Our 10 Favorite Companies From Y Combinator Demo Day (Day 1)

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Our 10 Favorite Companies From Y Combinator Demo Day (Day 1)

1/11

Day 1

It’s Day 1 Of Y Combinator’s two-day Demo Day for the Winter 2015 class. Over 50 companies presented today — and while they all had great things going for them, a few of them really stood out to us. Here’s a quick run-through of our Top 10, in no particular order…

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Cinder

What They Do: Think George Foreman Grill done smart. It’ll precisely monitor your food as it cooks, stopping it just in time for that perfect medium-rare doneness. Oh, and it’ll text you when the food’s ready.

Why It’s A Favorite: We live in the future. We have robots that vacuum our floors. Cooking a steak perfectly every time shouldn’t involve guesswork or endlessly stabbing the steak with a metal stick.

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Sirum

What They Do: Sirum finds surplus medication in pharmacies and helps to distribute (before it expires) it to low-income patients who need it but otherwise might not be able to afford it.

Why It’s A Favorite: Billions upon billions of dollars worth of pharmaceuticals are trashed each year because pharmacies ended up with more than they need. That. Is. Insane.

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Bluesmart

What They Do: A 3G and GPS enabled suitcase. Your airline might not know where the hell your suitcase is, but you will. It also has a built-in rechargeable battery for keeping your devices alive on the go.

Why It’s A Favorite: I’ve had my luggage misplaced more times than I can count. Whether or not it helps me get it back any faster, just knowing that my suitcase hasn’t been dropped into a portal to hell will help my nerves. Oh, having that battery will help — my phone always, *always* dies when I’m traveling, but I never want to whip out my backup charger until I get to the hotel in fear of losing it en route.

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5/11

Pigeon.ly

What They Do: Pigeonly builds apps that helps families communicate with their family members who are imprisoned.

Why It’s A Favorite: This industry is pretty messed up, and is notorious for exploiting family members who just want to stay in touch. It needs to be disrupted. Plus, it’s built by someone who spent five years in jail (for selling “pot. Lots and lots of pot.”) to fill a need he found while he served time.

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Shift Messenger

What They Do: Help hourly workers view, manage and trade shifts with their co-workers from a mobile app.

Why It’s A Favorite: Balancing hours at one job is tough, and managing several is even more tedious. The app could help people take better care of their health by allowing for easy shift swapping to allow for absence. And hell, it’s just great to see something built that doesn’t cater to the financial elite.

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Paperspace

What They Do: Provide a powerful computer in the cloud that you can reach from any browser.

Why It’s A Favorite: It gives those who could only afford a Chomebook or second-hand PC a chance to use high-end software.

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Magic

What They Do: One phone number. Text it, request anything (legal), and they’ll try to find a way to bring it to you.

Why It’s A Favorite: For the same reason everyone likes it and why it went insanely viral. Sometimes I’m lazy but, still, you know, want things.

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Dealyze

What They Do: Custom-themed customer loyalty apps.

Why It’s A Favorite: Tons of customer loyalty services (like Fivestar, for example) exist, but they feel like an entirely different business laid on top of yours, and that throw their own branding all over the place. Dealyze, meanwhile, builds your loyalty app to match your business’s look and feel. They make money when you communicate with your customer base.

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Chariot

What They Do: Chariot wants to find a way to get you to work quickly without breaking the bank. The company sends vans along set routes between residential and commercial centers in San Francisco, offering riders a discount if they buy monthly passes.

Why It’s A Favorite: San Francisco has a notoriously slow public transit system, and most people can’t afford to take an Uber to work every day. Chariot wants to create a middle ground that could be a fit for more price-conscious workers.

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Treeline

What They Do: Lets you build a powerful Node.js backend for your app or service without coding.

Why It’s A Favorite: Tools like Treeline are how we get to the future where anyone can make an app for their own very specific needs. Founded by the creator of Sails.js, the service provides easy access to dozens of APIs behind a simple graphical interface.

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