We’re very pleased to announce that Sam Altman, the newly appointed president of the renowned Silicon Valley startup accelerator Y Combinator, will be joining us onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt NY in May to talk about how he plans to lead YC into the next phase of its growth.
There’s no question that Y Combinator has become one of the most powerful entities in the tech startup ecosystem since its launch nine years ago in March 2005. The unique way that YC approaches startup investment and advising has changed the way Silicon Valley does business. The results speak for themselves: Dropbox, Reddit, Airbnb, and Stripe are just a few of the companies that launched out of YC.
Building something as impactful as Y Combinator in fewer than 10 years is hard. Taking that to the next level is even harder. So when Y Combinator founder Paul Graham announced last month that he had found the perfect person to do just that in the 28-year-old Altman, it was a bold statement. Graham will officially be stepping aside from day-to-day duties at YC next week, with Altman taking over in the role of president.
Altman is himself a Y Combinator alum, having founded a startup called Loopt in YC’s inaugural class back in 2005. (Loopt was acquired by payment technology firm Green Dot in 2012 for $43.4 million in cash.) Altman’s talents as an entrepreneur and insightful adviser have garnered him high praise among some of tech’s most influential people. In a 2009 essay, Paul Graham named Altman one of the “five most interesting founders of all time,” alongside Steve Jobs, and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Peter Thiel recently sang Altman’s praises to Re/code, saying: “Silicon Valley is full of smart people, but Sam is in a league of his own. When he speaks I pay close attention, because his insights are usually spot on.”
Under Altman’s leadership, YC is positioning itself for growth and long-term relevance. The goal is to emulate longstanding universities, rather than traditional companies. “It’s rare for a company to last 100 years, but for a university it’s nothing,” Paul Graham told me in an interview last month.
Building YC into something that stands in the same league as Harvard, Stanford, and Yale is certainly a big vision. To hear Altman speak about how he plans to make it a reality, make sure to join us in New York City in May.