We’ve followed University of Delaware startup guys Nate Matherson and Matt Lenhard since they started their first enterprise in tutoring software.
But while they were at an accelerator program in Iowa in the summer of 2014, they changed business plans to something they’re much more excited about, and they call it LendEDU. The startup is a website that shows students with loan debt 12 different quotes from different refinancing companies.
“The class of 2016 is expected to graduate with more debt than ever before,” said Matherson, who speaks from experience and is working to pay off his own student loans.
While the two spent 2015 in Delaware working on developing LendEDU with resources from the Horn Program Venture Development Center and taking night classes at UD, they moved to Mountain View, Calif., in December. Why? For pretty good reason: Matherson and Lenhard were chosen to participate in the mother of all startup accelerators, Y Combinator.
It began in January and ends with a demo day in March, where 500 top venture capital firms in the world will listen to participants’ pitches, and, if they like them, invest.
Matherson said Y Combinator gave them $120,000 in exchange for 7 percent of the company. “It’s been a great experience so far,” he said. “We’re making a lot of progress, and we’re working more than we ever have in our entire lives.”
When Y Combinator ends, Matherson said he and Lenhard will probably return to the East Coast, as all of their connections are there, but haven’t decided where specifically.
They’re technically in their senior year of college, and Matherson said he’s three credits away from graduating, something both entrepreneurs are putting on hold for now.
“The University of Delaware has been really supportive of everything we’ve been doing, and we worked at the entrepreneurial center on campus for about a year,” he said, adding that he and Lenhard are grateful for UD’s assistance. “They’ve really helped us work, grow, find places and make connections.”
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