American seed-stage accelerator Y Combinator has now expanded its free online course, Startup School, from once a year to multiple times a year.
Startup School is a free online course for founders actively pursuing their own startup by Y Combinator. The programme began in 2017, as a once-in-a-year opportunity, and has already graduated over 40K students. It used to be a 10-week course but has now been converted to an 8-week course.
Startup School will be recorded in San Francisco at YC and feature speakers who have played major roles at companies such as Stripe, Reddit, Quora, and Twitch. The YC website shows that the lectures will be taught by a combination of YC partners and a great group of entrepreneurs and industry leaders.
The Startup school students will reportedly have access to the shared community of startups taking the course via a dedicated Slack channel. Further, to complete the course for graduation the participants will be required to report weekly company updates.
A few students will also get access to advice from YC alumni. The report added that at the conclusion, students will be able to share their work at something of a miniaturized demo day. Further, the website details show that the graduates will also have a chance to receive $15,000 in equity-free funding.
It is to be noted that being part of Startup School doesn’t guarantee entry to YC accelerator. Further, the Startup School is open to all founders currently working on a startup, or founders about to start one to go through the course.
Launched in March 2005, Y Combinator is a US-based accelerator programme, which has accelerated the launch of over 2,000 startups by providing seed funding. YC says its goal is to get startups through the tough initial phase, so they can build products or services to raise money on a larger scale.
Y Combinator is a three-month-long intensive accelerator programme followed by demo day on which it offers seed funding, typically around $120K for a 7% equity stake in the selected startups.
Indian companies in its portfolio include payments gateway Razorpay, fintech firm ClearTax and social commerce player Meesho, which were part of its earlier 2015 and 2016 batches. The combined value of all the Y combinator’s portfolio is $155 Bn.
In 2019, YC held onsite interviews in India this time. According to the YC spokesperson, the program interviewed 140 companies from India this time. The accelerator programme has seen a 50% increase in applications from Indian startups in 2019, she added in an email response sent to Inc42 earlier.
In September 2019, Y Combinator’s new president, Geoff Ralston said that India is undergoing an S-curve in the development of the market. “This means there will be brand new opportunities here which we didn’t think of before. This is perfect for startups,” he added.
Further, he also reportedly agreed that the quality of startups has improved in India. “It just takes a while sometimes for the culture and the ecosystem around entrepreneurship to grow. And I think that’s happening in India. I think there’s more opportunity in the Indian market itself, ”he added.