Y Combinator

YC and Ginkgo Bioworks announce new partnership for synthetic biology startups

Y Combinator

Ginkgo Bioworks was the first bio company YC funded, back in summer 2014, which makes us especially delighted to announce a new partnership between YC and Ginkgo. Ginkgo Bioworks programs cells. They program them to produce flavors, fragrances, cannabinoids, food proteins, and more. To do that, they have built the world’s most advanced compiler and debugger of genetic code for the rapid engineering of new organisms.

Diana Hu on Augmented Reality and Building a Startup in a New Market

Y Combinator

Diana Hu cofounded Escher Reality, which went through the Summer 2017 batch of YC. They were acquired by Niantic and she is now the head of their AR platform. She’s on Twitter @sdianahu. Topics. 00:00 – Intro. 00:15 – Getting into AR. 2:30 – Her first exposure to AR. 4:15 – AR’s future role in media. 7:20 – Deciding where to go with the product. 9:30 – Innovations that enabled AR. 14:00 – Building a product in a new market.

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Applying to YC Early Decision – Rent the Backyard (YC S19)

Y Combinator

We began offering the option to apply to Y Combinator Early Decision last September. If you’re a student, applying Early Decision to YC allows you to apply one batch ahead of the current one. For example, you can apply to YC in September, get your acceptance in October, and start the program in June after you graduate. We tried it as an experiment and it worked so well that we’re offering it permanently now, for both Winter and Summer batches.

The Cost of Preemptive Deals

Y Combinator

Recently, while discussing a preemptive funding offer with a company, we noticed that the offer was more dilutive than expected. Wondering if this was an outlier, we looked at 120 US Series A rounds from our portfolio over the past 18 months to see whether or not preemptive offers were generally more or less dilutive than process driven rounds. We were somewhat surprised to discover that, on average, founders taking preemptive offers are taking ~1.4% more dilution for less money.

“Angels,” Angels, and VCs

Y Combinator

I’ve recently noticed an uptick in the number of “angels” that aren’t actually angels. These investors are institutional funds (read, LP dollars), the details of which aren’t generally disclosed until the founder sees a strange entity name on the signature lines in the docs. This is different than investing through a trust or fund that represents an investor for legal reasons.

YC Summer 2019 Batch Stats

Y Combinator

At our 29th Demo Day, 175 companies presented over two days. You can read more about the companies on TechCrunch ( day one and day two coverage of S19 Demo Day), Forbes , and Crunchbase. Below are stats about the S19 batch. As a reminder, the application deadline for YC W20 is coming up next week on September 25. Apply here. Total companies that presented at YC S19 Demo Day : 175. YC S19 CATEGORIES: Aerospace – 1%. Agriculture – 1%. B2B Software and Services – 36%.

Jeremy Rossman of Make School on Income Share Agreements and the Future of College

Y Combinator

Jeremy Rossman is the cofounder of Make School. Make School is a college for computer science headquartered in San Francisco. Make School students don’t pay until they have a job after graduation. They were part of YC’s Winter 2012 batch. You can find Jeremy on Twitter @jeremyrossmann. Topics. 00:05 – What is Make School? 00:45 – How is their intensive track different than a traditional college course load?

Request for Startups: Government 2.0

Y Combinator

In 2018, Pew Research Center reported that 57% of Americans believe that children in America today will be worse off financially than their parents. Since 2013, this number has been as high as 65% — even though we are experiencing our 10th straight year of economic growth. We believe this mindset is the result of increased family debt, stagnant wages, and a lack of government commitment to provide equal access to the basic services families need to thrive.

Analyzing Billions of Transactions to Answer Questions on Consumer Behavior – Michael Babineau of Second Measure with Kevin Hale

Y Combinator

Michael Babineau is cofounder and CEO of Second Measure. Second Measure analyzes billions of credit card transactions to answer real-time questions on consumer behavior. They were in the Summer 2015 batch of YC and you can check them out at SecondMeasure.com. Kevin Hale is a Partner at YC. Before working at YC he cofounded Wufoo. You can find Michael on Twitter @mikebabineau and Kevin is @ilikevests. Topics. 00:00 – What idea did Mike apply to YC with?

Monetizing Podcasts and Newsletters – Chris Best of Substack and Jonathan Gill of Backtracks

Y Combinator

Chris Best is the cofounder and CEO of Substack. Substack makes it simple for a writer to start a paid newsletter. They were in the Winter 2018 batch of YC. You can check them out at Substack.com. Jonathan Gill is the cofounder and CEO of Backtracks. Backtracks is a podcast analytics and hosting platform. You can check them out at Backtracks.fm. Chris is on Twitter @cjgbest and Jonathan is @jgill333. Topics. 00:00 – Intros. 00:25 – Paid vs advertising in podcasting.

