YC Demo Day S17 Takeaways as an Alumni

yc demo day s2017 summer
The one and only.

Twice a year, some of the country’s finest minds flock to the prestigious Y Combinator Demo Day, where a number of hopeful startups present their business plans to a carefully selected audience of investors. Some of the finest minds are invited to flock the night before as well – to the rehearsal run viewing reserved for those alumni who presented successfully the cycle before. Alumni such as Upcall.

Upcall presented on the Winter 2017 Demo Day this past March, and now our own founders, Sam and Michael, attended the Summer 2017 Alumni Demo Day as guests. My, how time flies! At this invite-only event, the graduating class has the opportunity to do a dry run of their presentation before the big day.

upcall demo day yc
Upcall CEOs Sam (left) and Michael, presenting their own pitch this past March.

We asked Sam and Michael to share their thoughts about the event, including advice and who else was helping advance sales team efforts like Upcall. Read on for a little Q & A:

Q: What was your overall impression of the event?

A: An impressive batch. A great variety of companies, from over 17 countries and across all industries – including medical, construction, and autonomous cars. There’s a lot to look forward to.

Q: Tell me about the quantity and composition of the companies. How many startups are included this year?

A: YC is getting bigger every year and reached 1,400 total funded startups. This batch alone had 132, and as I mentioned from all over the world. We noted a slight uptick in female founders presenting, at 12%. Here’s some more statistics about this year’s Summer Demo Day to check out. 

alum night yc demo day
Credit: sfslim on flickr.

Q: Did any pitches strike you as particularly unique?

A: Yes – Flock is a wireless security system for neighborhoods. They’ve already helped to arrest a thief thanks to their cameras. Using this, someone could give the police evidence they need to help after a crime has been committed.

Another one was Mystro. This is an app to help drivers find better rides between different platforms, like Lyft and Uber. It was created for drivers by a driver, and makes on-demand drivers more money by allowing them to drive for multiple on-demand apps and miss less trips they might want.

Entocycle is an insect factory! They transform food waste into insect-based protein for the aquaculture and livestock industries. Very smart and innovative way to help the environment.

70 Million Jobs is the ultimate second chance – it’s a job marketplace for people with criminal records. Their mission is to help the formerly incarcerated men and women regain agency through employment.

Value Voting helps increase voter turnout through strategic primary voting. With the United States constantly engaged in the fight to encourage voter participation, this can help your organization achieve their legislative goals.

Q: Any startups worth noting for boosting your sales team efforts?

A: A good number of them! There was:

  • Slik – Slik offers highly targeted leads with an advanced filtering system, contextual data about decision-makers, and varied pricing.
  • Prism – Why do your customers do what they do? Prism lets you define your audience, collect feedback, and gather insights to find the answer.
  • Loop Support – Quality customer support is a necessity for any well-run company. Loop Support helps growing companies provide great customer support, from answering tickets, collecting insights, and doing their research for a knowledge base on your customers.
  • Meetingbird – With a slogan like “Less Scheduling, More Doing”, how could you go wrong? Meetingbird is a helpful Chrome extension that integrates with your Google calendar and email for easier scheduling.
  • Thematic – Thematic lets you use customer feedback to make effective changes, with text analytics and visualizations from your NPS, CSAT, user research surveys and chat logs.

Upcall is no stranger to empowering your sales team, either! Our special YC offer includes ½ price on-boarding, and 10% off all plans. Try us out and generate leads for your industry here.

yc demo day make something people want motto
Credit: pahlkadot on flickr.

Q: And last but not least, any advice for those thinking of founding a YC-worthy startup one day?

A: It’s simpler than you think. Just solve a real problem. The main motto at YC is “Make Something People Want.”

And there you have it – Upcall’s own little sneak peek into the S2017 Alumni Demo Day!

Ready to start your own call campaign with Upcall? Start your demo now!

 

Upcall is also looking for more talented individuals to join our team. Check out our available positions here!

Upcall’s New Features — All Designed to Help You Communicate and Interact Even Better with Your Upcallers. 🙌

Great news! Connecting, interacting and training top notch Upcallers for your outbound calling campaign has never been easier!

Coordinating with a growing team of agents can be a challenge, especially when they are remote. At Upcall, we know that communication is the key to success. And now we’ve made it even easier:

Discover Upcall’s 5 new Features for this month!

1. Company pages are live

Now Upcallers can get all the information they need in one nifty centralized spot.

Fill out all the information you want to provide to your Upcallers directly on your company page. From there you can upload:

  • Specific files and other content
  • Links to specific websites or media you want to share
  • An FAQ for your Upcallers

2. Kickoff meeting

One of our biggest releases yet, with requests from both Campaigners and Upcallers left and right. We heard you loud and clear!

So how does it work?

  • In the pre-launch phase, while preparing the campaign, you can hold a kickoff meeting. It’s as easy as sending a link.
  • Upcallers will apply to your campaign. Simply approve them and they can join the kickoff meeting.
  • This kick off meeting is the perfect occasion to meet your Upcallers, explain your goals, and present your company campaign. Use this as a platform to re-assert your vision and give some advice on your upcoming campaign.

