Y Combinator Demo Day took place today at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. The room was packed with hundreds of investors, entrepreneurs and members of the press trying to find the next billion-dollar startup.
Startup darlings Airbnb and Dropbox are Y Combinator alumni, for example.
Zynga founder Mark Pincus, SV Angel’s Ron Conway, CrunchFund’s Michael Arrington, 500 Startups’ Dave McClure, early Facebook employee Andrew McCollum, and The Winklevoss twins all attended.
67 startups gave 2.5-minute presentations. Here is the first batch of rapid-fire pitches that stood out:
BatteryOS: “You’ve never actually charged a battery to 100%,” the founder explained to the audience. His logic: When a battery charges to near-completion, it begins to degrade. A black gunk begins to form in the battery, which eventually destroys it. BatteryOS says it’s found a way to charge batteries all the way up without that residue forming. It claims that if Chevy Volt used its product, the car’s battery would last eight years longer.
“We can change every lithium ion battery on this earth and improve it,” the founder said. His company has already signed a deal to ship 20,000 of its batteries.
Zinc:Zinc is a browser plug-in that a lot of shoppers will love but many websites will hate. It sticks a button with a cheaper price for products on Web checkout pages. The user can click the button to buy the product through Zinc, which uses algorithms to find a better deal for the same product elsewhere on the Web.
The company boasts an annualized run rate of $US2.5 million and says the number of sales it handles doubles every week. “Walmart’s success shows price in most cases trumps everything for consumers,” Zinc’s founder said.
Boostable: Boostable is like Google Ads for people who sell listings on sites like Airbnb or eBay. Boostable lets a poster boost awareness for whatever it’s selling by retargeting people on Facebook with the listings. The startup’s founder says there are more than 30 million sellers across all marketplaces, and it currently reaches 500,000 with its partners like OpenSky, Airbnb and Ticketleap.
Dating Ring: “Dating should work like Uber,” the founders say.
Dating Ring sends you an on-demand date in real time. All dates are vetted by Dating Ring’s matchmakers, which either meet or Skype with every member before setting users up together. Every date costs $US20, but the founders say its millennial users are paying that price to find trusted people. Plus, 70% of its users go on a second date.
The company says its revenue has grown 60% month over month and that it’s profitable. It’s a desktop-first product, but it’s hoping to launch a mobile app soon.
AirHelp: Most people don’t realise they can get money from airlines that either delay or cancel their flights. According to founders, who cite the U.S. Department of Transportation and the EU, a flier can redeem $US800 whenever a flight is delayed 3 hours, no matter what airline. If you register your delayed or canceled flight with AirHelp, it will help you win that money back.
The money can be reimbursed up to three years later, and AirHelp is coming up with an easy way to find all the money you’ve missed out on from poor airline experiences over the past three years. That tool will launch in the next few weeks. AirHelp says it’s already gotten close to $US1 million from airlines, and it’s even taken an airline to court to get users’ money back.
“We’re proud to be hated by leading airlines,” the founders said.
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