Founders at Work: 150+ YCombinator Founders’ Storiesby@alexstacenko
1,616 reads
1,616 reads

Founders at Work: 150+ YCombinator Founders’ Stories

by Alex StacenkoDecember 22nd, 2021
Read on Terminal Reader
Read this story w/o Javascript
tldt arrow

Too Long; Didn't Read

Jessica Livingston's book "Founders at work" (2007, 32 stories) inspired thousands of founders to start their startups. She has put in one place [150+ founders stories] to inspire a new wave of founders. She hopes the site saves 50-100 hours for 1000+ new founders. Everyone can contribute to the site to share their own founder's story with us at The Social Radar: What I Did at Y Combinator (S05)

People Mentioned

Mention Thumbnail
Mention Thumbnail

Companies Mentioned

Mention Thumbnail
Mention Thumbnail
featured image - Founders at Work: 150+ YCombinator Founders’ Stories
Alex Stacenko HackerNoon profile picture

Jessica Livingston's book "Founders at work" (2007, 32 stories) inspired thousands of founders to start their startups.

I find and put in one place 150+ founders stories to inspire new wave of founders. (+pitchdecs, 1-minute videos, demo day videos, applications, and “early workplaces”). And I am finding every day more and more stories! Sometimes I think that stories find me. Today it is impossible to write and publish material book about YC founders, let it be a digital, neverending book, that writes itself.

It was an amazing journey, it changed my mindset. I rushed into unknown unknowns, where angels fear to tread... and I want to share this with everyone.

I hope, that saves 50-100 hours for 1000+ new founders. It is my "embarrassing MVP" I continue to work on, and I need your feedback.

Everyone can contribute founder's story!


Y Combinator (S05)

Kiko (S05)

  • How My First Startup Got Picked For Y Combinator (video, 2021)
  • Shitty First Startups (video, 2015)
  • I Almost Sold To Yahoo For $1,000,000 At 22 (video, 2021)
  • I Sold My Startup On Ebay For $258,100 (video, 2021)

Reddit (S05)


Wofoo (W06)

  • Interview with Jessica Livingston (video, 2010)
  • Wufoo Sold For $35 Mil. Here's The Story Behind Its Success. (textvideo, 2011)
  • How to Design Software Users Love (video, 2012)
  • Interview with Kevin Hale (video, 2014)
  • How to Build Products Users Love (video, 2014)
  • How to solve cofounder problems? (video, 2016)
  • How to Work Together (video, 2019)
  • Motivating Employees Without Fear (text)

Scribd (S06)

  • How Tikhon Got into Y Combinator Twice (video, 2016)
  • The Challenges a Repeat Founder Faces (video, 2017)

2007 (W07)

  • The story of a serial entrepreneur (video, 2012)
  • The Value of Terrible Ideas (video, 2014)
  • Justin Kan's Story (video, 2021)
  • Yale Program on Entrepreneurship (video, 2015)
  • Justin Kan made $1B from Twitch by Live Streaming his Life (video, 2021)
  • How Twitch Reached $1,000,000/Month in Revenue (video, 2021)
  • How We Chose The Name Twitch (video, 2021)
  • How we ALMOST sold Twitch to Google for $1 BILLION (video, 2021)
  • Selling Twitch to Amazon...the real story (video, 2021)
  • What Did I Spend My Money On After Selling Twitch and Investing (video, 2021)
  • Do I regret selling Twitch? (video, 2021)

Weebly (W07)

  • Interview with Jessica Livingston (video, 2010)
  • How To Find Product Market Fit (video, 2018)

Disqus (S07)

  • Interview with Disqus - Part 1 (video, 2008)
  • Interview with Disqus - Part 2: The Y Combinator Experience (video, 2008)
  • Why Disqus Founder Daniel Ha Chose Name First, Idea Later (text, 2011)
  • Daniel Ha Founder of Disqus (video, 2011)
  • 9 lessons on the path to reaching a billion readers (text, 2014)
  • How 2 Students Grew Their Startup Idea Into an 8-Figure Business (audio, 2016)
  • Q&A With Disqus Founder Daniel Ha: 'We Weren't a Rocket-Like Startup' (text, 2017)
  • How Commenting App Disqus Makes $20m+ Annually (audio, 2018)

Dropbox (S07)


Snaptalent (W08)

  • So, you got a Y Combinator interview, now what? (text, 2009)

Trigger (W08)

  • Mental model for product management: a way to classify features (text, 2014)

Posterous (S08)

  • Interview with Jessica Livingston (video, 2010)
  • Design for Startups by Garry Tan (video, 2018)
  • Applying to Y Combinator? 3 tips from a former YC partner (video, 2019)
  • 3 Tips to Nail the Y Combinator Interview (video, 2019)
  • My $200 million startup mistake: Peter Thiel asked and I said no (video, 2019)
  • How I got into Y Combinator (video, 2020)
  • Co-Founder Conflict & Why I Quit my Startup (video, 2021)


AirBnB (W09)

  • Interview with Jessica Livingston (video, 2010)
  • Brian Chesky - Startup School 2010 (video)
  • Airbnb's Surprising Path to Y Combinator (text, 2017)
  • An Unbelievable Journey (text, 2017)

Mixpanel (S09)

Stripe (S09)

  • Running Your Company by Patrick Collison (video, 2018)


Creative Market (W10)

