Despite recent claims that 11 in 12 start ups will fail, I decided to look into startups that did survive, of course, what I came across was tech-incubator Y Combinator. Most readers of UWS will be more than familiar with these guys. For those of you who are in need of an update, read on. Y Combinator help startup companies by not only supporting them with seed funding, but also through a free-minded mentoring system with lots of perks.
Startup companies apply for a YC funding and founders of the chosen startups re-locate to Silicon Valley for 3 months, where they work with the YC team to shape and refine their business to make it appealing to investors.
Over the 3 month period dinners are held each week with an expert in the startup field giving a talk. Speakers at YC events have included, Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerburg, LinkedIn co-founder and former Paypal VP Reid Hoffman and Twitter CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey to name a few.
Other events include Angel Day where each startup is paired with two angel investors whom they meet and stay in contact with until Demo Day. Demo Day is the the biggest meetup for startups and investors and kicked off with only 15 investors, it has now grown to into a 3 day pow-wow that hosts over 400 investors with lots and lots of money.
Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham states,
“The overall goal of YC is to help startups really take off. They arrive at YC at all different stages. Some haven’t even started working yet, and others have been launched for a year or more. But whatever stage a startup is at when they arrive, our goal is to help them to be in dramatically better shape 3 months later”
“For most startups, better shape translates into two things: to have a better product with more users, and to have more options for raising money. The ratio varies depending on where the company is. A startup that’s just starting will want to work more on the product, while one that’s already launched will usually want to focus more on investors.”
Having funded over 300 startups, including big names such as Reddit, Dropbox, Scribd and Airbnb, YC have surely proven they can predict a winner, and I’d be keeping a close eye on anything that comes out of this brains trust of tech-whizzs’.