRM.
Track results and tweet smarter with built-in analytics and dashboards.
Founders: Darius Monsef, Aaron Epstein, Chris Williams
Profitable and reaching over 1 million visitors per month with the
largest color community on the web, we’re positioned to turn our online
dominance into a global color authority. In the near future, we see a
world where every color – in the products we buy, brands we trust or
spaces we live in – will be influenced by CHROMAom.
Founders: Joe Fahrner, Jason Konrad
Answerly has developed a technology and methodology to identify
under-served, high value segments of the web search market and rapidly
prototype vertical search engines to address these opportunities. Our
first product, Answerly.com, is a Q&A search engine that receives
nearly 1MM questions per month which we monetize through targeted
advertising and referrals to online experts and local service providers.
Founders: Dan Morin, Jeff Morin
The current practice of creating content around a perceived audience
interest and attempting to monetize it through potentially unrelated
advertising is an inefficient business model. Zenedy is taking the
opposite approach by first determining algorithmically what content
people are searching for, then identifying what portion of that content
could effectively be monetized through targeted advertising, and finally
contracting out the creation of that content to qualified freelance
writers. This model minimizes the risks associated with creating content
based on little or no data, and results in content which quickly pays
for itself, and then continues to generate revenue into the foreseeable
Founders: Matt Hodan, Steve DeWald
Data Marketplace helps people find, buy and sell data online. We are
like Amazon.com, but for data. Sellers publish data to Data Marketplace
for buyers to purchase and download. We reduce friction between buyers
and sellers by (a) making it easier for buyers to find and access the
data they need, and (b) offering sellers a more efficient sales and
distribution channel than is currently available. In addition to the
marketplace, we are developing a number of new technologies that
facilitate paid information exchange, including a social data request
and fulfillment system and payment gateway for third-party APIs and data
Founders: Denis Mars, Arend Naylor
Imagine if you as the site owner could make money every time someone
played a video (such as YouTube, Vimeo, etc) on your website or blog.
Embedster makes this possible.
Founers: Howie Liu, Evan Beard
Etacts is Salesforce for everyone–an individual CRM that keeps track of
people and relationships (instead of deals). We also fix the email
overload problem by adding social data and previous communication
history to your emails and filtering emails by the importance of the
Founders: Sean Creeley, Arthur Gibson
Embedly is a single source solution for embeddable any piece of content
on the web.
Founders: Justin Yoshimura, Hong Hu
500Friends enables online retailers to dramatically increase their brand
image, traffic, and sales by effectively leveraging social media.
Merchants use our technologies to identify active social networkers and
offer them rewards such as discounts, loyalty points, and charitable
contributions in exchange for sharing the site with their friends. We’re
already generating sales for our existing clients!
Founders: Kovas Boguta, Paulius Jurgutis
Infoharmoni visualizes the real-time social web. We aggregate content,
aggregate people, aggregate relationships and then express those
visually, in real-time and over time. Our tools visually slice and dice
the stream and put that into actionable context by correlating it with
business data. This lets marketers demonstrate ROI on today’s most
relevant platforms: Twitter, Bit.ly, Gowalla and Foursquare.
Founders: Jason Wilk, Paras Chitakar
140Bets makes social sports (and soon pop culture) betting applications
for Twitter, Facebook and Mobile platforms.
Founder: Daniel Gross
Greplin is a search engine that runs through all of your cloud data.
Much like Google indexes webpages, Greplin indexes your Facebook, Gmail,
Twitter, Basecamp etc data and provides a fast, cross-service full-text