What I Learned About the Future from Listening to 223 YC Startup Pitches

By Y Combinator’s own track record, most of the companies launched this week won’t go on to become the next billion-dollar company, but they do give a good indication on what the next wave of entrepreneurs are interested in building.

Watching Y Combinator’s Demo Day is mental whiplash. The 223 startups are each given a minute to present a single slide in rapid fire, which is how your brain ends up jumping from an AI notetaker for health care to a financial reporting tool to a wholesale auto-parts seller in Africa to a company creating fabric from food waste — all within a span of four minutes.

For me, it’s a fun, twice-a-year tradition because it’s a front seat to the future. And given YC’s track record, there are good odds that you just spotted the next Airbnb or Stripe. There were 2,400 investors who watched this summer’s Demo Day, so for those of you not on the Zoom where it happened (or distracted by the Apple event, Code Conference or the death of Queen Elizabeth, which all overlapped), here’s what I gleaned from watching over 220 startup pitches.

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