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Trakex, a company founded by two NC State seniors in the College of Engineering, has been selected for the competitive Y Combinator Fellowship program, as one of approximately 60 fellows from a pool of more than 6,000 applicants.
The Y Combinator (YC) Fellowship is an eight-week program, equipping startups with $20,000 (in the form of a convertible security) and advice from the YC community. The fellowship is designed to help launch startups currently in the prototyping phase and is backed by YC, the seed accelerator called “the world’s most powerful startup incubator” by Fast Company.
Trakex has developed an in-motion cargo dimensioning solution with the potential to disrupt the trucking industry’s current pricing model – with a current market opportunity of $1.8 billion.
Co-founders Moaad Benkaraache (Industrial Engineering) and Tayyab Hussain (Chemical Engineering) began working on their company in the Engineering Entrepreneurs Program in fall 2015 and have been further developing their prototype through work in the Entrepreneurship Initiative (EI) Garage.
“The experience and network that is available through the Y Combinator Fellowship Program is extremely exciting,” said Hussain. “It lets us get amazing insight to further our business in multiple facets, and connect with the right people that will allow Trakex to succeed!”
Their relationship with the accelerator began several months ago when YC Partners came to NC State as a part of its spring college tour program. Trakex was one of 16 ventures that participated in one-on-one office hours where they received valuable feedback and advice.
“It is exciting to see the hard work of our students validated by an accelerator as well-respected as Y Combinator,” said Megan Greer, director of communications and outreach for the NC State Entrepreneurship Initiative. “We’re proud to have worked with them in the Garage and are looking forward to seeing how YC’s support helps Trakex reach its full potential.”
Trakex is not new to the Triangle startup scene – they recently won top prizes at NC State’s Lulu eGames and were semi-finalists at the inaugural ACC InVenture Challenge. They have also been selected as semi-finalists for the NC Idea Grant.
“Being accepted into the Y Combinator Fellowship is a great accomplishment,” said Benkaraache. “It has provided Tayyab and I with continued motivation as we move forward with Trakex.”
As part of the program, Trakex will be traveling to Silicon Valley to meet other fellows for an all-day kick off conference. The rest of their program will be conducted virtually, with weekly office hours and talks. At the end of the program, they will have the opportunity to pitch to investors at a Virtual Demo Day.
Congratulations Moaad and Tayyab!