It was founded in 2005 and provides two funding cycles of three months in Silicon Valley. Y Combinator provides seed funding, and access to advisors and investors in exchange for a percentage of the company's equity.
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Pro Access to Successful Entrperenurs
Y Combinator offers weekly dinners which feature a celebrity from the startup world (usually an alumni) to speak to participants. These offer a rare chance to meet informally with successful entrepreneurs and hear candid stories from their own companies.
Furthermore, since the program is a collection of some of the best aspiring entrepreneurs in the world, the dinners also serve as a mini Demo Day to showcase progress to other founders and most importantly solicit advice.
Pro Short Application Process
The application for Y Combinator is relatively short and reviewed on a rolling basis up until the accelerator. Chosen companies are flown to Mountain View for interviews, and decisions are usually offered that night.
Pro Hands-off Approach
The accelerator takes a somewhat hands-off approach in comparison to other accelerators; companies are left to operate mostly independently, usually working out of their own apartments.
Y Combinator also offers two three-month accelerators per year rather than one, one from January through March and one from June through August.
Each program takes place in Silicon Valley in Mountain View, CA, which is easily the best place to launch a new startup as compared to other accelerators which take place in Boulder or New York.
Pro By Far the Best Startup Network
Y-Combinator based companies have an average valuation of $45.2 million. Most importantly, YC companies have unparalleled access to past participants which now form a very large and powerful network in the startup world.
Notable alumni include:
Pro Amazing Investor Access
Demo Day is the culmination of the YC program which offers each company to present to about 400 investors, possibly the largest annual occasion with many top startup investors in one place.
This large demo day is likely the largest reason why companies decide to participate in Y Combinator, because they have so much access to investors who value the YC brand and are willing to invest at all stages.