Announcing Startup School 2019

by Kevin Hale6/28/2019

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 $15,000.1

We’re also excited to share over $30K in deals and credits for Startup School companies, which includes offerings from AWS, Google Cloud, DigitalOcean, Clerky, Stripe Atlas, Brex and more.

Last Year’s Stats

Startup School graduates now represent the largest single source of founders accepted into Y Combinator’s core program. Over 60 Startup School companies were accepted into the last batch, which represented almost 30% of the Winter 2019 batch. If you’re interested in getting funded by YC, Startup School is probably the best way to improve your chances of getting in.

Here are some stats about last year’s Startup School participants:

  • 15,442 founders registered
  • 5,065 graduated
  • 83% of SUS companies were pre-launch
  • 52% of SUS founders were full time on their startup
  • 63% of SUS founders were single founders
  • 59% of SUS founders were international

Based on this data and founder feedback, we’ve made some changes to the curriculum, our software, and structure to better fit our users’ needs. For our pre-launch founders, we’ve created new lectures that cover practical ways to evaluate startup first principles like idea evaluation, MVP planning, pricing, and pivoting. We’re going to help single founders who want a cofounder find one another in our community. And we’re taking Startup School on the road so more people can interact with YC partners in person.

Beyond Silicon Valley

Last year, we invited Startup School participants to attend live tapings of the lectures at our office in Mountain View. These tapings were so popular that many founders flew from around the world just to attend them. They got to interact with YC partners and, more importantly, meet other founders in the Startup School community.

This year, we want to expand our surface area so that more Startup School founders can get this opportunity. This is why we’ll be taping lectures and hosting meetups at over 13 cities around the world during this year’s class. We will be hosting Startup School events in the following cities:

  • San Francisco
  • New York City
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • Washington DC
  • Seattle
  • Austin
  • Mexico City
  • Tel Aviv
  • Bogota
  • São Paulo
  • Boston
  • London
  • Berlin

We’ll release a schedule with dates in the next few weeks. These events will only be available to registered and active participants in Startup School. Attending Startup School events is completely optional.

Find a Cofounder at Startup School

Single founders will now be able to indicate if they are actively looking for a cofounder. We have built a searchable directory to help these founders discover one another and during Startup School, we will also match you up with other single founders during group sessions. By the end of the course, founders will have had an opportunity to interact with at least 50 other potential cofounders.

Startup School 2019 Curriculum

This year’s lectures will focus more on practical advice startups can use.

  • How to Evaluate Startup Ideas: Part I
  • How to Perform User Interviews
  • How to Set KPIs and Goals
  • How to Plan Your MVP
  • How Investors Evaluate Consumer Startups
  • How Investors Evaluate B2B Startups
  • How to Launch (Repeatedly)
  • The Mechanics of Growth
  • How to Avoid Startup Finance Pitfalls
  • Improving Cofounder Communication
  • How to Create a Healthy Culture
  • When and How to Pivot
  • How to Improve Conversion Rates
  • Introduction to Pricing
  • How to Manage Your Time
  • How to Evaluate Startup Ideas: Part II
  • Advice for Hardtech and Biotech Startups
  • Introduction to Modern Startup Financing
  • How to Talk to Investors about your Startup
  • How to Become a $100B Company

The lectures will again be made available to the public, but access to the community, software, live events with YC partners, and grants requires registering and participating in the classes.

We’re really excited about this year’s program and hope you’ll enjoy the changes we’ve made to try and make it a better experience for new founders. You have until July 22nd to register for Startup School.

1. Companies must participate and complete the course to be eligible for the grant; this requirement means that companies must complete 8 out of 10 weekly company updates as dictated by the course, and attend and participate in 8 out of 10 weekly group sessions. Additionally, to be eligible companies must apply to Y Combinator’s core program by completing the application on our website, located at Applicants who are accepted to the core program will not be eligible for the $15K grant. What it means to be a “promising” company is based on a significant number of variables. In addition to your engagement in the course, the criteria which we use to determine what companies will receive the grant is as follows: 1) whether a company has revenue, or has prospects for revenue in the near term; 2) whether a company’s business is growing as measured by increase in users, increase in revenues, progress in bookings, or improvement in company objectives; 3) whether the company’s business is scalable; 4) whether there is a reasonable path for the company’s business to become a billion-dollar company; and 5) the feasibility of implementing the company’s proposed business objectives. Each of the criteria is weighted equally.

We are very excited about many of the companies that are participating in Startup School; the quality of companies has been extremely impressive and makes us confident that there are more founders starting more companies throughout the world.


  • Kevin Hale

    Kevin was a Partner at YC. He was cofounder of Wufoo, which was funded by Y Combinator in 2006 and acquired by SurveyMonkey in 2011.