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n the winter of 2013, something unusual happened. Y Combinator backed its first nonprofit, accepting Watsi into its batch and sending the message that nonprofit organizations could operate like startups, and that tech companies could learn a lot from the social sector too. Suddenly, that leap of faith Grace Garey had taken two years earlier — deciding to join Watsi’s tiny founding team rather than getting a traditional job — seemed remarkably prescient. Just out of school, she found herself running marketing for an organization that had captured the attention of both the tech and nonprofit communities.

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