Y Combinator’s Winter 2011 Demo Day: The Definitive Debrief

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Jake Klamka, Wil Chung

“Mobile meeting profiles pushed to your phone.”

When you sign up at Noteleaf, you supply your smartphone number and your Google Calendar and LinkedIn credentials. For every upcoming meeting in your calendar, the service figures out who you’re meeting with, and sends you a text message 10 minutes before the meeting with a link to a mobile dossier on that person. For the full scoop on Noteleaf, see my March 22 profile of the company.


John Egan, Zac Morris

“The fast, private way to share any file.”

Moving large files between computers is still pretty difficult, unless you want to physically carry them on a thumb drive. Sendoid has built an in-browser tool that lets PC users specify which file on their hard drive they want to share. The service creates a one-time link to the file (in an obfuscated format such as http://Sendoid.com/w43x9) that the originator of the file can send to a recipient, who can then grab the file directly over the Internet. The service is inherently viral, points out co-founder Zac Morris, since file recipients see the Sendoid link and have the opportunity to send their own files. In the future, the company hopes to charge businesses for features such as advanced security. Since launching early this week, he says the company has already moved nearly a quarter of a million files amounting to more than 5 terabytes of data.


Steli Efti, Anthony Nemitz, Thomas Steinacher

“The easiest way to give to charity.”

If you’re a Bank of America customer, you’ve probably heard of the bank’s “Keep the Change” program, which rounds up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and transfers the difference into your savings account. SwipeGood does something similar with any credit or debit card, but it sends the money to members’ favorite charities. With users donating an average of $20 per month to causes such as the American Cancer Society and Kiva Networks, “We’re changing how philanthropy is financed,” says co-founder Steli Efti. The company keeps a 5 percent cut of every transaction, meaning it’s earning $1 per user per month.


Nic Pantucci, Courtland Allen

“The way you work is broken.”

Most people use their e-mail inbox as a de facto to-do list, but that’s not very effective for people who get lots of e-mail. Taskforce is a Gmail add-on that lets users empty their inboxes by quickly turning e-mail messages into items on a to-do list. I profiled Taskforce on March 21, so put reading that article on your list.


Jason Corwin, Conor Lee

“Google Voice for business.”

Like home landlines, hardware PBX systems for workplaces are disappearing, and TellFi offers one way for small businesses to set up a virtual business phone systems with all the standard features of office phones, like call forwarding, extensions, voicemail, and voicemail transcription. There’s a $10 per month plan for individual freelancers with 100 minutes of talk time, a $24 per month plan with up to five extensions and 450 minutes of talk time, and a $70 per month plan for up to 10 extensions and 1000 minutes. The company says it has 1,200 active accounts, including many Y Combinator companies, and its revenue and user base are doubling every week. I’ve interviewed TellFi and plan to write up a full profile soon.


Aaron Harris, Josh Abrams, Ryan Bednar

“AirBnB for tutoring.”

Parents of high school students spend $5 billion to $7 billion per year on private tutoring, according to Tutorspree co-founder Aaron Harris, but it’s an inefficient market, since there’s no way to compare tutors’ reputations to find out who’s best and who’s overpriced. That’s where Tutorspree comes in. The company is building a tutor “discovery engine” that handles booking, payment, and community feedback and reviews for tutors. The company collectes 50 percent of the fee for the first session scheduled on its platform, and $5 per session after that. So far, most of the company’s tutor listings are in New York City and San Francisco, but the company thinks its total addressable market nationwide exceeds $1 billion.


Gorden Chen, John Li

“Salesforce.com for real estate.”

YouGotListings aims to replace the mish-mash of custom listings databases used by most real estate offices with a single, Web-based system that helps brokers organize their listings, share them with each other, and distribute them to sites such as Trulia. Launched in Boston, where it already has an 80 percent market share, the company has expanded to San Francisco, Chicago, DC, and Florida. The co-founders are both computer science majors from the University of Rochester who spent an entire year as working real estate brokers before starting the company as a way to study the market.

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Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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