Why YC

February 2016


People often ask us what happens at YC and what benefits you get as a YC founder. Here is a list of the resources available to YC founders.

You can also read a longer version of what happens at YC here.


  • Alumni Network
    YC has now funded 3,000 companies and 7,000 founders. A culture of helpfulness has been an important part of YC since the beginning, and founders know that if they ever come across a challenge they need help with, they not only have the partners at their disposal, they have 7,000 domain experts they can call on.
  • Bookface Forum + Expertise Database
    Bookface is the platform founders use to connect to one another—imagine a combination of Facebook, Quora and LinkedIn. Each founder has a profile and can tag themselves as an expert in any topic. If you have a question, need an introduction, or want to poll for knowledge, you can post the request to the forum on Bookface. The knowledge base of the YC community is both broad and deep—the network includes founders who are the world’s foremost experts in everything from security to community building to nuclear energy.
  • Camp YC
    Each year, YC hosts a formal gathering of alumni: Camp YC. Camp YC brings together alumni from every batch for a weekend of workshops and summer camp-style activities. Exciting things happen when you bring founders together— ideas are exchanged, deals get made, problem solving happens amongst peers.
  • First Customers
    B2B and consumer companies often get their first 40-50 paying customers from the YC network. With that, you not only get first customers, you get the smartest early product feedback possible.
  • Category-Specific Founder Communities
    Founders have access to email lists that reach specific communities. There are lists for hardware, biotech, edtech, non-profits, international, female founders, and more.
  • Alumni Demo Day
    Active YC founders get an early look at the YC companies in each batch at Alumni Demo Day. The event has also become a de-facto alumni reunion.
  • Alumni Happy Hours
  • YC Founder Slack


  • Office Hours With YC Partners and Part-Time Partners
  • Weekly Talks
  • Workshops and Mini Conferences
    Alumni are invited to workshops and conferences that cover topics like hiring, enterprise sales and design. There are now so many alumni that we have entire conferences where the speakers and audience are all YC alum. This makes it possible to talk about controversial things without worrying they’ll be repeated.
  • Office Hours With Domain Experts
    During YC, founders attend group office hours every other week. During these sessions, founders sit down with other companies in their group and their group’s partners. The regularity of the meeting acts as a metronome for the companies in YC. It helps founders get used to regularly reporting their numbers and staying accountable to a larger group. It also gives companies a chance to talk about the challenges they’re working through and learn from peers who’ve recently overcome similar obstacles. We recently started hosting alumni group office hours. This lets our later stage companies learn from and help each other in a setting where founders can trust each other to keep one another’s company secrets.


  • Seed Funding We have a standard deal for all our investments. We invest $500,000 in every company on standard terms.

    Our $500K investment is made on 2 separate safes:

    • We invest $125,000 on a post-money safe in return for 7% of your company (the “$125k safe”)
    • We invest $375,000 on an uncapped safe with a Most Favored Nation (“MFN”) provision (the “MFN safe”)

    The MFN safe will take on the terms of the lowest cap safe (or other most favorable terms) issued between the start of the batch and the company’s next equity round. Simply put, we’re giving the company money now but at the terms you will negotiate with other investors later.

    Read more.

  • Demo Day
    YC’s 3-month program culminates in Demo Day, a presentation to top investors. Companies typically raise $1-5M in the weeks following Demo Day.

  • Continuity Fund
    YC Continuity is our growth-stage fund, investing in YC’s most elite companies.

  • Deals Each YC company receives access to discounts and free accounts for over 100 products. Some of these are highly significant, including hundreds of thousands of dollars of free hosting for each company provided by major cloud hosting companies.

  • Series A Program When YC companies are ready to raise a Series A, YC has a full-featured program to help with every aspect of the process. We’ll help you build your deck, introduce you to investors, and ultimately negotiate term sheets and choose a final offer.


  • Credibility
    When one company in YC does well, the whole community benefits. Because YC has such a strong track record, early adopters, investors and press are often more willing to take a look at YC founders, even if they’re first time founders. To maintain the strength of the community as it grows, we developed a set of principles that YC founders are asked to live by.