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Sep 2, 2016
The Evolution of Demo Day
A recent Washington Post article recapped this year's edition of Y Combinator's Demo Day. The annual event, led by one of North America's best-known incubators, never fails to draw international attention. This year's version was no exception, and could be a sign of the future of pitch days for startups.
Historically after Demo Day, startups would attempt to line up as many meetings as possible as quickly as they could. At this year's Demo Day, Y Combinator tried to make the process more efficient for both sides, and created Investor Day. Investor Day was held on the third day of the program, entirely full of 20-minute investor meetings. Each of the meetings was arranged and scheduled automatically via a custom Y Combinator algorithm - investors simply indicated their interest through an app during the first two days of the conference, and then received an automatically-generated schedule.
StartupSource has written about what to expect after a demo day, and the challenges startups face in building relationships with investors and closing post-pitch deals. We applaud Y Combinator for innovating new techniques to keep these meetings as productive and efficient as possible, and look forward to seeing other event hosts follow its lead.