MedTech and Diversity Themes at Y Combinator S16 Demo Day 1

August 25, 2016 - 2 minutes read

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Y Combinator is lifting the curtain on this year’s batch of disruptive mobile startups. While the products are diverse and often unexpected, a few themes shine through: MedTech and diversity.

Seeing health-focussed startups in significant numbers is encouraging, as mobile app developers have been trying to break into the medical industry for years with limited success. Wearables like FitBit have gotten a foot in the door for consumer trust of MedTech products, so it’s unsurprising that wearables are included in this year’s Y Combinator batch. Hardware startups don’t traditionally have nearly as much representation in accelerators as their analog counterparts, so clearly investors consider the timing good for this kind of product.

Whether driven by a crowded market or simply expanding worldviews on the part of an overall non-diverse tech sector, several startups selected this year feature interesting takes on inclusiveness and niche markets. DevColor, for example, touts technology that helps San Francisco iPhone app developers find and keep African American engineers.

Other startups featured include GoGoGrandparent, which strives to make on-demand mobile app services available to elderly users vi landline phones. JustRide, in India, leverages the growing middle class to provide car rentals — creating a win-win where users can double their salaries while JustRide enters a thriving market virtually untouched by tech disruption.

Non-profits, wearables, and a novel solution to time-consuming menstruation products combine to give a clear indicator of where investors want to throw their money in coming years: and it’s not at luxury services for the already-wealthy. Startups courting investors should instead look to under-served markets clamoring for disruptive tech to make their lives easier.

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