Welcome Surbhi, Nicolas, Divya, Ashu, and Tom

by Y Combinator11/22/2021

Every batch, we invite founders and executives to advise YC companies as Visiting Group Partners. These advisors bring valuable insights and recent operational experience to YC’s early-stage companies. Throughout the batch, they take on a variety of responsibilities, including application reading, interviews, group office hours, individual office hours, demo day prep, and more.

As YC grows, some of our Visiting Group Partners join us full time as Group Partners to continue supporting YC companies and build out new programs and initiatives to better support our community.

Today, we’re excited to welcome two new full-time Group Partners (Surbhi Sarna and Nicolas Dessaigne) and three W22 Visiting Group Partners (Divya Bhat, Ashu Desai and Tom Blomfield) to YC.

Group Partners

After two batches as Visiting Group Partners, Surbhi Sarna and Nicolas Dessaigne are joining YC as Group Partners.

Surbhi Sarna
Surbhi is YC’s first group partner focused on Healthcare and Biotech. She founded nVision Medical in 2012 after her own healthcare scare. Over the course of six years, nVision developed a catheter-based device for the early detection of ovarian cancer. After raising $17M in venture funding, completing several clinical trials and obtaining FDA clearance, nVision was purchased by Boston Scientific for $275M in April of 2018. She currently lives with her husband and two young boys in San Francisco.

Nicolas Dessaigne
Nicolas is co-founder of Algolia (YC W14), a growth-stage Search API used by millions of developers. He led the company as CEO of up to 350 people before hiring a successor in 2020. He is still very involved in the success of Algolia as Board Director. Originally from France, he currently lives in Oakland, CA with his wife and 3 kids. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Nantes.

Visiting Group Partners

Divya Bhat
Divya is a 2x YC alum: first as co-founder of Jamglue (YC S06), a popular online music remixing platform + community, and again as co-founder of Rickshaw (YC W14), a local delivery platform that enabled any merchant to offer same-day delivery services to their customers without managing their own drivers and logistics. At Rickshaw, she built a profitable business with a small, scrappy team before being acquired by Doordash, where she was a Director of Product. In between Jamglue and Rickshaw, Divya was the Director of the Trulia Rentals team, which she helped start, launch, and grow in preparation for Trulia’s 2013 IPO. Most recently, she was Chief Product Officer at Virta Health where she led Product, Engineering, Analytics, and Design through a period of rapid scaling.

Divya has Bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics with Computer Science, and Management Science from MIT and a Master’s degree in Genome Sciences from the University of Washington. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two kids.

Ashu Desai
Ashu is an entrepreneur and musician based in San Francisco. He grew up between Hong Kong, India, and the US studying mathematics and computer science. Over the past decade, he founded and ran Make School (YC W12), a startup college that created pathways to the tech industry for free-thinking and underrepresented students.

Ashu also produces and performs music under the moniker Tōsh. His performances seek to bring jazz-style improvisation and collaboration to modern electronic music.

Tom Blomfield
Tom was co-founder of Monzo, one of the first app-based challenger banks in the UK. Monzo raised more than £500m, counts 10% of the UK population as customers, and was the #1 recommended brand in the UK for two years running. Previously, he founded GoCardless (YC S11), an online payments processor for the Direct Debit system. In 2013, he was nominated as one of the Top 5 Entrepreneurs Under 30 by the European Commission, and in 2019 he was awarded an OBE for increasing competition in the banking sector.


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