Y Combinator Revises Policy Of Personal Investments By Partners In Startups

Y CombinatorY Combinator partners can 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

xxcombinatorGenevieve Pearson and the other two 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

Help Immunity Project HIV/AIDS Vaccine Raise $482K In The Next 26 Days

immunityImmunity Project is a non-profit organization on track to begin testing an HIV vaccine by year’s end.  The organization has been working on this project since 2010 using a unique approach.  Immunity Project is currently having a tax-deductible fundraiser for $482K, with over $188K already raised, towards its final experiment required before Phase I clinical trials. 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

2013 In Review For Y Combinator

ycuniverseY Combinator Universe published more than a hundred blog posts in 2013.   Topics covered everything from relationship apps for couples to in-memory relational databases.  I wrote about fashion startups and wearable devices.  The acquisition of a dozen companies were mentioned.  And Demo Day for two new batches were detailed, YC W13 and YC S13.  Here’s a few highlights from 2013. Continue reading