Every year, Y Combinator Demo Day, where the latest batch of incubated startups make their pitch to investors, gets a little bigger. (Or a lot.) Now, for the first time since the event began in 2005, it’s moving to a new home — the Computer History Museum.
At the last Demo Day, in August (they’re held twice a year), you could already sense that the gathering was outgrowing YC headquarters in Mountain View. Organizers pushed out the walls to accommodate a larger audience, and in order to speed through the 63 presenters (an increase of nearly 50 percent), each company was limited to a few minutes of speaking, meaning they had to give rapid-fire pitches instead of full demos. There was even a tiny stage erected for the demos.
The next Demo Day will be held on March 27, and it seems that YC has embraced the fact that it has become a big deal Silicon Valley event. While the number of demonstrating companies has only grown slightly from its last class, to 66, things have been restructured. There’s the new location, and rather than repeat the sessions several times over two days, they’re being consolidated into a single, all-day event. That should give companies more time to present, while also leaving room for plentiful breaks. Hopefully, that means attendees won’t completely lose our minds by the time the 65th (!) company is on-stage.
Partner Jessica Livingston predicts that there will be more investors than ever in attendance. (At the last Demo Day, partner Paul Graham joked that instead of holding neverending meetings with entrepreneurs, investors could “just come here twice a year.”)
Jessica Livingston is a partner at Y Combinator. She was previously VP of marketing at investment bank Adams Harkness, where she managed an award-winning rebranding of the company. She is the author of Founders at Work (2007), a book of interviews with startup founders, and writes regularly about YC on her blog. She has a BA in English from Bucknell.
Paul Graham is a partner at Y Combinator. He is also the author of On Lisp (1993), ANSI Common Lisp (1995), and Hackers & Painters (2004). In 1995, he and Robert Morris started Viaweb, the first ASP, which in 1998 became Yahoo! Store. In 2002 he discovered a simple spam filtering algorithm that inspired the current generation of filters. Graham has a B.A. from Cornell. He earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Applied Sciences (specializing in computer...