The top 5 startups from Y Combinator Fellowship’s Virtual Demo Day

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The top 5 startups from Y Combinator Fellowship’s Virtual Demo Day

Pre-natal genetic testing, VR drones, and fracking nanoparticles were a few of the products featured in Y Combinator’s first Virtual Demo Day. They come from the YC Fellowship, a program designed to let the startup school help idea- or prototype-stage companies, beyond the full-fledged businesses in its main accelerator.

The 8-week full-time fellowship mostly offers remote guidance, plus $20,000 in funding in exchange for 1.5% equity. It allows Y Combinator to cast a larger net around young startups than it has time to give dedicated, hands-on attention. It could serve as a recruiting tool or funnel for its core program, plus let YC place even more bets internationally.

Here are write-ups of my favorites from the 25 startups in the Virtual Demo Day, plus quick looks at the rest:

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BillionToOne – Cheap, safe pre-natal genetic testing

To check if an unborn baby has a genetic disease, doctors typically have to use an expensive and dangerous Amniocentesis procedure. That’s why pre-natal genetic testing is only done for high risk pregnancies. But BillionToOne has discovered a way to detect and sequence the baby’s DNA from the mother’s blood, safely and cheaply. Early tests showed it to be over 99.9% accurate. BillionToOne could be how every unborn baby gets tested in the future.

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OMG Digital – BuzzFeed for Africa

Africa has 250 million millenials, but there’s little pop culture content published online for them. OMG Digital is on track to become the biggest website in Africa by September and it’s only available in three countries. 70% of visitors are returning, showing strong retention, and big brands are signing advertising deals. It’s easy to imagine a Western media giant acquiring OMG Digital.

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The Flex Company – An alternative to tampons that can be worn during sex

Menstruation products are outdated. They have to be changed frequently, can be dangerous if left in too long, and they must be removed before sex. The Flex Company has invented a flexible, disk-like disposable device that can be worn for 12 hours at a time, and can be worn during sex while without making a mess. The Flex Company’s product opens for pre-orders in April, and the startup hopes to eventually sell it in stores. Check out our full write-up on Flex.

4/26

Mentat – Job application concierge service

Applying for jobs is a huge chore. Mentat can find and automatically apply for jobs on a user’s behalf, plus rewrite their resumes and create custom cover letters for each job. With people switching jobs more often, and a better job offsetting the cost to users, Mentat could tap into a huge market. The data it’s gathering about what people with which skills apply for what jobs could be very valuable too.

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5/26

HDP Health – Using AI to find pharma trial patients

Pharmaceutical companies pay people an average of $6,000 to participate in their experiments, but 30% of these trials never find enough patients. HDP Health has created a portal where patients can read plain-english summaries of the latest advances around a disease they have. It uses this to lure patients into uploading their medical records, which it scans with AI and then matches them to available trials. HDP can collect a recruitment fee from the pharma companies while helping advance science and earn money for patients.

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Click on to see the res of the YC Fellowship startups

7/26

Queen B Robotics – Relatively cheap drones that capture virtual reality

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Spotbot – Platform and competitor UI change measurement and alerts

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9/26

Zube – Surfaces customer support trends to developers

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SmartSite – Construction site health and safety sensor

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Palaround – Professional networking with others in your organization

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Squire – OpenTable for barbershops

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13/26

Ctzen – 311 reporting for public problems in the developing world, and a reply management system for governments

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Pramp – Coding interview practice site that gets programmers jobs

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Instrumentl – Grant application concierge service for research scientists

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Rent Scene – Full-service apartment hunters

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17/26

Sage – On-demand eldercare

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Bulletin – Airbnb for shared retail storefronts

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Ilium VR – A virtual reality rifle controller

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Cerplus – B2B marketplace for surplus produce

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Awesound – Targeted audio ads for podcasts

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Müvr – Post-surgery Fitbit for your knee

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Sway – Track your company finances with a Slack chatbot

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Suto – Personalized product recommendations via chat

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ConnectHealth – Telemedicine and prescription delivery for Africa

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GTRACK – Nanoparticles that increase oil fracking efficiency

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