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5 Wednesday, August 14, 2019 05:37

Silicon Valley's most famous startup accelerator has a lot of participants who have already done the program. Tech founders share why they rejoined Y Combinator even after launching successful startups.

It was March 2005. YouTube has just launched. Google unveiled a new product called Maps. Selfie had yet to truly enter the the popular lexicon. And English computer scientist Paul Graham welcomed the first group of entrepreneurs to Y Combinator. In the 14 years since then, the renowned accelerator program has gone from hosting a handful of inspired entrepreneurs on meager living stipends to funding some of the biggest private startups in Silicon Valley.

Next week, Y Combinator will host another of its famous Demo Day events, during which entrepreneurs from the programs Summer 2019 class pitch their products to some of the biggest venture capital investors. This year, for the first time in San Francisco, Y Combinators Demo Day will be two-day event taking place on August 19 and 20.

That first Demo Day was just a bunch of Pauls friends, not the luminaries of Silicon Valley investment that you have now, Kiko Calendar and Justin.TV cofounder Emmett Shear told Business Insider. I dont think anyone raised money at that Demo Day even if they raised money later. Read More: New Y Combinator President Geoff Ralston explains why hes so excited about investing in the youngest startups, and his philosophy for helping them to grow This summers batch, as the cohort of entrepreneurs taking part in the 3-month program is lovingly referred to by YC alumni and investors, includes 10 founders that are giving the accelerator a second go.

In the last 14 years, 150 entrepreneurs have returned to the program at least once to launch a new startup. Wikimedia Commons YC is like a tool and the better you are at using tools, the more you can make out of it, Y Combinator CEO Michael Seibel told Business Insider. The first time you were doing it you were just kind of learning how things work.

Having done YC, I thought it was more educational, and you dont feel like you have to go get a degree again. When I thought of it as a tool, suddenly everything clicked. Before leading the program, Seibel was one of its earliest participants as an entrepreneur.

He cofounded Justin.TV with repeat YCers Shear and Justin Kan during the Winter 2007 batch. The live streaming startup later became Twitch and was purchased by Amazon for $970 million in August 2014. Seibel returned to YC in 2012 with Socialcam, a streaming app that was a rough predecessor to Snapchat, with a new founding team and a working prototype, a step up from his experience in 2007.

. I was a second-time founder, my cofounders were first-time founders, Seibel said of the Socialcam team. Spinning out of Justin.TV, they were actually my employees. Now they were my equal partners and I wanted them to have the same foundation that I had. Fourth times the charm Kan cofounded.....


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