Why YC

February 2016

Introduction

People often ask us what happens at YC and what benefits you get as a YC founder. Here is a list of the resources available to YC founders.

You can also read a longer version of what happens at YC here.

Community

  • Alumni Network
    YC has now funded 1,464 companies and 3,000 founders. A culture of helpfulness has been an important part of YC since the beginning, and founders know that if they ever come across a challenge they need help with, they not only have the partners at their disposal, they have 3,000 domain experts they can call on.
  • Bookface Forum + Expertise Database
    Bookface is the platform founders use to connect to one another—imagine a combination of Facebook, Quora and LinkedIn. Each founder has a profile and can tag themselves as an expert in any topic. If you have a question, need an introduction, or want to poll for knowledge, you can post the request to the forum on Bookface. The knowledge base of the YC community is both broad and deep—the network includes founders who are the world’s foremost experts in everything from security to community building to nuclear energy.
  • YC Open House
    Once a week, we will be opening our office to YC founders who want to meet up with partners and alum (more details to come).
  • Camp YC
    Last May, YC hosted its first formal gathering of alumni: Camp YC. Camp YC brought together alumni from every batch for a weekend of workshops and summer camp-style activities. Exciting things happen when you bring founders together— ideas are exchanged, deals get made, problem solving happens amongst peers. We got such enthusiastic feedback from the founders who participated that it’s something we plan to do annually.
  • First Customers
    B2B and consumer companies often get their first 40-50 paying customers from the YC network. With that, you not only get first customers, you get the smartest early product feedback possible.
  • Category-Specific Founder Communities
    Founders have access to email lists that reach specific communities. There are lists for hardware, biotech, non-profits, international, female founders, and more.
  • Alumni Demo Day
    Active YC founders get an early look at the YC companies in each batch at Alumni Demo Day. The event has also become a de-facto alumni reunion.
  • Alumni Happy Hours
  • YC Founder Slack

Advice

  • Office Hours With YC Partners and Part-Time Partners
  • Tuesday Night Dinners
  • Workshops and Mini Conferences
    Alumni are invited to workshops and conferences that cover topics like hiring, enterprise sales and design. There are now so many alumni that we have entire conferences where the speakers and audience are all YC alum. This makes it possible to talk about controversial things without worrying they’ll be repeated.
  • Office Hours With Domain Experts
    During YC, founders attend group office hours every other week. During these sessions, founders sit down with other companies in their group and their group's partners. The regularity of the meeting acts as a metronome for the companies in YC. It helps founders get used to regularly reporting their numbers and staying accountable to a larger group. It also gives companies a chance to talk about the challenges they’re working through and learn from peers who’ve recently overcome similar obstacles. We recently started hosting alumni group office hours. This lets our later stage companies learn from and help each other in a setting where founders can trust each other to keep one another’s company secrets.

Capital

  • Seed Funding $120k
  • Demo Day
    YC’s 3-month program culminates in Demo Day. At Demo Day, founders have 2.5 minutes to present their company to a room of invitees. The presentations are recorded and posted to YC’s Demo Day site, and can be watched for a week after the event. The videos, as well as Demo Day itself, result in significant exposure for the companies of their products and services.
  • Investor Day The day after Demo Day, we invite top investors to meet one-on-one with companies in the batch.
  • Continuity Fund
    In 2015 we announced the Y Combinator Continuity Fund, which allows us to continue to support our companies by investing in their subsequent funding rounds. We participate in all priced rounds to maintain our percentage ownership where a YC company is valued below $300M. We also consider leading or participating in later stage growth financing rounds for YC companies.

Brand

  • Credibility
    When one company in YC does well, the whole community benefits. Because YC has such a strong track record, early adopters, investors and press are often more willing to take a look at YC founders, even if they’re first time founders. To maintain the strength of the community as it grows, we developed a set of principles that YC founders are asked to live by.

Other

Hacker News

Hacker News

Startup School

Startup School

Jobs

Jobs