Writing An Effective Y Combinator Application

Joey Flores is CEO & Co-founder of Earbits (http://www.earbits.com/ joey@earbits.com). In this video he

  1. Y Combinator is all about people
  2. Focus on the dynamic of you and your co-founder
  3. Be passionate, capable, & most of all committed
  4. Inspire excitement for your company
  5. Have your application reviewed by other YC founders
  6. Don't let rejection discourage you


Getting into an incubator can be one of the best things that you can do for your company if it’s a very reputable incubator that provides a lot of value. Those would be Y Combinator, TechStars, and a number of others. And each of them has their own application process and I can only speak to the Y Combinator application process, but if you want to put together an effective Y Combinator application, remember that first and foremost they’re all about people. They will bring people in whose ideas they hate and basically not convince them but encourage them to take a different route with their idea, so really it comes down to they pick people who they want to work with.

So focus on why you and your co-founder make a great team, you know, why you have the chemistry that’s required for co-founders to make it through the long haul. Make sure you sound extremely passionate, capable, and most of all committed. The number one thing that will get an entrepreneur, you know, to the finish line is just being committed, so let them know that you plan to work on this until your dying day.

Come off as extremely fun to work with, you know, share stories about your background, how you work together that get people excited. You know, tell them about your product. Tell them about you why you’re the right person for building that product because you’re excited about it.

Don’t be afraid to ask other YC founders to review your applications. I personally reviewed about three or four applications for this upcoming session. And don’t get discouraged if you get declined. We were declined the first time and we made it in so definitely apply again. Take it as constructive criticism and be ready to apply next session.

So, effectively, just remember you’re pitching yourself not necessarily your idea and, you know, you can ask for help if you need it but ultimately don’t get discouraged and keep trying.