He’s the former co-founder of the social startup Loopt, which was funded by his current company — Y Combinator — in 2005 and acquired by the Green Dot Corporation in 2012. He’s Sam Altman, president of Y Combinator, and we’re thrilled that he’ll be joining us once again for an on-stage interview at Disrupt SF 2015.
When it comes to seed-stage accelerators, Y Combinator is one of the most prominent. Since it started 10 years ago, it’s helped bring over 800 startups to market, and the companies it’s funded have a combined valuation of over $30 billion. Alums include the likes of Dropbox, Airbnb, Stripe, Loopt, Justin.tv, Weebly and Scribd, among others, and with the program continually accepting more and more applicants into the accelerator, the next big company will like be backed by YC.
Sam Altman has been at the helm of Y Combinator since February 2014, and the 30 year old has already made his mark on the program. With his first round on YC companies, Altman has embraced biotech startups and other startups that haven’t traditionally been on the tech incubator’s radar, recognizing that these companies will play a prominent role in the startup industry going forward.
That said, he acknowledges that software startups have drawn the most interest among investors at YC’s demo days, so Y Combinator has a healthy mix of software and hardware companies in its program.
Since companies like Y Combinator can’t possibly provide guidance to all the startups out there, Altman recognized that many more companies around the world could benefit from the lessons companies learn at YC. So he decided to do something about it, teaching a class at Stanford called “How to Start a Startup” in the Fall of 2014, and he told the attendees of Startup Grind 2015 the various elements that make for a successful startup.
We can’t wait to hear what wisdom Sam has to impart on us at Disrupt SF 2015, where he’ll talk about the types of things he looks for when selecting startups to participate in Y Combinator. Disrupt SF runs from September 21 – 23 at San Francisco’s fabulous Pier 70, and if you haven’t already secured your tickets to the show, you can still buy tickets at early bird prices through September 7th here.