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Hack To Start
Episode 76

Nancy Hua

CEO @ApptimizeAB, YCombinator, MIT

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Music

Nancy Hua is the co-founder & CEO of Apptimize, a platform for creating the best mobile experience for each user and context through targeted A/B testing. Previously a mathematics and computer science student at MIT, Nancy became an algorithmic trader out of school before launching Apptimize. In 2013, Nancy and her team were accepted into Y Combinator. Today, Apptimize is used by companies like Strava, Hotel Tonight and more. Nancy joins us to share her story, what it was like going through YC, the difference between seed and Series A rounds, and more!

Main Objectives For This Episode

  • Learn more about Nancy
  • Learn what it was like going through YC
  • Learn more about the differences between seed and Series A rounds.
  • And more!

Episode Overview

Nancy Hua is the co-founder & CEO of Apptimize, a platform for creating the best mobile experience for each user and context through targeted A/B testing.

Previously a mathematics and computer science student at MIT, Nancy became an algorithmic trader out of school before launching Apptimize.

In 2013, Nancy and her team were accepted into Y Combinator. Today, Apptimize is used by companies like Strava, Hotel Tonight and more.

Nancy joins us to share her story, what it was like going through YC, the difference between seed and Series A rounds, and more!


What You'll Learn In This Episode

  • How Nancy got involved in startups.
  • What it was like getting into and going through Y Combinator.
  • The differences between a seed round and a Series A round.
  • And more!

Some Of The Questions We Ask

1:45
Where are you from, what did you study and how did your passion for entrepreneurship start?

2:25
What was your background before founding Apptimize?

3:35
You’re currently the CEO of Apptimize. For those who might not be familiar with Apptimize, can you give us a quick overview of it and share what motivated you to start it?

7:07
Apptimize was accepted into YC for the Summer 2013 cohort. What was the application process like? What program like for you and your team?

8:34
You raised a seed round ($2.1M) and then a Series A ($4M) 12 months later - which you describe on your blog as a completely different experience. Can you tell us a bit more about these two funding rounds and what it was like for you?

12:32
Today, Apptimize is used by brands like Hotel Tonight, Strava, VEVO and many more. But how did Apptimize acquire its first few customers?

14:50
How do you approach building a culture within Apptimize - especially in the early days?

17:14
What’s are some of the most recent apps you’ve downloaded or used?

18:43
Any recommendations on some great content that you’ve come across lately? - books, videos, blog posts, etc.


Here are some of the most important links and resources mentioned throughout the show.

Twitter Handles & Websites

Nancy on Twitter
Nancy on the Web
Apptimize on Twitter
Apptimize on the web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Devices, Apps, and Books

Nancy Hua's Blog on Seed Funding
Starbucks
Postmates
Telegram
Core77
Cool Hunting
CoDesign
Design Milk
Little Big Details
One Extra Pixel
Tom Tunguz
Saastr
Union Square Ventures
Pragmatic Pricing
Benedict Evans
Justin Kan

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