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YC Demo Day: behind the scene

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the experience of attending a Y Combinator (YC) Demo Day, where startups have only 1 minute to pitch to investors. It provides insights on how to effectively convince investors in this short time frame, as well as the author's perspective on the differences between the S23 and W24 Demo Day events.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] YC Demo Day: behind the scene

1. What is the key challenge for startups at a YC Demo Day?

  • Startups only have 1 minute to pitch to investors, which is a very short time to convince them.

2. What are the tips the author provides for startups to stand out in a 1-minute pitch?

  • Have a script to organize your ideas and key points
  • Time yourself to ensure you can cover the main points within 60 seconds
  • Smile and speak slowly to appear more confident
  • Start with the big picture, explain how you achieve it, and end with an open remark

3. How does the author suggest leveraging the Demo Day event for fundraising?

  • Use the Demo Day deadline to create momentum and expedite the fundraising process
  • For investor meetings, emphasize that you are now public and have received a lot of interest, so you prefer to focus on product improvement and customer engagement

[02] Comparison of S23 vs W24 Demo Day

1. What were the key differences between the S23 and W24 Demo Day events?

  • For S23, the entire event was held over Zoom due to COVID-19, while W24 startups were able to have an in-person investor reception, which the author says had a noticeable difference in energy.
  • The author found the W24 batch to be "really powerful", with startups building concrete products that can be used right away, including tools powered by AI that the author's own startup is implementing.

2. What other updates and changes has YC undergone?

  • YC has funded over 3,000 startups, including 30+ unicorns, and has expanded to fund founders from 90+ countries and 1,000 companies with underrepresented founders.
  • Demo Days now produce nearly half a billion dollars of funding per batch, and YC has seen a 10x increase in applications.
  • YC has transformed to a remote program during COVID, and is now returning to an in-person program with new offices in San Francisco.
  • YC has introduced new initiatives like a $500k standard deal, a deals database, an investor database, an alumni directory, an expanded user manual, a hiring platform, and a library of startup content.
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