Winter 2016 College Tour

Join YC partners and alumni at colleges around the country. Hear their stories and find out what it's really like to start a startup.

You’ll also have the chance to apply for one-on-one office hours at each stop. Get feedback on what you’re building, or ask us questions about YC. Hope to see you there!

1/22-23: University of Toronto
> 5:30pm, University of Toronto, Leslie Dan Pharmacy Building, Room PB B150, Toronto, ON
> More info 
> Sign up for office hours (1/23)

1/22-24 University of Pennsylvania
> 1/23, 5pm - Hardware Review with Luke Iseman at PennApps - Towne 100, Penn Engineering Quad
> 1/23, 7pm - Live UX Review with Kevin Hale at PennApps - Towne 100, Penn Engineering Quad
> Sign up for office hours (1/22-1/23)

1/25 North Carolina State University
> 1:30pm, Talley Student Union, 2610 Cates Avenue (Room 3285)
> More info
> Sign up for office hours (10am-1pm)

1/25 Duke
> 6pm, The Duke I&E Bullpen, 215 Morris St., 3rd Floor, Durham, NC 27701
> More info
> Please contact Sidney McLaurin (sidney.mclaurin@duke.edu) if you are interested in signing up for office hours (4pm-6pm).

1/26 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
> 6pm, 1789 Venture Lab, 173 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC
> More info
> Sign up for office hours (2-5:30pm)

2/4 University of Maryland
> 6:30pm, Computer Science Instructional Center (CSIC), 4146 Paint Branch Dr, Room 1115, College Park, MD 20740
> More info (University of Maryland student portal)
> Sign up for office hours (2pm-6pm)

2/5 Johns Hopkins
> 5:30pm, Hodson Hall, 110 Auditorium, Johns Hopkins Homewood Campus, Baltimore, MD
> More info
> Sign up for office hours (2pm-5pm)

2/11 Washington University in St. Louis
> 5:30pm, Whitaker Hall Auditorium
> More info
> Please contact toker@wustl.edu if you're interested in signing up for office hours. 

2/24 Morehouse College
> Sign up for office hours (2pm-5pm)

2/25 Georgia Tech with Startup Exchange
> 6pm, The Garage, Basement of Sq5, 848 Spring Street NW, Atlanta, GA
> More info
> Sign up for office hours (2pm-5:30pm)

2/26 Yale
> 4pm, campus location TBD
> More info
> Sign up for office hours (12pm-2pm)

2/29 Princeton
> 7:30pm, Robertson Hall, Princeton, NJ 08540
> More info
> Sign up for office hours (3pm-7pm)

3/2 University of Chicago
> 6:00pm, Chicago Innovation Exchange - Theater, 1452 E 53rd St Chicago, IL 60615
> More info
> Sign up for office hours (4pm-6pm)

3/3 Northwestern University
> 6:30pm, The Garage, 2311 Campus Drive, Suite 2300, Evanston, IL 60208
> More info
> Sign up for office hours (2pm-6pm)

YC Digest: December 5-11

Top Stories from the YC World -- December 5th to 11th, 2015


YC News


Announcing new Open Office Hours

Introducing Open AI, the first initiative from YC Research

YC partners Qasar Younis and Kevin Hale's AMA on Tech in Asia


Launches

Function of Beauty (W16) Creates Personalized and Precise Haircare Formulas


Alumni news

Gigster (S15) raises $10 million for its software development platform

Paribus (S15) featured on Good Morning America for its online shopping savings app

Greentoe (S14) brings its "name your own price" shopping app to Android

Panorama Education (S13) featured in NPR

How Lugg (S15) got its on-demand moving app off the ground

Noora Health (W14) helps ease strain on doctors in developing countries

Level (W15) launches Level Vinyl for finding and custom framing records

OpenAI

The first group affiliated with YC Research is OpenAI. You can read more about it here.

YC Open Office Hours

Earlier this fall, we announced our first Open Office Hours where founders got to meet one-on-one with YC partners. We piloted the program with Black and Latino founders, over 650 founders applied in under a week, and we were able to meet over 50 teams in just 2 days. 

We learned three things:

  1. There are a large number of talented Black and Latino founders eager to make their startups a success (we didn’t see a pipeline problem).

  2. There is an incredible appetite for open office hours throughout the startup community. Founders from a wide range of backgrounds and countries reached out and asked to participate.

