Summary of Y Combinator Has Gone Supernova

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Ten thousand dollars – that’s how much Y Combinator head Sam Altman wants to give potential start-up founders who take a free online course. He’s pioneered innovations like this ever since he joined the company in 2014 – and is working hard on ensuring that the organization will remain relevant beyond his lifetime. Steven Levy, Wired’s editor of Backchannel, explores how Y Combinator is driving a new generation of start-ups. getAbstract recommends this spirited and informative company profile to anyone in the tech or startup fields.

About the Author

Steven Levy is Wired’s editor of Backchannel, a weekly digital magazine that publishes in-depth technology-related stories.



The business incubator Y Combinator (YC) mentors and invests in more than 250 start-ups a year. Its three-month–long Core accelerator program is as hard to get into as Stanford. In summer 2017, YC accepted less than 2% of applicants. Among the 3,500 entrepreneurs who have graduated from the program are the founders of the “deca-unicorns” like Dropbox, Stripe and Airbnb. Companies receive an average of $1.42 million in seed funding or Series A money upon graduating from the program.

Silicon Valley start-ups have traditionally remained scattered and obscure...

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