"19 of the two-minute presentations were deemed 'off the record,' so they’re not included." So about half the start-ups are still in stealth mode.
Also, "one start-up did not present because it already had a Series A term sheet with a 'no-shop' clause.". The two previous YC start-ups that didn't pitch because of a no-shop clause have been airbnb and Heroku.
Some of the missing ones were featured on hn and other startup publications. It would be nice to have a list of all of them, but if they choose to be in stealth mode, I guess it is only respectful not to mention them.
I attended the alumni preview of demo day along with a bunch of other founders from my batch (Summer 2010). We were told after our demo day that we were universally acclaimed as the best YC batch ever. All of us were completely blown away and humbled by the quality of the startups in this current batch; we were outdone and then some. Congrats to all the W11 founders, now go conquer the world.
1) GiftRocket http://www.giftrocket.com/
Why would I use this? Why not just give cash? I can see how some people might think of giving cash as tacky or thoughtless. Is GiftRocket supposed to overcome that? I get the feeling that there's something I've overlooked here. Feel free to set me straight.
2) GrubWithUs http://www.grubwith.us/
This is fascinating. They're not just trying to start a company, they're trying to create a whole social movement. If this takes off, it'll be a completely new way to socialise.
3) Like.fm http://like.fm/
Really wasn't sure what to make of this. The concept seems very similar to last.fm. Chatted with Chris Chen using Live Help on the site's home page. He seems convinced that the only two things that they have in common is that both sites record what you listen to. He pointed out that Like.fm allows you to follow people, and will soon have a recommendations system that will "blow whatever you get from last.fm out of the water." He's got my attention.
AmEx gift cards are basically cash. People know that when they buy them. They come with some pretty steep fees ($4 for a $25 card + $5-10 shipping if you buy online). They probably sell ~$10B a year. Maybe more. Just AmEx.
Remember, everything in the gift card market is more restrictive than cash. We're focused on user experience and building something fun, easy, and cool that "just works".
You can buy your brother a GiftRocket to a place right next to where you live, like a coffeeshop down the street. Yelp also has a lot non-businesses. For example, here's one in the middle of the Presidio in SF:
Here's my theory based on my own experience: YC has been going on long enough that most of the start-ups have applied to YC before, been rejected, and kept on working on their start-up. So by the time the start-up is accepted into YC, they have a more complete product.
I also wondered this. Perhaps my memory is poor but I seem to recall that in previous years most YC entrants were small teams of people who really needed ramen money to get a prototype out of the door.. whereas a lot of these seem to be a lot more mature development wise and are, perhaps, needing the money to specifically work toward a VC round.
Given her track record, I doubt Leah Culver's new company is the best example of a team who "really needed ramen money to get out the door."
But that's besides the point. The point is, YC used to be a program that was 'taking a chance,' by its very existence. Now that it's established, I feel like the world expects them to keep taking more chances - both on the types of people it invests in, and in the process of investing. It's definitely doing that in a number of ways (the Yuri thing, scaling, taking on more partners) - but the aspiring applicants here who haven't yet seen traction (or learned what traction is) see themselves as what YC should be taking more chances on. This may just an extension of the scaling question - with 1,000 applicants, how do you pick out the teams that just need time to prove themselves, and how do you make room for them in a crowded program to give them the mentorship they need?
I was surprised at some of the names on this list that I kind of took for granted as already established companies, like AppHarbor and HelloFax. It kind of drives home the idea that Y Combinator isn't just for new ideas that need to get started, it can really be beneficial for already successful teams.
Congratulations to all of the teams, and good luck!