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[Photo: Reinhard Hunger for Fast Company]

Y Combinator Demo Day At The Computer History Museum In Mountain View

On Tuesday, March 25th, a new batch of 75 startups will present their products at Y Combinator's demo day. Fast Company's Alice Truong will report live from the event and highlight some of the standouts.

First batch of startups on stage.
by Alice Truong

One of the most aspired-to accelerators in the Bay Area, Y Combinator isn't known for doling out huge amounts of money--about $18,000 on average--yet it attracts early startups across the country that hope to breakout big like some Y Combinator alums have, including Dropbox and AirbnbTo date, the accelerator cofounded by venture capitalist Paul Graham has funded more than 600 startups, including RedditTwitchStripe, and Homejoy. What makes Y Combinator so attractive in part is its powerful alumni network--some of whom have attended each other's weddings, played poker together, or shared an RV at Burning Man. 

On Tuesday, a new batch of 75 startups will present their products at Y Combinator's demo day. Fast Company's Alice Truong will report live from the event from the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. and highlight some of the standouts. Stay tuned! The event begins at 10am Pacific.

  • There are the people who like to scrape the Web for the best deals, and then there's the rest of us who don't have the same patience and diligence to save a few bucks. To take the pain out of frugality, Zinc lets customers know when they can find a product for less money elsewhere.

    A browser plug-in, Zinc shows up at the checkout page with an alternative order button that displays a lower price for the same product. "It's not an advertisement. It's not a referral to another retailer. It's an order button," says cofounder Doug Feigelson in his presentation to a packed audience at Mountain View's Computer History Museum.

    If users choose to order the cheaper products via Zinc, the company fulfills the order from the lowest cost vendor and also handles returns and other aspects of customer service.

    "It takes two clicks to install," cofounder Max Kolysh told Fast Company. "Customers often forget about the product until the next time they shop on Amazon." Kolysh said customers don't have to create an account to use Zinc, which also works on Walmart, Macy's, and Target online. 

    The company, made up of computer science graduates from MIT, is able to offer this service because it has built programs that crawl the Web searching for the best deals, while relying on human editors to vet them.

    Having launched six weeks ago, Zinc said it already has 12,000 users. "Yesterday, we did over $6,0000 in sales, and that number is doubling every week," says Feigelson.
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