Y Combinator has been steadily ushering in more and more startups into its classes, but this year the poll position accelerator is having to make some major logistical adjustments to accommodate just how massive its group of startups has become.
YC has more than 200 startups in their winter 2019 batch (!!) By comparison, the spring 2018 group was just 132 teams. (For the statistically inclined, that’s at least a 51 percent increase batch-over-batch.) In order to accommodate this truly wild amount of elevator pitches, the accelerator is moving to a new venue in San Francisco for its Demo Day event March 18 and 19.
Yes, this means that the days of investors vainly searching for parking spots for their Teslas at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View or taking hour-long Ubers from SF may be behind them. The new location, Pier 48, (we hosted Disrupt SF 2017 here) boasts over 120,000 square feet of space — though YC Demo Days will almost certainly be utilizing a small portion of that total area. Indeed, Y Combinator will be hosting a “Virtual” Demo Day online stream for some investors to watch “because there are so few seats.”
What’s more notable than the move from Mountain View to San Francisco, is the move from one stage where all the presenting founders shared their pitches, to two stage locations where founders will pitch simultaneously across the two days.
YC Demo Days brings a fairly ridiculous amount of Sand Hill star power under one roof and the fact that YC is opting to make investors choose which stage to direct their attention towards probably isn’t the most ideal situation for founders. It is a logistical reality that investors and founders are just going to have to accept comes with having this massive of a batch though. A YC spokesperson tells us that they’ll be releasing the list of companies and the time and location of their pitch so everyone has a few hours to plan where exactly they want to situate themselves.
Y Combinator will also interestingly be ditching Investor Day, which was an opportunity for investors to schedule meetings with individual startups, YC’s FAQs page note that “after analyzing its effectiveness, we will no longer be hosting Investor Day (as of the W19 batch).”
We’ll be at Demo Days this year as always, and we’ll be typing a little more furiously to ensure that you’re up to date on the latest from this gargantuan accelerator class.