Geoff Ralston for President

Y Combinator

I’m delighted to announce that Geoff Ralston is taking over for me as President of YC. I’ve known Geoff for almost ten years, he’s been a YC partner for eight, and I think he’s one of the most thoughtful, helpful, and kind investors in Silicon Valley. One of my earliest memories of Geoff is him laying on the floor of the first Stripe office helping the founders redline a contract for hours.

Vidit Aatrey on Building Meesho, India’s Top Reselling Platform, with Adora Cheung

Y Combinator

Vidit Aatrey is cofounder and CEO of Meesho. Meesho is a platform in India that allows people to resell products using their social networks. They were in the Summer 2016 batch of YC and you can check them out at Meesho.com. Adora Cheung is a Partner at YC. Before working at YC she cofounded Homejoy. You can find Vidit on Twitter @viditaatrey and Adora is @nolimits. Topics. 00:00 – Intro. 00:45 – What is Meesho? 2:45 – Why not just sell directly to consumers?

Software Engineer Turned Youtuber – Jarvis Johnson

Y Combinator

Jarvis Johnson was previously a software engineer at Patreon, Yelp, and Google. He’s now a YouTuber. You can find him on YouTube at Jarvis Johnson and on Twitter @jarvis. Topics. 00:00 – Jarvis’ intro. 00:30 – Where his videos first got traction. 1:10 – Being part of the software industry while critiquing it. 3:45 – How he got into programming. 6:10 – Moving to California. 7:30 – Interning at Google then Yelp.

HubSpot CEO and Cofounder Brian Halligan with Wufoo Cofounder Kevin Hale

Y Combinator

Brian Halligan is the CEO and cofounder of HubSpot. HubSpot builds software for marketing, sales, and customer service. You can try it out at HubSpot.com. Kevin Hale is a Partner at YC and cofounder of Wufoo. Brian is on Twitter @bhalligan and Kevin is @ilikevests. Topics. 00:00 – Brian’s an introvert that likes to work from home. He also runs a public company. How does he do both? 1:45 – How does he manage his calendar as an introvert?

Applications now open for the YC Summer 2020 Internship Program

Y Combinator

The Y Combinator Summer Internship Program is for undergraduate & graduate students in software engineering & data science who want to intern at a YC-backed startup. At a YC startup, you’ll jump into fast-paced, mission critical projects from day one, work directly with founders and early engineers, and build real-world software development skills. At the end of the summer, you’ll look back and see features you built running in production.

The Biggest Mistakes First-Time Founders Make

Y Combinator

Y Combinator CEO and Partner Michael Seibel on the biggest mistakes first-time founders make. Topics. 00:10 – Solving a problem you don’t care about. 1:00 – Helping users you don’t care about. 1:40 – Choosing cofounders you don’t know well. 2:20 – Not having transparent conversations with your cofounder. 3:20 – Not launching. 4:45 – Not using analytics. 5:02 – Not knowing where your first users will come from.

Work at a Startup Expo on 6/29: Female Founder & Engineer Mixer

Y Combinator

If you’re a woman engineer and you’re interested in meeting with female YC founders & engineers , we’re hosting a small mixer immediately before the Work at a Startup Expo — at 12 PM on 6/29 and hosted at the same venue.

Applying to YC Early Decision – Wren (YC S19)

Y Combinator

Last week, we interviewed Rent the Backyard about their Early Decision experience. This week, we talked to Wren. For those of you who don’t know, if you’re a student, applying Early Decision to YC allows you to apply now for the summer batch. Wren makes it simple to offset your personal — or your company’s — carbon emissions. Landon, Ben and Mimi were starting their senior year at USC when they applied and were accepted to YC, Early Decision: How did you find out about Early Decision?

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Office Hours for Startups Tackling Climate Issues

Y Combinator

We’re delighted to announce that YC is hosting online office hours for founders of startups and nonprofits that are solving climate issues on Tuesday, September 24. If you’re in the early stages of building a company we’d love to meet you — anyone from idea stage through Series A and any sized nonprofit is welcome to join. From 10am to noon, we’ll host 15-minute office hours where you’ll get to chat online with YC partner Gustaf Alströmer and Director of Admissions Stephanie Simon.

