Increase Your Chances of Getting to Y Combinator!

Check the 3 successful applications to create your winning one
Fri Oct 06 2017

Every person who is connected to the startup world knows about YCombinator. It’s one of the best-known accelerators that invests $120.000 in startups to help them shape and improve their investor pitches during a three-month program.

So, we’ve decided to make a list of useful advice on how to increase your chances of getting to Y Combinator and become one step closer to the success of your startup.

Try to impress them as much as you can

Yeah, it may sound strange as showing off is never perceived as something positive. However, the adequate estimation of your achievements and success will be necessary. Don’t be afraid of saying what you’re proud of. Write down everything impressive about yourself but don’t exaggerate, just be honest.

Avoid pompous words

You may think that if you add a couple of nice pompous words, such as revolutionize, awesome, groundbreaking, amazing, exclusive, advanced, etc, your application, as well as your speech, will sound better. But the truth is that such words are just nothing but noise for the VCs that doesn’t provide any real value and any real sense.

On the contrary, explain your idea in simple but clear words.

Apply as early as you can

Of course, it doesn’t mean that the earlier you apply, the more chances you’ll get to be applied to Y Combinator. But, that means that your application will be studied for a long time what is an obvious plus, of course.

At the same time, you should apply only when the most of the necessary documents, as well as, demo are ready. If it’s not ready yet, then you’d better wait till the most part is prepared.

Find a co-founder

It’s a well-known fact that Y Combinator rarely invests into solo founders. If you didn’t manage to persuade at least another person that your idea is worth something, how can you persuade your future clients? Besides, being a solo founder is hard, much harder than having someone you can rely on. You can find more information on the pluses and minuses of having co-founders in the article Do you really need a co-founder [6 entrepreneurs give their thoughts on this topic].

Persuade the investors that your team won’t break up

One of the reasons why startups fail is that the founders start fighting over the smallest issues. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t argue at all. However, the one thing that you should remember is that you MUSTN’T show any disagreements in front of the VCs!

Describe what your product will do

You shouldn’t go into long-winded marketing descriptions of your product. On the contrary, your description should be detailed but clear. Be exact! Talk about the problem and the way your product will solve it. It will be even better if you structure your description and split it according to the stages.

Name the weak points of your startup

No doubt, that you’ll try to show your startup in the best way you can. But let’s face the truth: any product is perfect and, yours is hardly an exception. But knowing these drawbacks, you can predict the tricky questions that you may be asked. In that way, you’ll have more time to come up with the decent answers and the solutions, and, simply, won’t be puzzled if you’re asked such question during your pitch.Include numbers you have any data, show it. Firstly, the numbers always speak better than words. Secondly, business people love figures. Even such data as lines of code, number of beta users and your pricing will sound great.

Find the recommendations 

If you know someone who has already gone through YC, ask them for the recommendations. Ask them to write about the way they’ve acquainted with you, how you’ve worked together and what results you’ve achieved.

Well, these are the general advice that you should follow. And no we advise you to take a look at the examples of 3 successful Y Combinator applications and the Check-list to see if you’re ready to apply.

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