  • The Pre-launch Strategy That Got 70,000 Users In 9 Months for Creative Market (audio, 2015)
  • How To Make Your YC Application Stand Out (text, 2016)
  • Advice for New Managers (text, 2016)
  • Launching Creative Market: Our Playbook for Kickstarting a Marketplace (text, 2017)
  • Creative Market's Core Values, and the "3 Shits" That Shape Our Culture (text, 2018)
  • What Happens When You Stop Second Guessing & Trust Your Instincts (audio)
  • 7 Proven Strategies for Launching an Online Marketplace (audio)
  • YC SUS: Aaron Epstein and Eric Migicovsky give website feedback (video, 2020)

Seeing Interactive/OwnLocal (W10)

Rapportive (S10)

  • Having a launched product is hard (text, 2010)
  • What's so special about Y Combinator? (text, 2011)
  • My FounderLY interview (video1video2text, 2011)

Opzi (S10)

  • Euwyn, Ruby, and Ramen (text, 2011)
  • What I Learned From My Y Combinator Experience (text, 2018)

Crowdbooster (S10)

  • Y Combinator is over, now what? (text, 2010)
  • Crowdbooster boosts effective social media to new levels (text, 2011)
  • Privilege and inequality in Silicon Valley (text, 2016)
  • Should you apply to YC? YES, but here's one reason why you shouldn't (text, 2011)

Fanvibe (S10)

  • Y Combinator Experience (text, 2010)


Vidyard (S11)

  • Vidyard: How a YC startup is using YouTube to sell its own video hosting solution (text, 2011)

  • How One Founder's Wedding Day Call Led To Millions In Funding From A Top VC (text, 2015)

  • May the $35M be with you, says Battery Ventures to Vidyard in Series C funding (text, 2016)

  • Vidyard's Michael Litt on Building a Startup Ecosystem in Waterloo (text, 2018)

  • From Selling Firecrackers To Landing $70 Million For His Canadian Startup (audio, text, 2018)

  • "Imposter Syndrome Is Real And Nothing To Be Ashamed Of" (text, 2018)

  • Processes Before Velocity: Why Your 100th Employee Will Change Your Company (audio, text, 2020)

  • History

Segment (S11)

  • Success Without A Diploma: How 3 MIT Dropouts Made It Big (text, 2017)
  • From Show HN to Series D (text, 2019)
  • PMF (twitt, 2019)
  • How MIT college kids founded multibillion-dollar company Segment (text, 2020)
  • May 5, 2011 to Oct 12, 2020 — 9 years, 5 months to build a $3.2B SaaS company (twitt, 2020)

Parse (S11)

  • How Tikhon Got into Y Combinator Twice (video, 2016)
  • The Challenges a Repeat Founder Faces (video, 2017)


Muse (W12)

PlanGrid (W12)

  • Founder Stories: Tracy Young of PlanGrid (YC W12) (text, 2014)
  • Tracy Young on Scaling PlanGrid to 400+ People (textvideo, 2019)

CoinBase (S12)

Mattermost (S12)

  • Redpoint Founders Series: Ian Tien, Mattermost (video, 2020)
  • Mattermost's Journey (text, 2021)
  • The Mattermost Origin Story (text, 2021)

Referly/Mattermark (S12)

  • Time to Say Goodbye Seattle, Hello San Francisco (text, 2010)
  • Timeline: Starting Referly Took Me Three Years (text, 2012)
  • Thoughts On YC Interview Prep (text, 2013)
  • Zombie Startups (text, 2013)
  • Is My Startup Burn Rate Normal? (text, 2014)
  • Are you Managing the Signals Your Startup is Sending? (text, 2014)
  • Female Founder Stories: Danielle Morrill, Founder of Mattermark (text, 2015)
  • For Seed Stage Startups, It's Hire or Die (text, 2015)
  • The Creative Destruction of Building and Growing a Career (audio, 2016)
  • Danielle Morrill's guide to the galaxy (text, 2016)
  • How Mattermark Acquired Early Users (video, 2016)
  • Insights From A YC Alum On How To Prepare For The Y Combinator Interview (text, 2017)
  • Mattermark YC Application

Soylent (S12)

  • How to Make Good Decisions (according to science) ft. @John Coogan (video, 2021)
  • 9 Y Combinator Secrets To Grow Your Business (video, 2021)
  • How This Tweet Got Me $2 MILLION For My Startup (video, 2021)
  • Y Combinator | How I Got In - TWICE! | 2021 Application & Interview Process Explained (video, 2021)

Eligible (S12)

  • To get something great, you must risk something good (text, 2014)
  • Almost dead (text, 2015)
  • Why one of the only women to go through Y Combinator twice moved her company to NYC (text, 2017)
  • How I Risked Everything To Build A $20M Company In 3 Years (text, 2018)
  • Eligible Sales Plan & Compensation Letter (text, 2018)
  • My Journey from Struggling Actress to Successful Tech CEO (text, 2019)
  • Interview with Katelyn Gleason — CEO and Founder of Eligible (text, 2019)
  • Why I started a company to feel less lonely in the world (text, 2019)
  • Brave not perfect (text, 2019)
  • Female Founder Stories: Katelyn Gleason, Founder of Eligible (text)
  • YCombinator S12 Demo Day (video, 2012)


InfluxData (W13)

  • My Journey to InfluxData (text, 2016)
  • Journey to CEO, again (audiotext, 2021)

Prizeo (W13)

  • Y Combinator Lessons Learnt by Andrej Pancik (video, 2013)
  • Represent Stories — Andrej Pančík (text, 2016)

