Y Combinator's Ideas for Future Tech

Thu, Feb 15, 2024 3-minute read

The startup incubator, Y Combinator released an interesting “Request for Startups” document where they have a list of some promising fields in which they’d like to invest in companies. How they seem to work is that they will hear a pitch from a founder (but they prefer co-founders) on a business to invest in and work with the founders over a few months. Often the business that was pitched “pivots” so much, it’s unrecognisable so Y Combinator has said they invest in the founders rather than the initial idea.

There is some great discussion, as always, on Hacker News.

The list is below. There is defintely so much potential in all of these fields even for people who aren’t applying for Y Combinator.

Lots of these are America-centric, understandably but I wonder which of these could be done in New Zealand. The healthcare system here isn’t as convoluted as the States but it could certainly do with an overhaul.

I’m not sure how many tech companies here have built up internal tools but something that has been proven to work and been hacked away by its users to make it great seems to be a

The most promising way to end cancer and some of these diseases to do have better diagnostics and catch things early. I’ve lost track of the number of patients I have seen on the ambulance who have undiagnosed hypertension and now have serious heart damage. These kinds of things could be picked up in 5 minutes with a blood pressure cuff and an ECG machine. The machines even give a pretty good guess on what’s happening based on the ECG. With more availability of this equipment alone, we can cut down on the serious heart disease and other awful diseases that take people too young.

Generative A.I. has arrived but still hallucinates and unless you know enough about the topic, you can’t take anything it says for granted. Even if it gives sources, another A.I. might need to verify everything based on the sources provided.

The list from YC is a goldmine of ideas. I’m hoping we see some major moves in these areas soon:

  • Applying Machine Learning To Robotics
  • Using Machine Learning To Simulate The Physical World
  • New Defense Technology
  • Bring Manufacturing Back To America
  • New Space Companies
  • Climate Tech
  • Commercial Open Source Companies
  • Spatial Computing
  • New Enterprise Resource Planning
  • Software Developer Tools Inspired By Existing Internal Tools
  • Explainable A.I.
  • L.L.Ms For Manual Back Office Processes In Legacy Enterprises
  • A.I. To Build Enterprise Software
  • Stablecoin Finance
  • A Way To End Cancer
  • Foundation Models For Biological Systems
  • The Managed Service Organization Model For Healthcare
  • Eliminating Middlemen In Healthcare
  • Better Enterprise Glue
  • Small Fine Tuned Models As An Alternative To Giant Generic Ones