What is Y Combinator? This is a common question among startups looking to learn more about funding with venture capital.

What is it?

Y Combinator is an American Seed Fund startup accelerator launched in March 2005. It was used to launch more than 2,500 businesses, such as Stripe, Crunchbike, Yelp, Zencart, Airbnb, Homebone, Odesk, Thumbtack and Reddit. While many of these companies later became successful, others failed and have since been terminated from the program.

Many new companies involved with Y Combinator are members of the original Startups Incubator program, which Y Combinator started. The Startups Incubator program aims to provide seed financing for startups with limited funding for the first year. Most of the companies participating are very early-stage companies attempting to find a product-market fit, get it tested in the market and learn how to sustain its growth during the first few years after launching. As part of the accelerator program, some of these companies are also supported by venture capitalists and angel investors.

Its also About Marketing

The Y Combinator program also focuses on growth marketing strategies. This means that a company must demonstrate a strategy to utilize the advertising tools provided in the platform. Growth marketing requires building a strong customer base, engaging with current customers, and attracting new customers through various channels.

A Y Combinator company is not limited to one or two ways of marketing. If a startup company wants to learn about marketing in an accelerator program, it must be willing to experiment and learn. The company must be open to trying many marketing approaches to determine what works best for them. If a startup company has limited funds for their advertising and marketing campaigns, they should learn about cost per action (CPA) models, pay per click (PPC), and pay per impression (PPI). There are many other types of models that startups can explore as well. Growth accelerator programs provide startups with one or several funding sources.

One important note is that accelerators are not intended to provide startups with seed capital. As previously stated, accelerators are focused on growth. Therefore, when a startup company applies for Y Combinator, they should be prepared to receive a small funding seed. The seed funding provided should hire the team members that the startup needs to maximize its growth potential. If Y Combinator cannot offer sufficient seed money, several companies have had impressive results using technology.


As you can see from the above overview, a startup should take time to research various programs offered by accelerators and choose the one most appropriate to their particular business. Startups need to realize that an accelerator can do more than provide seed capital. Accelerators are some of the most helpful resources available to entrepreneurs because they provide mentoring, exposure to industry professionals, office space, and the tools necessary for business success. Startups need to make sure they have a clear understanding of all the costs and benefits of using the program to accelerate growth.

Looking for a lean startup coach to help get your business off the ground? We run a pre-accelerator program aimed at getting you in the right shape to be successful in programs like this.

If you would like to understand more about developing and growing products whether they are digital or physical, as a startup or within an organization, you can obtain more information here.

Follow me here as I post weekly, visit my website, and also connect with me on Linkedin.

Note: All images have been taken from Canva.com and are not subject to copyright.