For Justin Kan, Snapchat is a “pretty fun medium: low friction enough to easily create content, but dynamic enough to share things that are educational and entertaining”. Kan has been sharing startup lessons for quite some time on the video sharing platform and is now set to add some spice to it by holding a pitch competition, with the winner getting to interview for the YC Fellowship.
“The audience we want to find is on Snapchat, and not Facebook or Twitter,” says Kan, who is also a start-up investor in companies like Tilt and Zenefits and a partner in the San Francisco start-up incubator Y Combinator. “It’s what the kids are using.”
Y Combinator, which has groomed companies such as Airbnb, Dropbox and Reddit, is looking to make a $20,000 investment in early stage tech companies. Kan says he’d like it to go to high school students, the folks who are on Snapchat all day long.
Entrepreneurs who get selected will be able to log in and “takeover” Kan’s Snapchat for an hour between May 23rd and 26th. The startups can do anything they want in that hour to sell viewers (and YC) on their idea, so expect some pretty creative stuff.
At the end, Kan will let viewers vote by screenshot which ideas they liked best. The winner will then get the chance to interview directly with the YC team.
The competition shows how Snapchat is increasingly becoming a contender for engagement with the social network heavyweights.
Once known as the app for photos that disappeared within 10 seconds, Los Angeles-based Snapchat has evolved into a major video competitor to YouTube and Facebook with its Story section, where anyone can create short 10 second videos that stay online for 24 hours. Snapchat says it has over 10 billion hours of videos viewed daily on the app.