- Please enter the url of a 1 minute unlisted (not private) YouTube video introducing the founder(s).
- Who writes code, or does other technical work on your product? Was any of it done by a non-founder?
- How long have the founders known one another and how did you meet? Have any of the founders not met in person?
- Please tell us about an interesting project, preferably outside of class or work, that two or more of you created together.
- Please tell us in one or two sentences about something impressive that each founder has built or achieved.
- Please tell us about the time you most successfully hacked some (non-computer) system to your advantage.
- How far along are you?
- How long have each of you been working on this? How much of that has been full-time?
- When will you have a prototype or beta?
- How many active users or customers do you have? How many are paying? Who is paying you the most, and how much do they pay you?
- We're interested in your revenue over the last several months. (Not cumulative and not GMV).
- Anything else you would like us to know regarding your revenue or growth rate?
- If you are applying with the same idea as a previous batch, did anything change? If you applied with a different idea, why did you pivot and what did you learn from the last idea?
- If you have already participated or committed to participate in an incubator, "accelerator" or "pre-accelerator" program, please tell us about it.
- Why did you pick this idea to work on? Do you have domain expertise in this area? How do you know people need what you're making?
- What's new about what you're making? What substitutes do people resort to because it doesn't exist yet (or they don't know about it)?
- Who are your competitors? What do you understand about your business that they don't?
- How do or will you make money? How much could you make?
- How do users find your product? How did you get the users you have now? If you run paid ads, what is your cost of acquisition?
- Have you formed ANY legal entity yet?
- Please list all legal entities you have and in what state or country each was formed (e.g. Delaware C Corp, Mexican SAPI, Singapore Pvt Ltd, etc.).
- Please describe the breakdown of the equity ownership in percentages among the founders, employees and any other stockholders. If there are multiple founders, be sure to give the equity ownership of each founder and founder title (e.g. CEO).
- Have you taken any investment yet?
- How much money do you spend per month?
- How much money does your company have in the bank now?
- How long is your runway?
- Is there anything else we should know about your company?
Shotput YCombinator Application
Shotput successful YCombinator application from 2015 summer batch (YC S15).
If you have a demo, what's the url?More responses
What is your company going to make? Please describe your product and what it does or will do.More responses
Stripe for managing Supply Chains. We handle the post-manufacturing supply chain to the customer for small to mid-size product companies by connecting directly to manufacturers. We have developed a standard process to manage the supply chain for many product companies and allow for some flexibility during key points of the supply chain.
Where do you live now, and where would the company be based after YC?More responses
Now: Jersey City, NJ. After YC: We’ve seen growth in NYC & Boston, will evaluate our experience in the Valley.
Please enter the url of a 1 minute unlisted (not private) YouTube video introducing the founder(s).More responses
How long have the founders known one another and how did you meet? Have any of the founders not met in person?More responses
James & Praful have known each other since 2010 at Northeastern University. They worked on building iMadeIT together and built small projects together. Praful & Shawn met through a Self Driving Vehicle meet-up that was setup to build prototypes of autonomous vehicles in April 2013. James & Shawn met in May 2014 at our old office in New Brunswick. All 3 of us have been working together full time on this as roommates in Jersey City since June 2014.
Please tell us about an interesting project, preferably outside of class or work, that two or more of you created together.More responses
James & Praful: http://www.northeastern.edu/entrepreneurs/programs/northeastern-io/ In 2010 we co-founded iMadeIT (now NU.io), an entrepreneurial club that teaches students of all levels and backgrounds to create their own websites. Our members were primarily composed of business majors with lots of ideas and no background in programming. Within 2 years, we became the biggest entrepreneurial club at Northeastern. The club still runs successfully today and grew to over 100 active members by the time we passed it over to other student leaders.
How far along are you?More responses
We have a web app with a beta customer and a beta warehouse. In the warehouse, our software manages 50,000 orders per month. Our beta customer has prepaid and is shipping out 1103 orders in December.
