Todd and I were privileged to experience the infamous 10-minute whirlwind of a YC interview today. We were interviewed by three friendly YC partners, and they wasted no time getting down to business. The first question was fired at us before we even had a chance to sit down! The energy in the room was high (from both sides of the table) throughout the interview. Todd brought our prototypes (including one he milled from an extraction from an actual patient the night before), and the YC partners were especially intrigued by these. At one point, one of the partners said, "No drilling required? Sign me up!"
While they were excited by the idea and understood the value proposition, they kept coming back to the question of why the prototype wasn't finalized and FDA-approved already. In the end, based on the thoughtful, detailed feedback email we received this evening, this is why we weren't selected. They are "obsessed with moving quickly" (their words), and there was concern that we weren't moving fast enough. They did, however, think we were "excellent founders" with expertise in the space and encouraged us to apply again in the future. (One of the partners knew about Camp Kesem and congratulated us on founding the organization, which was a nice surprise!)
We are grateful to have had the opportunity to go through the YC process and learned a few valuable lessons from the experience: 1) Be prepared to clearly and concisely explain why we're at the stage we're at with the prototype; 2) Think outside of the box about how we might move faster -- could we pay contractors with equity vs. cash? Launch a "Friends & Family" Round? Others?; 3) Rejection forces one to take a step back and re-evaluate priorities, timeline, motivations, etc. -- this is a good thing; 4) Mock interviews with friends (thanks, Cheryl and Sarah!) and flash cards are a great way to prepare for big meetings/interviews like these. I felt extremely well-prepared, and can leverage these tools for future meetings/incubator interviews.
We're even more resolved now to push forward full speed ahead and will do everything we can to bring iDentical to the world ASAP!