Welcome to Startups Weekly, a fresh look at this week’s start and startup trends. To get this in your inbox, subscribe here.
Criticism of the value of a startup accelerator and demo days has been a conversation in the tech world for decades. The programs promise to help napkin phase founders with everything from finding their co-founders to finding the right product market to raising that crucial first check. Led by global programs such as Y Combinator, Techstars and 500 Global, startup accelerators have spawned multi-billion dollar companies such as Coinbase and Stripe and have become synonymous with the promise of activation energy.
Yet every few months, entrepreneurs ask the same questions: is precious wealth worth access to a network? Is the true value of the program just a valued endorsement? Are demo days obsolete? Is the best outcome for founders within an accelerator simply another round of funding? Is YC’s batch size just too big to stand out?
We keep trying to reinvent boot accelerators, and that in itself tells me the setting remains relevant even if it’s not perfect. After all, asking questions is the first step in changing the way things are done.
In January, I wrote a piece about how startup accelerators need a refresh on how they think about value-added services. Days later, Y Combinator announced it would increase its check to $500,000, up from $125,000 earlier. With Y Combinator Winter 2022 Demo Day next week, we’ll see the first cohort being impacted by these changes — and YC has become more remote, more international, and more ambitious in terms of the impact it aims to have.
As everyone will see, this year we’re changing the way we treat Demo Day to better reflect what we believe to be the most important part of accelerators: a way to see how a large cohort of startups think about the biggest problems in a given area. sub-sector. It feels like demo days have completely deviated from a traditional investor presentation and pitch, offering more yet another snapshot of a startup and the growth plus personality of its earliest days.
More next week, but in the rest of this newsletter we’ll talk about the outlier world of fintech, an Instacart discount, and an overlap with cryptocurrency non-profit. As always you can support me by forwarding this newsletter to a friend, follow me on twitter or subscribe to my personal blog.
Offer of the week
Disaster confirmed it has picked up again, but this time at a valuation of $8.1 billion. The approaching decacorn valuation comes after the company achieved unicorn status less than a year ago, having seen that less than a year ago. Jesus.
Here’s why it matters: Disaster, and fintech in general, feels like an outlier from the market turbulence we reported on last quarter. Is the financial services sector protected from a wider corporate pullout or valuation adjustment? On Equity, Alex and Mary Ann came upon an important takeaway this week: It’s a fintech world and we just live in it.
Instacart’s biggest discount yet
Instacart lowers its valuation by nearly 40%, giving us yet another data point in the larger market correction that is happening on many pandemic-era success stories.
Here’s why it matters: As Alex Wilhelm points out, DoorDash, another food delivery company, has seen its price-to-sales ratio plummet from the year before, as Uber hopes to scale up its food delivery service. Still private, Instacart lowering its paper valuation ahead of a stock market debut could spare it an otherwise bumpy response.
I think the eggs and ham are not so green:Love the Instacart Growth Plan Mary Ann’s weekly fintech newsletter launching soon! Sign up here to get it in your inbox. Evergreen reminder to take advantage of the code “EQUITY” when you subscribe to TechCrunch+ for a hefty discount and gratitude.
Why web3’s rich donate crypto instead of cash
Crypto reporter Anita Ramaswamy examined the trend of web3’s wealthy donating in crypto, rather than cash. The story specifically explores how a rush of crypto donations to support Ukraine this month could spark wider community interest in supporting charities through coins.
Here’s why it matters: In addition to the cultural overlap in donations and crypto’s vision of a more democratic way to support causes, there is a technical advantage. Change founder Sonia Nigam, who is building a donation API with Amar Shah, explained the difference between traditional philanthropy and the creator tool:
The smart contract technology allows impact to live in the product itself, then give forever… we’ll see NFT collections go live and they’ll set a target; [for example] 2% of all secondary sales goes towards combating climate change for a lifetime. Now with every resale, the creator’s original intention is never lost, which really gets them excited. And for nonprofits, unlocking recurring channels for donations is always the number one goal.
during the week
We will meet in person! Soon! TechCrunch Early Stage 2022 is April 14, aka around the corner, and it’s in San Francisco. Join us for a one day founding stop with GV’s Terri Burns, Greylock’s Glen Evans and Felicis’ Aydin Sekut. The TC team has gone out of their way to come back in person, so don’t be surprised if the panels are a little spicier than usual.
Here is the full agenda and buy your launch tickets here.
Finally, if you missed last week’s Startups Weekly, read it here: “Failure is complex, especially in the world of startups.”
Seen on TechCrunch
Alphabet just launched its quantum technology group and launched it as an independent company
Musk unveils plan to scale Tesla to ‘extreme size’
Sequoia Introduces Arc, a London/SV Outlier Finding and Guidance Program, with $1 Million Each
Okta Says Hundreds of Businesses Affected by Security Breach
Seen on TechCrunch+
The product-driven growth playbook
Despite declines, crypto asset value in DeFi protocols is 3x higher than a year ago
It’s time to hold investors accountable and abolish pro-rata
Dear Sophie: How long does it take to get International Entrepreneur Parole?
Until next time,
This post We keep trying to reinvent boot accelerators – TechCrunch was original published at “https://techcrunch.com/2022/03/26/we-keep-trying-to-reinvent-startup-accelerators/”