Strikingly (W13)

  • How A YCombinator Startup Is Born: The Story Of Strikingly (text, 2013)
  • How to get into Y Combinator –- the No BS Approach (text, 2016)
  • Strikingly – Out of Failure, a Star is Born (text, 2016)

Zenefits (W13)

  • How a series of humiliating events led to one of the fastest-growing startups EVER (text, 2015)
  • Zenefits Was the Perfect Startup. Then It Self-Disrupted (text, 2016)
  • How to Raise Money with Marc Andreessen, Ron Conway, and Parker Conrad (video, 2017)
  • How to Build Multi-Million Dollar Companies (text, video, 2017)
  • Parker Conrad's hard-won billion dollar startup lessons (text, video, video2, 2020)
  • The Comeback Of A Fallen Tech Unicorn CEO (text, 2020)
  • The One Thing Everyone Knows About Building a Startup is Wrong with Parker Conrad (Rippling) (video, 2021)
  • Parker Conrad: 'I like working with people who have a chip on their shoulder' (text, 2021)

Watsi (W13)

  • The Story Behind the Launch of Crowdfunding for Operations Startup Watsi (video, 2015)

    Q&A with Watsi (video, 2015)

  • How Watsi is Crowdfunding Universal Healthcare By Personalizing Human Connections (video, 2015)

  • Grace Garey Speaks at Female Founders Conference (video, 2015)

  • Founder Stories: Grace Garey (text)

  • Ways we work (text)

  • Hack to start (audio, 2015)

  • The technology of transparency (text, 2015)

  • If fundraising is broken, fix it! How Watsi became the first Y Combinator non-profit (text, 2015)

  • What Startups Can Learn from Watsi's Wildly Successful Email Campaign (text)

Lollipuff (W13)

DoorDash (S13)

URX (S13)

  • 1 year, 11 months at Google University (text, 2013)
  • People and Pine Cones- URX's Y Combinator Story (text, 2013)
  • 7 lessons learned growing from 4 to 20 people (text, 2015)
  • Good Idea, Bad Startup (video, 2015)
  • How to ace your YC interview (text, 2016)
  • My biggest product strategy lesson learned from operating and selling URX (YC S13) (text, 2017)
  • How startups can avoid flawed decision making (text, 2021)
  • 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Began Leading My Company (text, 2021)

Standard Treasury (S13)

  • Getting in to YC (text, 2013)
  • Advice on the YC Application (text, 2013)
  • A (Successful) YC S13 Application (text, 2013)
  • Building A Founding Team at Standard Treasury (text, 2013)
  • Five Lessons from Building A Great Core Team at Standard Treasury (text, 2013)
  • Going Through Y Combinator (S13): Nine Lessons Learned (text, 2013)
  • Standard Treasury's Series A Pitch Deck (text, 2015)
  • Founders and Mental Health (text, 2014)
  • Mental Health, Trauma, and Startup Founders (text, 2014)
  • My Mental Health Story: Depression, Plagiarism, and Analysis (text, 2014)

Watchsend (S13)

  • How I learned to code (text, 2013)
  • Y Combinator applicant advice (text, 2013)
  • Insights from 6 hours of YC Mock Interviews (text, 2013)

Asseta (S13)

  • What to Do If You Don't Have a Technical Cofounder (text, 2020)

  • Advice for My Son (text, 2020)

  • 32 Questions Founders Should Ask Investors (text, 2020)

  • Should You Quit Your Job and Start a Company? (text, 2020)

  • What's the Tempo of Your Start-up? (text, 2020)

  • Team Spotlight: Anton Brevde (text, 2020)

  • When to Hire a Chief of Staff? (text, 2020)

  • The Expert Problem (text, 2020)

  • Conquering Imposter Syndrome (text, 2020)

  • Move Fast and Don't Break Things (text, 2020)

  • High Expectations vs. Happiness (text, 2021)

  • Asseta Y Combinator Demo Day

One Month (S13)

  • How a Non-technical Solo Founder Got Into Y Combinator (text, 2013)
  • What is Y Combinator Like? (text, 2014)
  • Y Combinator and The One Metric that Matters (textvideo, 2014)
  • How to get a busy person to respond to your email (text, 2014)
  • How to get into Y Combinator (text, 2015)
  • One Month's Y Combinator Application (text, 2013)

WebFlow (S13)

  • How Webflow got into Y Combinator (text, 2015)
  • From freelancer to founder: an interview with Webflow's CEO Vlad Magdalin (video, 2019)
  • Grew no-code startup to $20M in rev, pioneering Pegasus movement (video, 2019)
  • Founder Interview (video, 2020)
  • The Future is No-Code (video, 2020)
  • How Webflow went from almost bankrupt to building a no-code empire (text, 2020)
  • Building an Enduring Company, One Hard Lesson at a Time (video, 2021)
  • Quarterly community update and live Q&A with Vlad: Q3 2021 (video, 2021)


Emailio (W14)

  • Emailio, A Y Combinator Productivity Startup, Fixes Your Bad Email Habits (text, 2020)
  • The Story of Martin Stoyanov -a Y Combinator Participant with a Mission to Disrupt the Way we Use Email (text, 2020)

Zinc (W14)

  • How I "failed" at a YC startup, worked at early Stripe, and then raised $20M (text, 2021)

SketchDeck (W14)