TIPS:

  • The kickoff meeting is a great tool to set your campaign up for success. Keep in mind that Upcallers who invest the time are more successful and more committed to campaigns.
  • To make your campaign that much more attractive to potential Upcallers, and ensure a great attendance rate, you have the option offer a tip to all Upcaller applicants who want to join your campaign and kick off meeting!

3. Organize a conference call

You can now organize a conference call with your online Upcallers.

Once your campaign is live, you can reach out to your Upcallers through our Conference Call feature. We recommend keeping your exchanges within the platform to more easily keep track of your correspondences, as well as for quality assurance and security purposes.

When should you check-in with your Upcallers?

  • We will send you notifications when our Upcallers make their first, 20th, and 50th call so you know when to check in and hear how they are communicating with your leads.
  • Our Upcallers love feedback! Pay them a compliment or offer constructive feedback and they’ll continue to improve and tailor their calls accordingly. If you want to reference a specific call where they were outstanding, leave feedback in that call record.
  • Use our chat feature — you can address Upcallers in a group, or chat to them 1:1.
  • Feedback works both ways too! If you want to hear your Upcaller’s experience with your leads first hand, organize a check-in conference call and you can discuss methods and objection handling tips.

Some best practices when conferencing with Upcallers:

  • Schedule a meeting in the chat with your Upcallers. It’s always best to offer about 3 different possible times to check in.
  • Check which Upcallers are logged in.
  • A call conference can only be launched by campaigners. You have all the control!
  • Keep in mind that even if your Upcallers are logged in, they might be in a call. Always check their availability, and give them a few minutes delay so they can catch up.

4. Notifications

Check out notifications and alerts on your Dashboard!

Now you can check your bell when:

  • A new goal has been reached
  • New Upcallers have applied
  • And much more …..

5. Email and chat alerts!

We added new email notifications each time your Campaign and Upcallers reach a new key goal. Woohoo!

How’s it work?

  • When you’re on your dashboard, keep an eye on your “chat” button.
  • Each time you receive a new message from an Upcaller, you’ll get a notification alert (see that little red button?)
  • Upcallers will receive the same alerts on their dashboard when you contact them through the platform. (Remember that they may not be able to reply in real time. Your Upcallers are working hard and could be on a call.)

The Upcall team is always happy to be improving your experience in every possible way. Check out these new features and see what they can do for you!

Are you ready to launch an outbound call campaign with Upcall?

Happy 1st Birthday, Upcall! 🎉

Upcall is celebrating its 1 year anniversary! We are also proud to announce that we have just moved into our new San Francisco office, in front of the AT&T baseball park.

,Sam & Michael, Upcall Co-founders

​A note from Sam, our CEO, on how it all began:

“A year ago, my brother and I created Upcall with one goal: Make it easier for millions of companies to reach out to new leads and engage with existing customers. We knew we could do this by creating a unified platform with instant access to a network of qualified U.S. call professionals with great features to monitor results.”

“Having run several startups, I always felt the need to effectively scale my sales team. It normally took me weeks to find the right person, and call centers, aside from feeling stilted and impersonal, didn’t allow the flexibility and transparency needed to work. What I really wanted was a fully integrated, more local solution with my existing marketing and sales tools.

“I decided to team up with my brother, Michael, and the two of us set out to offer a smart and disruptive way to generate leads over the phone at scale.”

Professionals focused on customer experience and localization would be key players. Helping companies like you connect with prospects, leads, and clients was and is the goal. And that’s how Upcall became what it is today!

We care about local, genuine human interaction.
We believe that technology can improve the way a company interacts with its stakeholders — not replace it!

Upcall’s first year in a nutshell!

  • In one year, our team has more than quadrupled!
  • Upcall has provided crowdsourced outbound calling for over 200 clients from companies such as Coldwell Banker, Farmers Agents, Munchery, Buildzoom, Naturebox.
  • Our Upcaller community has been growing right alongside our clients’ needs. Everyday we continue to engage and select the cream of the crop to join our amazing group of US agents.
  • Our goal is to provide our Upcallers with both flexibility and a sustainable source of income befitting their experience

Take a look at what our Upcallers have to say about us:

“Best and only one of its kind. Dedicated and amazing staff!”

“Everything I got is even better than I expected”.

“The work is consistent and hours are flexible. You run your own schedule.”

Thank you, for a wonderful year. We want to help businesses reach the highest heights it can with our support.

And last but not least…what’s next at Upcall?

What we’ve achieved in just one year is only the tip of the iceberg for how we see the future. Upcall is a whole new world of generating leads at scale from your desktop!

As part of our commitment to providing you with the very best, we’re excited to share some of the new features coming to you soon: such as multi-user access, calendar integration, company pages, and API version 2.

And we’re still working on more exciting innovations and features down the road, like call transcription and keyword analysis, voicemail drop, an intelligent script building tool, and a native Salesforce and other CRM integration.

The future never looked so bright!

Are you ready for your next campaign?