Y Combinator’s Summer 2011 Demo Day: The Definitive Debrief, Part 1
(Page 2 of 4)
Zach Sims, Ryan Bubinski
“The easiest way for beginners to learn how to code.”
My take: If I ever decide to give up journalism, learn Ruby on Rails, and apply to Y Combinator with my Groupon for Medical Marijuana Clinics idea, this sounds like the place I should start.
John Sun, Paul Zhang, Kevin Yu
“Automated credit counseling—Turbotax for debt relief.”
Every year 10 million people in the U.S. shell out $200 or more for credit counseling from a human advisor. But many of the tasks involved in credit counseling—especially gathering and analyzing financial data—can be reduced to software, Debteye’s founders say. They’ve built a self-service platform where users can input their account data, balances, payment schedules, and the like, and get back recommendations about how to pay off their bills, negotiate with creditors, and set up debt management plans.
My take: Highly reminiscent of a YC S10 startup called Ready for Zero, which-wait for it— uses the Web to automate the credit management process. But the business models appear to be different: Debteye charges (unspecified) fees, while ReadyForZero makes money on commissions when it refers customers for debt-consolidation loan or other financial services.
Robert Farazin, Rok Gregoric, Rok Krulec
“A new form of brand advertising for the Web and mobile.”
You’ve no doubt run into CAPTCHAs, the hard-to-read images that test whether you’re a human or a bot before admitting you to a website. You can think of Double Recall’s technology as CAPTCHAs for online publishers, but with two twists: the images are actually advertisements, and they function in place of pay walls. Before readers can proceed to a publication’s content, they have to prove they read and understood the text in the ads, by retyping two highlighted words. This process results in greater recall of an ad’s message, according to the startup—and that means advertisers are willing to pay more for Double Recall ads than for classic Web ads. Up to 12 times more, in fact. The company already has deals with publishers like Forbes and Conde Nast.
My take: As a writer, I’m in favor of anything that helps the publishing industry recapture some of the ad revenue it’s lost over the years. As a reader, I worry that complying with Double Recall’s demands will become tedious and intrusive, but it beats paying.
James Tampin, Andrew Lee
“A customizable chat system for your website.”
My take: Reminds me of Meebo, but with more customizability and without the ads.