Is YC still worth it in 2022? YC was an obvious choice a few years back. It's not anymore.
The majority of startup knowledge is now free online. Cash is more accessible than ever. With YC growing and shrinking its batches, doubts were raised about their program.
So is #YC still worth 7% dilution?
I receive this questions at least once a week.
Here are 7 great reasons to still apply to YC! 👇
(Yes, one reason per point of dilution...)
🌱 1. You're pre-Series A
If you're pre-product, YC may be worth it. Some companies pivoted during YC and built successful businesses (Airbnb, Coinbase, Deel).
If you have a product and are around seed stage, it's great too.
YC is great to speed up in one direction you're confident in.
YC is less relevant if you already proved you're working on the right thing. If you're ready for your #SeriesA I don't think you need YC.
👶 2. You’re a 1st time founder
YC sends a strong signal to the market about your startup. This matters more if you’re a first time founder and haven't built a company already.
YC makes fundraising, recruiting, and many other things feel 5x easier.
💬 3. You don't have a strong network
There is an omertà in tech about the importance of network. Maybe because it does not sound meritocratic.
It sounds like great companies made it because their execution is great. They do, but not only. SV is full of well connected first time founders that raise millions of $ with a few slides.
If you are very young and from a non tech environment, this reason is a good one to apply.
🌙 4. You want to level up your ambition
I’ve seen many founders not allowing themselves to dream big (US founders tend to deal better with that).
Sometimes being surrounded by ambitious people is all you need to change of mindset. At YC you're exposed to people who want to change the world. Our batch had startups doing quantum computing and fusion energy.
Plus seeing YC partners believe in you is motivating.
💤 5. Your cadence is too slow
The difference between YC and #StartupSchool - the self-served online format - is the practice.
There is a huge difference between reading YC advises and following them. Reading “if you aren’t embarrassed when you launch, you launched too late" is easy. Launching your half-assed product is harder.
YC prepares you to work your a** off and get brutal feedback. It helps you learn quickly.
💰 6. You have enough equity left
If you are too reluctant to dilute an extra 7%, then YC isn't for you.
When you work so much, your equity matters, and it's fine to admit it.
7% is a significant cut, but it's worth it if you tick one or several reasons above.
👩❤️👨 7. (Bonus) You're looking for friends
At YC you’ll make friendships that will last a lifetime. Friendship matters too.
Do you see more reasons to apply to YC? Please shoot in the comments.
Also if you want me to review your YC application, please drop a comment, I’d be happy to help!