by Geoff Ralston11/18/2020
YC was founded in 2005 as an antidote to the classic venture capital firm. PG, Jessica, Trevor, and Robert decided to fund hackers and thereby enable the next generation of startup founders who would understand technology and its capabilities. Over the ensuing 15 years YC developed into a startup institution, one which we believe will continue to help founders create epic companies for decades to come.
Although years later our core remains unchanged, YC as an organization has changed a lot. We were always unconventional within the investing world, and now we are making internal changes that further reflect our difference. We’ve evolved our traditional partnership into a different organizational structure. From now on, the title “Partner” at YC will be a job title and will refer to a role, not membership in an exclusive club. A Group Partner is involved in our early stage investing decisions and advises YC’s companies during and after the batch. An Investing Partner has the same role on the YC Continuity team, but works with YC’s growth-stage companies. And now, all YC employees, regardless of their role will have direct ownership in YC’s profits.
We are also making a couple of organizational changes. First, we are promoting Stephanie Simon to Managing Admissions Officer / Head of Admissions. Stephanie has been working on the admissions team for over four years now and has been doing a terrific job leading its operations. She has built a great team and made a huge impact on the quality of the batches we fund. Dalton Caldwell, who has been with YC for over six years and originally built the admissions organization is now YC’s Architect (he’ll also remain a Group Partner) and will continue to have an outsize influence throughout the organization. Other titles are changing to provide consistency and clarity. We will no longer have multiple CEOs and a COO, but instead a simplified organization as can be seen on this page.
Our goal is to create an organization that will not only last decades — but continue to be a productive, meaningful, and an enjoyable place to work. We believe that with clarity of roles and clarity of future opportunities for professional growth and career progression, we can better come together to fulfill our mission: working with founders to create opportunities for their company, their investors, their employees, and their community from idea to IPO.
Geoff Ralston is the former President of Y Combinator and has been with YC since 2011. Prior to YC, he built one of the first web mail services, RocketMail which became Yahoo Mail in 1997.