When to apply to YC?
Shared by CryogenicPlanet · 19d ago · 9 comments

Like what is the recommended stage of your company before applying to YC. How many active users do you need? How much revenue? Obviously, there is a good amount of time before the applications for Summer close but I was just curious of the stage of companies that get into YC or even get YC interviews

braddwyer · 19d ago

Seemed like most companies in our batch didn’t have much (if any) revenue and some hadn’t even launched yet.

YC is looking for reasons they should bet on you being an exceptional outlier.

One way to show that is by having a lot of traction on your current company.

But there are other ways to set yourself apart as well (Eg maybe you were an early employee at Stripe, or maybe you previously founded a successful company, or maybe you graduated top of your class at Harvard Business School).

CryogenicPlanet · 19d ago

Would love to pick your mind on this if you are open to it or free to chat sometime, I'll ping you about the same on the pioneer slack

dantop · 19d ago

Please can I have you email, want to have a private discussion with you. Thanks!

bvest · 16d ago


This essay might help understand the philosophy of what they're looking for.

chenw · 17d ago

Everything brad mentioned ++
I think although YC talks about this occasionally, but the application > interview alone process was incredibly valuable for us.

Especially the interview process, it's an excuse to hit up previous founders and ask them to do mock interviews with you and grill you and your company.(almost every YC founder will accept your request if they see it)
Often times, the common denominator across these conversation is precisely the thing that you should focus on next.

sonerhaci · 18d ago

I totally agree with Brad, The most important point is to show that there is a market and also a Real problem to solve, and if you solve it faster, better that is most important for them ( that was the feedback after our interview )
But, the most important factor is the team, either like Brad said you have excellent graduation from top 10 Universities, or you should have a deep experience in the field that your startup is )

louis@cloak.ist · 19d ago

I've heard (from friends in the S20 batch) that it's a spread, with some companies that are already making $20k MRR upwards, and some that have no revenue, no product, no users. I think it's always a good idea to apply to YC regardless of the stage you're at. It'll help you with your thinking about your company.

sam@cashcoach · 3d ago

Do you know if they get the same deal and % equity?

louis@cloak.ist · 3d ago

I'm pretty certain that everyone who does YC gets the same deal. I haven't heard of anyone negotiating their way to a better valuation. But might be worth asking around more.