• YC Demo Day Session 2: Helion, BitAccess, uBiome, Fixed, And More

    YC Demo Day Session 2: Helion, BitAccess, uBiome, Fixed, And More

    Y Combinator’s Summer 2014 Demo Day is in full swing here at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. The room is packed with investors and press, the coffee is flowing, people in startup t-shirts are pitching, and a team of us TechCrunch writers are hunched over our laptops taking notes on each company that takes the stage. There will be four sessions in total today, and… Read More

  • Former Obama Campaign Manager To Lead Uber’s Political Crusade

    Former Obama Campaign Manager To Lead Uber’s Political Crusade

    After taking Obama to the White House in 2008, David Plouffe will lead Uber’s campaign to bring its driving services to new cities. Uber hired Obama’s former adviser and campaign manager to direct the company’s global policy and political activities, communications and branding efforts. The company has reportedly been looking to hire a top political strategist since earlier… Read More

  • YC-Backed Ravti Wants To Digitize The HVAC Industry

    YC-Backed Ravti Wants To Digitize The HVAC Industry

    Ravti co-founder Alex Rangel walked into TechCrunch with a stack of crumpled yellow slips in his hand. “This is what the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning industry still looks like,” he said, showing me a stack of papers with unintelligible scrawl. But Rangel and his co-founder Chris Ginter want to make managing HVAC units easier for property owners by marking equipment… Read More

  • The noPhone, Because Smartphone Separation Anxiety Is Real

    The noPhone, Because Smartphone Separation Anxiety Is Real

    The other day, as I sat on the couch with a dead iPhone resting on my belly, I found myself wondering why my phone is constantly out of battery. And I had a revelation: I’d rather have a dead phone within reach than be even a few feet away from it as it charges across the room. It’s pathetic, I know, but absolutely true. Enter the noPhone. Read More

  • YC Demo Day Session 1: Gingko Bioworks, Bikanta, Checkr, WalkSource, ClearTax, And More!

    YC Demo Day Session 1: Gingko Bioworks, Bikanta, Checkr, WalkSource, ClearTax, And More!

    We’re at the the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., to see the startups in the Y Combinator Summer 2014 class pitch their wares to investors and the press. There will be four sessions in total today, and we’ll be writing up a post for each. This is the largest number of startups that YC has ever had as part of its batch, so bear with us! Read More

  • Philips Hue Lux Review: Smart Lighting For Less

    Philips Hue Lux Review: Smart Lighting For Less

    If you’ve been eyeing the Philips Hue connected lighting series with keen interest but are also unwilling to spend the big bucks the current series demands, now’s your chance to get on board: Philips has kicked off pre-orders for the Hue Lux line of bulbs, including individual units and a starter kit including two bulbs and a base. The Lux trades programmable colors for a cheaper… Read More

  • Steve Ballmer Leaves Microsoft

    Steve Ballmer Steps Down From Microsoft’s Board

    Steve Ballmer is out at Microsoft. In a public exchange of letters, the former Microsoft CEO announced that he is stepping down from the software company’s board, effective immediately. Current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella thanked Ballmer for his service to the firm, and for his “support” during his early days as CEO. Read More

  • OhMiBod & Autoblow 2 | Fly or Die

    Fly Or Die: Sex Toys

    This episode of Fly or Die, focused on two different sex toys, may seem straightforward, but John and I actually learned a lot. We realized that not all sex toys are created equal, especially when you’re weighing sex toys for girls against those for boys. Read More

  • Y Combinator-Backed Traction Is A Marketplace Connecting Brands With Freelance Marketers

    Y Combinator-Backed Traction Is A Marketplace Connecting Brands With Freelance Marketers

    A new startup called Traction says it’s giving brands an alternative to the traditional marketing model — instead of working with agencies, Traction has created a marketplace for finding the best marketing specialist for a given campaign. Traction is part of the current batch of startups incubated at Y Combinator, i.e., the one that’s taking the stage at today’s Demo Day. Read More

  • Tom Daschle’s Son Raises Half A Million To Remake Ruck.us Into The Kickstarter Of Local Politics

    Tom Daschle’s Son Raises Half A Million To Remake Ruck.us Into The Kickstarter Of Local Politics

    Political startup Ruck.us has raised half a million dollars and made a major switch from the political social network it started out as back in 2011 to a local political fundraising platform. The site went through a reboot after it didn’t get the votes needed to make a social play over the last few years. It did, however, figure out a larger need in local politics – a free way… Read More