Today, I had the pleasure of attending Y Combinator's Winter Founders Program Angel Day.
Angel Day is a show-case events for the eight companies currently in the Y Combinator Program. Twice a year, the Y Combinator team selects 8-10 teams and provides them intense coaching, $6k in seed money per person, and the opportunity to build a company and product. While cynics may associate Y Combinator with the now pejorative synonym - incubator - I left struck by the incredible energy, creativity, and productivity of the current crop of companies. It is simply remarkable what 3-4 very smart and very dedicated engineers can build in 10 weeks. Read the NY Times article for more on the model. In brief, in return for the micro-seed investment, Y Combinator takes a ~6% stake in the company. The plan is to be very Darwinian - companies either take hold and flourish or go the way of all flesh. The Summer program is full but start thinking about applying for the winter program.
While I will not jump ahead of today's companies launch plans, a few public Y Incubator companies include Reddit, Textpayme, and Kiko.com.
Thanks to Paul, Trevor, and Jessica for a great event.