Summer Founders Program

March 2005

This was the original announcement of Y Combinator. Our focus has changed slightly since then. We don't encourage people to take starting a startup quite so lightly. We also do two batches a year now.

In How to Start a Startup, I said there could be ten times more startups than there are. A lot of people who could start successful startups never do. When you're young the prospect seems too intimidating, and as you get older you lose the flexibility you need in your life to start one.

The most intimidating part is starting. So I decided I should offer something more encouraging than words.

Like a lot of guys who got rich from technology, I've been meaning to give seed money to new startups. But almost seven years later I still haven't. The reason was that I didn't want would-be startup founders deluging me with pitches. I said so explicitly in the talk I just gave. But afterwards I felt guilty. So I've figured out a solution to the problem.

Some friends and I have started Y Combinator, a new venture firm that specializes in funding very early stage startups. Our first project is the Summer Founders Program, an experimental replacement for the conventional summer job.

The SFP is like a summer job, except that instead of salary we give you seed funding to start your own company with your friends. If that sounds more exciting than spending the summer working in a cube farm, I encourage you to apply.