Y Combinator created a new model for funding early stage startups.
Twice a year we invest a small amount of money ($125k) in a large number of startups.
We work intensively with the companies for three months, to get them into the best possible shape and refine their pitch to investors. Each cycle culminates in Demo Day, when the startups present their companies to a carefully selected, invite-only audience.
But YC doesn’t end on Demo Day. We and the YC alumni network continue to help founders for the life of their company, and beyond.
WHAT WE DO
Y Combinator provides seed funding for startups. Seed funding is the earliest stage of venture funding. It pays your expenses while you’re getting started.
Some companies may need no more than seed funding. Others will go through several rounds. There is no right answer; how much funding you need depends on the kind of company you start.
At Y Combinator, our goal is to get you through the first phase. This usually means: get you to the point where you’ve built something impressive enough to raise money on a larger scale. Then we can introduce you to later stage investors—or occasionally even acquirers.
MORE THAN MONEY
We make small investments in return for small stakes in the companies we fund.
All venture investors supply some combination of money and help. In our case the money is by far the smaller component. In fact, many of the startups we fund don’t need the money. We think of the money we invest as more like financial aid in college: it’s so people who do need the money can pay their living expenses while Y Combinator is happening.