According to feedback from the investor and founder groups Y Combinator changes how Demo Days works in a remote world. The Accelerator announced today that it will hold its two-day demo day virtually, but instead of offering recorded pitches on demand, the entire program is broadcast live.
In an email, Y Combinator said the feedback was that “founders enjoyed the experience of the bond that comes with preparing a live demo day and investors like to see how the founder personally arranges their business.”
“We decided that a live demo day is an important part of the YC experience of the founders,” said Michael Seibel. Y Combinators CEO, wrote in a blog post.
The thirty-first demo day is broadcast live via zoom and the batch is divided into two days. Each company has one minute to present a single slide summary, description and team biography on the website for participants to view. If you cannot participate, the recordings will be published at the end of the week.
The accelerator informed TechCrunch that the presentations start at 9:00 a.m. PST and end at 1
Startups that have postponed the demo day in the past years will present themselves on the upcoming demo day. The postponement of the presentation on demo day is widespread and occurs when the founders are not yet ready to present their startup to the VC and tech press community. In a remote world, some startups may choose this route until things normalize again (if this ever happens, of course).
For founders participating in long-distance accelerators, the question remains: is the new format worth the equity? According to Y Combinator, the youngest cohort is the first batch to participate in a completely removed program that runs entirely through the COVID-19 lock.
The founders recently shared the ups and downs of this accelerating season. A founder, Michael Vega-Sanz, recommends that first-time founders visit a physical accelerator instead of a virtual accelerator for the energy they bring.
“If you are a competitive person like we were, you will see other companies kick their asses and be praised before everyone else,” he said. “I know that sounds a bit narcissistic, but we said, ‘Damn it, we really need to improve our game.’ “Peer competition may sound insignificant, but founders live much like investors from FOMO and rivalries.
Going live with Y Combinator feels like an attempt to add excitement and seriousness to the pitch experience. Techstars ran a virtual live demo the day before in the pandemic and even launched Ice-T to congratulate the founders who are participating in a cameo.
The YC demo day is August 24th and 25th.