As an ongoing series this summer on the YEI Blog, we asked the summer fellowship teams to answer a few questions about their experiences starting their ventures. This Q & A is with Communificiency - a crowdfunding platform that allows businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations to raise money from their communities to finance investments in the energy efficiency of their buildings, cofounded by Max Webster (YC '12) and Sherwin Yu (YC '12).
1. Who was your favorite guest speaker and why?
Chris Devore was excellent. He gave honest and concrete advice about what investors are looking for from the accelerator stage (e.g. getting accepted to TechStars) to later series rounds. We also really enjoyed hearing his thoughts on how communities can successfully build strong startup ecosystems.
2. What strategy or hypothesis about your venture have you changed since you started the summer fellowship?
We came into YEI knowing that we wanted to focus on crowdfunding for sustainaibility. Over the course of customer discovery and development during the summer, we have focused on providing financing and awareness for energy efficiency retrofits of small and medium sized businesses.
3. What did you take away from the YEI Fellowship’s tour of more established startups like HubSpot and (2010 YEI fellowship company) Hadapt?
Hard work, good hiring, and genuine passion can lead to a large impact in the world in a relatively short amount of time.