YC W20 Interviews in India

Y Combinator

We’re excited to announce that we are holding interviews for the Winter 2020 batch in Bangalore for founders based in India. Interviews will take place from November 10 to 12 and are like regular YC interviews in every way. The application is the same, as well as what we look for in the application and the criteria for acceptance. The only difference: you can stay closer to home. If accepted, you will join the YC Winter 2020 batch immediately.

When to Shut Down a Startup

Y Combinator

YC Partner and Tutorspree cofounder Aaron Harris on when to shut down a startup. Read Aaron’s post On Shutting Down here. Advice Video Feature

YC Interviews in Israel

Y Combinator

We’re excited to announce that we’ll be holding interviews for the Winter 2020 batch in Tel Aviv for founders based in Israel. These interviews will take place on September 10 and 11. We’ve been funding Israeli startups for a long time, and this time we thought it would be easier if we went right to the source. These interviews will be just like regular YC interviews. There is no difference in the application or in our criteria for acceptance. If accepted, you’ll join the YC Winter 2020 batch.

How Biotech Startup Funding Will Change in the Next 10 Years

Y Combinator

Back when YC was getting started about 10 years ago, Paul Graham wrote some essays that predicted the way startup fundraising would change in the next decade – accurately, it turns out. In short, Paul Graham predicted that there would be way more startups, that they’d be cheaper to start, that new kinds of investors would fund them, that founders would be more technical, and that founders would keep control of their companies. All of those seem to have come true.

Startup School Week 1 Recap: Kevin Hale and Eric Migicovsky

Y Combinator

We’ve cut down the first week of Startup School lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast. First, a lecture from Kevin Hale. Kevin is a YC partner and a cofounder of Wufoo. His lecture is about How to Evaluate Startup Ideas. Then, a lecture from Eric Migicovsky. Eric is a YC partner and the founder of Pebble. His lecture is about How to Talk to Users. Topics. 00:00 – Intro. 00:43 – Kevin Hale on How to Evaluate Startup Ideas.

Aaron Harris on Fundraising and Meeting with Investors

Y Combinator

Aaron Harris is a Partner at YC and before that he cofounded Tutorspree. He’s on Twitter @harris. Topics. 00:00 – Intro. 00:25 – Seed fundraising process. 3:15 – Emailing investors. 9:15 – Parallelized fundraising process. 12:00 – Meeting with investors. 14:00 – Overcapitalization. 16:50 – Communicating your plan to investors. 18:45 – Evaluating investors. 22:40 – Fundraising process for a Series A company.

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Announcing Startup School 2019

Y Combinator

Today, we’re opening up registration for Startup School 2019, our free online course for founders looking to get help turning an idea into a startup. The 10 week course will begin July 22, 2019 and is free for everyone to participate. You can register at Startup School. We will again be offering equity-free grants to the most promising companies that join and complete the course. We will be increasing the grant size this year to $15,000.

Camille Fournier on Managing Technical Teams

Y Combinator

Camille Fournier is a Managing Director at Two Sigma and the former CTO of Rent The Runway. She’s also the author of The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change. You can find her on Twitter @skamille. Topics. 00:00 – Intro. 00:35 – Why do many individual contributors (ICs) never experience a good manager? 3:15 – How did the ideology of management being bad become pervasive in startups?

Updates for Startup School 2019 and Office Hours with Kevin Hale

Y Combinator

Kevin Hale is a Partner at YC. Before working at YC he cofounded Wufoo. Kevin’s on the podcast today to do some Office Hours and talk about this year’s edition of Startup School. If you’d like to sign up or learn more, check out StartupSchool.org. Topics. 00:25 – Stats from Startup School 2018. 1:45 – Updates for Startup School 2019. 8:15 – Sign up at StartupSchool.org. 8:50 – Sean Maina asks – In the early days of Wufoo, how did you give a great customer experience?

YC W20 Interviews in Western Europe

Y Combinator

We’re excited to announce that we are holding interviews for the Winter 2020 batch in Paris for founders based in Western Europe. Interviews will take place from November 5 to 7 and are like regular YC interviews in every way. The application is the same, as well as what we look for in the application and the criteria for acceptance. The only difference: you can stay closer to home. If accepted, you will join the YC Winter 2020 batch immediately.

Meet YC in São Paulo – Sept 14

Y Combinator

We’re excited to announce that YC will be visiting São Paulo on September 14. YC’s president Geoff Ralston, YC partner Kevin Hale and Director of Admissions Stephanie Simon will host a workshop and Startup School Meetup on September 14. At the workshop, you’ll hear what happens at Y Combinator, what we’ve learned from funding over 2,000 companies, and we’ll be joined by YC alumni who will talk about what it was like going from Brazil to YC. Sign up here.

