YC & what it means for Indian founders

This week, Entrepreneurship Development Cell of IIT Delhi organised a networking event in collaboration with Y Combinator, which saw the participation of Tim Brady (YC Partner and EX-CPO, Yahoo), Ritesh & Shailesh (Co-founders Innov8 & YC16). It was a great platform for me to learn about YC, interact with YC Alums to get a perspective on how their YC journey has positively impacted them and network with mentors & other entrepreneurs.

Tim walked us through his career and gave a short intro of what YC is. My key takeaways from Tim’s session:

  • Team is the most important factor for YC
  • Need to have an MVP that solves the problem you are attacking
  • We need more Indian startups solving local problems

This was followed by a short & engaging presentation by Ritesh & Shailesh, who have built an awesome co-working space in the heart of Delhi. The duo walked us through their entire YC lifecycle — their application process, interviews and the 3 month program. PS: Thanks Dr Ritesh Malik for coining the term ALCHEMIST — I will be sure to use them same in my slides (with your permission of course 😃 ).

  • Action
  • Learner
  • Confident
  • Humility
  • Enthusiastic
  • Majestic Dreamer
  • Innovator
  • Strategic Thinker
  • Tinkerer

The next day, YC had organized office hours in Delhi where a few selected startups got 15 minutes to discuss these startup and share progress with the partners. I wanted to attend the fireside chat at the end of office hours but couldn’t manage due to lack of time.

My take: The Indian Startup ecosystem has come a long way — from trying to build X for Y in India, we’re now actually solving real Indian problems. Entrepreneurs have adopted the mantra of “Think Globally, Act Locally” and this new wave of such startups is particularly exciting to see! Given that a majority of the country is grappling with issues such as affordable housing, healthcare, education and financial inclusion, there is a huge possibility of building a scalable & sustainable business for a billion Indians in any of these sectors.

About YC: Y Combinator needs no introduction — but a few quick facts:

  • Deadline for the W17 Batch = Oct 4, 2016.
  • Currently invests USD 120K for 7% equity
  • Companies funded till date = 1150
  • Total Valuation of YC Portfolio = USD 80 B
  • YC Alumni Family = 3000 strong
  • Top companies = Airbnb, Dropbox and Stripe among others
  • Size of last YC Batch = 107 (3 from India)