can you apply to y combinator with just an idea

We’re sure you learned a lot from the experience. Thanks to Daniel Gackle, Scott Bell, Dalton Caldwell, and Michael Seibel for reading drafts of this post. Because they’re very early-stage, they’re willing to accept a lot more risk than other investors are, but still not a huge amount. Winter 2021. Consider the (admittedly obscure) object Follow. Pete had his own fashion stores, found out that number 1 reason why people don’t buy is they can’t decide. The program includes dinners every Tuesday, office hours with YC partners and access to the network of other YC founders. I think in those cases it’s best to thank them and tell them you’ll consider it rather than get defensive or tell them they’re wrong (eg. Mostly it’s because they’re trying to get a lot of information in a very short amount of time. During the interview stage, partners are meeting with dozens of companies every day, so they don’t really have time for hour-long conversations. Will YC hold that against me? If you’re starting a company, you’ll face a lot of different problems and you’ll need to creatively solve them or you’ll need to change the direction of your company, etc. You’re applying to Y Combinator and you want my advice about how to get in. You’re very unlikely to get accepted into Y Combinator with just an idea. If you decide to email me, please read this first. Q: Can you use the YC investment to pay your salary? Founders that have done YC after a successful first company include Michael Seibel, YC CEO, participated in the W07 and W12 batches, Kyle Vogt (founder of Twitch), Steve Huffman (founder of Reddit), and Parker Conrad (founder of Zenefits). Edit: A lot of people have been reaching out asking me for advice with the Y Combinator application process. Q: Do you have to spend the full three months of YC in Mountain View? But given a, b and c how do we construct a[b[a][c]]?Well, we can do it with the s, k combinators.. Y Combinator is now bringing this type of free-form entrepreneurialism to its seed-stage fund. The ideal is that you have a product that is already out there and successful, meaning it has a large number of users, and/or is already producing revenue. You don't have to sell us on you. Once they gave me feedback, I submitted the application, let them know, and then asked them for a recommendation. Questions on Location They’re always looking for formidable founders. Most founders I talked to who were accepted felt as if they had fucked up during the interview and wouldn’t get the call (if you get accepted, you’ll get a call from one of the partners that very same day, otherwise you’ll get an email later that day that you weren’t selected). First, I’m going to put forward a model for how investors generally decide whether they should invest in a startup, which is all about de-risking. The median fundraise at demo day is about $1M. As PG wrote in Organic Startup Ideas, “the worst ideas we see at Y Combinator are from young founders making things they think other people will want.” For instance, if you want to build a WhatsApp clone simply because it’s the most popular messenger app in the world, you… Q: I’m a second time founder and already have an exit, why should I apply? Log in or sign up In order to convince investors that it’s a problem worth tackling, you have to be able to clearly articulate who exactly has the problem, how many people that is, and how big the problem is for those people. Investors think about four different risks of a startup: 1) Market Risk2) Product Risk3) Team Risk4) Execution Risk. India: Razorpay, DocTalk, Kisan Network, Supr Daily, and Innov8 It’s very hard for just one person to do anything, and being unable to convince other people to work on your startup with you is a big red flag (a major part of successfully building a startup is convincing people — including investors, journalists, customers, and potential employees). With a twist. Your product should solve a problem. No. Having just come through Y Combinator, we frequently get asked whether it was worth it. There are two stages in the Y Combinator application process: Once you’ve submitted your online application, if they like it or you then your team will get selected to visit for a short in-person interview (just 10 minutes in my case). Execution risk is kind of a catch-all for a large set of potential problems. Now some specific points about Y Combinator. We offer early decision for both the winter and summer batches, and you just need to specify it somewhere on the application. Getting in as a solo nontechnical founder with very little traction was also a very unique experience that I did not believe could happen.. YC’s program and being an alumni has definitely lived up to the hype; I feel like every month that passes I learn about new benefits I get from being part of such an amazing community. We encourage founders to be wherever their business requires. Yes. You have to have a solid idea, a scalable business plan, and the stamina to withstand rapid-fire interview sessions where you’ll have just 10 minutes to answer nuanced questions about your company’s goals and strategy. Does the product that you’re building actually solve a problem that is big enough to create a large viable business around it, quickly? A Big Idea: Y Combinator Now Lets Founders Apply Without… An Idea. We think we can be helpful for any company that hasn’t yet raised a Series B. Q: Do all the founders have to attend the entire batch? Do you have domain expertise in this area? It helps to have recommendations from other Y Combinator founders. Cruise, for example, had been working on their idea for just two weeks when they applied to YC. Y Combinator Application #1 (Failure) It took me about 12 hours to complete the YC Application and after reading multiple stories of successful applications here , … Leading up to applications, partners get a ton of requests for meetings and advice, so it will be hard to stand out. We accept companies twice a year in two batches. How far will you be by the end of Y Combinator. This can be very frustrating, overwhelming, or anxiety-inducing. So the rapid-fire approach tends to eliminate the faker or non-believers. While the experience is still fresh, I want to encourage you to apply for the next cycle and give some advice for getting in. And plenty of successful startups were never accepted by Y Combinator. If you ask for a recommendation, they’ll know what you mean