YC Demo Days, Warm Up Exercises, Kentucky Bitcoin Miners – TechCrunch

The sidewalks along University Avenue in Palo Alto were once a great place to do business.

For decades, there were multiple blocks where Angels and VC partners camped out at cafe tables, taking pitches between the slats. The pandemic, however, put a stop to that.

These days, when you have the opportunity to sell your idea to an investor, it’s likely to be via video call, not over a croissant or shawarma.

Given the number of calls investors receive daily, “this new pitch model presents a new problem for founders,” says Flint Capital partner Andrew Gershfeld, whose firm reviews about “1,500 online pitches a year. “.

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To cut through the noise, he recommends founders create a “trailer” to share with their network before they start approaching angels and VCs. Not a full platform, but an embellished elevator pitch intended to whet investors’ appetites before serving them the full meal.

According to Gershfeld, “Since we don’t have the same in-person meeting opportunities, that’s how founders can get investors’ attention.”

Its message identifies the essential elements of a trailer and includes a template on how to structure the presentation “for the best impact”. It’s remarkably detailed.

I sympathize with coffeehouse owners in Palo Alto, but pitching remotely is a skill every founder needs, and it’s an effective way to level the playing field when it comes to fundraising. Start here.

Have a good week-end,

Walter Thompson
Editor-in-Chief, TechCrunch+

April 5 Twitter Space: “How to Pitch Me” with Arvind Gupta

On Tuesday, April 5 at 2:30 p.m. PT, I’m hosting a Twitter space with Arvin Gupta, Partner at Mayfield Fund.

We’ll discuss general presentation strategies and talk about what he’s looking for at the moment before taking questions from the audience, so please click here to set a reminder so you can join the conversation.

5 things new founders should remember when working with VCs

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Picture credits: Carole Yepes (Opens in a new window) /Getty Pictures

Nothing beats experience like experience, which is why we were happy to publish this article written by Zach DeWitt, winner of the 2013 TechCrunch Meetup and Pitch-off.

DeWitt, who became a VC after selling Drop, Inc. to Snapchat in 2016, shares five key lessons for new founders wandering the wilderness looking for an investor who will be “a true partner.”

There’s an inherent power imbalance when asking a stranger for money, but “VCs should work to earn your trust,” DeWitt writes.

“In many ways, it’s like finding the right spouse.”

Why Nigeria is leading the way for YC participation in Africa

YC Demo Day Winter 2022

Picture credits: Tech Crunch

With 18 of the 24 African startups in Y Combinator’s Winter 2022 batch hailing from Nigeria, the country shows the depth and breadth of its technical talent.

In a well-researched report, Tage Kene-Okafor examines how factors such as the remoteness of the YC, increased investor interest and connections to Nigerian YC alumni have helped this bustling ecosystem lead more businesses to the accelerator than many other tech markets this year.

Bitcoin Miners Dust Off Kentucky Coal Towns, Boosted by State Crypto Tax Incentives

Image of a person walking past a wall of bitcoin mining rigs

Picture credits: LARS HAGBERG/AFP (Opens in a new window) /Getty Pictures

To extract fuel buried hundreds of feet underground, the coal industry reshaped the Kentucky landscape, flattening entire mountain peaks and using the waste to fill creeks and valleys.

But now that demand for coal is declining as utilities shift to cleaner energy sources, the state is using incentives to attract Bitcoin miners, reports Jacquelyn Melinek.

In 2022, Kentucky represents “18.7% of the total Bitcoin hashrate in the United States,” she writes.

Today, Bitcoin miners move into abandoned factories, warehouses, and of course old coal mines around Kentucky to use coal-generated power to run their rigs.

“Bitcoin miners are energy buyers of last resort,” said Nick Hansen, CEO of Bitcoin hashrate management platform Luxor.

“They will buy any energy up to a certain price and they can do it anywhere the internet is available.”

Our Favorite Startups from YC’s Winter 2022 Demo Day, Part 1

YC Demo Day favorites

Picture credits: TechCrunch/Bryce Durbin

This year, Y Combinator’s Winter 2022 Demo Day brought together 414 startups from 42 countries across more than 80 industries.