  • A company is just a belief engine (text, 2014)
  • Advice for first-time founders (text, 2015)
  • How to brand your startup (text, 2015)
  • The Art of Shipping Early and Often (text, 2016)
  • Managing your cofounder relationship for the long run (text, 2016)
  • Letting your engineers choose what to build (text, 2017)
  • What I wish I knew when I became CTO (text, 2018)
  • Growth almost killed our company (text, 2019)
  • SketchDeck CMO David Mack: Giving Feedback; How To Be Honest Without Being Hurtful (text, 2020)
  • SketchDeck's Y Combinator W14 application

Clear (W14)

  • How Delhi-Based Startup ClearTax Made It to Y Combinator (text, 2014)
  • Here's why Indian startups must apply to Y Combinator (text, 2015)
  • Archit Gupta of ClearTax On Cracking YCombinator (video, 2016)
  • How ClearTax's Archit Gupta Found Mentors In Y Combinator And Paytm Founder (text, 2016)
  • Y Combinator is like a B-school that helps develop a global peer network, says alumnus Archit Gupta (text, 2016)
  • The first India-focused startup in Y Combinator, this dropout's venture files 3 per cent of India's tax today (text, 2016) email [email protected])
  • From 1K Customers In First 11 Days To 1 Mn Today: ClearTax's Journey Post The YCombinator Stamp Of Approval (text, 2016)

Cruise (W14)

  • The Story of Cruise (YC W14): How 4 people built a self driving car in 7 months. (text, 2014)
  • Life Tips from Kyle Vogt of Cruise at Disrupt SF (video, 2016)
  • The Startup That Could Help GM Beat Google to the Self-Driving Car (text, 2016)
  • Kyle Vogt: Cruise Automation | Lex Fridman Podcast #14 (videotext, 2019)
  • Y Combinator Application

Rickshaw (W14)

  • Female Founder Stories: Divya Bhat, Founder of Rickshaw (YC W14) (text, 2015)

ProductHunt (S14)

  • A Hopeful Applicant's Y Combinator Experience (text, 2011)
  • Product Hunt Began as an Email List (text, 2013)
  • The 20-Minute MVP (text, 2014)
  • YC + PH (text, 2014)
  • Making Product Hunt (text, 2014)
  • How We Got Our First 2,000 Users Doing Things That Don't Scale (text, 2014)
  • 3 Pieces of Advice for YC Applicants (text, 2014)
  • "Should I apply to YC?" (text, 2014)
  • How To Build World's #1 Product Launch Platform with a Globally Distributed Team: An Interview With the Founder of Product Hunt (text, 2018)
  • 5 Years of Product Hunt (text, 2018)
  • How we made our first dollar at Product Hunt (text, 2018)
  • Ryan Hoover on Product Hunt's Acquisition and Lessons Learned About Launches with Dalton Caldwell (video, 2019)
  • Ryan Hoover on Startups, Success and Staying Curious (text, 2020)

Ginkgo Bioworks (S14)

Snappr (S14)

Front (S14)

  • A month at Y Combinator: What it's like after you've been accepted (text, 2014)
  • Mathilde Collin, Front — Founder Story (text, 2018)
  • Mathilde Collin on Feature Prioritization and Employee Retention at Front (video, 2018)
  • After PMF: People, Customers, Sales by Mathilde Collin (video, 2018)
  • Take a look into Front's Journey to get into Y Combinator (text, 2020)

Tinker (S14)

  • A simple method to prepare for an interview at YCombinator (text, 2017)
  • A Simple Method to Prepare for an Interview at YCombinator — Updated 2020 (text, 2020)

Aptible (S14)

  • How to Get Into Y Combinator (text, 2014)

Zen99 (S14)

  • Why You Should Apply to Y Combinator (text, 2015)
  • How to Prepare for the Y Combinator Interview (text, 2015)

Shout (S14)

  • Our Journey To and Through YC (text, 2014)


Staffjoy (YCF 15)

HigherMe (W15)

  • "Hi! My name is Rob, and I used to own 7 ice cream stores." (text, 2015)
  • Almost Inconceivable: Startups, Planning, Long Odds, and Babies (text, 2017)
  • Don't Burn Money Linearly (text, 2018)
  • Lessons learned through raising $1,000,000 from angel investors (text, 2018)
  • Your chances of getting into Y Combinator are not 1 in 100 (text, 2018)
  • From Ice Cream to Y Combinator: An Interview With Rob Hunter (text, 2020)

Gradberry/Tara AI (W15)

  • From Dubai to Buffalo: The journey of Iba Masood (text, 2018)
  • Raising a Series A as a Female Founder (video, 2019)
  • A framework on how to find the force multiplier co-founder (text, 2019)
  • How to setup company culture and core values at your early-stage startup (text, 2020)

Cleanly (W15)

  • Itay Forer of Cleanly shares his Y Combinator Journey (text, 2021)

Flip (W15)

Gitlab (W15)

  • GitLab from YC to IPO (text, 2021)
  • Our Y Combinator experience (text, 2016)
  • What Founders Ask Founders About Getting Into Y Combinator (text, 2016)
  • Gitlab's Secret to Managing 160 Employees in 160 Locations (video, 2017)
  • GitLab's Application for Y Combinator Winter 2015 (text, 2016)
  • GitLab Y Combinator Demo Day Winter 2015 (video)
  • GitLab Y Combinator Alumni Demo Day Winter 2015 (video)
  • Gitlab history (text)

Replika (W15)

  • Friendship with an AI Companion | Lex Fridman Podcast #121 (video, 2020)
  • Speak, Memory (text, 2016)

