On The Clock: Two Orr Fellows, Ten Minutes, Four Interviewers, and One Trip to Mountain View, CA for Y Combinator Interview

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 by Kyle Rawn
In February, I joined 2010 Orr Fellow Chris Palmer at his ecommerce company SupplyKick part-time.  In operating SupplyKick we soon realized we were limited by how much high quality merchandise we could get ahold of.  The most viable solution to sourcing inventory was to create an online B2B marketplace for small retailers to appraise and liquidate their excess inventory.  Thus, BoxFox was born: www.boxfox.co.  In order to accelerate growth, Chris and I applied to four startup incubators, one of which was Y Combinator
 
As part of the application for Y Combinator we had to shoot a two minute video.  We shot our video at The Speakeasy, and 2012 Orr Fellow Bo Dietrick directed and edited the clip together.  Thanks Bo!
 
YC Office Where we Interviewed
On April 17th around 8PM Chris was notified via email that we were selected to interview in Mountain View, CA.  I was doing laundry downstairs in my basement.  I came upstairs to four missed calls from Chris.  As soon as I went to call him back, I heard several knocks at my door.  It was Chris with good news.  A few days later Y Combinator flew us out to San Francisco.
 
We interviewed on Friday April 26th.  It was a bit intimidating walking into a room of people whose combined net worth approaches $1 billion, but we quickly settled in. We where primarily interviewed by Paul Buchheit, the inventor of Gmail and 23rd employee at Google, along with three others. We felt great about how the interview went.  Specifically, because we were able to get out all 5 of our talking points in the 10 minute interview, which few that interview are able to do.
 
 
 
 
 
 
We met several fantastic people while we were there.  The first YC person we met out on the grass really helped us settle in.  Also parked outside was an all electric Fisker Karma.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
After the Interview Chris and I went to Test Drive a Tesla Model S with a friend of mine who works there.  Thanks Chad Conway for letting us stay with you!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Later we went to Maverick's, home of the legendary big wave contest.  When we got back from the beach we had an email from Harj Taggar.  He informed us that we were not selected for the 2013 summer batch.  However, he did give us market validation and noted that the interviewers were impressed with our knowledge and passion for the excess inventory world.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Next Chris and I went to San Francisco for a celebratory dinner.  You may be asking why we were celebrating after being told we didn't get in.  Chris and I figure we were one of 250 groups to have the distinguished privledge to sit in front of the most prominent technology startup advisers in the world for 10 minutes. We were ecstatic to have had the opportunity.  We learned a ton while out there and placed BoxFox in a fantastic position to launch later this year.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A few weeks later an Chris and I, and the entire Orr Fellowship, received great press coverage on the front page of the IndyStar Business Section. 
 
I left Fifth Gear last Wednesday and will be at SupplyKick until we train our new operations manager and get SupplyKick in a stable position for growth.  Together Chris and I are continuing to work on BoxFox and are currently determining its future.

 

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