How long have each of you been working on this? How much of that has been full-time?More responses
When will you have a prototype or beta?More responses
Currently testing our beta with customers
How many active users or customers do you have? How many are paying? Who is paying you the most, and how much do they pay you?More responses
1 Beta Customer
What is your monthly growth rate?More responses
How much revenue?More responses
If you are applying with the same idea as a previous batch, did anything change? If you applied with a different idea, why did you pivot and what did you learn from the last idea?More responses
If you have already participated or committed to participate in an incubator, "accelerator" or "pre-accelerator" program, please tell us about it.More responses
Why did you pick this idea to work on? Do you have domain expertise in this area? How do you know people need what you're making?More responses
We are passionate about solving logistics problems because they have a large societal impact and require small investments in technology to gain leverage. Originally, we were making software to increase storage density in warehouses to dramatically lower storage costs. That led us to learn a significant amount about warehousing and the supply chain process and why warehouses have so much trouble investing in technology. Additionally, Praful’s previous startup developed hardware and he knew the difficulties of managing his supply chain. Finally, James and Praful knew the problems that product companies have based on their experience mentoring startups and within 2 weeks of switching to the new business, we were able to get our first check.
What's new about what you're making? What substitutes do people resort to because it doesn't exist yet (or they don't know about it)?More responses
We want to make it as easy as setting up an API account with us to get started with fulfillment. No one else has made it that easy to start providing fulfillment solutions for companies. Typically, start-ups go two different routes. 1. They do the fulfillment themselves. This means a large portion of their effort is taken away from product development and marketing. 2. They find a 3PL. Often times, they are overpaying and the facilities are initially misinformed about the product which delays shipments. To find warehousing today is a long and arduous process of calling individual facilities to see if they can manage a given product. Each warehouse has a slightly different pricing structure, different process of fulfillment, and different understanding of the same product.
Who are your competitors, and who might become competitors? Who do you fear most?More responses
Competitors: ShipWire, SymphonyCommerce, JaggedPeak, Amazon Fear the most: Amazon
What do you understand about your business that other companies in it just don't get?More responses
Our competitors and the experts in the field focus too much attention on the differences between each company’s fulfillment operations. For our first account, it took over 200 phone calls and 10 days to get a handful of quotes. Most facilities refuse to work with startups due to inconsistent volumes. We found by aggregating products under a major account, providing a standard procedure, and packaging requirements, we eliminated 80% of the fulfillment differences. There will still be custom operations which will be beyond our scope but most startups have similar requirements and dimensional-weights for their products.
How do or will you make money? How much could you make?More responses
We charge 10 cents per order. The average crowd-funded customer has 2000-3000 orders in the first month so we will make $200 – 300/month per customer. The successful companies increase to average 5000 orders/month by the end of the year, providing $500/month in revenue. There are 500 successfully crowd-funded hardware projects on KickStarter and Indiegogo since November 2013. This number excludes other product companies such as apparel, non-hardware physical goods, and food-related projects. The number of orders/customer and number of new products are expected to increase every year.
How will you get users? If your idea is the type that faces a chicken-and-egg problem in the sense that it won't be attractive to users till it has a lot of users (e.g. a marketplace, a dating site, an ad network), how will you overcome that?More responses
We currently get customers by reaching out to recently over-subscribed, crowd-funded projects on KickStarter & Indiegogo. We have found startups by partnering with TechStars, Northeastern IDEA, and Kairos Society. We are also working to become preferred vendors for KickStarter & Indiegogo. As our customer base grows, we will continue to optimize the process of fulfillment for even higher cost-savings thus increasing our ability to close more customers.
Please tell us something surprising or amusing that one of you has discovered.More responses
Have you seen how many bathrooms some warehouses have?? They have some of the highest densities of bathrooms in a workplace. One union negotiated a clause that every employee must be less than 90 feet from a toilet at all times.