That was my first reaction in September 2021 when my fellow founders in Startmate Founder’s Fellowship posted about applying to YC!
So I did some research, and OH MY, September 9 was the deadline for the Winter 2022 batch. It was already September 8, so I quickly cobbled up an application in the last remaining hours. I was sweating and my heart was pounding like crazy. I recorded a 1-minute intro, had no time for a demo, and submitted it at 4am Sydney time. (Luckily I’m a night owl!)
I wasn’t expecting anything; I was sure we had a horrible application. No demo. No co-founder (my brother was sleeping so didn’t want to wake him up).
On September 28, I decided to email YC, and ask them about adding my brother to our application. I was super anxious they wouldn’t reply, but literally a few hours later, they opened the application! We added a new 1-minute intro featuring my brother, and edited parts of our application that had co-founder impacts.
On October 4, we made a 4-minute demo of Moonshot! I messaged YC, but got no response until…
YC reopened applications on October 7! We were shocked and elated! What did this mean? Can we edit any part of our application? We asked around, and it seemed like many people got the same email. We polished our application, and submitted it on October 10.
At Moonshot, we’re making science fiction a reality. Our mission is to create a full world simulation to predict the future of everything. We’re predicting climate change, the weather, stock prices, fire, flood risks, air pollution, cancer rates, how long you’ll live and more!
My brother then made a new website, we had some investor chats courtesy of Startmate, and got into Blackbird Giants! We then emailed YC again.
WHAT!!! Rejections were supposed to be sent on November 19, so we were already preparing for the worst, but we secured an interview for December 2. I was shocked; I first thought the email was the rejection email!
I made small flash cards with my brother, and practised and practised and practised! Here are a few of the questions we tried answering.
The YC partners were super nice! They asked some tough questions on profit generation for our world simulation, but were more fascinated about our fast algorithms, which are used by Microsoft, NVIDIA and Facebook! They advised us to focus on selling our algorithms first, then building the world simulation.
Sadly, we did not make it in! We took the rejection email positively though. We’ll definitely refine our approach: focus first on generating profit with our fast algorithms and predictions for 6-12 months, and keep the world simulation as a longer term goal!
I want to truly thank YC, since they woke us up, and made us first focus on revenue generation!
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