Announcing Startup School Winter 2020

by Eric Migicovsky12/10/2019

We’re excited to announce the next iteration of Startup School. The 8-week course will launch on January 20, 2020, and you can sign up to participate here!

We were floored by the quality (and quantity) of founders who participated in Startup School 2019. Our deepest thanks go to the founders who worked with us to make the program great. Because of Startup School’s (SUS) growing popularity and our firm belief that the program increases a founder’s chance of success, we are accelerating our schedule and not waiting a full year for the next iteration.

Moving forward, we will host Startup School multiple times per year to ensure the program is available when more founders are in the midst of starting their startup. Running more frequent courses also allows us to take our own advice: launch sooner and talk to users — leading to faster iterations of Startup School and, over time, a more valuable product for all founders.

Startup School 2019 stats:

  • 41,777 founders participated
  • 10,193 founders graduated
  • 57% of founders were working on their startup full-time
  • 62% of founders were from outside the US
  • Our video lectures were the most popular part of the course, with 81% of founders rating them “Great” or “Transformational”
  • 78% of founders rated the course overall “Great” or “Transformational”


Why should I sign up for Startup School?

YC has spent the last 15 years getting exceptionally good at helping startups succeed. Unsurprisingly, we’ve found many common factors for why startups succeed or fail. Every part of our curriculum is geared towards helping you avoid the common failures and iterate towards success.

Founders who graduated last year told us that one of the greatest benefits of Startup School was our weekly pressure to launch their company. Launching is an important early step for startups because it starts the iterative product development cycle. If Startup School can help you do accomplish one thing, it is launching.

We also know that startup founders are extremely busy. Startup School won’t be a large time commitment — and everything you do to complete the course will help maximize your success.

Finally, we partnered with many service providers to offer high-value deals to Startup School participants. Services like Algolia, AWS, Brex, Clerky, DigitalOcean, Google Cloud, MongoDB, Retool, Segment, Stripe and many more have graciously offered free credits or significant discounts.

What’s changing from last year’s course?

We added a new feature to Startup School Winter 2020: question and answer periods with YC partners each week. Similar to a university tutorial or lab, one or two YC partners will be available to answer specific questions about startups after every lecture.

We also improved the forum experience. For 2020, we will promote relevant content on the forum, host more AMAs, integrate spotlights for great founder posts and company launches, post weekly and daily digests, as well as more questions answered by YC partners and alumni. We hope that over time the Startup School forum will become a world-class repository of startup knowledge.

Additionally, we are decreasing the frequency of weekly video group sessions to make the experience less repetitive week to week.

I already participated in Startup School 2019. Should I enroll again?

Maybe! We’re using the same content we filmed in 2019, and the required company updates and weekly group sessions will be similar (although we are requiring fewer group sessions). A few lectures will be updated or replaced, but most will remain the same. If that framework will help you make more progress than you would otherwise (and we hope it does), please sign up again.

Will Startup School improve my chances of getting accepted into YC’s core program?

Yes, indirectly. Startup School’s curriculum is designed by YC partners to make you a more effective founder and increase your company’s chances of success—and strong founding teams are more likely to be accepted into YC. That said, we don’t penalize applications from non-Startup School founders.

Will you be providing equity-free grants for this course?

We are in the process of evaluating the grant program given Startup School now runs multiple times per year. More to come!


  • Eric Migicovsky

    Eric is a Group Partner at YC. He founded Pebble Technology (YC W11), which was acquired by Fitbit in 2016. While studying engineering at the University of Waterloo in 2008, Eric began building smart