Y Combinator

Intern #1 to YC Founder: An Interview with Jack Forbes of Faros (YC W19)

Y Combinator

I got a chance to interview Jack Forbes, CEO of Faros * (YC W19). He shares his experiences moonlighting as an intern at HigherMe (YC W15), playing soccer with YC founders & partners, and what drove him to start a YC company — even after being rejected.

An update on YC China

Y Combinator

In the summer of 2018, Qi Lu joined Y Combinator to help create YC China, a localized version of our U.S. program. As we worked to establish YC China, we had a change in leadership. With this, our strategy changed back to our tried and true approach of supporting local and international startups from our headquarters in Silicon Valley. As a result, we decided that now is not the right time to run a new, country-specific version of Y Combinator.

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Announcing the Startup School 2019 Grant Recipients

Y Combinator

As part of our efforts to further support founders in Startup School , we awarded $15,000 in equity-free grants to the most promising companies to go through the course. The quality (and quantity!) of founders who participated in Startup School this past year made the grant selection process a tough one. Congratulations to the following startups* for their impressive progress over the 10-weeks of Startup School! Arula. Sydney, Australia.

YC Bio Tour – 2020

Y Combinator

This year, for the first time, we’ll be visiting universities and institutions to meet founders who are focused on building biotech and healthcare companies. Since 2014, YC has funded over 250 bio, healthcare, and life science companies, making us one of the largest seed stage bio/healthcare funders in the world.

State of MENA Startups 2019, Report

MAGNiTT and 500 Startups jointly launch first 'State of MENA Startups 2019" report. Survey findings reveal insights on trends in fundraising exercise, exit opportunities, hiring, and growth optimization.

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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Y Combinator Is Hiring a Data Scientist

Y Combinator

YC has one of the most robust data sets on startups in the world, and the admissions team is excited to hire our first data scientist to dig into it. This is a great role for someone who’s inherently curious about our data. You should be experienced enough to know best practices but still excited to get your hands dirty.

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.

“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.

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.

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 Startup Funding Gap

This resource discusses the gap between early funding from friends/family and the more substantial rounds from angel groups and VCs. Why does this gap exist and what can be done about it?

Matt Cutts on the US Digital Service and Working at Google for 17 Years

Y Combinator

Matt Cutts is the Administrator of the US Digital Service and previously he was the head of the webspam team at Google. You can find him on Twitter at @mattcutts. Topics. 00:00 – Intro. 00:18 – Working at Google in 2000. 2:30 – Did Google’s success feel certain? 3:35 – Building self-service ads. 7:05 – The evil unicorn problem. 8:05 – Lawsuits around search. 10:30 – Content moderation and spam.

How to Manage a Board

Y Combinator

With special contributions from Nic Dardenne. One of the most common questions we hear from founders is “How do I manage my board?” It’s something that provokes anxiety, because this is the first time the founder/CEO is subject to external supervision, and the board has powers that include the firing of the CEO and the senior management. It is natural to feel this way.

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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.

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?

Work with us: Looking for great people to join YC’s software & community teams

Y Combinator

Y Combinator has a lot planned for 2020, including reaching more people with our worldwide events, going bigger with Startup School and serving our ever-growing communities of founders and developers. To make that all possible, we’re growing our YC team. Here’s a quick rundown of the roles we have open: Product Engineer, Startup School (San Francisco, CA). Community Manager, Startup School (San Francisco, CA). Content Manager (San Francisco or Mountain View, CA).

Y Combinator Top Companies – 2019

Y Combinator

We’re excited to share the list of 2019 Top Y Combinator Companies. We also included top exits. We put this list together to help potential employees, partners, and late stage investors get to know a wider set of YC companies. If you’re looking for a job at one of our top companies, you can hit the Apply button to be taken to their careers page. The companies in this list are sorted by valuation. Why do we use valuation?

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.

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?

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?

Startup School Week 7 Recap – Kevin Hale on Conversion Rates and Pricing

Y Combinator

We’ve cut down the seventh week of lectures to be even shorter and combined them into one podcast. Kevin Hale gave both lectures this week. Kevin’s a partner at YC and cofounded Wufoo. His first lecture is on how to improve conversion rates and his second lecture is on pricing for startups. Topics. 00:00 – Intro. 00:27 – Kevin Hale – How to Improve Conversion Rates. 1:02 – Why we care about conversion rates. 2:02 – Shareware conversion rate is.5%.

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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.

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%.

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?

