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Killing Laundry, Inmate Confessions and Rocket Science: Top Quotes at YC Demo Day

"We're the Toms shoes of water bottles."

At YC Demo Day — a frenzied pitch-fest from esteemed accelerator Y Combinator — it’s easy to feel like you’ve stepped into an alternate universe in which every new tech company is a unicorn.

Everyone is killing it. Revenues are multiplying. That Uber-for-X or Slack-for-Y? It’s definitely the next big thing. The incumbents have no chance. Life is forever altered.

The hyperbole is high.

Here are some of the top quotes we heard from the 59 companies presenting onstage in Mountain View, Calif., today:

  • “We have $2.5 million in device sales, which puts us on the same trajectory as the microwave in 1967.”
    –Nomiku, maker of a Wi-Fi-connected sous vide machine (and one of the few female-led companies at today’s event).
  • “So obviously customers love us, right? Yeah, we’ve been killing it.”
    –Cleanly, which provides on-demand laundry services in New York City. Disrupt laundromats.
  • “There are a lot of photo apps out there, but this one is better.”
    –Priime, maker of a “smart” photo app that tells you which filter to use, so you don’t have to waste any more brain power choosing one in Instagram.
  • “Virtual reality is more than video games and adult entertainment. … Come find us. We’ll be wearing the virtual reality headsets.”
    –InsiteVR, which is making VR apps for business. Your boring work presos just got way more exciting (or confounding).
  • “I’m Mike, CEO and co-founder. But first and foremost, I’m a back-end developer.”
    –Treeline, which looks to simplify coding on the back end of software projects. #StuffPeopleSayInSiliconValley
  • “I was inmate 42501-08. I served five years in prison for distribution of marijuana. Lots and lots of marijuana.” [Audience applauds.]
    –Pigeonly, which makes services like Fotopigeon and Telepigeon that allow family members and friends to send photos or make phone calls to America’s inmates.
  • “We are a bunch of Rrrrussian scientists. … Just to be clear, there are no tricks. When you’re talking to Luka, you’re talking to a machine.”
    –Luka, a next-generation artificial intelligence app. (Phew. We thought the app might link us up with other humanoids for a moment there.)
  • “It’s the George Foreman Grill of the 21st century!”
    –Cinder, maker of a $499 countertop grill that wirelessly connects to your iPad and uses sensors to cook your meat and lets you blame technology when you overcook the steak. Again.
  • “We’re the Toms shoes of water bottles.”
    –GiveMeTap, which sells water bottles and in turn provides drinking water for people in Africa.
  • “Much like the websites of the ’90s, APIs are exploding!”
    –ReadMe, which makes beautiful documentation, or at least that is what their website says, and we’re honestly not sure we totally understand it.
  • “Now before you start checking your email because I said ‘nonprofit’…”
    –Detroit Water Project, which matches donors with families that can’t pay their water bills. No word yet on whether they’ll pay your Comcast bills.
  • “We are building the largest space corporation in this solar system. The world launches 12 rockets a year. We will launch 50.” [Cue the guitar riffs]
    –Bagaveev, which makes 3-D printed rocket engines.

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