80 000 hours (S15)

  • What's it like being a nonprofit in Y Combinator? (text, 2015)
  • How can founders improve their social skills? (text, 2017)
  • A Guide to Machine Learning PhDs (text, 2017)
  • Application

New Story (S15)

  • How New Story Got Into Y Combinator (text, 2015)
  • What's It Like Being a NonProfit in Y Combinator? Five Questions with New Story CEO Brett Hagler (text, 2015)
  • 3D Home Printing for the Developing World – Alexandria Lafci and Brett Hagler of New Story Charity (video, 2018)
  • New Story YC Demo Day 2015

Shotput (S15)

  • The Hack that got me into Y Combinator (text, 2019)
  • How I got the Y Combinator interview 46 days late (text, 2019)
  • My First Y Combinator Application that got me the interview (text, 2019)
  • Pitching a bunch of millionaires for 10 minutes (text, 2019)
  • Derivative/d Y Combinator 2014 Application

Cofactor Genomics (S15)

  • YC Backs Cofactor Genomics To Pursue RNA Testing, Which Could Offer Better Diagnoses Than DNA (text, 2015)
  • how-to-apply-to-y-combinator (text, 2015)
  • Lessons Learned from Cofactor's Y Combinator Experience 7-months later (text, 2016)

ScentBird (S15)

  • Сulture is Something That Works When Your Policy Fails (text, 2020)
  • How to Manage a Team of 43 Developers in Different Time Zones (text, 2020)
  • How many programmers does it take to sell perfume on the Internet? (text, 2020)


Boom (W16)

Revl (W16)

Outschool (W16)

  • Outschooling in the Bay Area (text, 2015)
  • What I learned from my father (text, 2017)
  • Outschool co-founder Amir Nathoo | Top tips for startups (text, 2017)
  • My journey to founding Outschool (text, 2017)

Instabug (W16)

  • Political Turmoil Leaves Cofounders of Egypt-based Instabug in Limbo (text, 2013)
  • What it's like to build a startup in a country that's rebuilding itself (text, 2015)
  • ArabConnect: Omar Gabr discusses SoLoMo (video, 2015)
  • 6 Reasons Why In-App Feedback Is A Must While Beta Testing (text, 2015)
  • How to Launch Your Mobile App in 16 Steps (text, 2015)
  • Lessons 10 Years On (video, 2018)
  • Instabug Untold Stories (text, 2018)
  • What It's Like Dealing With Silicon Valley Customers From Egypt (text, 2019)
  • How to Find Over 200+ Beta Testers for Free (text, 2019)
  • Serendipitous discovery (video, 2020)

Paystack (W16)

  • Paystack's Y Combinator Application (text, 2017)
  • How to put together a strong Y Combinator application (text, 2018)
  • Helping African Businesses Get Paid, Shola Akinlade of Paystack (videotext, 2018)
  • Building from Ground Up (video, 2020)

Superside (W16)

  • How We Got into Y Combinator (text, 2016)
  • What to Expect as an International Founder at Y Combinator (text, 2016)
  • What is Superside? How is it Different from a Design Agency or Freelance Marketplace? (video, 2020)

GetAccept (W16)

  • Our story
  • From Malmö to Silicon Valley in less than two years - the story of GetAccept (text, 2017)
  • How 4 Swedes got their SaaS accepted into Y Combinator while still at $0 MRR (text, 2019)
  • 5 Things You Need To Know To Create a Successful App or SaaS (text, 2021)
  • Secure Series B and build a global business in Malmö (videotext, 2021)
  • GetAccept - YC W'16 Demo Day

LendEDU (W16)

  • How LendEDU made it into Y Combinator on their second try (text, 2016)
  • How LendEDU Raised the Most Valuable Seed Round Imaginable with Y Combinator (text, 2019)

Innov8 (S16)

Iris Automation (S16)

  • Iris Automation gives drones situational awareness, making autonomous delivery a reality (text, 2016)
  • The story of how two college friends joined forces to disrupt an industry with Iris Automation (text, 2019)

Burrow (S16)

  • Burrow is Casper for Designer Sofas (text, 2016)
  • How I Raised It with Stephen Kuhl of (audio, 2018)
  • The Story of How a Sofa Startup Got Into Y Combinator with Just a Pitch Deck (text, 2019)
  • How 'Couch In a Box' Company Burrow Leveraged Big and Small Investors for a $4.3 Million Seed Round (text, 2019)
  • Burrow CEO Stephen Kuhl: The shift to e-commerce is here to stay (text, 2020)

Lendsnap (S16)

  • Lendsnap Lets You Apply for a Mortgage in Under 30 Minutes (text, 2016)
  • The True Story of How Orion Willow Got Lendsnap Accepted Into Y Combinator (text, 2019)

Suiteness (S16)

  • Founder Interviews: Kyle Killion of Suiteness (text, 2019)
  • Kyle Killion's story of getting Suiteness into Y Combinator along with tips on how to apply (text, 2019)

Jumpcut (S16)

  • #11: Kong Pham - Jumpcut - Y Combinator Alumni Interviews (YC S16) (audio, 2020)
  • How I Raised $2 Million From Investors (My YC Demo Day Pitch Breakdown) (video, 2020)
  • Entrepreneur Gains#11 - Kong Pham - Jumpcut (Y Combinator S16) (video, 2020)
  • Prior YouTube Star Launches Startup and Does $12M in Sales! (video, 2020)
  • Kong Pham on Y Combinator and unconventional business strategies? (video, 2021)
  • Going viral & dating tips (we got DEEP!) with YouTuber (Simple Pickup) turned YC founder (video, 2021)

