A “Roller-Coaster” Of Emotions : YC STARTUP SCHOOL(2018)

Smith Mayowa
Aug 21, 2018 · 6 min read
“Shot of a ferris wheel in a cloudy sky at Navy Pier” by Fineas Anton on Unsplash

What is YC startup school?.

“A young woman in a headscarf looking up with her hand under hair chin” by Tachina Lee on Unsplash

Well according to their websites about page YC “Startup School is a free online course for founders actively pursuing their own startup”. YC Startup School is therefore a similar program to other online startup schools, that try to help founders around the world transcend and overcome roadblocks on their path to building startups that change the world.

To achieve this goal YC Startup School provides two tracks for candidates a first smaller track called the advisor track made up of several groups of 25 startups who are each assigned an expert advisor with whom they will meet regularly the entirety of the course’s duration and who they also have to submit a progress report to, they are also allowed access into the Startup School community chat, in addition being allowed to compete for a $10,000 in startup funding that will be awarded to 100 startups of the advisor track that complete the course. And an audit track which allows any founder to audit their courses and to view their online resources.

To gain access into the advisor track founders have to pitch their startup which is then reviewed and a select few out of the pool of applicants are accepted, while the other rejected applicants get a chance to audit the course, from the audit track.

What YC Startup School meant to me.

“A silhouette of a man with a suitcase on wheels walking under an archway during sunset” by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

YC Startup School to me was and still is an opportunity to get into a program that would open up my eyes as an African startup founder looking to grow my startup and reveal to me how the best founders around the world founded their startup, to me it was an opportunity to improve my all round startup knowledge and to also meet with founders around the world, and to make the best of it I wanted and absolutely needed to get accepted into the advisory track and not the auditor track, and so I researched and went through a lot of online resources on how to better pitch my startup, and proceeded to apply to YC Startup School with my startup which is focused on disrupting the way SaaS web applications acquire and store their users feedback and testimonials, for a placement in the YC Startup School advisory track without even a landing page at the time of my application.

Behold I was rejected.

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After applying to the YC Startup School for a placement in the advisor track I was told to await an email on the 20th of August to know whether I was accepted into the YC Startup School advisor track or not, and lo and behold on the 20th of august by 11pm, I received an email from Yc Startup School informing me that my application for the advisory track had been rejected and that I could audit the course instead. I felt a rush of emotions, sadness, a little bit of anger, injustice, and a lot of other emotions we tend to immediately feel when things don’t go our way, but after a few minutes I saw through my emotions and started thinking that maybe my startup just was not good enough, and maybe other founders startup were just all round better than mine and maybe their startups had something that mine probably did not have.

And so I got over it and resolved my self to growing my startup all by myself with the help I was already getting from forums like.

Then I was Accepted.

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After knowing the status of my application and resolving myself to continue growing my startup all by myself like i already was, I proceeded to log in to like I usually did to chat with fellow indie founders and learn from them, and after browsing a few topics on the forum, i went back to the front page and saw a new topic heading where the founder posted about getting accepted into the YC Startup School advisory track, and on reading the details of the topics I realized that he was at first rejected like me only for him to later get an email claiming that YC Startup School was sorry and that he got the wrong mail earlier and he had actually been accepted into the YC Startup School advisor track.

Armed with this knowledge I rushed to my email and discovered delightedly that i had actually gotten another mail with a similar message and that I had actually been accepted into the YC Startup School advisory track, and the earlier message I received earlier was an error.

Amidst this discovery of my acceptance into the YC Startup School advisor track, I further discovered that it was actually a general mailing error and that what happened was that every one of the 4000 startups who were accepted out of the 15000 total startups had gotten a rejcetion mail while the rest who were rejected had gotten an acceptance mail, and so all startups whom applied received a second mail rectifying the errors of the first mail.

And Now Everybody has been accepted.

Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash

I was finally accepted which was a thing of joy for me, but then what about the people who were already celebrating their acceptance into the YC Startup School advisor track, only to later receive a rejection mail, they definitely must have felt the opposite of what I felt, first happiness, joy, and then sadness, pain, and dejection.

Thankfully YC Startup School came through and did the most unbelievable thing, they decided to accept all startups that applied for the advisory track into the online startup forum and grant them access to the helpful advisers in the forum , which meant that rejected startup founders could now participate in the online forum founders discussions, in addition to being able to audit the course and interact with advisors.


That was indeed a roller coaster ride for all involved but big credit given to YC Startup School for owning up to their mistake and using it to take a bold step into a meritocratic startup society, where all founders around the world from various socioeconomic background are given a chance and assistance in building companies that end up changing the world.

And as for me, I look forward to the program starting on the 28th of August, to meeting my group adviser, but mostly I look forward to meeting my fellow founders from all around the world who are trying to make something of themselves, and their world as a whole

Smith Mayowa

Written by

Founder of Testimonly(Automate your feedback collection and showcasing work-flow).