YC Firesides and a new book by Surbhi Sarna

by Kat Mañalac1/26/2023

For those of you who haven’t met her yet, Surbhi Sarna is one of the newest group partners at YC.  I'm excited to share that her book Without a Doubt drops on March 7 — and to celebrate, she's hosting a series of online founder firesides.

Surbhi has an incredibly compelling founder story. If I had to boil it down to one sentence I’d say: she turned a teenage cancer scare into a company that was eventually acquired for $275M by Boston Scientific. But what that short summary misses is the fact that she is a true cockroach. Despite hundreds of nos from investors and difficult clinical trials, she forged on, pivoted, and kept fighting until she succeeded.

Surbhi has historically been a fairly private person (she just started a Twitter account two weeks ago!). But soon, you’ll get to read more of her story and hear the tactical advice she learned along the way.

You can pre-order the book here through 1/27 at a 25% discount, and it’ll arrive in time for Women’s History Month. We’ll be inviting readers to special events, so let us (outreach@ycombinator.com) know if you end up ordering or pre-ordering the book.

Here is a schedule of the online firesides Surbhi will be hosting in March. We hope you join us!

YC Fireside: Surbhi Sarna and Tracy Young - Founder of TigerEye and PlanGrid
Tracy first went through YC in Winter 2012 with her company PlanGrid, a construction software company that was sold to Autodesk for $875M. She joined YC as a Visiting Partner before launching her second company TigerEye. Tracy and Surbhi will talk about some of the themes that come up in Without a Doubt – from overcoming imposter syndrome, to building a team and company culture, and how to redefine “work-life balance”.

Sign up here for the YouTube Live link and a calendar reminder

YC Fireside: Surbhi Sarna + Reshma Shetty and Jason Kelly - Founders of Ginkgo Bioworks
Reshma and Jason went through YC in the Summer of 2014 with Ginkgo Bioworks. Since then, they’ve become luminaries in the field of synthetic biology, and in 2021, they became the first YC bio company to take their company public. Reshma and Jason still run the company today. Join us to hear more about their founder journey and where Ginkgo Bioworks is headed.

Sign up here for the YouTube Live link and a calendar reminder

YC Fireside: Surbhi Sarna + Adam Elsesser - CEO of Penumbra
Few founders have managed to stay the CEO of their company, especially when it is publicly traded at a market cap of $10B. Adam tends to shy away from the spotlight, so we’re happy that he’s joining us to talk about how he got the company going, what drove him to stay in the CEO seat, and how to maintain a startup-like culture even when you have thousands of employees.

Sign up here for the YouTube Live link and a calendar reminder

YC Fireside: Surbhi Sarna + Jonathan Bush - Founder of Zus Health and athenahealth
Jonathan is best known for building athenahealth, one of the most successful software companies that serves healthcare. From founding the company to battling hostile take-overs, come to hear Jonathan’s incredible entrepreneurial story and find out what he’s building now.

Sign up here for the YouTube Live link and a calendar reminder


  • Kat Mañalac

    Kat is the Managing Outreach Officer at YC. She was Chief of Staff to Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of reddit, before joining YC as its Director of Outreach. Prior to that, Kat was at WIRED Magazine.