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What’s Different About “Unicorns”

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What’s Different About “Unicorns”

Y Combinator,

5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Learn what it takes to turn your start-up into a billion-dollar enterprise.

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  • Overview
  • For Beginners


An increasing number of women are launching businesses, so the next target is to see them better represented among the founders of billion-dollar start-ups, or “unicorns,” says Jessica Livingston, co-founder of venture firm Y Combinator. Speaking at the 2017 Female Founders Conference, she explains how women can improve their chances of founding the next Google or Facebook. getAbstract believes that Livingston’s seasoned advice will benefit anyone looking to turn a fledgling business into a hugely successful enterprise.


The number of women launching businesses has increased in recent years, so the next target is to see more women founding billion-dollar start-ups, or “unicorns.” Women who have the ambition to start the next Google or Facebook should consider nine factors:

  1. “Be lucky” – Alas, you can’t control every factor. Having a brilliant idea isn’t enough; unicorns are the result of great timing. Luck shapes this factor because the most successful ideas emerge naturally “out of the founders’ lives,” not deliberately. But founding a billion-dollar business takes much more than luck.
  2. “Have the right motives” – Founders of unicorns start...

About the Speaker

Jessica Livingston is a co-founder and partner at venture firm Y Combinator.

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