While the initial welcome to the programme was a bit underwhelming, Menno has learned a lot in his few weeks in Silicon Valley. But even though he’s learned leaps and bounds about growing a company, there’s still so much he hasn’t touched yet.
Every day, Menno can pick from three topics to learn about. He attends one session live, and watches recordings of the others. From defining a problem to writing cold emails, regulations to metrics, and anything in between, YC pulls together a vast library of content from entrepreneurs who have gone through the same highs and lows as the participants.
He’s heard founders recall the hard conversations they’ve had, the bad email templates they’ve used, and the mental health struggles they’ve overcome. He’s even had the opportunity to ask the founders of Airbnb a question during an event. “It’s such a huge, different experience than the last four years in the Netherlands,” Menno says excitedly.
But even though there’s tons of content to consume, there’s only so many hours in the day. “I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s very overwhelming. Overwhelming and rewarding,” he says.
The three-month programme truly defined the term “startup accelerator.” YC expects that founders will maximize their time in the Bay Area in order to launch on a path towards scalable growth. That includes activities such as building their product, talking to users, and refining their ideas.
For Menno, a huge part of his education has been learning to sell. “In the US, everyone focuses on selling. Everyone is always in sales mode,” he says.
And understandably so: a huge benefit of being in Y Combinator is the access to their network of both potential customers and investors.