Teach Me How to Startup

Attention Wantrepreneurs: You No Longer Need a Startup Idea to Apply to Y Combinator

Could I make this any easier for you? (via twitter/paulg)

Paul Graham’s plan to give away his best billion dollar ideas? That was so last week. The man who pioneered the practice of the startup idea freebie has taken his “Don’t worry about coming up with your own concept” theory to its logical extreme. Now, you don’t even need an idea. At all.

On the Y Combinator blog yesterday, Mr. Graham, a partner in the prestigious incubator, let the world know about a little experiment they’re trying with this the next cycle of applicants: “If the only thing holding you back from starting a startup is not having an idea for one, now nothing is holding you back. If you apply for this batch and you seem like you’d make good founders, we’ll accept you with no idea and then help you come up with one.” Read More

Freebies, news

Paul Graham Giving Away Billion Dollar Startup Ideas, Basically

"You're welcome!" (via twitter/pg)

Betabeat first alerted you to the phenomenon of investors giving away their best ideas like so many party favors last June. But it appears repeat offender Paul Graham is at it again!

Back in 2008, Mr. Graham kicked off the practice by posting a list of startups Y Combinator would like to invest in. “We don’t like to sit on these ideas,” he noted, “Because we really want people to work on them.” But his latest offering to the shared pool puts that list to shame.

On his personal blog recently, Mr. Graham posted seven (count ‘em, seven) different “Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas” that could make you (yes, you!) a billionaire. Read More

Fresh Capital

DrChrono Closes $2.8 M. Round Led by Yuri Milner

DrChrono with Y Combinator founder Paul Graham. From left to right: Michael Nusimow, Mr. Graham, Katelyn Gleason and Daniel Kivatinos.

Drchrono, the company that is working to get more doctors using easy tools on the iPad and in the cloud, just announced a $2.8 million round of funding led by Yuri Milner. The Russian tech mogul must really like these guys! Mr. Milner invested just over $1.2 million in Drchrono’s seed rounds back in July and August; now he’s recruited Google’s search guru Matt Cutts as an investor. Betabeat interviewed Drchrono’s Daniel Kivatinos back in May, while the company was stilling finishing up the Y Combinator program. “Investors in Silicon Valley are the best you can find. If they see amazing ideas, they will move fast to cultivate that idea but invest if they can,” he told us at the time. Drchrono makes iPad apps for doctors to handle things like billing and patient check-in.

The Daily Muse, Riding Big Growth, Preps For Y Combinator

Kathryn Minshew

Kathryn Minshew never had much luck with tech incubators. “My first company I applied to a whole bunch and got rejected.” So with her new venture, The Daily Muse, a content and career site for young professional women, Ms. Minshew was planning to skip the applications and focus on bootrapping her firm. “If it wasn’t for Rachel Sklar and her post about getting your name out there, I never would have applied to Y Combinator.” (That Sklar, always changing the ratio and changing minds.)

The Daily Muse decided to apply and prepped with  local YC alumni. “There is a very specific culture and interview process at Y Combinator. It’s like a college, you need to know the culture.”

Boom, accepted, which means another thing on their already very full plates. “We just had 100 percent growth month over month in our traffic. We’re trying to hire new staffers. Now add moving to California into the mix,” said Ms. Minshew.  Read More

Mama I'm Coming Home

Return of the Diaspora: After a Taste of the Valley, New York Techies are Coming Home


Underlit bars and blaring techno set the scene at the Park Avenue Armory earlier this month, when a who’s who of New York’s tech scene gathered in the cavernous block-length building for the sort of startup event that bore little resemblance to the usual beer, pizza and Powerpoint office gathering. No, this was a fashion show; a nerdy fashion show, to be sure, but one with glamour and theatrics. Raise Cache, a fundraiser for the apprentice developer program HackNY, tapped local tech personalities to walk the runway outfitted in glasses from local e-prescriber Warby Parker, slacks from e-tailor Bonobos and accessories from e-jeweler Bauble Bar. Larger-than-life cartoon avatars lorded over the crowd from the DJ booth as amateur DJs spun tracks using Union Square-based streaming music startup Turntable.fm. Founders and VCs milled about in gowns, coattails, pinstriped vests, glittery tights and cowboy hats. A recording of Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has been pumping his pom-poms for the New York tech scene of late, boomed out at the close of the show: “Now more than ever, [New York] is the place for to be for tech soirees!” Read More