What to expect from Y Combinator's Demo Day, when founders pitch their startups to top Silicon Valley investors

Today is prestigious startup incubator Y Combinator’s Demo Day for its Winter 2015 class.

Every year, Y Combinator has two funding cycles — one goes from January through March, and the other is from June through August.

At the end of each of these funding cycles, participating startups pitch their ideas at Demo Day to potential investors who want to fund the next big thing in tech.

Y Combinator provides funding to startups and perhaps even more importantly, gives visibility to startups to help them catch the eye of top Silicon Valley investors. Companies like Stripe, Airbnb, Twitch, Reddit, Zenefits, and Dropbox are all Y Combinator alumni.

Here are a couple of the Y Combinator Winter 15 startups we’ve had our eye on:

  • Campus Job. Founded by former Googler Liz Wessel, this startup is a marketplace for college kids looking for internships and jobs. About 90% of the positions offered on Campus Job are paid.

  • Magic. This text messaging-based concierge service takes the on-demand economy to the next level. Instead of having its own app, you text a phone number that gives you 24/7 access to ‘anything you want as long as it’s not illegal.’

On Sunday, Anonymous Twitter persona and tech pundit Startup L. Jackson posted an open letter to YC founders in advance of Demo Day.

He offers a few pieces of advice to founders of startups that are about to pitch their companies to an audience that includes potential investors: Know what your Series A round needs to look like, and raise the right-sized round. Founders should vet VCs like they’re going to be employees. Have a backup plan. Don’t optimise for ego.

“You’re about to raise the most important money your company will ever take,” he says. “It has the more potential than any other financing to kill your company if done poorly. And done well, will give you the resources and support you need to grow your business.”

There’s no official list of companies since Demo Day has yet to happen, but Andrew Torba, the CEO of a Y Combinator W15 startup called Kuhcoon, has put together a Product Hunt list previewing some of the companies to look out for today at Demo Day.

Here they are:

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