Sam Altman Becomes Y Combinator President As Paul Graham Steps Away From Day-To-Day Operations

Y CombinatorSam Altman is replacing Paul Graham as president of Y Combinator.  An alumnus of YC’s original YC S05, Mr. Altman co-founded Loopt in 2005.  Sam Altman subsequently joined YC as a part-time advisor.  Loopt was sold to Greendot in 2012. Mr. Altman is also a partner of his own venture capital firm Hydrazine Capital.  This transition officially culminates structural changes at Y Combinator I have long observed. Continue reading

Kamcord Gameplay Sharing Now In Unreal Engine For iOS / Android

kamcordKamcord is now natively supported in Unreal Engine 3 for iOS and Android.  Developers using Unreal Engine can offer Kamcord’s free platform to record, replay, and share in-game experiences.  Monster 500, a kart-style racing game already on iTunes AppStore and Google Play, is a great example of Kamcord integration with Unreal Engine 3.  I wrote about Kamcord in November as a startup that helps independent game developers promote their apps. Continue reading

Y Combinator Revises Policy Of Personal Investments By Partners In Startups

Y CombinatorY Combinator partners may no longer participate in the first $500k a company raises, unless it’s 3 weeks past Demo Day, according to a recent announcement.  The reasoning provided is “other investors could treat investment by YC partners as an accurate sign of how promising [YC partners] thought a startup was.”  The side-effect was it became “harder for the startups that partners didn’t invest in to raise money.”  Maintaining good business ethics is also a possible reason for this revised policy.  This change keeps fundraising fair for everybody. Continue reading

Startups Can’t Survive On $20,000

sf_rent_heat_mapGentrification in the Bay Area is a popular topic lately.  San Francisco rents are up more than 3 times the national average, reports SFGate.  The cost of living has simply gotten too expensive except for those with well-paying jobs at established companies.  That’s a serious long-term problem for everybody because the high cost of living destroys startups.  Startups, at least in concept, create innovation and new jobs.  No startups means no innovation and no new jobs.  I recent wrote New YC Investments Still Get Same Low Offers Since 2005.  In this post, I’d like to briefly explain why seed money startups may be unsustainable. Continue reading

Female Founders Conference On March 1

xxcombinatorAll three finalists were women on season 1 of King of the Nerds.  So that’s scientific proof right there female nerds exists.  Anyway, Y Combinator is holding a Female Founders Conference on March 1.  Application deadline to attend is February 3.  This event is an indirect result of Paul Graham saying he was recently accused of believing things he doesn’t believe about women as programmers and startup founders. Continue reading

Zidisha Is International Microlending, Immunity Project Is An HIV Vaccine; Two Nonprofits Currently Doing Y Combinator

novel_approachesFunding non-profit organizations was a new initiative announced by Y Combinator in September.  Assistance to these organizations from YC includes a charitable contribution and the same techniques used to help startups.  Two non-profits have recently announced their participation in YC W14: Zidisha and Immunity Project.  Both of these organizations address global problems they’ve been working on for several years. Continue reading

Imagine If Aaron Swartz Had Lived

aaronycAaron Swartz’ death a year ago was absolutely a tragedy.  The grand jury indictment conceded Aaron had legitimate access to JSTOR through Harvard’s Center for Ethics.  Even though the alleged hacking occurred at MIT, how could he “steal” documents that were free?  If Aaron had no prior criminal record, why did a plea bargain require prison time?  Questions like these are now moot.  Aaron Swartz is gone.  Gone, but not forgotten. Continue reading