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.
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.
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.
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!