15 months ago, at the age of 23, I said to my boss "I don't really enjoy this job anymore, I'd love to quit".
I decided to focus full-time on my two months old side-project: an API to search online-published news articles. I asked my friend Maksym to join me as a part-time CTO.
That's how the NewsCatcher story truly began.
We're two data engineers building the largest database of online-published news articles that is updated in near real-time.
This data helps our clients better understand the market trends, risks, and opportunities. So that they can achieve a competitive advantage.
If you're a developer -> try our Free News API for all the non-commercial use cases.
If you need a demo call, or just want to talk with us -> book a time via this link.
Applying, interviewing, and being invited to the YC
We applied to the YC 3 times. We only got to the interview stage this time.
This winter, we applied for our 3rd time. I have not asked anyone to proofread our application.
Filling in the application, I followed 2 rules:
- write as simple as possible
- only write about the things you do know and do have an in-depth understanding
Last Monday, we had our interview. We did only about 2 hours of preparation:
- we simply listed all the classic questions
- we re-read our own application
- no mock interviews at all
Interview time: it didn't go well.
Second interview invite!
Yesterday, we had another chance. This time, we didn't prepare at all.
Interview time #2: great connection with interviewers, it went really well.
Why we had to reject the YC invite
This morning, I received a call from a YC Group Partner. They wanted to see us in the YC S2021 batch.
We already committed to another accelerator called TinySeed. That's it.
I didn't have a choice but to thank YC, and say that we're not able to join this batch. Doesn't mean we're not going to do this later.
We had 3 accelerators that we were interested in:
We applied to all of them (and only to them). We got an interview invite to all three:
- we pitched the Alchemist, and received a rejection.
- we talked to Tracy, Einar, and Rob from TinySeed.
20 mins session with each one within one week. In ~8 weeks we received an invite to join TinySeed S21. It was a super achievement to us. We slept over this, and we accepted this offer.
- YC interview invite came 6 weeks after that. We took it already knowing that we won't be joining this batch.
Note: we'd join any of these with a great pleasure. It's like getting your first internship invite from Google. You're just going to accept it even if you have a chance to get into Netflix, or Amazon: they're all good.
Why TinySeed sounds like the best fit for NewsCatcher today
Our discussion was like an amateur talking to a pro: Kevin knew all ins and outs of everything related to ScrapingBee. I wanted to be like him.
That's when I learned about TinySeed: a program that Kevin and Pierre joined a few months ago (at that time).
And, shortly after that, I've been seeing the best promotion of a startup accelerator: ScrapingBee's MoM MRR growth.
What is TinySeed
According to their own website:
TinySeed is not just another venture fund: Our year-long remote accelerator program is designed to help founders with a revenue-generating SaaS optimize product-market fit and grow faster.
For us, there are 3 main benefits of TinySeed:
- One year-long remote program
This is a long-term commitment. For a company at our stage (~$3,000 MRR) this most likely will be the most important year.
- It's about growing our business, not a Demo Day
We are two first-time founders. We've just incorporated. Let us learn the basics of running a company.
- We're not yet there to raise VC/angel rounds
We don't know what we're doing yet: no specific client type, no sector, no business model. We first need to understand what we want to build.
We're excited to join this year batch with such companies as:
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