Vikrum Nijjar: Engineer #1 at Firebase and Founder of Gold Fig Labs (YC S19)

Y Combinator

Vikrum Nijjar joined as the first engineer at Firebase, and did whatever it took to help the company succeed: scaling out infrastructure, shipping mobile SDKs, hosting 1-1 office hours with developers and even standing in as SRE for 24×7 hour shifts… for over a year.

November 2019 Hackathon Recap

Y Combinator

Last weekend we hosted a hackathon for 225 people who made over 60 projects. We were joined by judges Trevor Blackwell , Jared Friedman , Gustaf Alströmer , Kat Manalac , Michael Seibel , Akshar Bonu, Gaurav Pathak, and Raghav Poddar.

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Why Fundraising Is Different In Silicon Valley

Y Combinator

Y Combinator CEO and Partner Michael Seibel on why fundraising in Silicon Valley is different. Topics. 00:00 – Why Fundraising Is Different In Silicon Valley. 00:25 – Overcorrecting based on investor feedback outside Silicon Valley. 00:35 – Investors are not spread evenly around the world. 00:50 – Why Silicon Valley investors are different. 1:50 – Investors in Silicon Valley are less likely to dismiss ideas out of hand.

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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.

What Makes The Top 10% Of Founders Different?

Y Combinator

Y Combinator CEO and Partner Michael Seibel on what makes the top 10% of founders different. Topics. 00:00 – What Makes The Top 10% Of Founders Different? 00:35 – Great founders execute. 1:22 – Formidability. 2:09 – Clear communication. 3:40 – Internal motivation. 4:52 – Note that “idea” is not on this list. Advice Video Feature

Cory Doctorow and Joe Betts-Lacroix on Adversarial Interoperability

Y Combinator

Cory Doctorow is a blogger, journalist, and science fiction author. He’s also the co-editor of Boing Boing. Joe Betts-Lacroix is the CTO of VIUM and an Expert at YC. Topics. 00:07 – Adversarial interoperability. 7:30 – So what should founders do? 13:30 – Copyright. 19:30 – Remixing. 26:35 – AT&T. 29:25 – Firms and state-like duties. 31:00 – Medium-term suggestions for founders. 39:00 – Conspiracy theories.

Consume Information That Encourages You To Do More

Y Combinator

YC Partner and Head of Admissions Dalton Caldwell on consuming tech media and being careful to choose things that encourage you to do more. Topics. 00:00 – Consume information that encourages you to do more. 1:25 – You don’t need permission from investors to start a company. 2:30 – Is thought leadership important? 4:05 – Your thought process is influenced by the information you consume. Advice Video Feature

How To Build Product As A Small Startup

Y Combinator

Y Combinator CEO and Partner Michael Seibel shares a process for building product as a small startup. Topics. 00:00 – Have a process to get product out the door. 1:02 – Decide on a release schedule. 1:15 – Put someone in charge of product. 1:34 – Establish KPIs. 1:47 – Create a theme for the product cycle based on a KPI. 2:00 – Product meeting. 2:30 – Brainstorm new features, bugs, and tests. 3:35 – Sort each into: easy, medium, or hard.

Apply to the YC Fall Hackathon

Y Combinator

This November we’re hosting a hackathon at YC. You can find out more about the event and apply here. Applications close on 10/25/19 at 11:59PM PST. We’ll send out the first round of acceptances shortly afterward. The top team will get a YC interview and the top three teams will get office hours with a YC Partner. Judges will be YC Partners and alumni. We hope to see you there! YC Events Feature

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How To Cold Email Investors – Michael Seibel

Y Combinator

Y Combinator CEO and Partner Michael Seibel on how to cold email investors. Topics. 00:00 – Intro. 00:17 – Make it short, i.e. 60 seconds or less to read. 00:58 – Interested in: the problem you’re trying to solve, what your solution is, have you launched, do you have growth, how big you think the market could be, do you have cofounders, are you technical, and do you know something about the problem that you think is controversial.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Attend YC’s Work at a Startup Expo in Los Angeles on March 7

Y Combinator

Y Combinator is hosting our first Work at a Startup Expo in Los Angeles/Culver City on March 7th. We welcome engineers to apply to attend: [link]. For this event: founders and hiring managers of 20+ YC companies (mostly from the LA area) give quick pitches about their business, their tech stack and why an engineer might be excited to join. After the pitches, we host an open house where engineers are welcome to meet directly with the founders/team to learn more.

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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.

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