Program for 2019
Are you looking for a co-founder? Or business contacts for your startup? Just ask the audience, you have one minute to ask for whatever will help your startup make progress. (you need to register ahead of time, slots are limited).
Your first hires will make or break your startup. But how can you convince great talent to join you when they could be working at Facebook or Google instead? How can you cash-strapped startup compete with the inflated job offers that are now common in Silicon Valley?
You read in TechCrunch everyday that startups are raising tens of millions of dollars. It looks so easy. But there is a lot of sweat behind every funding. Find out the tricks and secrets that will make the difference between months of efforts with no funding at the end, and an over-subscribed round.
There is often a very long path from the original concept to a winning product. Sure, you should “make something people want”, but that’s easier said than done. You can follow the lean startup approach, build an MVP and talk to potential customers. And then reality hits. Pivots happen. Learn from these entrepreneurs’ experiences.
Six startups will pitch on stage in front of the audience and receive feedback on their pitch. The audience votes for the top 3 pitches to advance to the investor panel in the afternoon. Learn by watching others pitch. Learn from their mistakes. Will they handle the pressure?
Justin Kan is an internet entrepreneur and investor known for founding various companies, including Twitch–a video game streaming platform (acquired by Amazon for $970mm). He served as Partner at Y Combinator, where he impacted over 900 companies and funded more than 130. Currently, Justin serves as CEO of Atrium, where he’s building technology to revolutionize the $450bn legal industry.
AI and Machine Learning are everywhere. Should they be in your startup too? Only if it would improve your customers’ experience with your product. What kind of features can AI improve in your product, and when is it just too much?
Omar Tawakol is Chief Executive Officer of Voicea. Prior to Voicea, Omar Tawakol was the founder and CEO of BlueKai which built the world’s largest consumer data marketplace and DMP. Their technology powers EVA, an enterprise voice assistant that works with more than 5,000 companies and partners with tools like Slack, Salesforce and BlueJeans. Oracle acquired BlueKai in 2014 & Omar served as the SVP & GM of the Oracle Data Cloud. Omar earned an MS in CS from Stanford (BS, MIT) where he researched and published work on AI agents.
The 3 startups selected by the audience in the morning will be back with more time to pitch investors. You’ll be surprised how much their pitch will have improved since the morning (or not). Listen to investors’ question and put yourself in the shoes of the investors. How do investors think? What do they see when you pitch your idea?
Y Combinator famously teaches their startups to do whatever it takes to grow by 10% a week before Demo Day. For investors, growth, a strong customer acquisition pipeline, or awesome unit economics will trump slick slides every time. Learn what metrics matter for startups and how to focus so the numbers move up and to the right.
Jeff Clavier is Managing Partner at Uncork Capital, a seed-stage venture firm in Palo Alto and San Francisco. He founded Uncork Capital in 2004 (then called SoftTech VC) to provide active support and capital for companies in their first 18 months of life. Jeff has helped numerous companies reach successful outcomes, including Eventbrite (NYSE:EB); Sendgrid (NYSE:SEND); Fitbit (NYSE:FIT); and Mint.com (Intuit). His current investments include Vidyard, Postmates, Vungle, Molekule, Shippo and Front.
Geoff Ralston is the President of Y Combinator. He was the CEO of La La Media, Inc., developer of Lala, a web browser-based music distribution site. Prior to Lala, Ralston worked for Yahoo!, where he was Vice President of Engineering and Chief Product Officer. In 1997, Ralston created Yahoo! Mail. In 2011 he co-founded Imagine K12, an education incubator with Alan Louie and Tim Brady. He joined Y Combinator in January 2012.
Jonathan Abrams is an engineer, entrepreneur, and investor, who has spent his career building technology to help connect people. Jonathan is a co-founder and Managing Partner of Founders Den, San Francisco’s most exclusive workspace and community for startups and investors. Jonathan is a also board member at Girls in Tech. Previously Jonathan was the founder of the professional news discovery service Nuzzel and the pioneering social networking service Friendster, and a software engineer at Netscape and Nortel. Jonathan is an investor in over 50 startups, including AngelList, Docker, Front, HelloSign, Instacart, Mixmax, Pachyderm, SafeGraph, Sapho, Sense, Slideshare, and Zeplin.
All day long, join investors for a chat and ask all the question you have about startups and investors.
The Art of Raising