Never before has a startup’s pursuit for innovation been more important. Y Combinator facilitates an event where ideas and concepts actually have an opportunity to be brought to life with the support of interested investors...that is, if they manage to impress them.
At the Y Combinator S16 Demo Day 1, a diverse selection of startups spanning industries from security, hardware, B2B, biotech, finance and consumer technology, were all more than willing to show off their latest products. Here’s a roundup of the 10 most novel, strange, and downright remarkable startups that you should keep your eye on.
Flex is looking to give tampons a, long overdue, upgrade. The company promises to provide a product that is non-invasive, comfortable, can be reliably used for 12 hours, and even allow for mess-free sex during that time of the month. Flex is made of a hypoallergenic, biocompatable, medical-grade polymer blend. The company has already sold $70,000 worth of products (via pre-orders) and has received FDA approval. In fact, in a few weeks, the product will begin shipping to customers who've subscribed.
Payment plans for travel via Airfordable
Sure, everyone would love to simply hop on a plane and explore the world, but the reality is, not everyone can afford to. Airfordable offers to provide a service that aids those who are financially unable to support their wanderlust by allowing travelers to book their flight at a fraction of the cost upfront and then create a bi-weekly payment plan that allows them to pay it off in up to 3 months. Tickets are released to users only after they successfully complete their payment plans.
Ridesharing with GoGoGrandparent
A lot of how technology works today is dependent on smartphones. Unfortunately, not everyone likes learning how to use them. Case in point: your grandparents. Trying to get Nana to learn how to use Uber may be a much more daunting task than giving her a new phone number to put in her address book. Enter GoGoGrandparent a service that lets users book car services, ask for help in getting groceries or picking up their medicine, simply by making a phone call.
In-flight VR entertainment with Skylights
Good news for passengers of airlines who skimp on in-flight entertainment. Skylights may have the solution for comfortable, long-haul, in-flight viewing that lets both the airline and passenger win at the same time. The company has created a proprietary VR headset and software that lets passengers strap the device on and watch 2D and 3D movies with the same view you'd get in the middle row of a movie theater. Currently, Skylights is being used by 4 airlines and has gone on 100 flights.
Autonomous security with Aptonomy
You can never be too careful these days. With the help of drone technology combined with a more dynamic form of security, Aptonomy brings you a great alternative to the traditional security camera. The company has created autonomous drones designed to provide surveillance around a given area that not only records but also detects potential intruders and can actually trigger audio and visual deterrents.
Automating memories with Fabric
Ever get the feeling that something is watching and recording your every move? You can now get that feeling on purpose. Fabric is an automatic online journal that catalogs everything from experiences to interactions, even using GPS location, to create a searchable profile of memories. The app tracks your location and can even automatically add friends to your log when you're hanging out. The app has already launched and is boasting over 1.5 million checkins.
Keeping shopping simple for men with LookLive
On the premise that men love fashion as much as any woman, LookLive has created a solution that lets men enjoy styling themselves while simplifying the process of shopping. And you don't even need to have style. Their technology scans an image of a celebrity or a model, identify what clothes they are wearing and lets you find the same look, with the option to find it at a more affordable price. The idea is to partner with publications such as Complex or Esquire, who will upload images to its site and make these looks easy to find.
Disease diagnosis with Luminostics
Ever wish you could carry a medical lab in your pocket? This startup certainly hopes so. Luminostics uses your smartphone flash and transforms it to become a personal lab to diagnose potential diseases like Chlamydia and other STDs. Simply add a sample of urine, saliva or blood onto a cartridge that can be inserted into the smartphone and in just a few minutes, diagnosis can be delivered to you personally. Fast, convenient and in the privacy of your own home.
Track calories with Airo Health
Wouldn't it be great if a fitness tracker can actually help you count calories too? Well, wait no longer thanks to Airo Health. This wearable is designed to automatically track your calorie intake. At only $200, the device can measure the wave-form of your pulse as blood flows to the digestive system. It contains a spectrometer that the company claims that by using different waves of light, Airo can detect nutrients released into the bloodstream.
Customizable supplements with Multiply Labs
Using robotics and 3D printing technology, Multiply Labs is gearing up to provide completely customizable personal supplements that let customers order online and specifically indicate what you want included in the pills. The company even touts time release technology, allowing you to even customize when supplements are released. They are currently taking pre-orders and expect to start shipping next Spring.