  3. Open office hours are an incredibly efficient way for us to get to know and help founders who don’t have access to great startup advice and mentors.

We believe that startups are often best at solving the personal problems of their founders. The more diverse the background of the founders we help, the more problems can be solved, and the more people who can be positively impacted by technology.

So, starting in January, we’ll be hosting Open Office Hours every month and each month, we’ll focus our outreach on a different community (under-represented minorities, vets, women, international founders, etc.). We'll also open some months to anyone in the startup community.

Each company who participates will get a 20-minute office hours appointment with a YC partner. They can do them in person at our office in Mountain View, CA or remotely on Skype. Founders can ask questions, get advice, and grow their network. Additionally, Amazon is generously offering $5,000 in AWS credit for all participating teams.

We’re taking signups for Q1 starting today.

Check out the Q1 2016 schedule below.  

Learn more and apply here: http://www.ycopenofficehours.com/

- Kat Manalac and Michael Seibel

PS: If you would like to help us spread the word please email: Kat@ycombinator.com or Michael@ycombinator.com

Q1 Open Office Hours Schedule

January 28: General Open Office Hours
All founders are welcome to apply.
Apply here
Deadline to apply: Jan 7

February 11: Veterans (VetTechTrek + YC)
VetTechTrek, an organization that helps military veterans connect to the tech community, will be leading a trip that includes stops at YC and some of our portfolio companies. The trek takes place in San Francisco and the Silicon Valley on Feb 10-11. YC partners will do office hours with Vets on Feb 11.  

Apply to join VetTechTrek
Deadline to apply: Jan 21 - Applicants are selected on a rolling basis so there is a strong preference to apply early.

If you can’t make it to the trek in person, you can still apply for Vet Open Office Hours here.
Deadline to apply for office hours only: Jan 21

March 10 - International Founders
All founders from outside of the US, whether you are looking to sell in America or in your local market, are encouraged to apply.
Apply here
Deadline to apply: Feb 18

Coming:
April - Female Founders
May - Break
June - General
July - Black and Latino Founders

YC Digest: November 21-27

Top Stories from the YC World -- November 21st to 27th, 2015


YC News

Jessica Livingston on the 'accidental' origin of YC


Alumni News

Prayas Analytics (S15) raises $1 million for its retail store A/B testing platform

Website building platform Weebly (W07) profiled in Forbes

Small business banking platform SEED (W15) profiled in American Banker

Zeplin (S15) raises $1.2m for its developer/designer collaboration tool

Plangrid raises $40m to expand its construction software product

YC Digest: November 7-13

Top Stories from the YC World -- November 7 to November 13, 2015


YC News


Jessica Livingston featured on Product Hunt's AMA series

Sam Altman interviewed in Wired about investing in biotech startups


Essays

Things That Aren't Progress by Aaron Harris


Alumni news

Tesorio (S15) featured in Inc. Magazine

Bluesmart (W15) selected for MOMA design store collection

Cymmetria (S15) raises $9 million for cybersecurity platform

Docker (S10) adds $18 million in new funding

Machine Zone (W08) launches new game, Mobile Strike

DoorDash (S13) profiled by Steven Levy on Medium's Backchannel

Meadow (W15) noted in New York Times article on cannabis startups

YC Digest: October 31-November 6

Top Stories from the YC World -- October 31 to November 6, 2015


YC News

Y Combinator profiled in the Economist

Jessica Livingston interview with Aaron Harris on Startup School Radio

Luke Iseman quoted in the Korea Herald and China's TechNode

Sam Altman interview on the Jay and Farhad Show podcast


Writing

Startup Playbook by Sam Altman

A Way to Detect Bias by Paul Graham

Thank you, Y Combinator by Garry Tan


Alumni News

SunFarmer (S15) recognized by President Bill Clinton at 2015 Clinton Global Initiative

Watsi (W13) raises $3.5M in philanthropic growth round, co-founder Grace Carey featured in Self Magazine

Verge Genomics (S15) raises $4M for algorithm-enabled drug discovery

Gingko Bioworks (S14) purchases 100M base pairs of synthetic DNA from Twist Bioscience

