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In 2013, Parker Conrad appeared at Y Combinator Demo Day to unveil a startup called Zenefits. He would later be ousted from that company, and yesterday reappeared on the YC stage to pitch his new company, Rippling.

Despite it being Conrad's third startup and recently raising $7 million, here's why he chose to again go through Y Combinator's program:

Creating urgency: "When you start a new company, it kinda feels like you're unemployed," Conrad told Axios shortly after his Demo Day presentation. A program like Y Combinator can motivate and bring structure to a founder's work, he added. "When I was still at Zenefits, I always said that if I were to start all over again, I would go through YC."

Secret sauce: The program's weekly dinners, which feature guest speakers and let founders chat with other participants, are the secret sauce. "Each time, it seems like everyone else has accomplished so much... no one likes feeling like they're not keeping up."

More to learn: Despite being on his third startup and second time through Y Combinator's accelerator, Conrad says there's always new things to learn from the dinners' new guest speakers or from mentors. Much of Y Combinator's leadership has also changed since 2013, when it was still being run by co-founder Paul Graham, for example.

Go deeper

Michigan board certifies Biden's victory in the state

Poll workers count absentee ballots in Detroit, Michigan on Nov. 4. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified the state's election results on Monday, making President-elect Joe Biden's win there official.

Why it matters: Republican Party leaders had unsuccessfully appealed to delay the official certification, amid the Trump campaign's failed legal challenges in key swing states.

Biden to nominate Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary

Photo: Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed Chair Janet Yellen as his Treasury Secretary, four people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Yellen, 74, will bring instant economic celebrity to Biden’s team and, if confirmed, she will not only be the first female Treasury Secretary but also the first person to have held all three economic power positions in the federal government: the chair of Council of Economic Advisers, the chair of Federal Reserve and the Treasury Secretary.

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Bob Nelsen on AstraZeneca and his plan to revolutionize biotech

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford on Monday reported promising efficacy data for their COVID-19 vaccine, which has less stringent storage requirements than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and may be distributed earlier in developing countries.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of vaccine and therapeutics manufacturing with Bob Nelsen, a successful biotech investor who on Monday launched Resilience, a giant new pharma production platform that he believes will prepare America for its next major health challenges.

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