"At YC, we were challenged to do things that don't scale -- to start with the perfect experience for one person, then work backwards and scale it to 100 people who love us. This was the best piece of advice we've ever received."
Since 2005, Y Combinator has funded over 2,000 startups, a community of over 4,000 founders. Their companies have a combined valuation of over $100B. Startups helped by the famous US accelerator are more successful than the average startup. Airbnb, Stripe, Front or Dropbox can be named among the startups which successfully went through their program.
Y Combinator's goal is to get you through the first phase. This usually means: get you to the point where you’ve built something impressive enough to raise money on a larger scale.
This means they/we are looking for organisations mostly pre-Series A gaining initial traction with their product. Of course, this isn't a strict requirement and we urge those who feel it be relevant to apply for the session. We gathered all the reasons why you need to apply to our Application session if you want to get YC ready. To give you an idea of the vast array of companies and what kind of startups apply to YC we compiled a short selection of dutch startups that have been through the process.
Message Bird (YCS 2016)
MessageBird is a Dutch startup founded by Robert Vis. That now employs almost 200 people.
MessageBird is an Amsterdam-based cloud communications platform offering a suite of API’s that enable developers and enterprises to communicate with customers in virtually every corner of the planet. It is the platform that enables you to call or text your Uber driver or Domino’s delivery person within the app and it also powers mission-critical communications such as Amber Alerts, medication reminders from hospitals, appointment reminders from services like Dr Doctor, and fraudulent activity notices from banks.
There are the startups which need YC to finalize their idea and launch their first product. And there are the others. MessageBird is part of this category. Applying to YC was a way to launch the product in the US market, increase its network and get traction from North America.
“The YC message is to forget about owning, say, the Benelux market. You have to win the world.”
NovaCredit (YC S2016)
Nova Credit was founded on May 17, 2016, by Loek Janssen, Misha Esipov and Nicky Goulimis.
Nova Credit is the premier cross-border bureau. Lack of a domestic credit history keeps millions of immigrants in the United States from realizing their dreams. The award-winning fintech company helps newcomers and other global citizens apply for financial services using their international credit history from countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korea, and the UK. They translate international credit data into a U.S.-equivalent score and report in a format familiar to American underwriters, who use it to evaluate applications for credit products. Founded by immigrants, they have a diverse team from around the globe who are creating a world beyond borders to help newcomers arrive and thrive.
“Nova Credit applied to YC because they wanted to learn how to build an incredible company. And Y Combinator has a track record of doing that across industries. It was particularly attractive for them to leverage YC’s experience in marketplaces (like YC alum Airbnb), in order to be able to set themselves up for success. Also, since they were first-time founders, they wanted to be surrounded by a community of peers and learn from the best-in-class mentors how to build a company they truly could be proud of”.
Impraise (YC S2014)
Impraise was founded in 2014 by Arnaud Camus, Bas Kohnke, Filipe Dobreira and Steffen Maier.
Impraise is a People Enablement Platform that makes performance and development initiatives meaningful for people, actionable for managers, and painless for HR. With hundreds of customers worldwide, Impraise is the partner of choice when it comes to creating a culture that empowers your most valuable asset—people. The web and mobile platform are designed to help customers increase productivity and engagement through flexible reviews, regular feedback exchange, and structured coaching moments.
“After being part of the Y Combinator lighting, I can tell you that this is an environment that offers a lot of possibilities in the tech industry. Y Combinator is your chance to grow as a founder and breakthrough as a startup.”
Brian Chesky, Founder, Airbnb (YC W09)
Gitlab (YC W2015)
Gitlab was founded in 2011 by Dmitriy Zaporozhets and Sid Sijbrandij.
GitLab is a web-based DevOps lifecycle tool that provides a Git-repository manager providing wiki, issue-tracking and CI/CD pipeline features, using an open-source license, developed by GitLab Inc.
“At first glance, it might not seem obvious for our company to join Y Combinator since we already have 10 employees and hundreds of paying clients. The reason for joining was learning more about how to grow as a company. […] [W]e want to avoid as many mistakes made by fast-growing companies and to learn from the Y Combinator partners that have seen hundreds of organizations growing fast.”
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