Semantics3 (W13) raises $1.55M for e-commerce data platform

GitLab (W15), now with 1M downloads, featured in Business Insider

Pebble (W11) CEO Eric Migicovsky onstage at Dublin Web Summit

Dropbox (S07) talks enterprise growth at its first Dropbox Open conference

Genius (S11) announces partnership with Eminem

Weave (S14) raises $15.5M for small business communication platform

YC Digest - October 24-30

Top Stories from the YC World October 24 through October 30, 2015


Continuity's Ali Rowghani talks to CNBC about playing the long game in VC investing


YC Alum

Gobble (W14) raises $10.75 million Series A for its 10 minute dinner kits

SEED (W15) raises $5 million to scale its small business banking platform

Afrostream (S15) signs deals with Sony Pictures and Viacom

Blockspring (S14), the ‘do anything in a spreadsheet’ startup, partners with Tableau

Razorpay (W15) raises $9 million from Tiger Global and Matrix Partners

'Life With My Robot Secretary', Fast Co Design's review of Clara Labs (S14)

Verge Genomics (S15) raises $4 million in seed financing

Shoptiques' (S12) CEO Olga Vidisheva profiled in Forbes

Genius (S11) launches 'Genius Beta', a plug-in for annotating any page on the web

Startup School Radio: 42Floors' Jason Freedman on How Startups Are Born Out of Problems

In Episode 19 of Startup School Radio, a podcast that features stories and practical advice about starting, funding, and scaling companies, our host Aaron Harris first sat down with Tyler Bosmeny, who talked about his experience going from the Harvard math department to co-founding education-oriented API platform Clever (YC S12). In the second half of the episode, Aaron interviewed Jason Freedman, who has co-founded two Y Combinator-backed companies: Flightcaster, which launched out of YC's Summer 2009 class, and 42Floors, which launched out of YC's Winter 2012 class.

You can listen to the episode on Soundcloud here, and iTunes here.

One interesting part of Jason Freedman's interview is where he talked about how all of his startups have been born out of a problem that he had personally encountered, rather than from a desire to "start a company":

Aaron: And the funny thing is, each of the ideas you've worked on, they weren't things that you'd written down in a notebook somewhere that you were going to do at some point in life. It's just 'Hey, I just realized that this problem exists. Let me go fix this.'

Jason: You know, when you think of a startup career, I don't have a startup career. What I've had is a succession of problems that have found their way into my life, and that I decided that I could figure out a way to solve.

Aaron: Yeah, it's interesting, because from what we've seen, that tends to be the places where the best startups get started. It's not the person going out and looking for a business to start or looking for a problem set that exists and to go create a startup against it. It's, 'Oh, wait, I've actually seen this. This doesn't make sense. It's in my life, let me fix it.' Because you have so much depth of understanding and so much experience.

Jason: With 42Floors, we're trying to make it easy for people to search for commercial real estate, and if I had started a startup to do that, I would've thought it would never work because it's going to be way too hard and I didn't really understand anything about commercial real estate. But solving a problem for myself, that I could figure out.

Aaron: It's interesting how sometimes ignorance is the thing that actually lets you drive and start something.

YC Digest - October 10-16

Top Stories from the YC World -- October 10 to October 16, 2015


YC News

YC Continuity

Q&A with YC Continuity's Ali Rowghani

Hacker News discussion on YC Continuity

Startup School Radio, hosted by YC's Aaron Harris, named in Forbes' "12 Best Podcasts For Entrepreneurs"


Upcoming events

Y Combinator at Make School - 10/24

YC Office Hours at Money20/20 - 10/27



Alumni news

Optimizely (W10) raises $58 million Series C

Smart luggage maker Bluesmart (W15) raises $11.5 million

Legal automation platform Ironclad (S15) on The Pitch podcast

Housing nonprofit New Story (S15) featured on ABC 7 and in Webflow (S13) video

Subscription fashion rental service Le Tote (S13) launches maternity line

MoveLoot (W14) launches retailer partnership platform Trade


CareMessage CEO Vineet Singal (W14) and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky (W09) named in New York Times' "Five Visionary Tech Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the World"

Stripe (S09) and Zenefits (W13) listed in Forbes' "These Four Tech Unicorns Could Reshape Their Industries"

FullStack Academy (S12) launches Grace Hopper Academy, a programming school for women

Markhor (S15) founder Waqas Ali's AMA on Tech In Asia

Home improvement platform BuildZoom (W13) raises $10.6 million