The great thing about Y Combinator is that it gives small Internet startups the opportunity to get off the ground. They invest a small amount of money twice a year in a handful of startups. These startups move to Silicon Valley for a few months, getting much needed funding and mentorship. From there, they can grow to the size of Dailybooth and Dropbox, both of which are Y Combinator graduates.
We’ve already featured 20 such Internet startups (1-10, 11-20) that received seed funding from Y Combinator, and today we’re keeping the list going with ten more startups that will make your life easier, more efficient, and just generally smarter. Technology is a wonderfully beautiful thing, but it takes the innovation and ingenuity of some bright entrepreneurs to put those wheels into motion.
Whether you fly once a year or you go on business trips every week, it seriously sucks when you find out at the last minute that your flight is delayed. The idea behind FlightCaster is that the online tool can predict whether a flight will be delayed several hours before you get the official word from the airline. This is because airlines won’t announce a delay until they are 100% sure of it. Flightcaster looks at several factors, like inbound aircraft, departure airport status, arrival airport status, departure weather, and arrival weather, offering you a prediction not only on whether your flight will be delayed, but also by how much it will be delayed. And yes, FlightCaster is available as a mobile app too.
Formatting a resume in Microsoft Word can be quite the exercise in frustration. JobSpice simplifies the process by offering “an intuitive online tool that makes creating and publishing a well-designed custom resume easy and fun.” You don’t need to worry about getting the spacing just right, nor do you need to fumble around with the different header types and font choices. You can even import your LinkedIn profile to make the process even more painless. Check out some of the sample resumes to get an idea of what to expect.
Even after getting plenty of sleep, I still oftentimes wake up feeling groggy and unrested. Maybe I should consider getting a WakeMate. This innovative little wriststrap is worn while you sleep and it works in tandem with the mobile app, the latter of which is available for Android, BlackBerry, and iOS. You set an alarm within a 20-minute window, and the app will determine when in that 20 minutes is the optimal time to wake up. You can then review your automated sleep analysis to learn how you can sleep better and more efficiently.
There has to be a way to hold more efficient meetings. What you get with MeetingMix is twofold. First, it is an online agenda tool, so you can best outline a focused agenda “that attendees are prepared to discuss.” Second, it is an online minutes template, helping “attendees remember key decisions and follow up on action items.” While in the meeting, you can make sure you stay on track by monitoring how much time is spent on each topic and the centralized meeting minutes can then be shared with all attendees. You can import items from past meetings and setup recurring meetings too.
Have you ever wanted to get some feedback on an essay, but the “track changes” tool in Microsoft Word is too clunky? What if you wanted some feedback on a logo design or some other document? With Crocodoc, you can view and comment on just about any document, including Word docs, PDF forms, images, and more. This free tool works completely online, giving the opportunity to scribble, draw, add comments, strikeout text, and more. This is great for real-time collaboration!
When you don’t really know what to get someone, you often times end up getting them a gift card. You’ve likely been on the receiving end of this too, but you might not actually want the gift card to that particular store. Cardpool is effectively an online marketplace where gift cards can be bought or sold at a discount. In the case of buying, you can save up to 35%. In the case of selling, you can get up to 92% cash back. All orders include free shipping and are fully guaranteed.
Physical keys are so last century. With Lockitron, your house keys can be completely replaced with your mobile phone. After installing the new lock, you simply use the provided mobile app and you can lock and unlock your door from anywhere in the world. Just use the app. If your phone is NFC-enabled, you can even “tap” to unlock your door as needed. What if you need to let a friend inside but you’re not around? You can offer a “virtual key” via text message that can then be deleted when it is no longer needed. The future is now! Just don’t lose your phone.
When you run a website or a blog, it can sometime be a challenge getting in touch with all the different PR agencies to get your hands on review samples. Sometimes, you don’t even know where to start, and even when you do, you want to get the first dibs. What LaunchHear does is introduce “top bloggers to new and unreleased products.” They gauge whether you are a “top digital influencer,” and they connect you with “early review copies of new products” that you can then highlight on your site. It’s not pay-per-post, it’s heavily curated, and it’s completely transparent. LaunchHear has contacts with companies that produce books, gadgets, movies, clothing, games, music, and more.
The digital life may have changed everything, but it has also made for quite the disjointed life. Greplin connects to all of your accounts on the web, unifying them together into one cohesive unit. Looking for that important tidbit of info that your friend told you, but you can’t remember if that message came via Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Basecamp, or LinkedIn? No problem. Greplin sifts through thousands of messages to find the info you need. The same is true with contacts, events, files, projects, and more. The promise from Greplin is that you’ll spend less time finding and, hopefully, more time living.
Debt. Crushing debt. While some simple self-discipline can go a long way, you really need to have a plan if you want to get that debt under control. ReadyForZero “is a simple way to control and reduce debt online.” The web-based tool helps you make a plan by connecting to your online accounts (including checking accounts, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, and more), giving you a better sense of the whole picture. You get payment reminders, automated alerts, financial suggestions, account updates, and progress tracking, rewarding you for your success.
One more set of ten Y Combinator startups is on the way! Keep an eye out for our fourth and final installment in this series.