This week (Monday, April 2nd) was
the deadline for startup founders to apply to be selected for the upcoming batch
of startup companies to join Paul Graham's Y Combinator group. If this year is
like past years, YC will likely have received lots of applications (which means
Paul's going to be a busy guy for at least a week). And, if this year is like
years past, then not all great hacker-entrepreneurs will get
If you applied, and didn't get
selected, this could be because of one or more of the following
1. You lack a co-founder: YC leans
heavily towards startups with at least two co-founders. It's possible you tried
to find a co-founder, but couldn't. Or that you found one, but it didn't work
out. Or that you just don't believe in co-founders just
2. The idea doesn't fit the
profile: YC seems to lean towards consumer internet ideas, or ideas for which
an early user community can be built quickly and monetization can be done
later. If your idea is to develop enterprise software for the steel industry,
chances are, you're not going to get picked.
3. Your application didn't stand
out: Paul's an awfully smart guy, but he's still not clairvoyant. If your
brilliance and passion didn't come through in the application, it's possible he
just fundamentally missed it. It happens.
4. You really don't have what it
takes: It's possible that you simply are not particularly suited for a startup
at this time and the smart folks at YC were able to figure this
Lets assume for a minute that you
didn't make the cut at YC for reasons #1, #2, or #3. So, what
I'm going to make you an interesting
offer: A chance to show off your hackepreneur
Basically, what I'd like to do is
find exceptional individuals that are really committed to building cool
technology and are determined not to go work for "the man" and want to do
something entrepreneurial (if you applied for YC in the first place, chances
are, you fit this profile).
Here's a high-level look at what I
have in mind:
1. You don't necessarily have to
have a co-founder.
2. You'd still have to be move to
already be in the vicinity).
3. I'll give you $15k to work for
the summer and impress me with your talent.
4. You have to be willing to work
on an idea that is not your own (we have a few laying around).
It's basically an opportunity to
join a small, highly entrepreneurial group working right on the MIT
campus and work on an interesting project -- and get paid a bit of money for
it. After the summer is done, either we talk each other into doing something
more permanent, you talk me into funding your original idea or we part ways as
friends and hopefully had a shared positive
If you're intrigued and think you
might fit the profile, send a detailed email to hackepreneur (at) onstartups.com. Ideally, you'd send me the same kind of information you sent in for your YC application (you can get an old YC form here, if you need it). If you're worried about revealing your idea, leave that part out. I've got the capacity to accept three or four of
you (assuming there is enough interest and we can work out a deal), but chances
are, I'll only pick one or two. I've got really high standards too.
Hope to hear from some of you. But
in the meantime, I wish you the best of luck with your Y Combinator application.
It would be great if you are one of the select few that make it in to Paul Graham's Gang For The Gifted. But if not,
perhaps I can provide an interesting "Plan
Void where prohibited, no purchase
necessary, your mileage will vary and all the other usual
Like this article? You can now find more popular articles as part of the LinkedIn Influencers program.
comments powered by