Attracting investors in your young startup can be quite challenging, which is why Y Combinator is such a blessing. The company has been set up specifically to help startups get their seed-stage funding, getting these projects out of the idea stage and into the real world. Y Combinator also provides advice and valuable connections. The trade is that the startup then gives up a certain percentage of equity.
These startups are incredibly diverse and many of them offer fantastic ways to help you get more of life, saving you time and money. In short, they can help you live the smart life. In this series of posts, we’ll be highlighting forty such startups that have received Y Combinator funding. They’re listed in no particular order.
Available as an app for Android and iPhone, Loopt gives you a fun and easy way to “explore the places around you.” The idea is that you are able to read the mini reviews of places and find nearby friends on a map, but more importantly, the app also provides you with nearby deal alerts from both Loopt and Groupon. This can save you some serious money, especially if you’re out in a new town and looking for a place to eat.
Coding an online form from scratch can be awfully time-consuming. That’s why it’s so much easier to use a service like Wufoo. This is an online form builder that works by letting you click and drag to add fields to your form. It gives you the opportunity to add custom branding, get instant notifications, use logic & branching, upload files, and prevent spam with Captcha. With over 150 templates and themes, you can achieve some pretty unique looks too. Wufoo’s the real deal, being used by such companies as Best Buy, Twitter, Amazon, and Microsoft.
There are several online photo editors out there that provide reasonably simple alternatives to PhotoShop, but there is one major advantage that Snipshot has over most of them: this browser-based tool can be used to edit RAW files too. When you look at some of the other image editors, they require a processed source image in JPG, PNG, or similar formats. Snipshot also has an API, letting you utilize the tool on your own website.
The main product being offered by Xobni is Smartr Contacts, an app that is available for Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry. It is also offered in plug-in form for Gmail and Outlook on your PC. Dubbed “the only contacts app you’ll ever need,” Smartr Contacts sifts through your social media profiles and your email history to sort and organize an automatic address book. All your conversations are gathered together in one place.
You could create a website by writing all those lines of code, fumbling through the HTML, PHP, CSS, and a million other acronyms to get just the right look and functionality. Or, you could give Weebly a try. This is supposed to be the “easiest way to create a website,” offering hundreds of professional themes, as well as included hosting and a drag-and-drop website builder. Over 10 million people and businesses already use Weebly.
Taking care of your money is tough business. With Buxfer, you get “easy online money management.” The browser-based solution lets you review all your accounts in one place, keep a keen eye on your spending habits, set up email reminders to pay your bills on time, and even foresee your financial future. The mobile interface is pretty handy too.
While it is certainly within the realm of reason that you’ll waste more time on Justin.tv than you’ll save, it’s undeniable that this live-streaming site is of incredible utility to people who need to stream video online. If you’re covering an event, it’s easy to stream from a webcam on a laptop or even from a smartphone. If you can’t make it to an event, you may be able to catch a livestream of it from the comfort of your home. That’s super handy.
Follow your favorite artists and bands with Songkick. This site lets you track their acts, letting you know when they’ll have a concert in your area. These personalized concert alerts can save you a lot of time, because you won’t be constantly checking each band’s website or sifting through the Ticketmaster listings to see when Kanye West or Coldplay are coming to a venue near you.
While it may look like Disqus is a useful tool for bloggers who want a better comment system on their sites, having an account with Disqus as a web user is equally useful. That’s because you can track all the comments that you have left on sites around the web, seeing if people have followed up with more comments or questions. Think of it like RSS for your blog comments.
Easily one of our favorite cloud-based storage solutions, Dropbox synchronizes your files across multiple computers and mobile devices. The free account starts with 2GB of storage, increasing incrementally as you refer more users or upgrade to a paid premium account. Even if you’re on a computer where you don’t have Dropbox installed, you can log into the web interface to download and upload files at will.
Stay tuned for our next post on another batch of ten Y Combinator startups.