Joining A Different YC

by Alexis Ohanian8/3/2015

I’m thrilled to announce that I’m joining Y Combinator full-time. My job is to help our companies make hardware people want faster and better than ever before. Fortunately, our alumni are the best resource in the world for this: they’ve built some of the most innovative startups of the last decade. Coupled with our growing ecosystem of partners, our hardware startups are able to get more done during YC than most companies ever achieve. We have a record 22 companies making physical products in this batch, and you’ll use many of these in your home or neighborhood within the next 12 months. 

In biotech, the opportunity may be even greater. Why give half of the money you raise to your university when you can rent lab space for hundreds of dollars a month? We expect to help many more scientists choose entrepreneurial paths. With Elizabeth Iorns and our other scientist-alumni, I’m going to help our biotech startups find the partners and tools they need to make wetware at software-like speeds.

This is a good fit for us because both biotech and hardware are becoming increasingly like software at the earliest stages: you can make things good enough to show potential users faster and more cheaply than ever before. There are real regulatory and logistical differences, but many of these matter only after achieving product-market fit. 

We’re just getting started. The YC you know created a new model for funding early stage startups. The YC I joined is creating a new model for innovation. Over the next year, you’ll see us introduce several features that make YC the best place in the world for people who want to make something new. Over the next decade, you’ll see some of these entrepreneurs create companies at YC that rival Airbnb’s social (and financial) impact.

There’s never been a better time to start a startup, and it’s getting even better. Get started, and tell us about it. If it’s a physical thing, show it to me. We’re at the start of a wave of real-world innovations that will approach that of the IT revolution, and we hope you’ll join us.


  • Alexis Ohanian