The Brandable Insider: A Look at Y Combinator’s 2017 Demo Day

“Step back and think about the difference in how end users use domains, the capital they have to invest in their name, [instead of] like a pure domain collector, and you can easily start to determine what areas make the most sense.” — Bruce Marler of Vegas Condo

In this week’s brandable entry I’m taking a look at some of the hits and misses at Y Combinator’s annual Demo Day. The event was held last week and featured pitches by more than 100 startups. Sitting in the audience were scores of investors and venture capitalists looking for their next, startup-to-acquisition, payday. The event included businesses from all over the globe and went on for two days.

Here’s a sampling of brands from the event, examined purely from a brandable domaining point of view. In my subjective evaluation I gave no consideration for the quality of business models or how well the brands corresponded to a given product or service. My approach was purely, would I be interested in buying this domain if I saw it available at a reasonable price. I also limited my list to companies who were already hosting their business at the exact match, dot-com for their brand. – A great, dictionary word, brandable. Zest is not known as a popular startup keyword but it’s very uplifting and creates an instant mental image of happiness, energy and fun. It could have application to a wide number of products and industries. Currently used by a startup that offers company event planning services. – Health is a premium keyword. Its pairing with Volt is not stellar but considering how rare good health domains are becoming, it’s not bad and its one I would buy for a modest price. Currently being used by a startup specializing in wearable medical devices. – Both Net and Nano are strong keywords for the infotech industry. But plurals are almost always a downgrade in a brandable. There are exceptions such as the current trend for brand ending in ‘genics’ or ‘logics’ or ‘labs’ but generally I don’t like them. At present it’s the home of a machine learning venture. — Paragon is not known to me as an in-demand startup keyword but it’s got great potential as it denotes peak quality and success. Pairing it here with One makes it even more powerful and creates a very desirable brandable domain. Presently it’s owned by a career placement and coaching outfit. — This one for me is a dud. It lacks creativity and synergy. At the moment it’s being used by an artificial intelligence customer service startup. – Simple is a very desirable brandable keyword and although Habit is not a strong keyword, the two are paired here very naturally and powerfully. I would love to own this domain but as of press time it was the home of a meditation services company. – Seven letters, two syllables, two strong keywords with a decent amount of synergy and alliteration to boot. What’s not to like? The kind of name that when you hear it you get curious about it and want to know more. Good imagery too. Currently a video products review service. – Smart is a super strong, first tier keyword. Alto, however is not and I find the pairing to be a bit odd. I would like a name like SmartAlpha way, way more. This is presently the exact match brand for a real estate app.

Brandables are highly subjective and opinions are free and fun to give. So what do you think of these Y Combinator, Demo Day, brands? Tell us in the comments below.

Meantime, here’s this week’s list of tantalizing brandable domains listed at NameJet:

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