Nova Credit (S16)

  • Founder Stories: Nicky Goulimis of Nova Credit (text, 2017)
  • Path to Y Combinator Acceptance and Beyond (text, 2019)
  • Immigrants - A Conversation with Nicky Goulimis (video, 2019)
  • How to scale and expand, the journey of a female founder (video, 2020)
  • How Effective is Fintech in Reducing Inequality (video, 2020)
  • Nicky Goulimis | The Breakfast Show US (video, 2020)
  • Interview with Nicky Goulimis (video, 2020)

Saleswhale (S16)

  • What the Y Combinator experience is like, according to 4 graduates (text, 2018)
  • Singapore's Saleswhale raises $5.3M to bring AI to sales and marketing teams (text, 2019)
  • The Y Combinator Alum who returned to Singapore to build Saleswhale (text, audio, 2019)
  • I'm a CEO and this is what I care about from Marketing (text, 2020)
  • What is Collaborative Intelligence? (text, 2020)
  • How Your Startup Can Conquer the U.S. Market, from Southeast Asia (video, 2020)
  • Hubspot + Saleswhale: Kickstart your ABM campaign in minutes, not months (video, 2020)
  • Run best-in-class demand gen plays with Saleswhale's new Topic Library (text, 2020)
  • Our $90,000 mistake & why I would do it all over again (text1, text2, 2020)
  • Gabriel Lim Co Founder and CEO Full SmartChickens Episode Final (video, 2021)

The Flex Company (S16)

  • Why More Women Should Apply to Y Combinator (text, 2016)
  • Choose Love Over Fear: How We Grew to $4M in Under 1 Year (text, 2017)
  • The Flex Company's Successful Y Combinator S16 Application (text, 2018)
  • The real reasons we made Flex (text, 2020)
  • How we took Flex® from concept to reality (text, 2020)
  • Flex CEO Lauren Schulte Wang on gratitude (text, 2020)


WaystoCap (W17)

  • Early days, Y Combinator experience and more (text, 2017)
  • The Morrocan Startup providing a marketplace to connect African businesses (text, 2020)

Solugen (W17)

  • On sales, product roadmaps, and building a more sustainable future (text, 2020)
  • My Climate Journey (textaudio, 2021)

UpKeep (W17)

  • UpKeep is now Part of the Y Combinator (W17) Family! (text, 2017)
  • Q&A Founders Story with Ryan at UpKeep (text, 2021)
  • Ryan Chan the founder of UpKeep shares his Y Combinator Journey (text, 2019)
  • Bootstrapping With A Paycheck to YCombinator and $10M Series A: Ryan Chan, CEO of UpKeep (Part 1) (text, 2019)
  • How an App Developer turned His No-Income Startup into a Multi-Million Dollar Venture (text, 2021)

Boxouse (W17)

  • Y Combinator brings hardware veteran Luke Iseman on full-time to help startups grow faster (text, 2015)
  • #268 – An Interview with Luke Iseman of yCombinator (audio, 2015)
  • Starting a Hardware Startup (video, 2015)
  • How to Get Into Y Combinator (video, 2015)
  • This couple couldn't afford to live in San Francisco, so they're building tiny homes made from shipping containers (text, 2016)

Armory (W17)

Neema (W17)

  • Y Combinator, how to nail the interview (text, 2017)

Simple Habit (W17)

  • Simply Mindful: How Burnout Inspired One Entrepreneur's Million-Dollar Idea (text, 2018)
  • Women's History Month Interview Series with Yunha Kim (text, 2020)
  • Yunha Kim: Steps of Risk Pave the Success of Simple Habit (text, 2020)
  • Yunha Kim
  • Application

Brex (W17)

Thematic (S17)

  • Thematic is taking part in YCombinator! (text, 2017)
  • How to make the most out of YC Startup School (text, 2018)
  • Thematic plans to become a $1 billion company (text, 2018)
  • Commercializing AI research: Lessons learned and Thematic's journey (text, 2019)
  • What Chief Customer Officers can learn from YCombinator's approach to disruption (text, 2019)
  • How we moved our startup from New Zealand to Silicon Valley (text, 2019)
  • How to Start a Startup for AI Engineers (video, 2021)

Peergrade/Eduflow (S17)

  • 4 lessons we learned from Y Combinator (text, 2018)

  • Peer feedback with Peergrade by CEO David Kofoed Wind (video, 2018)

  • Acquiring new teachers for free with David Kofoed Wind, Peergrade (video, 2019)

  • Founder Interviews: David Kofoed Wind of Peergrade (text, 2019)

  • The story of when 8 x Co-Founders flew from Denmark to San Francisco for Y Combinator (text, 2019)

Guggy (S17)

  • Guggy's story of evolving from "just another Israeli Startup" to a YC startup (text, 2019)

RideAlong (S17)

  • RideAlong's Journey Into Y Combinator (text, 2019)

Roofr (S17)

  • Y Combinator Founder Richard Nelson Talks Using Beta Blockers And Toastmasters to Rock YC Demo Day (text, 2017)
  • Growth & Roofr's Journey - Our 2017 In Review (text, 2018)
  • Richard Nelson Y Combinator Pitch (video)

