After Y-Combinator accidentally emailed all 15k applicants that they had been admitted to its new “Startup School,” the accelerator doubled down and let them all stay.
Y-Combinator originally planned to accept just ⅓ of applicants. But by accepting them all, it called the program’s value into question.
‘Wait, I thought Y-Combinator was prestigious’
No, you’re thinking of the other Y-Combinator. Y-Comby’s original program has an acceptance rate of 1.5% (Harvard’s is 5.9%) and provides young businesses with seed money, mentorship, and networking.
But Y-Combinator also runs a free Startup School to teach aspiring entrepreneurs to found startups. The 10-week program promises an advisor, office hours, and networking opportunities to the 3k accepted teams (plus $10k for 100 lucky startups).
Two days ago, Y-Combinator accidentally accepted all 15k+ applicants. After initially withdrawing acceptance, YC pivoted to “make Startup School work for all founders who applied.”
It’s bad branding for Y-Combinator…
But it’s a good reminder for aspiring entrepreneurs to be critical about the value of programs that sell prepackaged startup success. Y-Combinator’s program is free because most of the resources are available online.
For entrepreneurs with existing business plans, these programs may provide good networking tools and mentorship. But, as Y-Combinator’s giveaway shows, some merely try to attract green entrepreneurs via recognizable brands — and repackaged material.