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Y Combinator: Demo Day

Last week I attended the Y Combinator Summer Session where 105 companies pitched for investment after 6 months spent working at Y Combinator (

Y Combinator is the main incubator in Silicon Valley. Airbnb, Dropbox and Stripe are some of the biggest Y success of the last few years.

If Y Combinator companies are somehow an indicator of the next Silicon Valley trends some interesting lessons could be learnt.

Key takeaway:

  • Strong focus on AI and Machine Learning to diagnose in advance and prevent terrible disease as Alzheimer and Cancer;

  • Machine learning will provide personalize cancer cure (today the cure is just an educated guess by a Doctor);

  • Proven Western business models are being replicated in Emerging Economies (mainly India and Brazil):

  • Mobile wallets;

  • Payment platform;

  • Marketplace for personal Loans;

  • Marketplace for sharing economies (rental of motorbikes or car);

  • Recruitment and Insurance sectors are still inefficient on both side (companies and consumers) and several start up are trying to disrupt them;

  • New Capital is shifting from autonomous vehicles to autonomous planes;

  • Convertible Debt and SAFE (Safe Alternative to Equity) are now the major vehicles for start-up financing.

Big absents from the Pitches:

  • No robot or bitcoin business;

  • No Food Delivery apps;

  • No ecommerce or subscription services business;

  • No content business.

Some interesting statistics learnt:

  • In India, there 500 million people with skin problems and just 8,000 dermatologists;

  • Muslim spend $8.0b for dating (online and offline industry);

  • 98% of the founders presenting wore a t-shirt;

  • Women represented less than 20% of the founders (big problem).

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