One thing I didn’t understand until after working at YC was how hard I had to fight to change underrepresented founders ideas of what their experience would be at YC (this includes minorities, women, international founders, and many others).
Often times they were told that YC would not be welcoming to them by well meaning people who never participated in YC. YC is just lumped in with everything about tech that is bad and unwelcoming.
One of the most common conversations I have with them afterwards is how YC isn’t what they expected (btw: they also offer constructive criticism which we learn from).
If you are an underrepresented founder who is concerned about whether you will feel welcomed at YC please reach out: [email protected]
I’m happy to try to address your concerns and intro you to founders who have participated in YC recently.
By no means do I think YC is perfect but I don’t think there is a institution in the startup world that is more helpful, more inclusive, and more supportive to startup founders.
In the effort to make the startup world more inclusive, I hope people don’t scare potential underrepresented founders away from opportunities like YC that can often best help them bring their startup ideas to the world.
As an underrepresented founder myself I will say - Y Combinator gave me advantages that no other startup organization was offering. Without YC I would not have become successful in the tech startup world.
Wouldn’t be a shame if I had been discouraged from participating by people trying to look out for my best interests. If that was the case amount other things YC would not have a black CEO.
My goal at YC is to make sure all founders around the world, no matter what their background, have a fair path to access the startup world. Everyday I work hard to make progress on this goal.
Just to share some stats. Since 2015 YC has funded ~416 female founders, ~151 black founders, and ~201 Latinx founders. We have a long way to go but please believe that if you join YC you'll be able to find people from many different backgrounds in our community.
You can follow @mwseibel.
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