Not many people know this, but Y Combinator accepts late applications.
Typically startups are busy executing at their own pace, often moving very quickly. As such, it makes sense for us to allow teams to apply to YC whenever they believe we can add the most value.
As with many things at YC, we started by thinking about late acceptances as an experiment and have collected data over the last few application cycles. We found that some of our most promising teams would have missed out on YC if we hadn’t accepted them late.
While we do accept late applications, we still strongly encourage founders to apply on-time. On-time applications get the most partner attention, the quickest response time, and the best shot of getting accepted into Y Combinator. We’ll consider late apps without any penalty, but there are three downsides for founders to keep in mind:
- Responsiveness. We can’t say exactly when your late app will be reviewed or you’ll be interviewed, as that’s based purely on partner availability.
- Coverage. Fewer partners will review late applications, which means there’s a greater chance we might miss exactly why your company has such great potential.
- Acceptance rate. We’ve already filled out most of the batch, so you’re competing for fewer slots. Because of this, late applications must be more compelling and reflect a higher quality than standard apps.
Partners review and vote on late applications just the same as they do for on-time applications. We’ll invite late applicants to interview with us if we think their application is compelling, either alongside the on-time interviews (if we have spots available) or later on a separate day dedicated to interviewing late applicants.
For more information about late applications, check out our Late Applications FAQs.
To submit a late application, visit: Apply to Y Combinator