That’s a lot of companies to consider, but in keeping with TechCrunch tradition, Alex Wilhelm, Natasha Mascarenhas, Devin Coldewey, Christine Hall, and Mary Ann Azevedo list their favorite startups from day one.

Our Favorite Startups from YC’s Demo Day Winter 2022, Part 2

YC Demo Day favorites

Picture credits: TechCrunch/Bryce Durbin

The second day of Y Combinator’s W22 revealed some trends: many startups are building for the Southeast Asian market, fintech is still a winner, Nigerian startups are rolling out of the park, and India was good again represented.

To wrap up our coverage, Christine Hall, Alex Wilhelm, Devin Coldewey and Mary Ann Azevedo picked out a few companies to watch from the startups featured on day two.

Despite Tooling Limitations, DAO Optimists See New Use Cases for a Token-Based Democratic Future

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Picture credits: Boris Zhitkov (Opens in a new window) /Getty Pictures

Many online communities turn to Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) to raise funds to bring their ideas to life, but without tools and software to make it easier for people to participate, adoption has been slow.

However, some investors and consumers hope that as tooling grows, DAOs will generate more use cases than individuals pooling their resources to buy NFTs or popular items of interest, Jacquelyn Melinek reports. .

“There will be a lot of development [for DAOs] as we begin to adapt technology to human behavior,” said Sarah Wood, chief operating officer at Upstream. “I see a world where you can use a DAO for your book club, or whatever you want.”

Dear Sophie: What can we do to help employees who are Ukrainian citizens?

Lone figure at the entrance to the maze hedge which has an American flag in the center

Picture credits: Bryce Durbin/TechCrunch

Dear Sophia,

We have several employees who are Ukrainian citizens; one is on OPT and the other is on STEM OPT. We want to make sure they can continue to live and work in the United States.

Our most immediate concern is the F-1 student whose OPT status expires in June. We have entered her into this year’s H-1B lottery and hope that she will be selected this week to apply.

In the meantime, we have learned that Ukrainians are eligible for TPS. Does this include F-1 students in OPT? Should our other Ukrainian employees also apply for TPS even if their work visas are still valid for a few more years?

What is the procedure for applying for TPS?

— Strong supporter

Goldman Sachs’ Bitcoin OTC Options Trade May Pave the Way for Greater Institutional Involvement

An image of a screen at a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange is juxtaposed with the Goldman Sachs booth

Image credits: Richard Drew/AP

Goldman Sachs has been active in crypto for a while now, but its bitcoin options exchange last week may have paved the way for more institutional investment firms to start exploring the cryptocurrency ecosystem. , pending regulatory clarity, reports Jacquelyn Melinek.

“The trade itself doesn’t mean much, but the fact that it happened and opens up the possibility for Goldman Sachs to trade this risk is hugely significant, and this is just the beginning,” Tim said. Grant, Head of Europe at Galaxy Digital.

“As soon as you enter this part, this set of obstacles, you are intellectually and operationally free to do other things. It’s not the job itself, it’s that it will allow us to go in a multitude of directions.

The How and Why of OT Security Fundraising

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Operational technology, which keeps critical infrastructure running 24×7, is an area facing significant cybersecurity risk, and with the US government taking steps to mitigate the threat, security companies dealing with this area stand to benefit. the most, writes Matt Gatto, managing director at Insight Partners.

In a guest post for TC+, he explains how recent attacks on critical infrastructure, pending regulation, and growing concerns about Russian cyberattacks are creating new opportunities in OT.

“Now is a good time for OT security vendors to seek funding,” says Gatto. “The combination of increasing OT cyberattacks and emerging government regulations is fueling a funding frenzy.”

Co-founders of Ukrainian startup Delfast discuss handling a crisis

Daniel Tonkopi and Serhiy Denysenko, co-founders Delfast

Picture credits: Bryce Durbin

Founded in 2014, e-bike startup Delfast has offices in Los Angeles and Kyiv.

But after Russia invaded Ukraine, co-founders Daniel Tonkopi and Serhiy Denysenko began relocating family members and employees, finding ways to support their country’s defense and “running a startup during a war,” says Rebecca Bellan.

Daniel Tokopi:

We all now work in two shifts. The first shift is our regular work and the second shift is our voluntary work. In kyiv, half of our engineers are at war now. They are part of the Territorial Defense Forces, which are like an official civilian army.

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