70 Million Jobs/Commissary Club (S17)

  • Announcing 70MillionJobs (text, 2917)
  • I'm Richard Bronson, founder/CEO of 70MillionJobs, former "Wolf of Wall Street" partner. Spent 22 months in a federal prison, now run Y-Combinator startup that finds jobs for 70 million ex-offenders. AMA. (text, 2017)
  • This CEO Wants To Hire 70 Million People (text, 2017)
  • From Wolf of Wall Street to a "Made Man" in Silicon Valley (text, 2019)
  • "Wolf of Wall Street" Works to Help 70 Million Americans with Records (text, 2020)
  • Prison is my baseline (text, 2020)


Let's Do This (W18)

  • Fenner's, start-ups and sport-star investors (text)
  • How two college friends got Serena Williams and Usain Bolt to back their business (text, 2021)

Spinal Singularity/UroDev Medical (W18)

  • A Thanksgiving story: Life-changing injury doesn't dim Marine's gratitude (text, 2013)
  • From Special Operations To Startup Founder (text, 2016)
  • From veteran to entrepreneur: Spinal Singularity founder shares his journey (text, 2016)
  • The Story of Capt. Derek Herrera, USMC (Ret.) (text, 2017)
  • How a paralyzed veteran is taking action to help other wounded warriors (text, 2019)

Veriff (W18)

  • Ycombinator, $7,700,000, Earning the trust of the internet (video, 2018)
  • Kaarel Kotkas "Y Combinator and growing as hell" (video, 2019)
  • Veriff in 2020: The Story So Far (text, 2020)
  • An interview with Kaarel & Janer about 5 years in Veriff (text, 2020)
  • Journey from Estonia to YCombinator to United States (audio, 2021)
  • Kaarel Kotkas of Veriff: Five Things I Learned As A Twenty-Something Founder (text, 2021)
  • A non-founder's guide to the galaxy of Y Combinator (text, 2017)
  • On How Their Technological Innovation Will Shake Up The Tech Scene (text, 2020)

Runa (W18)

Atrium (W18)

  • E900 Justin Kan of, Twitch, Atrium: live-stream video pioneer, YC, failures & successes (video, 2019)
  • I Messed Up and I'm Sorry (video, 2021)
  • Twitch founder who sold for $970 million chats with a guy with $970 in his bank account (video, 2021)

Vanta (W18)

  • From YC darling to fundraising powerhouse (textaudio, 2021)
  • Early Engineer at Vanta (YC W18): Tom Denham (text, 2021)

Nuvocargo (W18)

  • Y Combinator as a solo nontechnical founder (text, 2018)
  • Y Combinator: Application & interview advice from a Winter '18 alumni (text, 2018)

OpenLand (W18)

  • The Ultimate Guide to YCombinator Interview Preparation (text, 2018)
  • OpenLand YC Interview Answers (text, 2018)

Proof/Jarvis (W18)

  • How We Got Into Y Combinator After Failing Miserably The First Time (text, 2018)
  • Is Y Combinator Worth It? A Founder's Experience (text, 2018)
  • Y Combinator Demo Day Pitch (video, 2018) (W18)

  • Former Facebook engineer quit to build the programming tool he always wanted (text, 2018)
  • Rejected Then Recruited: Our Journey into Y Combinator (text, 2018)
  • CEO Amjad Masad is democratizing coding for all (video, 2020)
  • Amjad Masad pitches early stage to Daniel Gross (video, 2020)
  • The Future of Code (video, 2021)
  • I dreaded the idea of starting a company. (twitt, 2021)

OpenPhone (S18)

Modern Treasury (S18)

  • Why We're Building Modern Treasury (text, 2018)
  • Modern Treasury: The Quadrillion $ Quest (text, 2021)

Easol (S18)

  • Branding, Owning Mistakes and the Y Combinator Experience (video, 2021)

Alpha Vantage (S18)

  • The Harvard MBAs Trying To Upend Stock API Investing (text, 2018)
  • This 90 second YC Demo Day pitch raised millions for my startup! (video, 2018)

Goodly (S18)

Momentus (S18)


Deel (W19)

  • Deel's Experience at Y-Combinator (text, 2020)
  • On another level: Israeli FinTech Unicorn raises $425M at a $5.5B valuation (text, 2021)

Our World in Data (W19)

  • Our World in Data is at Y Combinator (text, 2019)
  • History of Our World in Data (text, 2019)

Demodesk (W19)

  • The story behind Demodesk (text, 2019)
  • How we got into Y Combinator and what we've learned on our journey (text, 2019)

Rebank (W19)

  • How We Got Into Y Combinator (Part 1) (text, 2021)
  • How We Got Into Y Combinator (Part 2) (text, 2021)

InEvent (S19)

Multis (S19)

Prolific (S19)

Kraftful (S19)

  • Podcast: Google's Nest exec isn't into smart homes (audio, 2019)
  • 4 Crucial Keys to Get Into Y Combinator (text, 2019)
  • How life prepared me for building a startup in 2020 (text, 2020)
  • Keep your eyes on the users (text, 2020)
  • Being a Toddler Mom CEO during a Pandemic (text, 2020)

Data Mechanics (S19)

  • Our Experience Going Through YCombinator (text, 2020)

Wren (S19)

  • A Day in the Life of Y Combinator (text, 2020)
  • Y Combinator-backed Project Wren is aiming to make carbon offsets more consumer friendly (text, 2019)
  • At the end of my freshman year I hacked the key to personal growth (text, 2020)
  • Applying to YC Early Decision (text, 2019)

Mighty (S19)


