YC for Hardware

by Sam Altman2/5/2015

As YC has grown, we’ve funded more and more hardware companies.  Hardware companies have very different needs from pure software companies, and we’re delighted to announce a number of new resources for YC hardware companies. 

First, there are a number of new deals for our hardware startups–across-the-board discounts & expedited services, free consultations and prototyping, and volume pricing for YC startups.  These range from 3D printing and rapid injection molding, to PCB fab & assembly, metalworking, design expertise, RF and carrier testing, early access to dev kits, product photography & international scaling.

Some of our deal partners include Novatel, Proto Services, The Build Shop, Jatco, Studio Fathom, Fictiv, DIX Metals, The Collaborationist, and Tempo Automation, and YC startups CircuitHub, Octopart, Tilt and Upverter.  YC hardware startups Pebble, SoundFocus, MadeSolid, Cruise and Rigetti Computing have offered to help out with machine & equipment needs.  And we’ll be working on many more deals for YC hardware startups in the coming months; please get in touch with if you can help our startups make better hardware faster.

Second, we’re building a mini-electronics prototyping shop in Mountain View, to supplement the much larger Pier 9 lab on the Embarcadero.  This way, hardware startups can do some quick PCB rework as needed, or make a 3D print anytime during the week.

Our hope is that all of these together will make the YC experience much more valuable for hardware startups.

We’ll be posting some new hardware RFSs as well–we’re happy to see all sorts of hardware companies, but we especially like the ones that are fundamentally new ideas that Kickstarter might not support (and we don’t shy away from expensive hardware–we’ve funded companies building things like nuclear reactors and rockets, which will require hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to succeed).

Finally, I’d like to thank Luke Iseman and Jeff Chang, both YC alumni, for all the work they’ve done to make all this happen.  We’re lucky to have them in the alumni network.  As part of an effort to publish more advice for hardware startups, they’ll be putting up a “How to Start a Hardware Startup” blog post soon.


  • Sam Altman

    Sam Altman is the CEO of OpenAI. He was the president of YC from 2014-2019. He studied computer science at Stanford, and while there, worked in the AI lab.