I actually think Mucker Lab in L.A. is much better than Y Combinator — especially since it is located on Main Street in Santa Monica in the middle of the baller area next to all the cool bars. Also, the Mucker partners give you 24-hour access to the VC, so you can, like, throw crazy parties there and stuff, whereas YC is in the middle of Mountain View, which is the most depressing place in the world — although I still have fond memories of YC.
I remember when Rap Genius was doing YC and I was living there with my former co-founders, Tom Lehman and Ilan Zechory. We called our time in YC “The Masturbation Olympics” for obvious reasons. We also worked a lot. The only fun thing we did was sneak into the Stanford gym every day.
BUT I DIGRESS. It was cool attending Alumni Demo Day this year. It made me feel like a grownup. I thought it was cool that there were a lot of hardware companies, since hardware actually does stuff and is not total bullshit the way that software is. But more importantly, going there and being surrounded by these precocious young nerds brought back memories.
These were my five favorite companies this year. I’m probably going to invest in all of them if they let me. Notice pretty much all of them are actual businesses, not some fluffy bullshit software like the companies I start:
Teabot is a robot that makes tea in shopping malls/wherever. I think I like Teabot so much because I’m Persian. My present-day co-founders, Sam Kazemian and Tedde Forselius (aka “younger/better Tom and Ilan”), are drinking Red Bull all day, err’ day and I’m trying to convert them to tea; hopefully Teabot will make tea drinking COOL for techies and will save a lot of ulcers and colorectal cancer in the future. Also I love anything that eliminates labor because I eagerly await the forthcoming “Robot Age.”
Circle Medical is an app that lets you order doctor house calls on demand. I MEAN COME ON — “Uber for Doctors” — how can you go wrong?? Plus the founders seem really smart. The best part is that the doctors make a lot of money ‘cause they don’t have to pay overhead. This, once again, appeals to me because I’m Persian and pretty much all of my friends/family are doctors, except for me. (I couldn’t cut it cause I’m too stupid.)
Luna Sleep is a bed cover that monitors and collects data on your sleep. I get very excited about technology that will make me sleep better, because I am an anxious wreck! I have the scariest nightmares. At least once a week I dream of killing my former co-founders with my bare hands — it is scary!! Hopefully Luna will help me get some rest. Also, the name reminds me of Luna Bars, which are pretty much my favorite food ever.
Swedish House Mafia. Spotify. My co-founder Tedde. Pretty much everything I love these days comes from Sweden, including Wheely’s, which is “Starfucks on a Bike.” The best part is, their franchisees get an awesome leg workout.
Chaldal provides on-demand groceries in Bangladesh. The two things I probably love the most in the world are fresh food and South Asians — and Chaldal brings them both together. Foreign YC companies are always a good bet because they are usually already established businesses and are just doing YC because of the “Silicon Valley mystique.” I remember when 9Gag (they are Chinese) did YC and they were already one of the biggest websites ever. Chaldal already operates a bunch of factories and shit; it is a legit business. Why did they even do YC?
Mahbod Moghadam is founder of Everipedia. He used to be founder of Rap Genius. He doesn’t know how to pronounce his own name. Read his twitter it is funny (sort of): http://twitter.com/mahbodmoghadam