Mistro/Stable (W20)

  • Violet Alumni Spotlight: Sarah Ahmad, Co-Founder & CEO at Mistro (text, 2020)
  • What happened when we pivoted 2 weeks before the Y Combinator interview + advice on applying (text, 2021)
  • 100 businesses paid to use Stable before we wrote a line of code — here's how we did it (text, 2021)
  • From college student to CEO (textaudio, 2021)
  • Mistro - YC Application

Termii (W20)

  • Meet YC (W20) Backed Termii — the Twilio for Africa (text, 2020)
  • Gbolade's — YC Experience (text, 2020)
  • Termii YC Application

WorkPay (W20)

  • WorkPay Graduates from Y Combinator (YC) W2020 Class (text, 2020)

Liveflow (W20)

  • LiveFlow Y Combinator Experience Retrospective (text, 2021)

PostHog (W20)

  • The time before YC (text, 2021)
  • Moving to San Francisco (text, 2021)
  • Pivot to PostHog (text, 2021)
  • The YC Interview (text, 2021)
  • After the HN launch (text, 2021)
  • How we raised $3M for an open source project (text, 2021)
  • Building an all-remote company from scratch (text, 2021)
  • Why you may not need a sales team (text, 2021)
  • PostHog raises $12 million in funding led by GV and Y Combinator (text, 2021)
  • A story about pivots (text, 2021)
  • Winning from the back - late mover advantage (text, 2021)
  • Optimize for not breaking up with your co-founder (text, 2021)

Cotter/Typedream (W20)

  • How to Prepare for your Y Combinator Interview (text, 2020)
  • Building in Public with Michelle Marcelline (video, 2021)
  • Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur: How Michelle Marcelline Went From Working For an Insurance Company to Founding Her Own Company (text, 2021)

Farel (S20)

  • A Rising Tide Lifts All Planes (text, 2021)
  • How to Quickly Test Your Business Idea: The Case of Farel (text, 2021)
  • How to Build a Team into a Startup (text, 2021)
  • Selling as an Enterprise Startup with no Product (text, 2021)

Fig (S20)

  • Launching Fig (text, 2021)
  • Launch HN: Fig (YC S20) – Autocomplete for the Terminal (text, 2021)
  • Brendan Falk, Matt Schrage - Fig (video, 2021)
  • S4 E8: Brendan & Matt, Fig (audio, 2021)

Porter (S20)

  • Our Journey Building Porter (text, 2021) (S20)

  • How to get into Y Combinator: application tips from the founders of (text, 2021)

Virtually (S20)

  • How to Ace the Y Combinator Application (text+application, 2020)
  • Being a Founder in the First-Ever YCombinator Remote Batch (text, 2020)
  • At the start of a company's life, sales don't come from clever persuasion. They come from building trust. (text, 2020)
  • Ep: 197: How this former Ex-Facebook Engineer has build an online learning platform with Ish Baid (audio, 2020)
  • Why we're building Virtually - Our Mission Statement (text, 2020)
  • My Experience Going Through On Deck Scale (text, 2021)
  • My 5-year Journey to Joining Y Combinator (text, 2021)
  • Going Through the First Remote Batch of Y Combinator (video, 2021)


Chatbiz (W21)

MagicBell (W21)

  • How my lifestyle business enabled my gender transition and, why I wouldn't trade it for building a unicorn (text, 2019)
  • Starting a new tech business as a transgender woman (text, 2020)
  • A Quora Designer Breaks Down the Notification Maze (text, 2020)
  • 5 Valuable Lessons Learned From Building a B2B SaaS Business (text, 2020)
  • The YCombinator Experience - Remote Edition (text, 2021)
  • Meet MagicBell, the startup empowering product teams to build relevant notification experiences (text, 2021)
  • MagicBell - YC W21 Application
  • MagicBell's YC application video

Waydev (W21)

  • 4 lessons I learned about getting into Y Combinator (after 13 applications) (text, 2021)
  • Vision is not everything, says successful multi-time Y Combinator applicant (text, 2021)

Wasp (W21)

  • Journey to YCombinator (text, 2021)
  • Following YC, Wasp raised $1.5M Seed Round led by Lunar Ventures and HV Capital (text, 2021)
  • Our fundraising learnings - 250+ meetings in 98 days to the oversubscribed round (text, 2021)
  • ProductHunt launch
  • HackerNews Launch

Clear (W21)

  • How I got into Y Combinator with a 4 day old idea whilst still at university (video, 2021)
  • How to manage your time/ how I built a YC startup whilst still at university (video, 2021)

Awesomic (S21)

Lago (S21)

  • Taking part in Y Combinator from Europe: is it worth it? (text, 2021)
  • Being startup employee number one (text, 2021)

MindFi (S21)

  • Meditation didn't fit my busy life. I found this eye-opening way to fix it. (text, 2018)
  • CSTV Ep 42 :: A Conversation with Bjorn Lee (video, 2018)
  • A day in the life of a meditating CEO (text, 2018)
  • founder Bjorn Lee has built an algorithm for mental health and wellness (text, 2021)
  • Diving Deep Into Mental Health (video, 2021)
  • How to get into Y Combinator (video, 2021)
  • Rising from the valley (video, 2021)

Supernote/Metlo (S21)

ContainIQ (S21)

  • What It Was Like Doing Y Combinator a Second Time (text, 2021)
  • Interview with Nate Matherson, CEO of ContainIQ (video, 2021)

+ add your story

to be continued…