Got an idea? Willing to hustle for a summer to see it grow? Y Combinator just announced their summer application drive. Applications are due by April 2nd and by the 10th, a few will be selected to present in Mountain View on April 21-22nd. If selected, your team will relocate to work and learn in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
For those of you unfamiliar with Y Combinator, it’s the seed financing fund guided by Paul Graham’s philosophies that helps young startups launch through mentoring and investing a base $5,000 plus $5,000 per founder. In exchange they take a 1-10% stake in the company. The teams are usually composed of young college grads with some programming skill. It’s not not a program meant for industry veterans. Some have criticized the program for taking too much ownership for such a small investment. Some readers have also called shenanigans on the operation. Here are some of the companies we’ve covered before. Kiko, Reddit, and Loopt are some notable Y Combinator companies. Exits, so far, have been through acquisition. Kiko died, and was then acquired by Elliot Noss. Conde Nast bought Reddit.
Some other programs such as TechStars have adopted the model. TechStars is another well backed program based in Boulder, Colorado also offering experienced mentors and cash to aspiring startups. While not the same ground floor financing as Y Combinator or TechStars, the venerable VC firm Charles River Ventures also adopted a smaller financing program (up to $250K debt) called Quick Start.
Here are the details for applying. Aspiring web entrepreneurs should also check out the Startup School coming to Palo Alto in March. With some work your company may be ready in time to present at TechCrunch 20.