EconTalk Host Russ Roberts on Key Economic Concepts for Founders

Y Combinator

Russ Roberts is the host of the podcast EconTalk ( iTunes , RSS , and YouTube ), a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution , and the author of several books, including How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life. You can find Russ on Twitter @econtalker. Topics. 00:00 – Intro. 00:15 – What are his thoughts on “meaning, spirituality, or sense of belonging” in regards to creating your own company? 3:20 – Capitalism bearing the burden of human nature.

Y Combinator in Buenos Aires – Sept 17-18

Y Combinator

We’re excited to announce that Y Combinator will be visiting Buenos Aires on September 17-18, 2019. In the last few years we’ve funded several strong Argentinian startups. There is clearly a lot of talent in the country and a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and we’re hoping to see even more startups emerge. YC’s president Geoff Ralston, YC partner Eric Migicovsky and Director of Admissions Stephanie Simon will host a workshop, moderated by YC alum Tomi Pierucci.

Startup School Podcast Preview with Kevin Hale

Y Combinator

Today’s episode is a preview of the Startup School podcast. We’re putting all the Startup School lectures on their own podcast feed. You can subscribe here: iTunes. This is the first lecture from Startup School 2019. It’s Kevin Hale on How to Evaluate Startup Ideas. It’s also not too late to sign up for Startup School. The course just started and the deadline to sign up is August 4th. Select companies who complete the course will also receive 15,000 dollars in equity-free funding. Topics.

Startup School Week 3 Recap: Anu Hariharan and Adora Cheung

Y Combinator

We’ve cut down the third week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast. First, a lecture from Anu Hariharan. Anu is a partner at YC. Her lecture covers nine common startup business models and the metrics investors want to see for each. Then, a Q&A with Anu and Adora Cheung. Adora is also at partner at YC. During their Q&A they’ll answer questions from Startup School Founders on how investors evaluate startups. Topics. 00:00 – Intro.

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YC Biotech Fireside and Happy Hour – 9/17

Y Combinator

The MIT Biotech Group and The Harvard Biotech Club are hosting us on Tuesday, September 17 for a fireside and happy hour with YC partner Jared Friedman and Visiting Partner Dr. Uri Lopatin. Since 2014, YC has funded over 250 bio companies making us one of the greatest supporters of early stage biotech founders in the world. Learn what it takes to launch and scale a company and hear how and why biotech startup funding will change in the next 10 years.

Investor Funnels for Series As

Y Combinator

Our third batch of the YC Series A Program is wrapping up and the companies are kicking off fundraising. As we gear up for those raises, we wanted to share some things we’ve learned. First, an update on Series As at YC. In the last year, YC companies raised over $1.1B across 111 Series As. That includes two Series A batches. Our first batch included 12 companies, 11 of which have either raised their As or are in post-term sheet diligence.

YC at Grace Hopper

Y Combinator

We’re excited to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration this year — the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. We’ll be teaming up with YC alum Elpha (a community where women in tech can talk candidly online) and hosting office hours on October 3 in Orlando. If you’re interested in starting a startup or want feedback on a project you’re building, we’d love to meet you.

Startup School 2019 Meetups

Y Combinator

This year, more Startup School founders can get the opportunity to attend meetups and live tapings of the lectures. They’ll also be able to interact with YC partners, alumni and, more importantly, meet other founders in the Startup School community. These events will only be available to registered and active participants in Startup School. Attending these Startup School events is completely optional and not a requirement to complete the course.

Female Founders Office Hours and Happy Hour – July 26

Y Combinator

We’re hosting group office hours and a happy hour for female founders on Friday, July 26 at the YC office in Mountain View, California. If you’re in the early stages of building a company we’d love to meet you — anyone from idea stage through Series A is welcome to join. From 2pm-5pm, we’ll host 45-minute office hours where you’ll be sorted into groups based on the topic you’re most interested in discussing.

Advice on Organizing and Running Growth Teams from Dan Hockenmaier and Gustaf Alströmer

Y Combinator

Dan Hockenmaier is the founder of the growth strategy firm Basis One. Prior to Basis One he was the Director of Growth Marketing at Thumbtack. You can learn more at BasisOne.com. Gustaf Alströmer is a Partner at YC. Prior to YC he was the Product Lead for Growth at Airbnb. You can find Dan on Twitter @danhockenmaier and Gustaf is @gustaf. Topics. 00:20 – Dan’s most unpopular advice. 1:15 – What growth strategies do people jump on too soon?

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