and exactly what to do. There’s a lot in that question that needs to be unpacked. We felt we had a great initial idea, and after generating $38,000 of pre-sales for Proof, we applied to Y Combinator. (Rather than 10 years ago or 10 years from now). Founders in this position are usually able to fundraise on their own. Q: Can you use the YC investment to pay your student loans? Q: Is YC just for early stage companies? That’s kind of the point. We fund companies focused on markets all around the world. “That’s interesting, thanks for your input” or “Hadn’t thought about that, I’ll consider it”). A lot of big investors missed Airbnb because they thought it wouldn’t be able to overcome the legal and liability issues involved in having people rent out rooms to strangers at scale. Q: Can you apply if you haven’t launched? In order to reduce the regret coming out of the interview, I recommend to most founders to decide in advance the top 2–3 important things that you want to convey to the partners during the interview, and then make sure that you say those things. The great majority of startups we fund will continue to be the sort of Internet and mobile companies we’ve funded in the past. Plus, Y Combinator shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all. Airbnb spent much of the batch in NYC, where their business was taking off. Please don't feel that you need to work on one of these ideas in order to apply to Y Combinator 1. This is actually a fairly large issue that a lot of startup founders don’t think about. The answer is absolutely yes, no hesitation. I probably got about 6 or 7 positive recommendations by the time they reviewed my application. The best way to convince investors that your startup has low product risk is: You should know that because investors get a large number of pitches all the time, your product idea probably isn’t as novel to them as you think it is. There are a number of ways to convince investors that your startup has low market risk: On top of investors believing that the market you’re going after currently exists, you need to be able to convince them that you can identify a core set of innovators & early adopters (see the technology adoption lifecycle), and that you have a reasonable strategy for expanding from those early adopters to a larger majority of people. They will help you structure ideas around your fledgling company. Check out yclist.com for a list of past Y Combinator companies. But it’s unfair to say that they do this just to test founders. Many companies raise several million, and some have raised more than $40M. There’s a lot in that question that needs to be unpacked. You want to be firm, but also not stubborn in the face of feedback. These are questions you should have answers to regardless of whether you plan to apply … Certainly not. More: Startups Technology Y Combinator We launched Startup School as an online program in 2017 to support founders actively working on building their companies. Do you have what it takes to not burn out? Let’s say you’ve managed to convince investors that the market of people with the problem you’re tackling exists and it’s large enough. Show them that you’ve talked to peopl… Is going to a Y Combinator interview worth it? Startups that only have ideas still have a significant amount of all the risks I mentioned above. Traction. If you think you’re too early, you probably aren’t. No. Click here if you have no idea what you want to build and want to apply anyway. Yes. YC has a formal process that allows alumni to recommend applicants applying for the current batch. Yes, people read every application and most are read multiple times. Your product should solve a problem. I don’t know much about that. There are 6 days left to apply. Applying to Y Combinator is similar, except that YC’s acceptance rate is lower than Harvard’s! We'll sell ourselves, if we can just understand you. In order to convince investors that it’s a problem worth tackling, you have to be able to clearly articulate who exactly has the problem, how many people that is, and how big the problem is for those people. If you have any other thoughts about getting in to Y Combinator, please post them in the comments. The time is so short and you’ll forget anything else, so take it easy and just focus on those things. But the process of landing a spot at this prestigious Bay Area seed accelerator is no cakewalk. How to spin your scientific research out of a university and into a startup, Frequently Asked Questions From YC Applicants. For example, you can apply for the summer batch alongside those applying for the winter batch. If you’d like to dig deeper, you can check out the expanded FAQ. This is your idea. Almost every smart person has a good idea in them." Not an inconvenience. Then getting that prototype in front of users and getting early feedback will further address all four risks: market, team, and execution. In terms of demeanor during the interview, I’ve heard a lot of different things. These ideas are very often solutions in search of problems, so if you come up with an idea this way, you should be default skeptical, and you should think really hard about whether it is actually solving a problem. Q: Do you have to be focused on the US market? As we’ve talked about before, Cofactor is now backed by Y Combinator and was accepted into their Summer 2015 class. Welcome to YC Apply! Especially if you’re in a fairly crowded space, it’s likely that they’ve already heard some variation of what you’re pitching. Is there any other major factor that could prevent you from doing what you need to? It can probably at least guarantee you an interview, and is likely to be helpful if you happen to have the partner in the room with you for in-person interviews. If you don’t, then you’re kind of out of luck, but that’s how things go. To apply for the Y Combinator program, submit an application form. If not getting into Y Combinator means your startup is going to give up, or won’t succeed, that’s already a very bad sign. Africa: Flutterwave, Paystack, Tizeti, and WaystoCap You know you want to. — Read this next: Why You Should Apply to Y Combinator. No. South America: Rappi, Regalii, Hogaru, Tpaga, Beek, and Quero Education. We accept companies twice a year in two batches. It’s not enough for your product to be better than any current alternatives, it has to be significantly better (in order to overcome switching costs). 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